Richard Guon, chairman of the Monroe Community College board of trustees, has scheduled a special meeting of the board Thursday to consider a request by board member John Parrinello to scrap the current search for a new president and start over.
Interviews that had been scheduled with two local finalists this week have been postponed, Guon states in a letter addressed to the MCC community.
â€œAs you may know, Trustee John Parrinello has expressed a number of concerns regarding the presidential search,â€ Guon states. â€œHe is entitled to air his concerns before the board.â€
Interviews of four candidates had been set to start Tuesday with a campus visit by former county Legislature Majority Leader William Smith. Rochester restaurant entrepreneur Dennis Kessler was scheduled on campus Thursday. Guon said he hoped those would be rescheduled in late April, after the college spring break.
Kenneth Ender, president of Cumberland County College in Vineland, N.J., and Broome Community College president Laurence Spraggs of Binghamton still are scheduled to visit MCC next week, Guon said.
â€œThank you for your patience as the board works through this matter,â€ Guon states.
The search has been besieged by allegations of board moves to make a Republican patronage appointment to replace President Thomas Flynn when he retires this year.
Rochester criminal defense lawyer Parrinello wrote to Guon late Friday, copying most Rochester-area news organizations, saying board members did not have a say in naming participants to a 17-member search committee of leaders from business, government and MCC appointed by former Chairwoman Lori Van Dusen.
Parrinelloâ€™s 17-point argument for aborting the search includes the fact that faculty attending the boardâ€™s March 24 meeting booed the six trusteesâ€”including Parrinelloâ€”who voted to consider Smith and Kessler as finalists. Search committees of the board and faculty had recommended Spraggs and Ender.
Four board members voted against the move, saying Smith and Kessler had not met criteria.
Parrinello also complains of a report March 21 in the Rochester Business Journal naming Spraggs and Ender before a public announcement March 24.
Board member Richard Warshof said in the March 24 meeting Van Dusenâ€”elected to replace longtime chairman Parrinello when he ran for mayor as a GOP in 2005â€”had consulted with the boardâ€™s executive committee to ensure consensus on the makeup of the search group.
Warshof, retired vice president for marketing at Paychex Inc., said executive committee members were Van Dusen, managing director of investments for Citi Smith Barney, a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc.; Warshof; Michael Nuccitelli, president of Parlec Inc.; and Guon, the owner of three McDonaldâ€™s restaurants. Guon also serves as treasurer of the Monroe County Water Authority and chairman of Rochester Broadway Theatre League Inc.
Van Dusen has declined to comment on her resignation as chairwoman, which occurred during a closed-door session Feb. 4.
Board records show efforts by some on the board at a change in leadership beginning in December; the college governing body typically elects officers in its August annual meeting.
In the March 24 meeting, Parrinello gave a lengthy speech before the boardâ€™s public debate and vote on candidates, saying faculty should not read into the fact that the group would add names to the list of finalists. (To read an excerpt from this speech, click here.)
Often shouting, he cited examples of people with strong credentials hired from outside Rochester for high-profile positionsâ€”at City Hall, the University of Rochester and MCCâ€”whom Parrinello said performed abysmally.
Parrinello also explained why, as chairman, he aborted the search to replace former President Peter Spina in 1999 and moved to install Flynn president. In addition, Parrinello alluded to private discussions he had been having about a current vice president at MCC for the position.
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