Isabelle Torres, Staff Writer |
Following the sudden news that Barbara Morris would resign from her position as president of the college, Dennis Craig has already begun his work here at SUNY Oneonta. Craig is now serving as Acting Interim President for the college, after 20 years of work experience in higher education. Relocating from Nyack, NY, there seemed to be an out-pouring of support from community members and administration. Craig is currently the Vice President of Student Affairs at SUNY Purchase, where he successfully brought back students to their campus with low positive cases of COVID-19. The new president has wasted little time in building rapport with students, parents, staff and administration.
It was announced on Thursday Oct. 15 that Morris would resign from her position and Craig would begin that following Monday Oct. 19. In just a short period, President Craig immediately started working and starting conversations centered around the spring semester. On his second day of the new job, President Craig sent out his first email to students in which he states that he has two top priorities that he will begin to work on immediately. The first being that he would be recasting the group responsible for managing COVID-19 on campus. He stated that Provost Leamor Kahanov and Vice President for Finance and Administration Julie Piscitello would act as co-chairs for the new COVID Response Team. The three will work together to reach out to others to join the team. The second priority that he mentions in his email is developing a plan for spring semester 2021.
President Craig sent out his second email Oct. 21 that only included a video link. In the video he mentions a few things to expect from him as he acts as Interim President for SUNY Oneonta. Without finger-pointing he states that we need to understand what we did wrong and what we have learned. He goes onto say, “I can’t even begin to lead without listening,” after he states that has wrote a few questions for students to answer that will be sent out in a later email. He believes that “effective planning and communication are two key issues for Oneonta that are intertwined” it appears that he has every intention of fixing that problem. At the end of the video he says, “there is a path back to the life you enjoyed on this campus, and we will find it together,” in his closing statements he goes on to say, “you have my full commitment to working with you to return to better times.”
President Craig would later go on to send out a third email on Oct. 22 that included a survey link that would be active until Oct. 30. The survey was intended to give students a place to voice their opinions and concerns regarding next semester. All answers are anonymous and are used to curate a plan for a safe spring semester.
On Oct. 23 Denis Craig sent another email updating the additions to the COVID Response Team and their first orders of business.
Since then there has been no new updates on the President’s actions for the college. Good Luck to President Craig and everyone is looking forward to seeing the work you accomplish here at SUNY Oneonta.