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PRESIDENT RECEIVES RAISE, PLANS FUTURE

The Niagara County Community College board of trustees Wednesday extended President Antonette J. Cleveland's contract through Aug. 31, 2004, and gave her raises through the 2003-04 school year.

In a 7-0 vote, the trustees raised her salary by 3 percent for the current school year. The contract also provides for unspecified increases through the 2003-04 school year. She was paid $97,000 before her raise, and joined the NCCC staff on Jan. 18, 1999.

For the 2000-2001 school year, she will be paid $99,910.

Her new contract increases her hospitality line to $6,000 from $5,000 and gives her an annuity of $2,000 to be used for a savings program of her choice.

"I'm excited that the board has trust in me to fulfill the duties of the presidency," she said after the meeting.

Cleveland came to NCCC from Herkimer Community College, where she had been dean of academic affairs.

Trustee Edward J. Pawenski said he voted to extend her contract because of the way she has handled herself through some difficult times.

"She ran into some problems because of the computer," he said. "She did pretty well in that respect in trying to straighten that out."

On Aug. 1, the Legislature passed the college's budget, despite complaints about a $2.5 million, five-year contract the college signed last year with computer consultant Collegis.

Cleveland said at the time that the college would need $1 million to replace a problem-plagued software system that was purchased before she was hired.

Collegis, a national computer consulting firm, was selected by NCCC trustees to fix the college's crashed computer system.

In May 1999, the system suffered its first of many crashes, and Cleveland said Collegis was the best of three companies from which she received quotes.

Pawenski also said Wednesday that Cleveland has been working amicably with county legislators and closely with the trustees of the college. He acknowledged, however, that Cleveland will have a difficult time in strengthening relations with the staff because of problems with late paychecks as well as backups during student enrollment because of the computer problems.

In another matter, Cleveland said she and other college representatives will meet with members of three county Legislature committees to discuss a potential performance contract that the college may take part in.

She and other staff members will meet with the Finance, Human Resources and Public Works committees at 6:30 p.m. Monday before entering into a contract with Johnson Controls of West Seneca. The proposed contract, part of the college's master plan, would allow NCCC to implement energy upgrades that would pay off the cost of the contract through energy savings.

Cleveland said that the proposed performance contract with Johnson Controls would cost about $4.3 million over 15 years.

In other matters, the trustees voted, 7-0, to keep the same officers for the 2000-01 school year as the board had last year. Returning are Chairman Carmen A. Granto, Vice Chairman Ronald J. Winter, Secretary F. Robert Sdao and Treasurer David J. DiCamillo.

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