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Welcome back Spring 2023

Welcome back to what I hope is a new era for our institution. We now seem to be in a place for a new level of collaboration with the College leadership. The trauma and drama inflicted upon our institution by our last two Presidents are in the past. The damage inflicted on the institution, both internally and publicly, will take time and effort to repair.

Much of what has transpired in the last few years, specifically the last ten months, was haphazard and harmed SUNY Erie’s public image. Specifically, the decisions that effected South campus were done with little or no thought for the southtowns community, or the students it serves. There has been a lack of a comprehensive marketing plan and outreach for years. We needed to attract a larger market share of the high school population. New cohorts of students through partnerships could have also stabilized our enrollment.

Unnecessary hiring, enrollment declines, COVID, and costly Workday implementation created the perfect storm financially. This environment was ripe for the manipulation of public sentiment that has led to an overall negative perception of the college. Despite all these obstacles we have fought and prevailed in saving ECC.

It’s now time once again for our members to work to polish our unnecessarily tarnished reputation as an institution. We finally have the attention of S.E.S and the Trustees. They now acknowledge that the issues of the college are not confined to our bargaining unit. The political leaders have always understood our worth, as well as the fact that we are the only reason that the college has remained viable and relevant under all these everchanging circumstances.

We all know our members of the FFECC are committed and care deeply for our students and this institution. Faculty and Staff members know this institution and we also know how to begin to repair this damage. We must be at the table to create an inclusive comprehensive plan moving forward. The new officer in charge and the board chair have committed to working with us collaboratively.

Let’s work together with the college and the community to maintain a presence in the southtowns, and to restore SUNY Erie as a valuable institution in WNY. This is our college, our students, our livelihoods, so let’s reimagine this special place.

My delayed welcome letter is a result having to help the college relocate faculty, staff, and students from the post office building. This move was necessary due to the storm related damage, which effected nearly half of the building. This task was completed in less than one weeks’ time. While the moves are not optimal, the collaboration was impressive. For the most part students seem to be ok with the adjustments. Faculty have been extremely understanding and the college has been working to deal with concerns. This was truly impressive and demonstrated to me that we can solve problems through planning and collaboration.

Thank you to the maintenance staff and its leadership, middle management, the unions, and the officer in charge for getting the existing buildings ready for the our students the first day. This example of collaboration though tactical planning shows what could be accomplished when we listen to each other. Thank You, Andrew Sako and the FFECC leadership team


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