Share this article

print logo

Joint meeting planned on NCCC president

Niagara County Community College President James P. Klyczek's ears may be burning Thursday.

A special meeting of the County Legislature and the NCCC board of trustees has been called for 6 p.m. that day, and Topic A is expected to be Klyczek, a favorite target of several legislators.

"Dr. Klyczek has not been invited to this meeting. I think it's best that way," said Legislator Renae Kimble, D-Niagara Falls, one of his strongest critics.

Legislature Chairman William L. Ross, C-Wheatfield, who also serves on the board of trustees, said the meeting was set up at the request of lawmakers including Kimble and Rebecca E. Cuddahee, D-Niagara Falls, who want answers from the trustees about several controversial issues.

The trustees provided Klyczek's critics something else to dislike when the board voted, 7-3, Wednesday to extend Klyczek's contract through the 2008-09 school year.

Critics' complaints include a cash buyout for administrators who gave up traditional health insurance; the denial of tenure to Robin Ray, one of NCCC's handful of African-American employees, who lost her financial counseling job in June; the move of some vocational classes from the county-owned Trott Access Center in Niagara Falls to Summit Park Mall in Wheatfield; and Klyczek's signing of the mall lease before the Legislature had voted on it.

"All these serious issues, and you're going to reward this man and do it before you meet with the sponsoring agency?" Kimble asked.

"The president met all the objectives and goals set for him," said Marvin Maziarz, chairman of the board of trustees.

"I was hoping they'd put on him on some sort of disciplinary fast track," Kimble said. She said she thought the board should have given Klyczek some guidelines, with a threat of being fired if he didn't comply with them.

Klyczek could not be reached last week to comment.

The college's faculty and blue-collar unions have announced votes of no confidence in Klyczek, the college president since 2002, and requested his resignation. The NCCC Faculty Association is to begin contract talks with the college next spring; the blue-collar Technical Support Personnel Association has declared an impasse in its negotiations.

Ross, who voted against extending Klyczek's contract, said he doesn't want the NCCC president at the meeting.

"I want open dialogue. I don't want anybody holding back," Ross said.

He scheduled the meeting in the large classroom in the Public Safety Training Center, 5574 Niagara St. Extension, because it accommodates freewheeling discussions better than the formal Legislature Chambers.

But Ross cautioned that if the discussion veers too far into personalities, an executive session may be called.

"What we're hoping to do is talk about some of the concerns, real or perceived, and smooth out some of those bumps in the road," Ross said.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment