Students and staff at the College at Brockport rallied several days ago in support of Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Cephas Archie, calling his firing unjust. The Popular and respected administrator, was well known for helping students and making campus life a fair and equitable experience. Since his appointment in August 2017, he led campus efforts on inclusion both within the institution and as an educational priority. He became a powerful voice for equity in the region, particularly when it came to schools and hiring.
Mayor Lovely Warren blasted the firing of Dr. Archie, calling it “disturbing news.”
“It is my understanding that Dr. Archie was fighting against institutional and structural bias and that he has been dismissed.” She stated on-line. “ It’s unfortunate when the people that work toward diversity and inclusion across the collegiate spectrum also face it themselves.”
East High School superintendent and Brockport alumn Dr. Shaun Nelms also expressed their support for Dr. Archie.
Brockport President Heidi MacPherson called a town hall meeting on Monday to discuss the issue. Hundreds attended including Mayor Warren.
Prior to the meeting on Monday afternoon , President MacPherson named Dr. Lorraine Acker Interim Chief Diversity Officer.
Also on Monday Dr. Archie released a statement thanking his supporters for the “overwhelming, heartfelt support” shown in the wake of his dismissal.
“We must remain committed to challenging systems, structures, decisions and processes that exclusively represent and benefit some, choosing to retire our silence in such matters which impact us all. As a community, region, state, and nation, we must change – NOW!,” he stated in part.
“I am grateful for all those who have stood and continue to stand and ask for change, both in and outside of The College. As much of this is about me, it is truly about so much more with many clearly recognizing that if it was “me” today, tomorrow it could be you. We must remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to face it head on, and push forward regardless.”
The college has given no reason for his dismissal to date