Ms. Murray: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Ms. Murray’s appointment is only the tip of NCC’s problematic iceberg: misplaced priorities, failure to value its faculty, and the continued use of the college as a piggy bank for the county, now also in the form of lucrative jobs for well-connected unemployed individuals.

This appointment has aroused SUNY Chancellor Zimpher’s interest. She is concerned “about the process.” We wish the Chancellor would truly look at the all the processes at NCC that are and have been abused. Particularly problematic is the college’s failure to conduct a full affirmative action search for this position and for many others. Some of these appointments  have effectively  become permanent  appointments, but  apparently the BoT believes that appending the label “acting” or “interim” to their titles obviates the need for full affirmative actions searches.

Here is more of what Newsday has to say about this appointment:

SUNY looking at Kate Murray’s appointment to NCC post

Updated December 21, 2015 7:31 PM
By Yancey Roy

“State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is looking at Nassau Community College’s decision to offer a prominent post to outgoing Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray while the college is without a president, a SUNY official said Monday.

Zimpher believes the college’s next president should have the leeway to choose senior staff… But the NCC board chairman said the appointment of Murray as head of “governmental affairs” is considered interim and that the college is on track to choose a new president this spring who will have the authority to keep or revamp senior staff.

At issue is the 6-2 vote by NCC’s board on Dec. 8 to offer Murray the job — just weeks after she lost her bid to become Nassau district attorney and after some trustees questioned whether the position, which involves lobbying state and county lawmakers for funding, should be filled as the school searches for a full-time president. The job pays $151,000 annually.

Murray, a Republican, is slated to take the job on Jan. 1…Democrats criticized the appointment as politically motivated.

Zimpher signaled her concern about the process. “Chancellor Zimpher’s focus is not on a staff appointment but rather on the presidential search at NCC and on supporting Dr. [Thomas] Dolan in his role as interim president in every way possible while that search is ongoing,” Vattimo said in a statement. “Best practices within higher education nationally indicate that college councils or boards name their president and then trust that president to appoint the senior leadership team.”

NCC board chairman Jorge L. Gardyn said Monday the appointment is considered interim, that the school needed to fill the job because of a pending departure and that Murray’s experience as an assemblywoman and supervisor make her a good fit.

“The job is our liaison to state and county officials,” Gardyn said. “She knows them well. She knows the college.”

Gardyn said the current jobholder, Chuck Cutolo, also a former Nassau politician, is retiring at the end of January and “we needed to take action to fill the void.” He said the one-month overlap will allow better continuity.

Further, the college expects to interview a handful of presidential candidates beginning at the end of January and nominate a candidate a few months later, he said.”

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