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SCCC trustees weigh President Shaun McKay's fate 

Suffolk County Community College President Shaun McKay.

Suffolk County Community College President Shaun McKay. Credit: Marisol Diaz

Suffolk County Community College trustees will meet Thursday to review recommendations of a board committee about whether to allow President Shaun McKay to remain in his job until his contact expires in 16 months.

Trustees are expected to go into executive session at the outset of Thursday’s scheduled board meeting, which begins at 3 p.m. on the college’s eastern campus.

The board on Jan. 8 directed McKay, 53, who makes $308,710 in annual salary and benefits, to take a paid leave of absence. He has headed the 25,000-student, three-campus school — the state's largest community college — for a decade.

The board already has determined it will not renew McKay's contract when it expires Aug. 15, 2020.

“We hope to have a full report,” said Theresa Sanders, board chairwoman. “The worst case scenario is that we don’t have enough information to make a decision and … have to go back to the committee. The best case is that we do have the information we need to decide.”

She said, “Everyone wants to do what’s best for the college and no one wants to hurt Shaun in any way.”

McKay and his attorney, Domenique Camacho Moran, did not return calls for comment. Sanders declined to comment about whether there have been settlement talks with McKay.

McKay’s contract with the board stipulates he can be “terminated at any time” if trustees determine he “suffers from … physical or mental incapacity” that prevents him from performing his duties. He also can be terminated if found “guilty of incompetence or misconduct” or conduct that constitutes "moral turpitude.”

The trustees named a three-member board committee consisting of Christopher Murray, Shirley Coverdale and Kevin O’Connor who with outside attorneys Thomas Volz and Theodore Sklar have investigated issues officials decline to detail. Under McKay's contract, recommendations must go to the board in writing. 

Should the board move to end the contract early they would have to supply a copy of the committee's recommendations to McKay.

The board also must allow the president to appear — with a representative if he wants — and give him 14 days to prepare a written response. Should McKay decide not to appear, the board can act on the committee recommendation and their “decision shall be final.”

McKay took 77 days of sick time between April 2 and July 23, 2018. Shortly after returning, he asked the board for a 10-year contract extension and provided a glossy 16-page brochure of his achievements.

At his first meeting back, McKay thanked the board for allowing him to “take time away and be able to re-establish myself within the communities I serve and also find time for myself and my family.”

Since his return, McKay has been less involved in day-to-day college operations, and his relations with the faculty union, once his strongest supporter, have frayed, according to several college sources.

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