Atlantic Cape Community College’s Board of Trustees approved resolutions to lay off 19 employees and reassign others effective April 26, to address a revenue shortfall due to declining enrollment, when the board met April 25.
The board authorized the college to issue notices of layoff last month following a steady decline in enrollment for the past seven years. Positions were eliminated from a variety of college departments at all three campuses and include exempt, support and supervisory staff.
In Other Personnel Matters, the Board:
–Appointed Stacey Zacharoff of Egg Harbor City, assistant director of Student Support Services, a grant-funded position, effective May 3.
–Accepted the resignation of William Briddell, specialist, Bursar’s Office, retroactive to March 31.
–Approved the retirements of four faculty and staff members, including:
John Atsu-Swanzy of Mays Landing joined Atlantic Cape in 2004 as assistant professor of mathematics and was promoted to associate professor in 2012. He participated in several committees, including Scholarship, Diversity and Equity and International Studies. He also served as a faculty mentor and organized book drives for Ghana. His former department chair, Dr. Godfrey Barlatt, said, “Being cognizant of the issue of math anxiety, Professor Atsu-Swanzy has endeavored to create a positive learning environment for his students by constantly offering words of encouragement. His teaching effectiveness has been outstanding.” He will retire effective June 30.
William Keener of Galloway joined Atlantic Cape in 1985 as a security guard and was later promoted to sergeant, supervisor and finally Director of Security and Public Safety. He will retire effective July 1. During his 32 years at the college, Keener has participated in extensive emergency management training, including Homeland Security Awareness and Prevention, table top drills with Hamilton Township Police, Atlantic County, FEMA and SWAT teams, and others to bring relevant security strategies to the college. Supervisor Eileen Curristine said, “Bill Keener is the ultimate professional, handling the wide range of complex matters in public safety and security with extraordinary competence, decisive judgement, keen interpersonal skills and always tact.”
Diana Lojewski started at Atlantic Cape in 2006 as a registration assistant and later transitioned to office assistant for Support Services at the Atlantic City Campus. Director Cynthia Correa said, “Diana displays strong customer service skills and professionalism when working with Atlantic Cape’s diverse student population.” Lojewski, of Egg Harbor Township, will retire June 30.
Denise O’Connor of Cape May began her career at Atlantic Cape in 1994 at the then Cape May County Extension Center. She has held various roles supporting the college’s facilities in Cape May County as registration assistant, customer service specialist and Student Services specialist. Dr. Tammy DeFranco, her supervisor, stated, “Denise welcomes everyone with a smile and is always willing to help. She goes above and beyond the call of duty, whether it is assisting students or participating in a college function.” She will retire effective June 30.
In Grants Activity, The Board:
–Approved submitting a proposal to the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education for the New Jersey Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (NJ GEAR UP) to provide comprehensive mentoring, outreach and supportive services to participating middle and high school students in the Atlantic City and Pleasantville school districts, requesting $272,950 each year, from September 2017 to September 2024.
In Other Business, the Board:
–Approved the March 2017 financial statement.
–Reaffirmed the following policy with no changes, as part of a periodic review: Policy #504, General Administration.
–Approved granting an honorary Associate in Science degree to Dr. Peter Oudemans in recognition of his service and contributions to Atlantic Cape and its students as the 2017 Beacons by the Sea Visiting Professor. Oudemans is a professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University and uses tools such as remote sensing and geographic information system methodologies to detect, map, quantify and track plant pathogens. This experience was instrumental in shaping the pedagogy of the courses he taught at Atlantic Cape this spring: Special Topics in Information Technology-Applying Technology in Agriculture and Remote Sensing Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems. These courses engaged the students in fieldwork using drones to collect data for analysis and geospatial processing.
–Approved awarding an honorary resolution to Stephen Dunn, who will serve as the keynote speaker at the 50th anniversary commencement May 18. Dunn was a member of the college’s first graduating class in 1968 and was the first elected Student Government Association president.
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 23, at the Cape May County Campus. All are welcome to attend.
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