APC Elects New Board Leadership

David Conklin, president of Jamestown Business College, to preside over the association.

New York’s Association of Propriety Colleges (APC) – the only state organization that exclusively represents degree-granting proprietary colleges – has elected a new chairman and vice chairman as of June 20. APC and its board of trustees represents 16 regents accredited colleges, spanning 28 campuses across the state and serving more than 35,000 students.

David Conklin, of Jamestown, will serve as chairman of the association’s board of trustees. He will succeed Stephen J. Jerome, president of Monroe College in the Bronx and Westchester County, who served as chairman since 1991. Jerome will share his experience and ensure a smooth transition by remaining on the board as chairman emeritus.

“I am honored by the great confidence that my board colleagues have expressed in me,” said Conklin. “Under Stephen Jerome’s leadership, APC has realized significant achievement. Since the association’s inception in 1978, he has played an integral role, in particular in petitioning the New York Board of Regents to establish and recognize APC as an equal partner with the other sectors of higher education in New York state, including public and independent non-profit colleges. Today, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue moving forward by cultivating a greater public awareness of APC member colleges and our commitment to providing students with a quality education and the supportive services they need for long-term success.”

Conklin is president of Jamestown Business College, which was founded in 1886. He has been with the institution for 33 years, beginning his career as an instructor. He was named academic dean in 2000 and began serving as vice president in 2007. Professionally active, Conklin has served as a member of an accreditation evaluation team for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. He also is trained as an evaluator for the New York State Education Department and is a member of the Business Educators Research Associates (BERA).

Conklin received his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and holds a master’s degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia. An active member of the Jamestown community, he serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and the James Prendergast Library Association Board of Trustees. He has served on the board of directors for the YMCA, Reachout Ministries, and Family Services of Jamestown.

In addition, APC elected Charles E. Callahan III, provost of Plaza College, to serve as vice chair of the board. Callahan has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, playing a direct role in the advancement of Plaza College. In 1982, Callahan was instrumental in securing authorization from the New York State Board of Regents, enabling Plaza College to confer the associate degree. Plaza College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and now offers both baccalaureate and associate degrees.

Callahan was appointed to various committees for the New York State Board of Regents, including the New York State Rehabilitation Council and the Regents Advisory Council for Institutional Accreditation. He also chaired the Employment and Training Committee of the Council, charged with developing a marketing approach to employers to increase job opportunities for the disabled.

Additionally, Callahan was appointed in 1997 by then Governor George Pataki to represent both business and education perspectives as a member of the State Department of Labor’s Structure and Governance Design Team. He also served four terms on the New York State Workforce Investment Board under three governors. As a founding member of the Queens Adult Career and Continued Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (formerly VESID) Business Advisory Council, he has been honored by the Department of Labor as the “Employer of the Year” for his efforts in the area of workforce development.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome the extraordinary leadership and vast expertise David and Charles bring to the board,” said Donna Gurnett, president and CEO of APC. “The board has chosen two people who are committed to excellence in higher education. We look forward to working alongside David and Charles and will look to them for guidance as we continue to educate lawmakers and the general public about New York’s degree-granting proprietary colleges.”