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SUNY Oneonta president resigns; acting president named

SUNY Oneonta's leadership changed quickly. "Just about an hour ago, upon my recommendation, the SUNY board of trustees have named Dennis Craig acting president of SUNY Oneonta," said Chancellor, Jim Malatras, Ph.D, from the SUNY Oneonta campus, Thursday.

Posted: Oct 15, 2020 5:37 PM

SUNY Oneonta's leadership changed quickly.

"Just about an hour ago, upon my recommendation, the SUNY board of trustees have named Dennis Craig acting president of SUNY Oneonta," said Chancellor, Jim Malatras, Ph.D, from the SUNY Oneonta campus, Thursday.

"Barbara Morris, the former president here, informed me that she was pursuing other opportunities," said Malatras. "Her decision to resign was of her own volition."

Morris lead the college during its Covid outbreak, which resulted in more than 700 cases, and remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester. Craig has war-time experience dealing with Covid at the college level.

"I was in Westchester in February and March in the height of this," says Craig.

Craig was interim president of SUNY Purchase when Covid struck.

"I think that dealing with knowledge, science, taking a pause and not making decisions that are based on fear, but on conversation, information sharing and weighing the pros and risks. Every situation ahead of us will have some level of risk," said the acting SUNY Oneonta president.

Malatras couldn't yet say what spring will look like SUNY-wide. He says while some baselines, such as testing, transparency and compliance, will be system-wide, a return to in-person learning would be decided separately, by SUNY's 64 diverse campuses.

"How many people do you bring back? How safe is it to bring certain numbers of people back? How do you implement the program? Do you have enough space to isolate? All those things have to be worked through on a campus by campus basis."

The communities in which the campuses rest will be a factor; good news, to Oneonta Mayor, Gary Herzig, who says the city suffers when students are scarce.

"We lose over a million dollars a semester in revenue just from things like providing fresh water, providing sewer services, providing transportation. Loss in sales tax revenue. It adds up quickly," says Mayor Herzig.

SUNY will undertake a search for a permanent president.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1268692

Reported Deaths: 41368
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1586837871
Kings1555098073
Suffolk1285802603
Nassau1149692563
Bronx1062535275
Westchester850201806
New York759653449
Erie522281381
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Monroe44318769
Rockland31884810
Orange28848656
Onondaga27755533
Oneida16811349
Dutchess16757319
Albany16343257
Niagara12143244
Broome11108259
Saratoga926782
Schenectady8660127
Ulster7745192
Rensselaer6874104
Putnam652174
Chemung5603108
Chautauqua560163
Oswego491469
Ontario473082
Steuben4595131
Cayuga443270
Sullivan384149
Wayne368852
Genesee366499
St. Lawrence363060
Herkimer360357
Cattaraugus340061
Jefferson321423
Madison314976
Livingston270440
Tompkins265723
Cortland264254
Columbia249571
Allegany236675
Montgomery223075
Tioga220654
Clinton218018
Wyoming217443
Fulton211353
Warren206240
Greene205859
Orleans191969
Chenango175842
Otsego167123
Washington150224
Lewis149524
Seneca123246
Franklin11479
Delaware100920
Essex98019
Schoharie8975
Yates82617
Schuyler71610
Hamilton1461
Unassigned46109
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