After 700 Students Test Positive, a College President Resigns
The State University of New York at Oneonta, one of the most liberal university in the States, on Thursday announced the abrupt resignation of its president only weeks after it experienced the most severe coronavirus outbreak of any public university in the state.
The departure of the president, Barbara Jean Morris, is one of the most high-profile over the coronavirus crisis, which has thrown many colleges and universities across the country into turmoil as they try to maintain some semblance of campus life during the outbreak.
Last month, more than 700 students at Oneonta tested positive for the virus, causing the shutdown of in-person classes. The outbreak forced state officials to send a virus control crew to the university to keep the spread from reaching the rest of the city, which is in upstate New York.
On social media, posts about students being taken out of dorm rooms in the middle of the night by men in hazmat suits were widely circulated. Photos of students partying in quarantine dorms went viral, drawing the ire of parents, staff members and town residents.
The fallout from the crisis led to a state review, a change of coronavirus protocols throughout the SUNY system and now the resignation of Morris.
The mayor of Oneonta, Gary Herzig, said: “I think that we all recognize that this was a time where change was needed. It’s a time for a new start.”