by Lauren Valdez
“When the fall semester begins, although my office will not be in Haaran Hall, my heart will always be with you on the John Jay campus!” said President Jeremy Travis as he said his farewells to the John Jay community.
On Tuesday October 25th, the John Jay Community received a statement sent by President Travis announcing that he would step down as President after 13 years. This decision will be affective August 1, 2017.
Travis is the fourth president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice since August 16, 2004 and is the Chair of the Committee on Law and Justice of the National Research Council of the National Academies.
Before becoming President of John Jay College, President Travis worked four years as a Senior Fellow affiliated with the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Here he was able to create a national research program on prisoner reentry.
Travis was Special Counsel to the New York Police Commissioner from 1984 to 1986 and Chief Counsel to the U.S. House of Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice in the 90’s. He also worked as a Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters for the New York City Police Department until 1994.
In his statement he spoke about his desire to be part of the national discourse on crime and justice where he believes he can make a difference. He named a few demands that he believes need attention like mass incarceration, reform policing, and racial and social justice, to name a few.
“I am very eager to be more involved in these discussions at the national and local level,” said Travis.
Travis continued his statement by sharing his plans after he leaves John Jay, “I have accepted a designation as Senior Fellowship at the Program in Criminal Justice at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.”
Travis announced that he will be working with Bruce Western, the faculty chair of the Program in Criminal Justice as a platform to launch a three-year Executive Session that will explore responses to crime that reflect a social justice framework.
“We hope this initiative, which we expect to launch in 2017, will influence the next generation of thinking about criminal justice in our country,” said Travis.
With the recommendation of Chancellor James B. Milliken, Travis will also be appointed as University Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center. He will be able to teach at the doctoral program in criminal justice.
Yale College, New York Law School, George Washington University, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, have been some of the schools where Travis has taught criminal justice, public policy, history and law.
“I hate to see him go! But I understand fully his reasons, and I am most supportive of his plans for the next important stage of his career at The City University of New York,” said Chancellor Milliken.
Travis, who has experience not only as a school leader but also as a city leader, is ready for the new challenges he may face.
“In the next chapter of my professional life, I will have two institutional affiliations, with New York City and CUNY remaining as my base,” said Travis.
Under Travis, John Jay College joined the Macaulay Honors College of CUNY program and is now a senior college that offers many undergraduate liberal arts programs.
“Our faculty have designed new majors that sizzle with intellectual excitement.” With Travis, John Jay has been able to grow and transform into a school with opportunities for students interested not only in a Criminal Justice degree but also in any other Liberal Arts degree.
Enrollment has increased by half while faculty has increased by a third. Research funding has also increased throughout the years. “This past year, our faculty raised nearly $25 million in research funding, a new record that has placed us fourth within CUNY,” said Travis.
Travis added, “I will leave the presidency at John Jay with a deep sense of satisfaction.”