Newly appointed SUNY chancellor visits New Paltz campus on eve of classes restarting

Daily Freeman-5 months before

The program is designed to accelerate the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) through new innovation and technologies on SUNY campuses statewide.

Malatras was accompanied Sunday by SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan. Malatras and Christian reviewed the campus’s reopening plan, which already has been approved by SUNY, before meeting with students to discuss goals for the upcoming semester and the importance of*,sports&nk=%23tncen&s=start_time&sd=desc&k=coronavirus">COVID-19 safety protocols.

COVID-19 Malatras’ visit came a day before the start of SUNY New Paltz’s fall semester. The on-campus classes are the first since the college, like most others in the nation, switched to online-only instruction in March, early in the COVID pandemic.

“On the eve of fall classes at SUNY New Paltz, it is imperative that the safety precautions laid out in the college’s reopening plan are both in place and being observed by each and every member of the campus community — that is our number one priority here and at all our campuses,” Malatras said. “SUNY New Paltz leaders have done tremendous work designing an evidence-based plan for safely reopening. Their plan – like every college reopening plan this fall – can only succeed if the entire campus community is committed to keeping themselves and those around them safe.”

Christian said a successful fall semester “will require that our students and employees follow … adopt a ‘we, not me” approach.

Of the Prepare Innovation and Internship Program, Malatras said: “This … will ensure that we leverage the brilliant faculty and students across our system so we can continue working to equip our health care heroes with the PPE they need to stay safe on the front lines to meet the challenges of COVID-19 or the next pandemic.”

Christian said the New Paltz college is “grateful for SUNY’s support for critical PPE announced today … and [we] are excited to see the new chancellor’s commitment to our students and their safety.”

SUNY is providing $100,000 in seed money to launch the Prepare Innovation and Internship Program, with the goal of raising more money to assist faculty and students working to produce PPE.

Under the program, grants will be made available to faculty to develop new technologies to improve the design and production of PPE. Proposals must also have a student internship/research component so that students are afforded access to new academic opportunities, according to a description of the initiative.

Early in the COVID-19 crisis, SUNY New Paltz manufactured face shields using 3D printers. Students and faculty at the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center on the New Paltz campus have partnered with community organizations to produce more than 32,700 face shields to date.

SUNY New Paltz manufactured face shield Malatras was appointed chancellor of the 64-campus SUNY system on Friday by the SUNY Board of Trustees. The appointment takes effect Aug. 31.

The former adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo succeeds Kristina Johnson, who is to become president of Ohio State University on Sept. 1.

Malatras, 42, previously was vice chancellor and a senior advisor to SUNY Chancellor Emeritus Nancy Zimpher, helping to oversee administrative cost-cutting in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, SUNY said. He also has been president of SUNY Empire State College.

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