Nassau Community College
AAUP Advocacy Chapter
September 7, 2015
On September 2nd NCC’s Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Thomas P. Dolan, a former Superintendent of the Great Neck public school system as interim NCC president. When queried by Newsday as to why the retired Superintendent of Great Neck’s public school system was rated tops among the applicant pool the Board’s Chair Dr. Gardyn asserted, “A superintendent is the equivalent of being a (college) president, only at a different level….”
The AAUP would like to ask the Board a similar but more pointedly worded question: Why select a K – 12 administrator who lacks higher education experience to assume a short-term leadership position – particularly one requiring immediate competency? Lacking SUNY system experience in higher education will render Mr. Dolan dependent on NCC’s entrenched regime, not as the hoped for bridge to positive change. Well-meaning as Mr. Dolan may be, we are concerned that he will merely serve as a status quo placeholder. This move, wittingly or unwittingly, will prevent fresh assessment of NCC’s administrative path by an experienced and objective outsider. It appears that Dr. Gardyn is merely re-shuffling NCC’s administrative card deck to stymie invigorated leadership so that he can continue to push for Dr. Saunders’ eventual elevation to the Presidential Palace. We believe Dr. Saunders to be the keystone for Dr. Gardyn’s vision for NCC- 13th grade.
This disappointing choice, coupled with Dr. Gardyn’s comments, exemplify the challenges that community colleges currently face: the assault on community colleges as true institutions of higher education. At this point we can only hope that Mr. Dolan will chart an independent course and work with the faculty to begin the arduous work of rebuilding NCC as a premiere community college for higher education.
Kimberley Reiser, President for the NCC AAUP
Faren Siminoff Vice-President for the NCC AAUP