WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni today declared Governor George Pataki’s reappointment of Dr. Candace de Russy to the board of the State University of New York a “victory for the students and taxpayers of New York.” DeRussy, along with Pamela Jacobs, was reappointed to a seven-year term.
ACTA is a nonprofit organization of trustees and alumni committed to academic freedom and excellence. Its members represent over 200 colleges and universities nationwide. ACTA is a strong advocate of high academic standards and core curricula grounded in the liberal arts.
“DeRussy is one of the most outstanding university trustees in the country today,” said Dr. Jerry L. Martin, ACTA president. “Her leadership in raising academic standards and increasing accountability has dramatically improved the education received by SUNY students.
DeRussy has served as chairman of the SUNY board’s committee on academic standards.
DeRussy was the driving force behind the board’s adoption of a core curriculum in December 1998. The curriculum requirements, passed over faculty union objections, require all students at SUNY’s four-year colleges to take English, history, mathematics, science, art, and a foreign language before graduation.
Martin condemned UUP, the SUNY faculty union, for attacking DeRussy’s reappointment in a press released dated November 28, 2000.
“The faculty union should be ashamed of itself for attacking the person most responsible for improving the education students receive at SUNY,” Martin said. “It is beyond belief that professors entrusted with the education of our young people are adamantly opposed to a trustee for suggesting that college students should be well-grounded in the basic subjects.”
DeRussy was appointed to the board in 1995. She has a Ph.D. in French literature and is a member of ACTA’s national Trustee Council. She has been a leader in a national debate over the role of governing boards, advocating active rather than passive trusteeship.
“A university trustee’s role is to safeguard the interests of students and taxpayers, not to protect faculty turf,” said Martin. “Why should universities be the only institutions exempt from accountability?”