Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
APR 28 - MAY 05, 2015

ECC May Be Struggling, But Quinn Traveling the Country

By Tony Farina

April 28, 2015

Jack Quinn

Erie Community College may be struggling financially but the college’s president, former Rep. Jack Quinn, shows no sign of slowing down his heavy travel schedule to spend more time home at his $192,500 job at ECC where a combination of factors, possibly including poor leadership, has put the college on the ropes.

As we have previously reported, ECC faces a current year deficit of $1.2 million and a projected gap of $7.8 million next year, triggering a warning recently from Quinn that ECC is in danger of losing its Middle States accreditation if it continues to deplete its reserves to meet the growing budget crisis. Emergency belt-tightening is under way.

But Quinn, according to well placed sources, continues to travel around the country for his other interests even as the school he runs between trips is battling to stay afloat and cutting things out of the school program with a heavy budget axe.

We don’t know all of Quinn’s interests beyond the college, and apparently neither does the ECC’s board of directors, but here’s a partial list of the former congressman’s activities on the national stage.

Last October, Amtrak established a blue-ribbon panel to address Chicago rail gridlock and one of the panel members it touted is Jack Quinn. Amtrak cited Quinn’s chairmanship of the Railroads Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in its announcement of the panel which is supposed to have a final report by the end of this year.

ECC Board Chairman Steve Boyd says he knew about the Amtrak gig, which he said is unpaid, but he can’t remember if he told the ECC board about the appointment. Quinn may not be getting paid for the Amtrak position, but he’s certainly being paid for travel and expenses as the panel seeks to relieve rail congestion in Chicago, the hub of the U. S. rail network. Sounds like a pretty big task. Sources at ECC say the board was never briefed on Quinn’s Amtrak post.

According to sources, Quinn is paid quite nicely ($140.000) for his work as a director of the compensation and governance committee at California-based Kaiser Aluminum, and he most certainly at least gets travel money and expenses as a trustee of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust.

We believe the ECC board members all knew about Kaiser and the AFL-CIO slots but were not briefed on Amtrak. Nor were they in the loop, as we’ve reported, when Quinn quietly tried to take over as CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership in 2013 but lost out to Dottie Gallagher-Cohen. His efforts to win that appointment have been confirmed by two high-ranking sources.

ECC Board Chairman Boyd says “I have always taken the position that I don’t care what Jack does on his time off as long as it doesn’t conflict with the college’s business.” But while Boyd’s stance is reasonable on its face, how can the board not be fully informed, as apparently it is not, about what the traveling president is doing running around the country as ECC slips deeper into a financial hole?

And sources at the college tell this reporter that the enrollment dip this year---which costs the college money---may have been in part the result of lost student applications by the administration last December, the administration that Quinn is paid $192,500 to oversee. Boyd, who is at least willing to answer questions, admits the school was upgrading to a new computer system “and there were apparently some bugs while implementing it,” but as far as we can determine, the application “bugs” never saw the light of the day, as in a news announcement.

We’ve reported in recent weeks that the subsidy from Erie County under executives Chris Collins and Mark Poloncarz has been the same ($17,429,117) for seven years, with the last increase coming during the Giambra administration. Poloncarz increased the subsidy by $125,000 for 2015, a figure that Boyd has called not much of an increase as the county has had to drain reserves and hike tuition to stay afloat. Another tuition hike is likely for the coming year, but there’s no sign that Quinn is tiring of his travel schedule and is ready to turn his full attention to the struggling college.


Jerry Fuller originally intended his song ‘Travelin' Man’ to be sung by Sam Cooke, but Ricky Nelson recorded it and it sold six million copies worldwide.
Neither Fuller nor Nelson knew Jack Quinn at the time of the making of the hit record.






Monument to Madness Result as Dyster Recycles Bad Idea?
Dyster Makes Odd Appearance on Darro
City Democratic Committee Rubber Stamps Dyster and his Council Candidates
Reporter Will Listen to Paul Dyster Should He Care to Comment Which He Doesn't
Upper Mountain Fire Co Caught in Controversy as Lewiston and Niagara County Litigate Tower
It's Official: Dyster Picks New Secretary for City Council
ECC May Be Struggling, But Quinn Traveling the Country
Brochey Asks Hard Questions About Lewiston-Queenston Bridge Plaza Expansion
Stop Playing Games With the Security of the USA!
Polling Well, Dreaming and Voices
"WNED-TV "Designing Olmsted" Program hypes so-called Park "Improvements"
Skrlin Draws Blood on Trashy Cartoon
North Tonawanda History Museum Used Book Sale, Saturday, May 9.
Only in NT: Brownfields a Toxic Opportunity
Two Dates for Dinner and Talk with Judge Sara Sheldon o-n Veterans Court in May
This Week in Stupid Crime
Treasury Says Debt is $18,112,975,000,000
Letters to the Editor
City Hall Jokes
City Of Woe
To the Tune of Blowin ' In The Wind A Work of Satirical Rhyme
SCOPE President on SAFE ACT: An open letter to the New York State Senate Republicans
DEC Announces Seasonal Employment Opportunities in Summer Recreation
No Chronic Wasting Disease Found During 2014-15 Game Season
Choolokian on the Centennial Circle Jerk
DEC Issues Guidance to Homeowners to Avoid Problems with Bears

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina