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Letter: NCC search criticism unfair

People hold up signs calling for the removal

People hold up signs calling for the removal of Anthony Cornachio from the Nassau Community College Board of Trustees for controversial emails during a board of trustees meeting. (May 7, 2013) Credit: Barry Sloan

Newsday's editorial declared that Nassau Community College "should just start over" in its search for a president ["Hit reset button on NCC search," May 9]. No need to bother investigating the accusations.

For those readers who honor a different standard, here are the facts. Represented on the search committee were appointees of the county executive and Republicans and Democrats of the legislature, the chair of the academic senate, the presidents of all three campus labor unions, the president of student government, and more.

The three finalists, far from being "lackluster," were intelligent, articulate, dynamic, experienced in administering large organizations and successful in bringing together diverse communities of interest -- a set of skills sorely needed at NCC.

Allegations that acting president Kenneth Saunders was treated unfairly are false. His was a lackluster performance. Allegations that racism played a role are false. African-American candidates made up 40 percent of those interviewed, and one of the three finalists.

The three members who voluntarily excused themselves did so because committee members were told at the beginning that a member had to be present at all interviews, or they could not have a legitimate basis of comparison. Each of the three made a reasoned decision as to themselves.

SUNY guidelines recommend that "temporary or interim appointees not be candidates for the permanent position." Nevertheless, we interviewed Saunders.

Charles Loiacono, Hicksville

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the NCC adjunct faculty association and a member of the search committee.