Statement from SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras on SUNY Oneonta

August 29, 2020

"There have been a number of large gatherings and parties reported, so I support SUNY Oneonta President Morris's decision to step up enforcement actions throughout the campus community, including the swift and prudent action she took with the additional interim suspensions today. We are in uncertain times and battling a virus that can spread rapidly, so we cannot allow a small number of individuals to impact the larger college community who are doing the right thing.

"I've been working closely with President Morris and City of Oneonta Mayor Herzig regarding the number of COVID positive cases at SUNY Oneonta. Currently, in partnership with SUNY Upstate Medical University we are aggressively testing every student to determine how widespread the problem may be. The New York State Department of Health has agreed to provide six case investigators and 71 contact tracers to help with contact tracing while the campus is completing the testing of all its students. I want to thank Governor Cuomo and New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker for working closely with SUNY and sending much-needed resources to help manage the situation.

"Protecting the public health of the college community is our top priority. We are monitoring the situation closely and will take all necessary actions to contain the COVID virus."

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

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications