Voila! Dr Yamba back at Essex County College
by Kofi Ayim
Dr. A. Zachary Yamba, who retired about six years ago after thirty years as President of Essex County College, has been recalled to take the helm of the college. Dr. Yamba has been given a 90-day mandate by the Board of Trustees of one of the most enrolled County Colleges in New Jersey to “stabilize” the institution, boost its morale and develop effective checks and balances of the college’s finances and resources. The Newark-based College has recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
According to nj.com Dr. Gale Gibson (the second President after Dr. Yamba’s retirement), “was suspended amid a mysterious financial probe” last month. She was also accused of attempting to block complaints about her conduct and tampering with e-mails to the College’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Gibson, however, contends that the charges are about politics and an overall witch-hunt in response to her attempt to unearth some financial misconduct within the institution.
It should be recalled that Dr. Yamba assumed the Presidency of Essex County College at a challenging time for ECC. Enrollment was at its lowest ebb, productivity was depleting, and the school was threatened with losing its accreditation. The successes he achieved in raising the overall standards of the school earned him respect and honors in New Jersey and beyond. The section of University Avenue that bisects West Market Street was renamed A. Zachary Yamba Square and the college’s Main building is now called A. Zachary Yamba Building. Two Presidents have succeeded him since his retirement in 2010.
Dr. Yamba, who kicked off his new job as Acting President on April 4th, says he will need the support of all and sundry to realize the mandate given him.