Joe Hernon Begins Work as New Vice President for Emergency Management


Colgate University

JOE HERNON: Hernon is an active national guard member with previous experience in higher education as director for emergency management at Syracuse University. His back- ground in emergency management means he brings considerable experience to the table.

In July 2021, the University announced a new Associate Vice President (AVP) for Campus Safety, Emergency Management, and Environmental Health and Safety to replace former AVP Dan Gough. The new AVP, Joseph Hernon, is a military veteran and active air national guard member with previous higher education experience, Vice President and Dean of the College Paul McLoughlin wrote in an email to the community on July 15.

Of his new appointment, Hernon noted in a press release, “Safety and community-building have been top priorities for me throughout my career, and I am honored to be selected to lead the emergency management operations at one of the most prestigious schools in the nation.” In addition to serving in the military, Hernon recently served as the director for emergency management and business continuity at Syracuse University. Hernon also previously served as the deputy director of emergency services for Oneida County.

Hernon’s predecessor, Dan Gough, also previously served his country in the U.S. Navy for 11 years. He played an integral role in guiding Colgate through the pandemic, referred to as “a man who never takes a day off,” in an article for “Next Up on 13” covering Gough.
Gough ran three different departments throughout his tenure at Colgate and was recently named the Employee of the Year.

“On any given day, in any given year, [Gough] works tirelessly to maintain the safety and security of the campus community. However, this year, he has gone above and beyond in providing steadfast leadership, managing this public health crisis,” Senior Advisor to President Brian Casey Christopher Wells said.

Although Hernon undoubtedly has big shoes to fill, he comes armed with over 10 years of crisis management experience.

“From coordinating major events at Syracuse to training local communities on emergency preparedness, Joe is a versatile and community-minded leader. Joe’s demonstrated leadership in managing crises will help ensure Colgate’s continued emergency preparedness,” McLoughlin added in his email to the community, noting that Hernon’s unique skill set would aid him in taking over Colgate’s emergency management division.

“I’m excited to work with such an experienced leadership team and to continue to build on the success that Colgate University has had during the pandemic,” Hernon said. “As we continue to drive decisions and policies based on science, the most updated data, and local experts. I can’t wait to get on campus and hit the ground running to make sure the campus is ready, safe, and welcoming for our university community as we take on the fall semester.”