LaVonne E. Ansari, the only black administrator at Niagara County Community College, announced her resignation Wednesday to take over as chief executive officer of the Community Health Center of Buffalo.
Ansari, the college's vice president of operations and director of equity and diversity for about 10 years, informed the NCCC board of trustees about her intentions during the board's monthly business meeting.
"I love working here, but I was recruited for a better opportunity," Ansari said. "The center is an organization that provides health care for the economically disadvantaged."
The Buffalo agency wants to bring Ansari on board in April, "but I haven't decided when I'll leave [NCCC]," she said.
Before that happens, she said, she intends to wrap up a couple of projects she has been working on for the college. "I'm going to finish up our Middle States accreditation work before I go," she said.
In other business, College President James P. Klyczek said NCCC is preparing for contract negotiations with the 180-member Faculty Association. The union's four-year contract expires Aug. 31, and negotiations are expected to begin in March. The current contract gave the school's professional teaching staff an average raise of about 3 percent a year.
Klyczek said the college has advertised for hiring a labor attorney to lead its negotiating team and expects one to be hired soon.
The president also said the college is trying to a settle a contract with its blue-collar union, the 23-member Technical Support Personnel Association. That union's last contract expired 1 1/2 years ago, and a settlement has yet to be reached. Health care has been a major issue in those negotiations.
NCCC Vice President of Finance William Shickling said college departments are gathering information to put together a projected budget for the coming school year.
In addition to soaring health care costs, Klyczek said, the college expects energy costs to increase. After energy prices started rising last summer, he said, the college found it was spending much more money on energy than it had budgeted last spring. He said he anticipates that the college will exceed its energy budget for the current year by up to $250,000.