SCCC names pres. finalists

Candidates will meet with college and community

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  • Jon Connolly

  • Karla Fisher

  • Paul Pierpont

  • Ray Di Pasquale

  • Robert Pignatello

By Nathan Mayberg

The search for a new president at Sussex County Community College is winding down, with five finalists chosen by a search committee.

Over the next two weeks, the candidates will visit the college, meet with faculty, students, and interested community members.

The visits began Monday, Aug. 24 and run through Sept. 1.

A complete listing of the dates and times of the visits, along with biographies of the candidates, are on the school's website.

Future community forums with the candidates will take place from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Aug. 27, and Sept. 1 at the atrium of the Performing Arts Center.

The candidates will meet with the college’s Board of Trustees and participate in open forums with faculty, students, staff and members of the public. The board expects to announce the new president this fall.

Frank Nocella is serving as the college's interim president along with holding the duties of vice president of finance and operations.

Nocella took over in June from former president Paul Mazur.

The college has used the Washington, D.C., search firm of R.H. Perry, which specializes in educational leader searches, to help the college's presidential search committee find the right candidate.

The search committee includes staff, faculty, students, educational, business and nonprofit organizational leaders from the community.

The college received 46 applicants initially for the position.

In July, 12 of the candidates were interviewed at Crystal Springs. Five of them have since been chosen as finalists.

The finalists are:

Dr. Jon Connolly: vice president and academic dean at Kennebec Valley Community College;

Ray DiPasquale: president of the Community College of Rhode Island;

Dr. Karla Fisher: vice president of Academics at Butler Community College;

Dr. Paul Pierpoint: vice president of community education and dean of the Southside Center at Northampton Community College;

Robert Pignatello: Senior Vice President and chief operating officer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Sussex County Community College Board of Trustees President Lorraine Parker, who is helping to lead the presidential search committee along with college trustee Rosalie LaMonte, said the "search is going very well."

Parker said the committee spent 13 hours over two days interviewing the 12 candidates before narrowing the field to five.

There are 38 people on the committee representing the college and public.

Each candidate will be meeting with different groups of college staff, the administration, faculty and members of the community over the course of two days, Parker said.

Parker said the Board of Trustees will taek into account the input from the search committee, school employees, students and the public when it makes its decision.

The board is expected to vote on authorizing a contract with a new president at its Sept. 22 meeting.

Parker said all five candidates were "very well qualified and described the search as a "very open process."

Reporter Nathan Mayberg can be reached at 845-469-9000 ext. 359 or by emailing

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