Applauding him for his leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cayuga Community College Board of Trustees formally approved a contract extension for College President Dr. Brian Durant on Tuesday.
Unanimously approved by trustees, the contract extension solidifies Cayuga’s continuity of leadership through the 2025-26 academic year. The announcement comes as the College advances a series of community-focused initiatives and completes a semester with more than 90 percent of its courses in a virtual setting to protect students and employees amid the pandemic.
In announcing the contract extension, Trustee Chair Marian Brown praised Dr. Durant’s vision for Cayuga’s future and his determined leadership during the pandemic.
“The Cayuga Community College Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the contract extension for Dr. Durant. During his tenure, the College has launched new academic programs, forged new community partnerships and strengthened its support for our local workforce with forward-thinking career training,” said Brown. “With his dedicated leadership through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has further illustrated why he’s the right person for Cayuga. We’re excited that Dr. Durant will continue as president at Cayuga Community College in the years ahead.”
Since being named Cayuga’s ninth president in 2015, Dr. Durant has strengthened the College’s financial position and expanded its community presence while also building opportunities and programs for students. Along with launching new degree programs in Environmental Science, Culinary Arts, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Event and Tourism Management during his tenure, the College has also expanded its K-12 programming with school districts in Cayuga and Oswego counties.
Dr. Durant has also cultivated strong regional partnerships to expand the College’s community presence. In Cayuga County the College was a key participant in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, with its Culinary Institute expected to begin operations in 2021. The College is also developing a Workforce Development Center and previously worked with the City of Auburn on a renovation of Falcon Park.
In Oswego County, the College has partnered with regional manufacturing leaders to develop an Advanced Manufacturing Institute on the College’s Fulton Campus. Once completed, the Institute will provide the regional workforce with essential training opportunities while also supporting employers who need a highly-skilled employee base.
In addition to developing new academic and career training opportunities, Dr. Durant has supervised the implementation of health and safety protocols and COVID-19 surveillance testing at Cayuga. As part of these efforts, the College administered more than 2,400 COVID-19 surveillance tests in the Fall 2020 semester.
“Cayuga Community College is a singular institution, with talented faculty and staff who have dedicated themselves to helping our students succeed on their academic and career pathways. Their work to support our students and help our communities grow is an essential part of what makes Cayuga special, and I’m extremely proud of how our College has adapted to this year’s challenges,” said Dr. Durant. “Thank you to Chair Marian Brown and her fellow trustees for their support, and I’m excited to continue working with them to move Cayuga forward.”
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