Statement from the SUNY Board of Trustees Regarding Chancellor Jim Malatras

December 3, 2021

"Dr. Jim Malatras has been an outstanding leader of SUNY through one of the most trying times in our history and has the support of the SUNY Board of Trustees. He's acknowledged he made a mistake, taken full responsibility for it, and apologized appropriately. He is fully focused on the critical work of keeping our facilities open and our students and faculty safe through the ongoing pandemic.

Under Jim's leadership, the SUNY system stayed open throughout the pandemic while other major state university systems across the country and colleges across New York closed and went fully remote. Working hand in hand with our faculty, staff, and students he implemented groundbreaking COVID protocols that led to the administration of 2.9 million COVID tests on campuses and nearly universal vaccination among faculty, students, and staff. As a result, SUNY has consistently had one of the lowest positivity rates in the country—far below the New York statewide rate. That work set the stage for SUNY classes to be 70 percent in person this semester—a number that will grow significantly in the new year.

Under Jim's leadership, SUNY has eliminated barriers to higher education by waiving college application fees for low-income students, launched the SUNY on-line training center offering free certifications and classes as an entryway to college degrees, tackled food insecurity by auto-enrolling students in the SNAP program, invested in child care for students and staff, expanded mental health services across our campuses, created SUNY's first-ever Pre-Medical Opportunity Program—a program that opens the door to medical school to students from underrepresented communities, and helped foster a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan.

As we head into another surge in COVID cases Jim and the Board of Trustees are focused on keeping our campuses open, securing additional investment for SUNY to meet New York State's workforce demand, and expanding innovation to continue to drive economic development across New York State. We have challenging days ahead and believe Jim Malatras, as Chancellor of the State University of New York, remains the right leader to help us meet that challenge."

Letter from Chancellor Malatras to the SUNY community is available here.

Letter of confidence from PEF President Spence is available here.

Letter of confidence from UUP President Kowal is available here.

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 country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 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 2023, 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 opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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