NCC chooses firm for presidential search

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Nassau Community College officials have selected the executive search firm Witt / Kieffer to recruit the next president of the two-year public college.

Trustees unanimously voted in favor of the selection during a regular board meeting Tuesday night. The action is pending approval of Nassau County's attorneys.

The college is conducting a national search for a new president to replace Donald Astrab, who vacated the post in August after 30 months and two no-confidence votes by the faculty.

NCC Trustee Anthony Cornachio, chairman of the presidential search committee, said Witt / Kieffer was the clear choice. Hiring the firm would cost the college about $115,000, slightly less than the company contracted with before hiring Astrab in 2009.

"Everybody selected them as tops -- way on top," Cornachio told the board. "There wasn't even anyone else that came close." Five recruiting firms submitted bids ranging from $70,000 to $130,000 in response to the college's request for proposals earlier this month. The contract does not require the approval of Nassau County's legislature. The agreement between the college and Witt / Kieffer will go to Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli's office, which reviews all of the college's vendor contracts.

Cornachio said Witt / Kieffer guaranteed a complimentary search if the next president does not stay at the Garden City community college for at least three years.

The firm, according to its website, recruits executives to work in higher education, sports leadership, health care and nonprofits. It has 10 offices across the country, including Manhattan, as well as consultants in eight other locations.

Trustees said they hope to appoint a president by May or June.

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