Nassau Community College trustees Wednesday night agreed to appoint former Great Neck Superintendent Thomas P. Dolan to the post of interim president while they continue a more than three-year search for a permanent person to head the college.

"A superintendent is the equivalent of being a president, only on a different level," NCC chairman Dr. Jorge Gardyn said after making the announcement at a special board meeting Wednesday night.

Trustees had considered three people, including Dolan, for the interim post.

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Gardyn said he expected a permanent president would be in place at the Garden City college in four or five months. More than 70 people applied for that position through a search firm, including former acting president Kenneth Saunders, he said.

The resolution to appoint the interim president passed 7-1.

Trustee Anthony Cornachio said he did not vote in favor of Dolan because other members of the board refused to make personnel changes within the administrative ranks of the college.

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"He's never been an administrator of any college," Cornachio said Wednesday night.

Evelyn Deluty, chairwoman of the college's Academic Senate, the largest group of faculty, students and staff at the school, said she was hoping for someone who had a background in leading a college.

"But we will do everything we can to work with him," Deluty said.

Dolan, 58, became superintendent of Great Neck public schools in July 2009. Teresa Prendergast became the new superintendent in Great Neck in July.

In announcing his retirement, Dolan was quoted in local news outlets as saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Attempts to reach Dolan Wednesday night were unsuccessful.

His appointment is pending approval by state university officials.

NCC, the largest single-campus community college in the SUNY system, has been without a permanent president since the departure of Donald Astrab in July 2011.

Former acting president Kenneth Saunders, a longtime administrator at the school, had been leading the college until recently.

On Aug. 19, trustees named Maria Conzatti, who had been NCC's acting executive vice president, as officer-in-charge after SUNY officials recommended setting a time limit on Saunders' term as acting president.

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The interim president is prohibited from applying for the permanent position at the 23,000-student campus.