Submitted by Niagara County Community College
Niagara County Community College President William Murabito announced his intent to retire next year at the college’s board of trustees meeting Tuesday. Dr. Murabito, who became the institution’s seventh president in 2019 after having served in an interim role for two years, will retire on June 30, 2024.
“I have appreciated the great privilege of working in such a welcoming community,” Murabito said. “Our board of trustees, the Niagara County Legislature, the state officials who represent our region in Albany and, of course, the campus community – everyone around this institution – has made it the educational, economic and cultural centerpiece that it is today. Contributing to what always has been and always will be a collective effort is a highlight of my professional life.”
A longtime leader within SUNY, Murabito’s previous positions include interim president at SUNY Cobleskill, Sullivan County Community College and SUNY Morrisville. He also has held the position of CEO at Rockland Community College. Between 1983 and 2002, Murabito worked within SUNY system administration in Albany in roles including associate vice chancellor of academic affairs, executive director for university technology colleges, and as associate and assistant vice chancellor for university life. Murabito is particularly proud of his vice-presidential role in helping to establish SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy/Utica.
“When I exit NCCC next year, I will have worked at various SUNY settings for 58 years,” he said. “SUNY remains a champion of providing opportunities for millions of students who have received a first-class education from the visionary leadership within SUNY and state and local government. I benefitted from a SUNY education, and hopefully I have been able to pay it forward through my service. Now, I look forward to my final year as I transition to the next exciting journey of life.”
Niagara County Legislature Chairwoman Becky Wydysh said she has enjoyed working with Murabito.
“Since day one, President Murabito’s calm, steady leadership has made him an excellent partner,” she said. “He will be missed, but his legacy – an unwavering advocacy for students’ success – will surely remain.”
NCCC Board of Trustees Chair Jason Cafarella, who accepted Murabito’s letter of intent to retire, said the president’s impact is evident in the college’s graduation rate and its graduates’ earnings.
“For NCCC to have both the best graduation rate among community colleges in SUNY and the highest median earning among graduates of two-year schools in the region is remarkable,” Cafarella said. “No college reaches this point without a vision for excellence and the knowledge and skill to make that vision a reality.”
Among Murabito’s key accomplishments at NCCC is the update of the campus facilities. In 2018, he directed completion of the $25 million Learning Commons, which is a focal point of academic and social activity. Recently, the college finalized plans to build an $8.3 million building to house the Niagara County Law Enforcement Agency’s programs. Groundbreaking for that project is expected this summer. Murabito’s vison for the campus has been to create a center for education for the Niagara community, a campus that is welcoming to all citizens, and equipped to present education that is second to none in preparing students for jobs or transfer.
Expanding access to education has been another priority for Murabito. During his tenure, NCCC has become a regional leader in course flexibility, dedicating resources to online and multimodal learning. In May of this year, the college launched a pilot program teaching general education courses to inmates at the Niagara County jail this summer. Recently, the college began recruiting adult learners to “NCCC at Night,” a program that, beginning this fall, will offer 16 degree and certificate programs, student support services and dining options during evening hours.
Outside of higher education, Murabito has been active in many organizations at the regional and state levels. He is a member of the New York State Commission on National and Community Services, serving as its chairman from 1994-2007. He also served on the New York Special Olympics board of directors from 1984-2004, chairing that organization from 1991-97. Murabito is an active member of the Niagara USA Chamber. He is especially pleased with the relationship NCCC developed with Niagara University.
Murabito received Volunteer of the Year for the City of Albany for his work as chair of Albany’s Promise. He was a Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in 1998 from the State University College at Buffalo.
Murabito holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in student personnel and guidance from SUNY Albany, and a bachelor’s degree from the State University College at Buffalo.