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Theresa Sanders steps aside as Suffolk Community College board chair

Suffolk County Community College trustee Theresa Sanders has

Suffolk County Community College trustee Theresa Sanders has resigned as board chairwoman after two terms. Credit: Marisol Diaz

Theresa Sanders, who headed Suffolk County Community College’s board of trustees over the past four turbulent years, has handed the chairman’s role to attorney Christopher Murray, who was elected unanimously.

Sanders, who remains on the board, said it was, “time for me to rest a bit,” after two terms in the unpaid post. The 10-member board oversees the three-campus, two-year college, which with 25,000 students is the largest in the state system.

Sanders has successfully guided the board through the exit of former president Shaun McKay. She also worked successfully to get Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to double the amount of county aid to the college, to $3 million.

Jim Morgo, board vice chair, said Sanders took over when the “board was not in sync” and brought trustees together. “She has discretion, a quality I lack,” he said. “And she has diplomacy, timing and patience. Because of her service, the board was transformed.”

Murray, 56, a partner in the Uniondale law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek,   headed the board committee that completed departure negotiations with McKay.

Murray, of Stony Brook, said he was “excited” about the challenge of running the board. He said he has “big shoes to fill,” to which Sanders replied: “I’ll be sitting over there in my flip-flops.”

The trustees also have changed theirs rules to create a second vice chair post, which will be filled by trustee Shirley Coverdale. Trustee Gordon Canary will remain as board secretary.

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