Employment contract OK'd for NCCC president

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Niagara County Community College's newly announced seventh president, Dr. William Murabito.

The Board of Trustees for Niagara Community College have approved a contract with the college's new president, Dr. William Murabito.

A spokeswoman for the college announced the approval of Murabito's employment contract on Wednesday. 

Murabito promotion to the college's top job follows a two-year stint as the school's interim president.

Murabito was selected after two search processes, the latter of which began in September after the first was concluded without a decision in May. Trustee Gina Virtuoso, the co-chair of the presidential search committee, said the group's aim was to find a new leader that could "move the college forward." 

"With Dr. Murabito’s background and experience, he has already accomplished so much," she said in a prepared statement. "I am excited to see what the future will bring for NCCC."

Murabito's employment has been approved by the State University of New York governing board, as well, according to college official. 

In response to a request from the newspaper, NCCC spokeswoman Barbara DeSimone said the college was unable to provide a copy of Murabito's employment contract on Wednesday. She confirmed that he will be paid an annual salary of $225,000. Former NCCC president James Klyczek, who stepped down in 2017 amid an FBI probe into bid rigging claims involving contracts for the Niagara Falls Culinary Insitute, earned $200,907 in his final year on the job. 

In a prepared statement released by the college, a number of local political leaders expressed confidence in the direction of school in light of Murabito's appointment. 

Keith McNall, the outgoing Republican chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, which provides millions of dollars in annual funding to the college, said Murabito has already shown "a dedicated commitment in bringing state of the art educational opportunities to NCCC and as such will broaden curriculum and increase enrollment.”

“The implementation of the (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center project that Dr. Murabito brought to the Niagara County Legislature for review and consideration would be a great move forward for NCCC, for future students and for the residents of Niagara County," he said. 

Murabito's resume lists 50 years of educational experience. He has worked within the SUNY system since 1983.

A number of those roles comprise brief stops at local community colleges in an interim capacity. He has held the role of interim president at SUNY Cobleskill in 2002, Sullivan County Community College in 2011 and SUNY Morrisville in 2013. He also served as CEO/officer-in-charge at Rockland Community College in 2003.

Paul Dyster, the outgoing mayor of the City of Niagara Falls, said Murabito has a local reputation "as a collaborative and inspiring leader."

"He brings a depth and breadth of experience in higher education to lead NCCC into the future," Dyster said in the statement. 

The sentiment was echoed by New York state Assemblyman Angelo Morinello, R-Niagara Falls, who said he anticipated Murabito's appointment would help foster community partnerships that could prove essential in "addressing the workforce challenges facing our region.”

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