Black Man is Passed Over, Then Approved, for Presidency of a Community College on Long Island

In December three finalists were chosen by the presidential search committee at Suffolk Community College, which operates three campuses on the eastern end of Long Island in New York. One of the candidates was Shaun L. McKay, an African American who has been serving as interim executive vice president since February 2009. Previously he was dean of the college’s Brentwood campus.

Dr. McKay is a graduate of the University of Maryland. He holds a master’s degree from the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore and an educational doctorate from Morgan State University.

After the other two finalists dropped out of the running for the college presidency, the chair of the board of trustees announced that it was reopening the search process. The faculty assembly passed a resolution calling for Dr. McKay to be named president, and the local chapter of the NAACP and other groups protested the decision not to hire Dr. McKay.

After the protests, the board of trustees conducted a second interview with Dr. McKay. After this meeting, the board announced that it would enter into contract negotiations with the intention of reaching an agreement that would name McKay president of the college. A final vote on the appointment is scheduled for February 11.