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For Immediate Release
August 21, 2020

United University Professions President Frederick E. Kowal on the selection of a new SUNY chancellor

What follows is a statement by UUP President Kowal on the SUNY Board of Trustees’ decision to name Dr. James Malatras as SUNY chancellor:

“UUP welcomes Dr. Malatras as he steps up to lead the nation’s largest public higher education system and we look forward to working with him to make SUNY a leader in dealing with the many crises facing our state and nation.

"Though we are disappointed that the SUNY Board of Trustees chose not to undertake a nationwide search for a new chancellor, we trust that Dr. Malatras appreciates the need for a collaborative relationship with UUP—both to lead SUNY through the current challenge of a safe reopening and to assure that SUNY can continue to provide high quality, accessible public education.

"At this time in American history, it is crucially important to take steps to make SUNY’s faculty and staff more diverse. We are also hopeful that Dr. Malatras will embrace the aggressive steps UUP has proposed to hire more individuals from under-represented communities of color.

"SUNY has provided life-changing opportunities for millions of New Yorkers and been a ladder of economic mobility for generations. We are also hopeful that Dr. Malatras will work with the governor to assure that SUNY has the support it needs to continue this critical mission.

"As chancellor, it is imperative that Dr. Malatras work with us to find real solutions to the long-term underinvestment in SUNY—which has forced SUNY to become over-reliant on student tuition and fees for funding.

"An aggressive reinvestment is also needed for SUNY’s vitally important academic medical centers, as is transparency for campus foundations and the need to make SUNY a leader in the green transformation of New York.

"Finally, to best advance these goals, we believe SUNY must be run as a system, not as a collection of individual campuses. We are optimistic that Dr. Malatras can provide the leadership necessary to accomplish this. By working together, we can overcome the health and economic crises plaguing SUNY in this tumultuous year and in the years to come."

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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