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NCC to start new search for president

Students walk through the campus of Nassau Community

Students walk through the campus of Nassau Community College in Garden City. (April 28, 2011) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau Community College trustees voted not to affirm either of its two remaining presidential candidates at a special meeting Thursday night.

The winning candidate would have needed six votes, a simple majority, of the 10-member board, said Jorge Gardyn, vice chair of the board of trustees. Gardyn said both candidates could be reconsidered in the future.

So the search continues: The search committee may come up with new candidates or it may be disbanded and a new group formed to do the same, Gardyn said.

David Doyle, spokesman for the State University of New York, said last evening that Chancellor Nancy Zimpher did not support the search the college had been conducting for several months.

"The search process, by many accounts, was flawed," Doyle said. "SUNY's position has not changed."

The remaining candidates were Joyce Ester, 47, of Chicago, and president of Kennedy-King College, part of the Chicago City College system, and Elana Zolfo, 63 of Smithtown, former interim president of Dowling College. State Supreme Court Justice Anthony Marano, 70, of Valley Stream, asked to be removed from consideration in June.

Thomas K. Jackson II, student government president, said the selection process had been arduous with students playing a limited role.

Jackson said he was given only a week's notice to mobilize students to meet the candidates.

"I don't know if it is a matter of pride but it's portraying the college in unfavorable light," he said. "It's a shame. We have students coming here from around the word. We have great faculty."

The search to replace former NCC president Donald Astrab, who left last summer after 30 months on the job and two faculty votes of no-confidence, has made headlines because of allegations it excluded certain campus groups from the selection process and that it was biased during the 10-month search.

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