Statement from SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, Chairman Merryl Tisch, and Vice Chairman Cesar Perales

January 6, 2021

"At the core of our democracy is the promise of giving a voice to the people through free and fair elections, a promise that rests on the peaceful transition of power. As educators, it is our obligation to teach our next generations of leaders, and remind even current ones, about this civic responsibility—and it is a charge we all must take seriously.

Today, we saw our nation’s Capitol under siege by an extremist mob as our elected representatives attempted to fulfil their sacred duty to finalize our nation’s presidential election through a haze of tear gas. Most distressing than having our core values undermined is this unconscionable act was fomented by divisive rhetoric from a few leaders who have moved heaven and earth to shake the people’s confidence in our democratic process and institutions.

Mobs cannot and will not intimidate the American people or distract from what we must do as a nation. Now more than ever, we must continue to pursue constitutional obligations while we all do our part in addressing and fixing the nation’s most pervasive health issue that has taken the lives hundreds of thousands of Americans—and SUNY will remain a leader in this life-saving effort. We will not be distracted from fulfilling our core democratic obligations nor from SUNY's current mission that will ultimately save the lives of countless New Yorkers regardless of political affiliation."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY's 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three 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

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Holly Liapis
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