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Atlantic Cape Board Elects 2013-2014 Officers; Approves Reorganization

November 27, 2013

David Evans of Galloway was reelected chairperson, Maria Torres of Mays Landing was again named vice chairperson and Robert J. Boyer of Villas was reappointed treasurer when the Atlantic Cape Community College Board of Trustees held its annual reorganization meeting Nov. 26. Evans is a retired Galloway Public Schools educator and Torres is a retired guidance counselor who serves on the board of New Jersey’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. Boyer is a licensed real estate sales associate. Sean Fischer of Mays Landing was reappointed board secretary. Their terms run until November 2014.

Board members also approved their regular meeting date—the fourth Tuesday of each month, excluding August, at 7 p.m.—and set official banking depositories.

In Personnel Action:

--The board appointed Victor Moreno of Pleasantville, office coordinator, Educational Opportunity Fund, effective Nov. 27.

--The board appointed Ronald Peters of Delmont building services working foreman, facilities management, effective Nov. 27.

As a result of a reorganization of leadership due to the upcoming departure of two senior staff members, the board approved the following promotions:

--Cynthia Correa of Galloway, from assistant director, Worthington Atlantic City Campus student services, to director, WACC student services & campus management, effective Jan. 1.

--Tammy DeFranco of Seaville, from assistant director, Cape May County Campus student services, to director, CMCC student services & campus management, effective Jan. 1.

--Sean Fischer of Mays Landing, from chief of staff to the president to dean, resource development & president/Board of Trustees operations, effective Jan. 1.

--Dr. Mitchell Levy of Fort Lee, from dean of students to vice president of student affairs and branch campus management, effective Jan. 1.

--Dr. Richard Perniciaro of Pleasantville, from dean, facilities, planning, research and Worthington Atlantic City Campus operations, to vice president, planning, research, facilities and executive support, effective Jan. 1.

The board approved the following title changes:

--Lisa Apel-Gendron of Dennisville, from director, Cape May County Campus support services, to senior campus administrator, Cape May County Campus, effective Jan. 1

--Torrina Bennett-Michael of Mays Landing, from director of community and alumni development, to director, community and alumni outreach, effective Jan. 1.

--Linda Palmer of Hammonton, from director, Worthington Atlantic City Campus support services, to senior campus administrator, Worthington Atlantic City Campus, effective Jan. 1.

--Maria Kellett of Wildwood, from director, resource development, to senior director, resource development and community and alumni outreach, effective Jan. 1.

The board approved two retirements:

--Dr. Patricia Gentile of Egg Harbor Township, dean of enrollment management, advancement and Cape May County Campus operations, effective Dec. 31. A college employee since 1999, Dr. Gentile began as project director of job readiness, and later was promoted to associate dean, continuing education operations; dean, continuing education and resource development; and added oversight and management of Cape May County Campus operations in 2009, before her final promotion in 2013. She was recognized for her commitment to students and outstanding leadership to fundraise millions of dollars for scholarships. “Pat exhibits superior critical thinking and decision making ability, has strong interpersonal relationships helping to build internal and external collaborations and teams and shows a high level of initiative and resourcefulness,” Dr. Peter L. Mora, president, said. She has been appointed president of North Shore Community College in Massachusetts. Trustee Helen Walsh noted the variety of responsibilities Dr. Gentile oversees showcases her dedication and talent. “It seems it’s going to take more than one person to replace her,” Walsh said.

--Dr. Arthur Wexler of Mays Landing, vice president of academic affairs, effective June 30. A college employee since 1977, Dr. Wexler served as counselor, director of counseling and career services, associate dean of student development, director of student life, director of Cape May County Extension Center, associate dean of continuing education operations, associate professor of psychology and education, department chair of social science, and senior dean of academic affairs before being  named vice president of academic affairs. He was recognized for his outstanding career of service to Atlantic Cape students. “He has established a leadership style that is based on personal integrity, knowledge of community college operations, and high expectations for performance,” Dr. Mora said. He served on numerous committees, including Curriculum Committee and Middle States. Trustee Andrew Melchiorre credited Dr. Wexler’s effective leadership to “his exceptional integrity and honesty.”

Board Approves Sick Leave Payment Agreement

The board approved memorandums of agreement (MOA) with the college’s four bargaining units that change, for a limited time, the sick leave payment offered to those who retire from the college by June 30, 2014. The agreement increases the payment for unused sick leave, from the $8,500 maximum level in the current contract, to $15,000, the state cap on such payments. The change will be in effect from Nov. 27 through Dec. 20.

Terms of the agreement, which was signed by Dr. Mora and bargaining unit representatives after the meeting, include:

--Payment for unused sick leave will not exceed $15,000 or 100 percent of the employee’s accrued leave. For employees who meet the terms of the MOA, payment will be made in a lump sum no later than June 27, 2014.

--Employees who choose to take the payment must make an irrevocable written commitment under the MOA to retire from the college no later than June 30, 2014.

The board approved a separate resolution extending the sick payment benefit to exempt employees. Also eligible are employees who have not retired but who had made a written commitment to the college to retire on or before June 30, 2014.

The administration initiated discussions with the bargaining units on the sick leave payment as part of a comprehensive process to develop a projected balanced FY’15 budget. The college adopted a strategic finance model 3 years ago that calls for it to look at ways to contain costs and enhance revenues. Knowing how many employees plan to take retirement before FY’15 begins on July 1, 2014, will provide more precise salary and benefits projections for that year’s fiscal plan. Currently, those expenses comprise about 80 percent of the college’s budget.

According to data supplied by the Human Resources office, 119 Atlantic Cape full-time employees are eligible for the payment under terms of the bargaining unit contracts. To be eligible, employees must be over age 50 and have 10 years or more of service. Of that group, 34 employees are eligible for retirement from the college and the state pension system by June 30, 2014. Atlantic Cape has a total of 328 full-time employees.

The Board Approved the Following Contract:

--Non-bid award for installation of conduits for surveillance cameras to R. Palmieri Electrical Contractors of Buena, $38,158.91.

In Other Business, the Board:

--Approved the Oct. 31, 2013, financial statement.

--Approved a revision of the FY’14 budget to decrease the unrestricted budget by $508,766 and transferred $79,383 from fund balance.

--Recognized Nicholas Talvacchia’s dedication to Atlantic Cape’s mission as he departs the board. Talvacchia of Margate served as board chair, vice chair, treasurer and chair of the Budget, Finance and Audit Committee during his tenure on the board. Chairman Evans credited Talvacchia as a “true asset to Atlantic Cape” and for serving as role model to other board members.

--Welcomed James Kennedy of Linwood to the board. He has more than 30 years of experience working in the public sector, legal sector, higher education and casino gambling. Most recently, he served as a community development specialist for the Revel Entertainment Group, where he coordinated the planning and financing of a $500 million mixed-use neighborhood redevelopment project. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson. 

In the President’s Report:

--Dr. Mora presented his annual State of the College address, which was produced by the student TV Club.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Mays Landing Campus, J-202. All are welcome to attend.