Suffolk County Community College.  

Suffolk County Community College.   Credit: Danielle Silverman

Setauket native Edward Bonahue, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida, has been appointed as president of Suffolk County Community College.

The appointment was announced Monday by the State University of New York Board of Trustees and SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras.

"SUNY Suffolk is the largest community college in our system, serving more than 22,000 students with a high-quality and affordable education to jump-start careers or provide the launching pad for further degrees, Malatras said in a statement, "and we are pleased to have Dr. Bonahue join the SUNY family to lead this multi-campus college."

Bonahue will replace interim president Louis Petrizzo, who took on the role after the school’s board of trustees terminated the contract of Shaun McKay 15 months early in 2019.

Suffolk County Community College trustees are "excited" by Bonahue's appointment, said E. Christopher Murray, chair of the board of trustees.

Bonahue has more than 20 years of experience in community college education, including as a tenured faculty member. He's held his current position since 2009. The Ward Melville High School graduate earned a bachelor's degree in English literature at Wake Forest University. He continued his education with a master’s and a PhD in English literature at the University of North Carolina.

"It will be a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as the next president of Suffolk County Community College," Bonahue said in a statement. "SUNY Suffolk is an outstanding college that changes students’ lives every day, and I look forward to being part of the Suffolk community. I want to thank Chancellor Jim Malatras and the whole SUNY Board, as well as the Suffolk Board of Trustees for their confidence in me."

The Selden-based school saw enrollment drop by more than 4,000 students from the fall of 2010, when 26,719 attended, to the fall of 2020, when enrollment fell to 22,579, a 15% decline, SUNY records show.

The school's board of trustees this month approved freezing tuition for the second year in a row, officials said.

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