New York college president resigns after 712 students test positive for coronavirus

The president of the State University of New York at Oneonta has resigned after hundreds of coronavirus infections were reported within the university since the beginning of the semester.

In a statement announcing the new interim president State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras said that Dr. Barbara Jean Morris had “transitioned from her position as president” and that she wanted to “pursue other opportunities.”

The resignation of the sitting president of SUNY Oneonta comes after the university decided not to test students or quarantine them on arrival.

Soon after, the University saw an uptick in positive results. By the time leadership tried to take punitive measures against students for disobeying social distancing orders, the virus had spread.

SUNY Oneonta has reported 712 student cases of Covid-19 since residence halls opened on August 17.

That’s more than half the total number of reported cases from campus testing across the entire SUNY system. There have been 1,167 positive cases reported from 61 different campuses.

The rising number of virus cases prompted SUNY Oneonta to switch from in-person learning to an entirely online format in late August.
Jim Urso, a spokesman for SUNY, commented on the timing of Morris’ resignation.