The new leader of Erie Community College is calling for change. WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley says Dan Hocoy is the 11th president at at ECC.
"Every decision we make should be based on what is the perspective of the students, how is this going to impact students and is this in the best interest of students," said Hocoy in a WBFO interview.
President Hocoy was appointed by SUNY leaders in June. He took over July 5 as Jack Quinn retired from the post. Now Hocoy is ready to re-brand the college and move it forward to improve enrollment and create a better place for students to learn.
"My approach is to prioritize certain things. Any interface with students we fund and anything that is going to inhibit our ability to grow - so for instance marketing, and so instead of cutting across the board, I'm realigning resources for growth, for student retention and student success," explained Hocoy.
Hocoy wants to focus on the word Erie to market the school.
"Erie - stands for efficiency, relevance, innovation and entrepreneurship, so it is really part of our rebranding effort," remarked Hocoy. "We are trying to create a culture here that's responsive to students."
Hocoy has already made a bold move paring down what some considered a large leadership staff. He said he did it to create efficiencies and save money.
"I reduced my cabinet by four positions. It was a sacrifice to my office and I think as the leader of the institution, I have to set an example. The four positions roughly find out to, with benefits - a savings of $600,000," Hocoy remarked.
For many years there has been much debate about whether ECC should be made into one, downtown campus. But Hocoy said he believes they should remain as three separate campuses in order to continue serving students in the communities of Buffalo, Amherst and Orchard Park.
"I think our mission is really to provide access to students in Western New York, so if you close any one campus - you are limiting access for students and, politically, I don't think it is a practical proposition to close a campus because there are people, politically, in those communities that won't let it happen. So I think it's a moot point," responded Hocoy.