BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Dr. Sandra Vazquez, SUNY Brockport’s Diversity Recruitment and Retention Specialist has resigned from her position.
In Dr. Vazquez’s resignation letter, she wrote in part:
“Over the years the climate has had its challenges. And more recently, the impact of the events that have occurred will make it nearly impossible to recruit and retain underrepresented employees.”
SUNY Brockport’s diversity developments have made headlines lately after the controversial firing of its Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Cephas Archie. Dr. Archie told News 8 that his firing was performance related.
On the night of his firing, students on campus protested the administration’s decision to fire Dr. Archie.
SUNY Brockport officials then held a town hall event on campus to discuss the matter.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was critical of the college’s decision to fire Dr. Archie, taking to Facebook to say, in part, “It’s unfortunate when people that work toward diversity and inclusion across the collegiate spectrum also face it themselves.”
Additionally, just last week, a College at Brockport employee filed a charge of discrimination against the university with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Vicki Elsenheimer, the schools administrative assistant to the Vice President for Advancement, filed the complaint through the EEOC.
In the complaint, Elsenehimer says “Based on the behaviors of individual and institutional racism, I believe I have been discriminated against because of my race.” She is claiming she was passed up for a title promotion because of her race.
She says in the documents that three of the four administrative assistants received title changes to executive assistant. She’s the fourth one and says she didn’t get that title. Elsenheimer says those three were white women and she is the only African American female reporting to a member of the president’s cabinet.
Elsenheimer says she complained to human resources and was later given the title but never received an explanation as to why she didn’t get the title change at the same time as the others.
Charge of discrimination:
The EEOC has confirmed they have received the complaint, and will investigate the matter further to determine if additional action is required.
News 8 reached out to SUNY Brockport, which recently announced it will formally change its name back from The College at Brockport, who provided this statement regarding Dr. Vazquez’s resignation:
“Our commitment to building a better Brockport is unwavering – and that includes efforts we have taken to diversify our faculty and staff. We chose to create this position which Dr. Vasquez filled to add to our Human Resources team in December, as our students deserve to see themselves represented in those who teach and support them. That work will continue to move forward and we will engage the entire college community to help accomplish it. We wish Dr. Vasquez well in her future endeavors and thank her for her years of service to our students and campus.”
Dr. Vazquez’s resignation letter:
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.