PLATTSBURGH — The right person in the right place at the right time.
That's how North Country Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Garry Douglas refers to Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale, who he said brought the right approach, thoughtfulness, collegiality and talent to the position.
“There’s never been a president who has developed as broad a relationship with leaders of the business community, particularly in the manufacturing sector, as Ray has."
FAVORITE WORD: 'WE'
CCC Board of Trustees President Dave Favro said, prior to when DiPasquale took over three years ago, the college was "seriously lacking the ability to make critical decisions to right the college economically.”
“When Ray came in he brought a whole different realm of experience where he has seen these different issues before.”
Favro said DiPasquale’s favorite word on campus is “we”.
“He never says, ‘I did this, I did that.’ He doesn’t believe in that. He believes that it gets done through people.”
That quality made DiPasquale stand out to CCC Business Department Chair and Professor Michael Zerrahn, who served on the presidential search committee that led to his hiring.
He added that DiPasquale has taken on the college's enrollment and financial challenges.
"He’s taken it on with such a passion and doing what’s best for the college, the community, all of the stakeholders involved. And it just speaks a lot to the type of person he is.”
CCC Professor Tom Mandeville, now in his 30th year at the college, said the state of affairs was “pretty dire” when DiPasquale came on.
He believes that a previously negative work environment has turned around thanks to DiPasquale’s leadership.
“He’s very open, there’s no problem getting a meeting with him.
“He’s very open about the financial status of the college, what the future holds, what his plans are.”
Clinton County Legislator Mark Dame (R-Area 8), who served as the legislature's liaison to CCC for several years, also commented on DiPasquale's transparency.
"Ray does not try to hide anything. He does not try to sugarcoat anything."
Dame also served on the search committee that found and hired DiPasquale, remarking that he stood out as an applicant totally at ease and with an understanding of the problems faced by community colleges.
"He didn’t claim he was the end-all, be-all savior, but he did offer some possible solutions that he has implemented so he was just very impressive."
'SEASONED SEA CAPTAIN'
Steve Frederick, the college's former vice president for institutional advancement, described DiPasquale as a “seasoned sea captain.”
“That means he’s been through a lot of storms.
“He doesn’t get rattled. He gets frustrated — that’s okay, we’re human, we get frustrated — but he doesn’t get rattled, that’s the big difference."
DiPasquale has the experience, contacts and willing faculty and staff to get the college in the right direction with regard to enrollment, Favro said.
“I have an awful lot more confidence in where we’re going in the future than I have in the past.”
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