Speeches & Statements

2019-20 Statements to the Campus

Student arrest made re: social media post

December 3, 2019

Good morning,

Our campus was the subject of a social media post that was deemed by University Police to be a terroristic threat under New York State's penal code. Immediately upon learning of the post an investigation was conducted and shortly after an arrest  made.

The safety of our students, faculty and staff is of the utmost importance.

I encourage all members of our campus community to report any threatening social media posts to the University Police Department should you become aware of them.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III

2019-20 SEFA Campaign to Begin

October 22, 2019

To the Faculty and Staff

The time of year has come for the annual State Employees Federated Appeal campaign. I know in our many circles, we are each asked to support many worthy projects, but the comprehensive services provided to our community by the many SEFA agencies make this campaign special.

We have set as a goal for SUNY Old Westbury to reach $10,000 in giving from our more than 700 full- and part-time employees this year. Along with the traditional SEFA raffle and the other ways we seek your participation, the Old Westbury SEFA leadership team led this year by campus SEFA Chair Rhea Hitter and Co-Chair Susan Anderson are introducing some new twists:

  • Those employees who agree to donate $3 or more per pay period via payroll deduction will be eligible to win one of four $50 gift certificates, with one being given away in each of the first four weeks of the campaign.
  • The SEFA Shoe Drive will take place, whereby SEFA team members will be collecting lightly worn shoes which will be donated to those in need and result in a monetary donation back to the Old Westbury SEFA campaign based on weight of the shoes we collect.

I believe very strongly in giving time, energy, and money to support the agencies engaged with SEFA. I urge you to attend the 2019-20 SEFA Kickoff next Tuesday, October 29, at 2:45 p.m. in Student Union Multipurpose Room A. While there you will learn how to research the agencies you can choose to support, how to use the online SEFA giving platform and what to do when you clear out your closets for the SEFA Shoe Drive.

More information about the SEFA effort and access to the online SEFA donation system can be found at www.oldwestbury.edu/SEFA.

I hope you will join the effort to demonstrate the positive difference that all of us can make in this community through your participation in the SEFA campaign.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III

A Message from the College President

July 3, 2019

Good morning to the College faculty and staff,

Three weeks ago, Nicholas Powers, an associate professor of English, authored an article related to issues of race and class in America. In doing so, he used provocative and inflammatory language regarding a white, homeless person.

I want it to be clear that I do not agree with the hurtful, distasteful imagery and ideas shared in Dr. Powers’ statements nor do they represent the values or viewpoints of SUNY Old Westbury.

The current social and political climate in our nation lends itself to division and fracture. I ask that all of us, together, guard against those events and activities that drive us apart along racial, ethnic, sexual preference, and other lines – whether intentional or not. Further, I want to state clearly that I believe strongly in the right to free speech.

The mission of SUNY Old Westbury demands that we tackle difficult, uncomfortable issues in the hopes of preparing our students to succeed and to create a more just and sustainable world. We must do so by recognizing, and respecting, those we teach to, those we teach about, and even those with whom we disagree.

I close with an administrative point:  Dr. Powers’ article has been the subject of media coverage and may be the focus of further media scrutiny. Should you or your office receive a media inquiry, please forward it to the Office of Public and Media Relations at extension 3162.  All other external calls on this matter should be transferred, as politely as possible, to extension 5551 and the caller can be told that their concerns will be heard by appropriate college personnel.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President, SUNY Old Westbury


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