An interim president is named for the Erie County Community College.

Dr. Judith Gay will take on her new role beginning on February 1st. The decision to appoint her to this spot was a unanimous one.

When Dr. Judith Gay was 14 years old, she heard about the opening of a community college in Philadelphia inside a department store. Little did she know at the time her career would be focused in this type of higher education.

“The idea that Erie wants to have that access point available to the members of the community is important to me. It’s not about place, it’s not about where I am from, it’s about the importance of education because it does transform lives and because community colleges are about democratizing education.” Dr. Gay said.

Currently, Dr. Gay serves as vice president of the Community College of Philadelphia.

Although her time in Erie could be short lived, Dr. Gay wants to help provide her successor with the tools they need to succeed.

“Keep the momentum they’ve built moving forward so I am handing off an institution that has a strong foundation and is ready to go.” Dr. Gay said.

“That allows us to now build out of the college side, which will involve the retention now of educational professionals who will be working with the new administration of the college during this period to help build out our capacities.” said Ron DiNicola, Board Chairman of the Erie County Community College.

DiNicola says the goal is to bring in the inaugural class for the fall of 2021.

“You can ask five people where they would like to have the college and you’ll get six different answers. I think there are a lot of attractive ideas out there, but we’re going to refrain from speculating on that now until we get some of the data.” DiNicola said.

There is a specific committee working to find a location. DiNicola says the board hopes to appoint a permanent president by June.