SCCC president in running for Ohio college position

Schenectady County Community College President Quintin Bullock is one of four finalists for the posi

Schenectady County Community College President Quintin Bullock is one of four finalists for the position of president of Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio.

SCCC Board of Trustees Chairwoman Denise Murphy McGraw said it was “with heavy heart, yet great pride” that she announced Monday morning that Bullock was in the running for the position.

“With almost 20,000 students, Stark is a significant presence in higher education and workforce development in Ohio. It represents an outstanding opportunity in professional advancement for Dr. Bullock,” McGraw said. “I am thrilled for him. It looks to me that there are different challenges there. The flip side is I do not know if he will take it if offered.”

Bullock was not available for comment.

Appointed in 2008

The board appointed Bullock president in 2008. Before coming to SCCC, he was provost at Tidewater Community College in Virginia. Bullock also ran the Damon City Center of Monroe Community College and a culinary program at Tidewater.

“He was in other searches when he interviewed with us. He is excellent at what he does,” McGraw said.

Bullock replaced Gabriel Basil, who stepped down in 2008 after 17 years. Bullock earned both his bachelor’s degree in pre-med (biology/chemistry) and master’s degree in education (biology) from Prairie View A&M University. He also received a doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental Branch and completed post-doctoral work at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Bullock is making $158,875 at SCCC. The salary range for the Stark State job is about $180,000 to $224,000, according to Irene Lewis Motts, director of marketing and communications. The annual contract is for 230 days and its terms are open to negotiation.

McGraw said Bullock has a three-year contract with SCCC, set to expire June 2012 — the end of the current academic year. “There was an intention to renew the contract,” she said.

McGraw said that, should Bullock accept the job, he would stay until the end of his contract.

The Board of Trustees postponed a scheduled meeting Monday because college officials were not sure if they would have a quorum of members, according to Darren Johnson, assistant dean of planning, accountability and advancement. The meeting will be held Oct. 24.

McGraw said she wanted to make the Monday announcement before Stark State officials revealed their finalists that afternoon.

In addition to Bullock, the other candidates are Laura Coleman, president of Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba, Mich.; Dorey Diab, provost and chief academic officer of Stark State College; and Para Jones, president of Spartanburg Community College in Spartanburg, S.C.

Stark State offers more than 230 programs and is located in northeast Ohio. The college is searching for a president to replace Jack O’Donnell, who became president of a community college in Massachusetts on Aug. 1.

Officials from Stark State were not available for comment.

Should Bullock get the job, McGraw said the college would look for a long-term interim president.

“The last interim was three to six months,” McGraw said. “This time, we will look to establish a search process and we will try to figure out what we are looking for.”

News spread fast

Professor Ralf Schauer, president of the SCCC Faculty Association, said the news about Bullock’s potential departure spread like wildfire once McGraw announced it in an email to staff. “It comes as somewhat of a surprise to us,” he said. “We expected him to move at some point. This is a little bit quicker.”

Schauer had envisioned a three- to five-year time frame for Bullock’s presidency. From the time Bullock arrived at SCCC, Schauer said, it was implied by Bullock that he had a set of goals that he was going to accomplish before going to another institution.

“There was clearly that sense that he was a rising star and he was definitely doing those kind of things that would set him up in terms of his potential candidacy at larger institutions,” he said.

Schauer said Bullock brought more grant money to the college than any other president, notably an $11.2 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to train people for health careers.

In addition, Schauer said Bullock increased the visibility of SCCC as he sought to transform it into more of a regional institution by expanding beyond its Schenectady County footprint.

The faculty association is currently in the midst of a contract dispute.

The Board of Trustees rejected a contract proposal because of a concern it would have provided a 2 percent pay raise when the other unions only got a 1.5 percent bump in salary.

The union filed its fact-finding brief Monday and will likely get the results just after Thanksgiving, according to Schauer.

“We’re very optimistic that the fact-finder will come up with a reasonable statement of what the county and the school can actually pay,” he said.

A rising star

Board member Gary Hughes, who is also on the Schenectady County Legislature, agreed that college officials knew Bullock was an up-and-coming star in education when they hired him.

“I think we all had the expectation that it probably wouldn’t be a long tenure. If he is successful in this, we wish him well. We’re very pleased with the work he’s done here.”

Hughes cited the workforce development programs Bullock has implemented.

The college now has a one-year certificate in storage battery technology and a two-year associate’s degree program in alternative energy technology.

The two programs are designed to dovetail with General Electric’s plan to build a $100 million facility to manufacture metal halide batteries.

Other new or expanded programs include associate’s degrees in air traffic control and criminal justice.

Also under Bullock’s tenure, the college launched the Early College High School in 2009, where about 100 students from high school are taught in special sections. The students have the opportunity to simultaneously earn high school and college credit during their junior and senior years.

The college obtained a $447,500 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the program. The program continued this year with another group of 100 freshmen.

SCCC is also close to breaking ground on a 264-bed student housing project across the street from the college at 117 Washington Ave.

Hughes also praised Bullock’s work ethic and the energy he instilled in the campus.

SCCC officials came under fire in 2009 when they inked a $3,000-a-month contract with a consultant to help Bullock network with local business leaders and develop new programs.

The college hired Wallace Altes, the former president of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, to arrange meetings with senior executives, provide background on local companies, identify partnerships for SCCC and secure invitations for Bullock to join organizations and boards. Altes’ first contract ran through May 2010 at a total cost of not more than $30,000.

At the time, McGraw said that hiring Altes was necessary because the college wanted to expand its geographic reach and, with Altes’ background, it could tap into Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties and beyond.

The board recently voted to continue that contract through May 30.

Categories: Schenectady County

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