SUNY Board of Trustees assembling task force to address racial incidents

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ALBANY, N. Y. (NEWS10) — A string of racist incidents on college campuses across New York State have taken place recently.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo slammed Syracuse University leadership, including the chancellor, for their handling of the incidents.

Less than 24 hours after the governor called on the Syracuse Board of Trustees to install a monitor to investigate, the SUNY board is taking action.

SUNY leadership is now assembling a task force to discuss campus policies and how to respond to future incidents. As for Gov. Cuomo’s criticism of the Syracuse University chancellor, SU Dept. of Public Safety Chief Bobby Maldonado disagrees.

“I couldn’t say enough about the chancellor’s leadership,” he said. “Like I said, he’s worked feverishly and tirelessly for the last 13 days. He is committed to not only making sure that there’s calm in the community but also getting to the bottom of this. There’s so many issues, and this is so complex, but I can tell you that the chancellor’s worked so hard that I firmly disagree with the assessment.”

On Wednesday, in Albany, the SUNY Board of Trustees and the SUNY chancellor announced that all SUNY college presidents and campus leadership will be invited to Albany to address the issues across their campus communities. No date or time has been scheduled, however.

“Our institutions of higher learning are beacons of free speech, debate, expression, and discourse. These values are fundamental to our core mission to protect academic freedom and inquiry. However, let us be clear, this beacon of light does not extend to speech that only incites acts of violence. As a community, we must act together to swiftly condemn these actions and devote every resource available to protect our students, faculty, staff, and campus communities. We should all take a moment to learn from our shared diversity, learn from our core academic values, and see the respect we have for all people and how we treat each other with dignity.”

“Today, the SUNY Board of Trustees and the Chancellor, in our unified commitment and responsibility to act quickly following the lead of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, are assembling a SUNY task force charged with the full authority of the Board of Trustees to listen to students, campus leadership, and staff, and develop any necessary changes we need to campus policies, trainings, and how we respond to future incidents. The Chancellor will also be convening all presidents and campus leadership here to Albany to address these issues and uncover ways to ensure that all campuses remain safe.”

“Working together with our campus community we reaffirm our commitment to a shared community vision that celebrates our diversity and protects our core values of free speech and debate.”

SUNY Board of Trustees and SUNY Chancellor Statement

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