Newsday’s editorial got it right when it applauded the hiring of W. Hubert Keen as the new president of Nassau Community College [“A ray of hope at Nassau C.C.,” June 1]. Newsday also got it right when it placed the lion’s share of the blame for the turmoil the college has been facing on the board of trustees.
However, the characterization of the faculty as “imperious” and the accusation that faculty “power plays” lie at the heart of the problems with the college’s governance structure are way off the mark.
This is what the report by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education says on Page 22: “The faculty are uniformly creative, dedicated and passionate in their devotion to students and their success. Whenever the team talked with students they did not hesitate to express their regard and appreciation for the efforts their teachers devoted on their behalf.”
We don’t leave that creativity, dedication and passion behind when we participate in governance. We bring it with us, and that’s why we have often taken principled stands against administrative actions and policies we believe violate shared governance. We care about preserving those principles because it is precisely the democratic nature of public higher education that makes it so valuable for our students.
Richard Newman, Jackson Heights
Editor’s note: The writer is secretary of the Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers executive committee.