Chris Gray, Ph.D.

Founding President, Erie County Community College

Happy New Year! We’re back at work here at EC3 and preparing for another exciting semester.  In keeping with this time of year, I wanted to mention an exciting development for us as a college. We recently revisited and revised our institutional values, refining and honing them to serve our community better and to continue to sharpen our focus on the reasons underpinning our work.

Before we go further, however, it’s important to distinguish resolutions from values. We’re hearing a lot about resolutions right now with the new year just behind us; those are short-term plans to change/improve some aspect of our lives. That’s not what we are talking about when we discuss values.  Instead, values are the core principles and beliefs that guide us as an educational institution, shaping our attitudes, behaviors, and decision-making processes. Values are deeply ingrained and often acquired through a combination of cultural and societal experiences.  Think of them as the foundation on which we have built our house if you will. They need to be strong as we lean upon them heavily.

For us here at EC3, our values reflect what is significant and meaningful to us as a college. They influence our priorities and overall trajectory. They also contribute to the creation of norms and expectations that guide behavior among our campus community. And finally, they play a crucial role in guiding our decision-making processes.

Values evolve and adapt over time, and they should. EC3 isn’t the same institution it was back when we first opened our doors, and our values need to be revised for currency and relevancy as we grow. They are and should be influenced by changing circumstances, experiences, and societal shifts. While some values may be universal, some should and must change. 

Our values here at EC3 provide a framework for our decisions and actions; they have from the outset and will continue to do so. They shape the way we engage with our community, fostering a sense of purpose and connection to Erie County. We are proud of who we are and what we stand for!

Without further ado, here are EC3’s newly revised values:

Diversity – EC3 promotes equitable treatment of all people and respect for all academic thought.

Innovation – EC3 forges new learning paths to provide innovative, creative, and modern methods for 21st century student success. 

Employability – EC3 produces graduates who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to reach their career goals.   

Developing Erie County’s Workforce – EC3 graduates are skilled, able, and ready to help Erie County and the greater region’s potential education, workforce, and economic development. 

Community – EC3 proudly serves the region as Erie County’s college for advancing collaborations and mutual partnerships, serving the needs of an ever-changing population and workforce.

Excellence – EC3 sets the highest standard of post-secondary education quality through the establishment of ambitious goals, efficient processes, value-added delivery, and innovative programs of study.  

Sustainable Business Model – EC3 follows an improved business model to ensure financial viability and meet the challenges facing higher education.

Future Ready – EC3 pursues a workforce readiness consistent with the emergent needs of the community.

As ever, we remain committed to our work here at EC3, and we continue to align ourselves with these revised values as we grow and expand.  Here’s to a great 2024!