Two vice presidents retiring at the end of this year

Hunter Wallace
Staff Writer

The Vice Presidents of Finance and Administration are among the list of faculty who is retiring after decades of working for the college.

Vice President of Finance Joel Fatato is retiring after having served the college for over four decades. He is a graduate of the college.

“I started in June 1969 as a work-study student. My job was to take these little metal decals, put glue on the back of them, put them on furniture and keep track of them,” said Fatato.
Fatato already has plans for his future after retirement, including spending time with his family and enjoying his hobbies.

“I have a fantastic family with two fantastic grandchildren that I plan on spending more time with. I also love to go on cruises, and I love to golf, so I’ll be spending a lot of time with those two things,” said Fatato.

Fatato recalls several changes to the college during his term as vice president.

“The cafeteria used to be in Hudson Hall, the President’s office was off-campus and the library was where the President’s office is. What stands out in my entire career is the growth in the physical plant and seeing how large we’ve become,” said Fatato.

James LaGatta, vice president of administration and personal friend of Fatato, is also retiring from the college. He is also a graduate of Hudson Valley.

“My first experience was as a student, and then in 1969, I was hired as an instructor in the chemistry department. Since then, I have had the privilege of working with talented faculty, staff and administrators,” said LaGatta in an email interview.

LaGatta is unsure as to what he will do after retirement, but looks towards what the upcoming retirements will mean for the college.

“It is not about who is retiring, it is about the opportunity these retirements are providing the college to hire staff to guide the college for the next 50 years,” said LaGatta.

John Tibbetts, a former staff member from the Office of Human Resources, is also retiring and shares his reasons why.

“I think there are morale issues that accompany shrinking enrollments, and those make for a more argumentative and insecure environment,” Tibbetts said in an email interview. “I also think the College needs a change – new blood and ideas. Senior administration has been in place a long time and maybe it’s time for a different approach.”

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