Statement From Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley and SUNY Board of Trustees

May 25, 2022

"Yesterday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas took the lives of 21 people, including 19 young children who were counting down their last days of school before summer vacation. There is no word that conveys the depth of grief and pain that community is experiencing today. To Uvalde, we mourn with you and will not forget you or your lost loved ones.

Tragically, there are many across the U.S. who don't need descriptions to understand this loss. The families of those killed in Buffalo in a racist attack not even two weeks ago, the families of those lost in the Sandy Hook shooting, the survivors of Columbine, and too many others across our country know exactly how those families in Uvalde are feeling today.

Of all the things we may label this most recent mass shooting—horrific, tragic, devastating—we cannot say it is unimaginable. Our country is experiencing a gun violence epidemic. The Uvalde tragedy is the 27th school shooting that has occurred this year. Every time a shooting like this occurs, it reopens wounds for communities like Buffalo and countless others who have endured senseless loss.

We have continually failed as a society to take preventative measures to stop them from happening again.

Today, members of our SUNY family are deeply affected and even frightened. It is unacceptable and heartbreaking for any individual to fear for their life as they pursue an education, or for any educator to feel the burden of protecting their students from gunfire. We assure SUNY's students, faculty, and staff that every effort is being made to protect and support them as they pursue their dreams and go about their lives on our campuses.

Though we are in pain, shock, and anger, please resolve with all caring people that unchecked violence must end. Do not accept this as normal, ever. We must define our destiny and not remain hostage to flawed and false thinking on gun violence and murder. We join Governor Kathy Hochul's call for action." 


About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, 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 2022, 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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