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A letter from President Lois B. DeFleur

Dear Colleagues:

Binghamton University has a long and proud history of academic excellence. Our students excel on the field — and off. Our faculty are respected world-wide for their innovative approach to learning, and break new ground every day with their scholarly and research contributions. Likewise, our staff are among the most creative and dedicated anywhere. And last March, our hearts all swelled with pride as the Bearcats won the America East Championship and went to the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Over the last several weeks, however, I have heard from many in the University community about your concerns over recent events involving our Athletics Department and the men’s basketball program. I know how serious events like these — fairly or not — can affect the entire University’s reputation.

The actions I have taken are decisive and will form the cornerstone of a stronger program. I am grateful that Senior Associate Athletic Director James Norris has agreed to serve as Interim Athletic Director. Vice President Jim VanVoorst will provide programmatic and fiscal support to the Athletics Department during this transition period and Vice Provost Michael McGoff will provide oversight for compliance and the academic success program. Coach Kevin Broadus will provide me with a recruitment and supervision plan for the basketball program.

Finally, I have called for an independent and external audit of the athletics program to ensure that the University is following America East and NCAA policies and procedures, and that we are providing the best possible experiences for our student-athletes. This review will be conducted under the auspices of the SUNY Board of Trustees Executive Committee.

The process requires transparency and accountability. I have pledged my support to SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Board of Trustees Chairman Carl Hayden and have assured them of the University’s complete cooperation.

I am confident that our intercollegiate athletics program will be strengthened as a result of these actions.

Lois B. DeFleur

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Last Updated: 10/14/08