CANTON – The SUNY Canton Chapter of United University Professions (UUP) conducted an informational picket in the Roselle Academic Plaza today to express the union’s concern over the impending removal of Canton President Dr. Joseph Kennedy, and with SUNY’s plan to share administrative services between SUNY campuses at Canton and Potsdam.
About 200 faculty, staff, students, community members, and area elected officials participated in the demonstration.
Kennedy is the longest serving campus President in the SUNY system and has successfully led SUNY Canton for 18 years.
In 1995, the campus faced closure if it did not evolve into a four-year degree granting institution.
Kennedy met the challenge, and as of the fall 2011 semester the college offers bachelor’s degrees in 21 disciplines.
“Under President Kennedy’s leadership, the college has been transformed into a viable and vibrant institution with an enrollment of nearly 4,000 students, the largest in the college’s history,” said UUP Canton Chapter President David Butler. “UUP members at Canton fail to see how the removal of President Kennedy from his office will benefit SUNY or SUNY Canton.”
UUP’s Canton Chapter also questions the wisdom of SUNY’s intent to charge one college president to lead both SUNY campuses at Canton and Potsdam because the financial savings realized -- if indeed there are any actual savings -- will most likely be minuscule.
The UUP chapter continues to monitor the situation to make sure that union members’ contractual protections are not eroded by “sharing” administrative services between the two campuses.