Harford Community College president's contract renewed by board of trustees

Members of Harford Community College's Board of Trustees recently voted unanimously to extend the contract of college President Dennis Golladay.

Golladay, 71, was hired by HCC in the summer of 2010 and was signed to a three-year contract, scheduled to end in late July.

His new three-year contract will begin Aug. 1 and includes two additional one-year options which can be exercised, if Golladay and the board agree to do so, according to an HCC news release.

"I'm in a great position, a great job and it's just been an incredible pleasure over the past two-and-a-half years to be associated with the college," Golladay said Tuesday.

Golladay was hired in 2010 at a salary of $180,000 a year, The Aegis reported at the time. Board of Trustees Chairman Bryan Kelly said Tuesday Golladay's salary would not change with the new contract.

Golladay took over from former President Jim LaCalle, who served as college president for five-and-a-half years and also was a long-serving administrator at the school.

"He had some big shoes to fill with the prior President LaCalle being a 40-year veteran," Kelly said of Golladay, who came to Harford County from the State University of New York system, where Golladay had been vice chancellor of community colleges with SUNY.

"I think he's done an admirable job [at HCC]," Kelly said.

In an interview with The Aegis in 2010, shortly before he assumed the presidency of HCC, Golladay said he thought LaCalle had "done some marvelous things" while at the college. "I just hope that I can build effectively on what he has already put into place," Golladay continued. "I really wish him the best in retirement."

A number of construction projects have kicked off during Golladay's tenure, including the renovation of the Susquehanna Center and the opening of the building's APG Federal Credit Union Arena.

The HCC news release states Golladay had "worked to secure naming rights" for the arena, and the resulting partnership with APG Federal Credit Union has produced a 15-year commitment by the credit union to contribute $50,000 a year toward arena operations and programs, plus HCC student scholarships.

Construction of the Towson Building – a joint HCC and Towson University project to allow Harford County students to take Towson courses on the HCC campus – and the Nursing and Allied Health building is scheduled to begin this spring.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education also reaffirmed HCC's accreditation during Golladay's tenure, and he also worked with faculty and staff at HCC to "redesign" the school's Collegial Governance system, which allows college employees and students "to have input into those decisions that will affect them," according to the news release.

"I think Dennis brings a lot of wisdom and experience to the role," Kelly said of Golladay.

Kelly said he and fellow Board of Trustees members are "very optimistic about our future."

"Being that we've been in a very difficult funding and economic climate, he has been one to see the college as part of the solution, and to look ahead for our students and our school," Kelly said. "He's always focused on the students, and them achieving their goals, and ultimately to where they're coming to us to enter the workforce or for retraining."

Golladay had applied to be HCC's president in 2004, and was selected to replace then-President Claudia Chiesi.

Negotiations between Golladay and HCC officials fell through, The Aegis reported in 2010.

Golladay said Tuesday that previous situation had been a case of a "breakdown in communication."

"It was just a lack of good quick communication, that's all," he said. "I don't think there was anybody to blame for that, it was just one of those odd circumstances."

At that point, LaCalle who was named as the college's interim president through June of 2005, was hired as the full-time president.

With LaCalle's subsequent retirement, Golladay and college officials were able to come to agreement in 2010, and he took over when LaCalle retired.

Golladay, a native of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, served as president of Cayuga Community College in upstate New York from 1996 to 2006, and then assumed the position of vice chancellor for community colleges in the SUNY system in 2007.

His first application to be HCC's president actually came in the mid 1990s, when he was vice president for academic affairs at Anne Arundel Community College.

"I just think it is a very progressive community college and I've wanted to be associated with it for a good while," he said of HCC.

Golladay said HCC officials will soon be completing a strategic plan for the next five to seven years.

He said the focus will be on increasing student success, increasing the graduation rate and "internationalizing" the curriculum to ensure students "are prepared for today's knowledge-based global economy."

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