Shock was the predominant — and appropriate — reaction when word circulated that President John Jablonski and Clinton Community College would be parting ways.
He was regarded by many as the best president in years at the Plattsburgh college.
Jablonski, who started at CCC in June 2009, has been a regional leader in fostering partnerships between area businesses and the college, creating robust education and job-training programs to meet the needs of local industry.
He has encouraged public discussion of important community issues through college-sponsored forums and by his own participation in numerous local endeavors.
He was a visible participant in many community events, representing Clinton Community with professionalism and enthusiasm. That, in itself, earned respect and admiration for CCC, which was recently named by Washington Monthly magazine as one of the nation’s Best Community Colleges.
Jablonski was involved in controversy during preparation of the 2013-14 budget, when he proposed a number of staff cuts. Faculty members were not pleased.
Though many colleges were coping with budget difficulties at that time, some felt Jablonski could have prevented CCC from getting into that tenuous fiscal position or at least not have resorted to eliminating jobs.
But he was open in his discussions of the problems and demonstrated flexibility in working with faculty on a less caustic means of dealing with the budget shortfall.
Jablonski says he is leaving of his own accord to complete work on his doctorate.
But a number of factors suggest the whole story is not being told. One is his sudden departure; he will be done at CCC this Thursday.
Jablonski and his wife, Kelly, who has also been involved in the community, did not show up for the Foundation of CVPH gala on Saturday night — an event they had both attended in previous years.
And the confirmation that Jablonski is leaving follows a special meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees on June 2.