Statement from SUNY Communications Director David Doyle on Upstate Compensation Review

March 5, 2014

“The Post Standard's recent story and editorial with respect to the compensation matters at Upstate Medical unfairly insinuate that SUNY has somehow acted in bad faith.

“Nothing could be further from the truth.

“From the moment we became aware of the issues at SUNY Upstate, Chancellor Zimpher took quick and decisive actions, including replacing Dr. Smith with a respected and experienced leader to run the institution.

“Moreover, under Chancellor Zimpher's direction, new initiatives to enhance accountability and transparency regarding compensation for all SUNY presidents are being developed. These new reforms are important steps to strengthen oversight and accountability at every campus in the system.

“Finally, SUNY continues to pursue the facts and fully cooperate with outside law enforcement while ensuring the highest quality medical education and patient care.

“The Post Standard made FOIL requests for, among other things, “all contracts or other written agreements” between Dr. Smith and Upstate over an eight year period. These requests were extremely broad and required an exhaustive search, review, and evaluation of records, a point that was reiterated on numerous occasions to the paper. Following this search, Dr. Smith's appointment letters and related documents, which set forth the contractual terms of his employment, were provided.

“Satisfying the FOIL requests was complicated by the need to ensure an active law enforcement investigation was not compromised.

“Sadly, the Post Standard chose words out of context and therefore painted SUNY as misleading them. This was not the case.

“As our actions have demonstrated, we always acted responsibly, in good faith, and within the letter and spirit of the law.”


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The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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