|More than 100 Bergen Community College faculty and staff members attended a board of trustees meeting in Paramus on Wednesday to protest the leadership of President G. Jeremiah “Jerry” Ryan.
Many wanted him fired, saying he was autocratic and had failed to heed their views.
In a May 24 emergency union meeting, faculty members voted to express “no confidence” in Ryan and called for his ouster. The vote was 92 in favor and 26 against, with three abstentions. About a third of the faculty participated.
The vote followed a story in The Record last month that detailed how Ryan charged nearly $30,000 a year on his expense account in meals, travel, golf and other items.
That spending fell short of the $50,000 he was allowed to spend annually, but rankled critics who noted the charges came as cuts in state aid forced tuition hikes. Ryan had argued he needs to wine and dine donors to raise money and expand programs for the college and its roughly 18,000 students.
In front of a packed meeting room on Wednesday, Peter Martin, a 78-year-old professor, choked up as he told the board he loved the college and was devastated to see it diminished due to mistrust between the administration and the staff, and because of poor hiring choices and personal vendettas.