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JCC Approves Budget In President Duckworth’s Final Meeting

Cory Duckworth says goodbye to the Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees during his final meeting Tuesday. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

Cory Duckworth, Jamestown Community College president, said goodbye to the campus and the Board of Trustees during his final meeting Tuesday where the Operating Budget of $33,259,000 was approved.

Michael Martello, vice president of administration service, was appointed to “administrator in charge” while the president position lay vacant.

Duckworth noted that all vice presidents on campus are working on current initiatives and will be continuing their work even while the president position is in limbo.

Wally Huckno, board chair, mentioned the college had submitted a finalist candidate to SUNY, but was still waiting for news on its vetting process for candidates.

Huckno said he and the board was “sorry” that Duckworth was leaving and that what he brought to Jamestown was “irreplaceable.”

Duckworth praised the work of the many vice presidents on campus and assured the board their work would continue even without a president at the helm.

“I’ll share with you just one more time my feelings of gratitude and appreciation for the quality and professionalism that we have in our senior leadership staff at this institution,” he said. “They’re exceptional. They know what they’re doing. They have control of their operations.

“They would stack up, in my estimation, any where in the land with others in higher education.”

He praised the work of the board and what they allowed he and the vice presidents to accomplish. Duckworth also asked for a round of applause for Marsha Hern, executive assistant to the president and assistant to the board, for all the “behind the scenes work” she has done and called her an “unsung heroine.”

Duckworth reflected on his five year experience he described as “extraordinary” and said that smiles will be brought to his face when he looks back on his time.

“We’ve changed the tone and tenor across campus in a way that we’re positioned to continue to move in positive directions and I’m grateful for that,” he said.

“Thank you,” Duckworth said finishing his final President’s Report.

As for those positive directions Duckworth refered to, Kirk Young, vice president of enrollment management and institutional advancement, updated the board on a few initiatives involving JCC’s outreach.

One specifically was involved with a Hispanic outreach grant that would help bring hispanic students to Jamestown. The Hispanic Success Center at JCC attempts to raise awareness among college and high school Hispanic students about collegiate opportunities. A discussion broke out among trustees on different markets the initiative could expand towards such as Buffalo and Rochester.

An additional program Young discussed was the Destination To A Dream partnership with the State University of New York at Fredonia and JCC.

This partnership will allow students who are turned away from Fredonia due to academic ineligibility to be immediately referred to Jamestown, pending the applicant’s permission. The partnership will allow JCC to much easier recruit students who are being turned away at Fredonia.

The students will then attend JCC with guidance from JCC advisors to ensure that all credits will transfer after two years. While at JCC, potential students can build up their GPA and then attend Fredonia after two years.

Potential students can either attend the North County Campus in Dunkirk with provided transportation or, in some cases, stay in residential halls and attend classes on the Jamestown campus. Students will officially be admitted to both Fredonia and Jamestown while only filling out one application. Young noted that process was designed so it was straightforward.

Young and Duckworth noted that JCC was pursuing similar options with St. Bonaventure University.

The Board of Trustees on Tuesday also approved a tuition increase of $60 per semester, $120 per year. The college similarly raised tuition costs last year when the budget was passed.

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