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General counsel appointed leadership role at NCC as presidential search continues

The college board of trustees' appointment of Haugen

The college board of trustees' appointment of Haugen came at its meeting Tuesday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau Community College's general counsel, Donna Haugen, was appointed "officer-in-charge," which would make her the college's interim leader once President Jermaine Williams' resignation, announced last month, takes effect.

"Dr. Williams is currently still president and a date of transition has not yet been determined," Lindsey Angioletti, spokeswoman for the college, said in an email.

The college board of trustees' appointment of Haugen came at its meeting Tuesday. It sent a message to the campus community on Wednesday.

"It is the responsibility of the board … to provide continuous leadership of the college until a permanent president is selected," the board said. " … The effective date of this appointment will be announced shortly."

Williams has been president since July 2019. News of his resignation came days after faculty leaders submitted a "letter of discontent" to the board of trustees requesting his removal.

Reacting to Haugen's appointment, Faren Siminoff, president of Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers, the full-time faculty union, said the union had hoped for "an academic," noting how lengthy presidential searches can be. "I don't have any other comment on it," Siminoff said.

The board noted Haugen's 14-year experience at the college, saying she "has worked closely with the previous six college presidents, their cabinet members, and the board of trustees, as well as with many faculty and staff within the campus community."

Nassau County Legis. Arnold Drucker (D-Plainview), a former college trustee, said in a statement that during his time on the board,"I worked closely with Donna Haugen and was impressed by her vast knowledge, steadfast professionalism and keen legal expertise. These assets make her an ideal leader during this transitional period."

Angioletti added in the email the board wanted to be "transparent" with the college community "as to next steps upon Dr. Williams' departure."

She added the board intends to follow State University of New York procedures in its search for a new president, including the appointment of a committee to advise the board. The committee should have "representatives from principal constituencies including, but not limited to, teaching faculty, administration, support staff, students, alumni, the college sponsor, and, of course, the board itself."

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