March 22, 2018

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Vote by members leads to ESF president’s resignation

uupdate 3-1-18

Read President Kowal's statement on this issue here.

The president of SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry has announced his resignation, following a vote by UUP members at ESF that overwhelmingly called for his non-renewal.

“Faculty, staff and students made their discontent with Dr. Wheeler known, and their strong, collective voice was heard,” UUP President Fred Kowal said in response to the announcement of Quentin Wheeler’s planned departure in June.

Last month, UUP’s statewide office oversaw a chapter-wide vote on two resolutions that the ESF chapter developed with input from members. One resolution asked that SUNY not renew Wheeler’s contract; the other asked that UUP’s statewide leaders help the chapter review the college’s finances and evaluate campus administrators.

UUP mailed a ballot to every chapter member. The return rate was 75 percent, with 85 percent of the respondents approving the resolution asking for removal of President Wheeler; 91 percent approved the second resolution.

ESF Chapter President Scott Blair said the goal all along has been to listen to members, who were especially upset after Wheeler abruptly dismissed three UUP colleagues from their positions as department chairs.

“This is about the concerns of our members,” Blair said.

UUP’s statewide office is expected to continue seeking a review of the ESF campus finances, in response to concerns from the chapter that the ESF administration has given conflicting information about the college’s financial reserves and operating budget.

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