By Emanuele Calianno
At the Board of Trustees meeting for December, the Board confirmed Dr. Eric Friedman as the new president of BCC.
Friedman, who was confirmed unanimously, is set to begin in January. The college has not yet made an official announcement regarding his appointment.
Prior to joining BCC, Friedman spent 13 years at Hudson County Community College, where he most recently served as executive vice president and provost. He will receive a yearly salary of $235,000, the Board said.
Interim President Anthony Ross will step down in his role at the end of the semester. He assumed the role in January, after President Michael Redmond’s retirement. Ross was expected to fill in as interim for the Spring semester, but the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the presidential search for months.
Friedman will begin his tenure during a difficult time at BCC. Spring classes will continue primarily online, with a growing number of students citing challenges with remote learning. The college has experienced significant drops in enrollment, down to about 11,000 from a historical high of 17,000 in 2010. Following national trends, another drop is anticipated for 2021.
In addition, Friedman will need to address growing concerns from the faculty regarding the Board’s delayed promotion of 11 faculty members, as part of the college’s hiring freeze during the pandemic. The matter is currently under negotiation between the faculty union and the college, according to members of the union.
Ross and Vice President Brock Fisher have given the faculty their support on the topic, but it is not yet known whether Friedman will do the same.
A Ph.D graduate of New School University, Friedman has taught sociology and urban studies at several institutions in the New York metro area, including New School and Drew University.