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Shaun McKay, SCCC president, hospitalized

Dr. Shaun L. McKay, president of Suffolk County

Dr. Shaun L. McKay, president of Suffolk County Community College, speaks during an inauguration ceremony for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone at Suffolk County Community Colleges Brentwood campus Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. Credit: Barry Sloan

Suffolk County Community College President Shaun McKay has been hospitalized after he was stricken while speaking to about 400 faculty and staff Tuesday at the Brentwood Campus.

McKay, 52, felt weak, was unable to continue and was helped offstage. He was taken by ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he remained Wednesday.

Theresa Sanders, chairwoman of the college board of trustees, said an email Wednesday to the college community that McKay, “suffered an as yet undetermined medical event.” Sanders described McKay as “conscious, alert and responsive,” saying he was undergoing “tests and evaluation.”

Faculty union president Kevin Peterman, who was present at the daylong training sessions Tuesday, said the incident occurred after McKay had been speaking for about two or three minutes. “There were many who were upset, some had tears in their eyes because they really care for the guy,” Peterman said.

McKay, of Manorville, has been at the helm of the 25,000 student college since 2010, and has a contract lasting until 2020. Last year, McKay was one of three finalists for the post of chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents, which oversees 146 postsecondary schools.

McKay’s salary is $245,698. He also gets an annual housing allowance of $37,266 and a $12,535 annual car allowance.

While McKay is in the hospital, college General Counsel Louis Petrizzo will manage operations of the college, Sanders said. “Everyone is doing everything possible to make sure Dr. McKay is cleared to return to full activities as soon as possible,” Sanders said.

The Suffolk County Legislature’s presiding officer, DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague), said, “we are all hoping he will be up on his feet as soon as possible and praying for a full recovery so he can return to work.”

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