Press Releases | General Education

ACTA Calls on SUNY Trustees to Protect SUNY Reputation and Ensure Academic Excellence

January 7, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC—The SUNY Board of Trustees should seek an outside review of the Binghamton School of Social Work in the wake of embarrassing revelations about the school’s practices, says the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

This fall, the Social Work School attempted to suspend a student indefinitely for criticizing a professor until public exposure by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education prompted the school to reverse its decision.

In a letter to the SUNY Board of Trustees—which oversees Binghamton and all SUNY campuses—ACTA drew attention to the Department of Social Work’s mishandling of the case, highlighted the damage caused to the school’s reputation and reminded the trustees of their responsibility to uphold Binghamton’s standards of excellence and the students’ First Amendment rights.

“Students, faculty, and the taxpayers who support this public institution count on the Board to make sure that the university has a healthy intellectual climate and that it is living up to SUNY’s standards of excellence,” said ACTA president Anne D. Neal.

Faced with similar problems in its School of Social Work, Missouri State University sought an outside review in 2006. The review was performed by respected deans of other social work programs and it was posted online, in the interests of transparency. The university’s leadership has been praised for proactive efforts to address problems at the school.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is an independent non-profit dedicated to academic freedom, academic quality, and accountability. Its network includes alumni and trustees from more than 600 colleges and universities across the country. Since its founding in 1995, ACTA has counseled boards and educated the public about such issues as historical literacy, core curricula, the free exchange of ideas, accreditation, and good governance in higher education.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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