Good for Nancy Zimpher. The SUNY chancellor has taken aggressive steps to clean up the stinking mess made by the trustees of Nassau Community College in its search for a new president.

Zimpher yesterday ordered a do-over, and she set down very specific guidelines for how the trustees can get the process under control. In a pointed letter to Dr. Jorge Gardyn, the acting chairman of the board, the chancellor said open meeting laws must be honored and that a member of the new search team should be designated to take minutes of the proceedings so a fair process, allowing for the full participation of all search team members, could be documented. "In the spirit of restarting the search process," Zimpher dryly noted she was appointing a top SUNY lawyer as liaison to ensure compliance with all rules and laws.

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And to finally end the circus, Zimpher excluded Anthony Cornachio, the trustee who was chairman of the failed search effort, from the new one. Cornachio caused quite a stir with his insensitive remarks about a college professor and student activist. The real damage by Cornachio, who has extensive ties to the Nassau County Republican Party, however, may have been the steering of a retired judge, who also has extensive GOP ties, onto the list of three finalists.

The college desperately needs a talented administrator who can calm the turmoil at the 24,000-student institution while making sure the tens of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on it aren't wasted in a patronage pit.