Law enforcement veteran Jerry Matthews, who served at Rensselaer as director of public safety and emergency management from 2005 to 2009, has returned to the Institute to assume the role of interim director of public safety. The appointment was effective October 1. Matthews will serve in the role on an interim basis while Rensselaer conducts a national search for a permanent director of public safety.

Jerry Matthews

Jerry Matthews

Working closely with the vice president for administration, Matthews will be responsible for providing leadership and direction to staff in the Department of Public Safety, and for leading the execution of the department’s FY15 Performance Plan initiatives. Matthews is also responsible for ensuring the safety, security, and welfare of all members of the Rensselaer community. He will partner with city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in coordinating Homeland Security and emergency response plans for management of campus incidents, as required.

Matthews was most recently assistant vice president for public safety and investigations at New York University (NYU). In this role, he directed a staff of 340 public safety professionals to protect the NYU community of 70,000 students, faculty, and staff across 110 buildings and facilities. He served in this role from 2009 through early 2014.

In his time at Rensselaer, Matthews said he was dedicated to protecting the campus community and maintaining the physical security of the campus. He was instrumental in the development of the Institutewide Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

Prior to joining Rensselaer in 2005, Matthews held the position of director of public safety at the City University of New York, Lehman College. Formerly, Matthews was assistant superintendent of police with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Matthews holds a master’s degree in education from Seton Hall University and a bachelor’s degree from Pace University.