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SUNY FREDONIA: New leader up to challenge

To say that new State University of New York at Fredonia President Dr. Stephen H. Kolison Jr. has his hands full would be an understatement. Kolison, who came to Fredonia last month, has faced a number of issues with the biggest being something no institution can avoid — COVID-19.

He has not at all wavered. Instead, Kolison has been in communication with the students and staff at the university on almost a daily basis keeping them abreast of the latest information. To his university’s credit as well, it is being more open than other higher-education institutions about the up-to-date coronavirus numbers.

On Thursday, in a recent email, Kolison outlined the concerns with the rising number of infections that reached 50 on Friday. “The guidance from New York State says universities that have 100 individuals test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period must transition to remote formats for all classes and limit on-campus activities for a period of 14 days,” he wrote. “While this is something we hope will not occur, we are putting plans in place to move to that modality should we need to do so.”

Besides the virus, the new campus leader has plenty of other pressing issues, including dealing with unknowns in funding that leads to budget issues and a protest that was held on campus against sexual predators last weekend. To his credit, he came out of his Central Avenue home, met and addressed the group of about 100 students and then walked a short distance with them.

It has been a challenging start to say the least, but early indications show Kolison to be out in front on the important issues. That is the sign of an excellent leader.

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