Suffolk Community College trustees were scheduled to hold their annual election for board chairman Thursday, but the meeting never got underway because only three board members showed up.
Board chairman Ernesto Mattace said the no-shows had nothing to do with the election, but others aren’t so sure. Mattace said the absences were all due to “personal matters.” Only Mattace, vice chairman Walter Hazlitt and Jerry Kane made the meeting in Riverhead.
In the past year, trustees has taken heat for on-again off again presidential search and a controversial contract and extension for interim president George Gatta, now back as executive vice president.
Besides the election, other issues scheduled for votes included the new faculty contract with conessions, and a cost of living raise for Gatta. Mattace set special meeting for July 19.
While some have privately groused about Mattace’s leadership, so far no one else has stepped forward to seek the top post. Asked if the absences had to do with board election, one college official, who declined to be identified, said, “I hope so.”