Nassau Community College
AAUP Advocacy Chapter
February 8, 2016
On June 13, 2014, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released a report, Falling Students Outcomes at Nassau Community College, 2009-2012 that attributed a precipitous decline in graduation and transfer rates at NCC to administrative turmoil (the decline coincided with Donald Astrab’s tenure as college president), excessive remediation, and a lack of support strategies available at better-performing CUNY campuses. The report urges the college’s administration to appoint a new president as soon as possible and adopt support programs such as CUNY’s ASAP with all due dispatch to arrest this troubling trend.
We cite Comptroller Maragos’s report because while it identifies problems at NCC we need to dig further to discover both the root of NCC’s challenges and also the criteria needed to help choose the next leader of the college. The report correctly identifies a gap in leadership. Sean Fanelli left the college in January 2010. So for about six years the college has lacked consistent, visionary leadership. After the turmoil of the Astrab years and the subsequent confusion and rudderless direction, under the Saunders administration, faculty morale is at an all-time low, and the prevailing attitude, judging partly from the recent retirement of some 105 full-time faculty, is to flee. Who wants to stay aboard a sinking ship?
We now have an opportunity to change course by choosing new leadership. It is clear that Ken Saunders is not that person. He’s had his bite at the apple and we know where he has led us: decreasing enrollment, a shrinking bank account, and a tarnished reputation. Now is the time for faculty to unite, stand up, and be heard. We need an energetic, visionary leader capable of bringing all members of the college community together and who can successfully lead us out of this morass.
Sign up to speak to your Board and demand that they put aside their political agendas and do right by the college, its students, and its dedicated faculty.
The BoT meets on Tuesday, February, 9, 2016 at approximately 7:30 pm in the Tower, 11th floor. To speak, call Ann Brandi: 516-572-7205.
NCC AAUP, Executive Committee