Community outraged by Brockport’s decision to fire diversity officer; students call for reinstatement

A local state college has come under fire after the institution unexpectedly fired its diversity officer.

Dr. Cephas Archie was fired, and walked out of his office on Friday afternoon. It was a move that shocked the local community. Especially students who felt Archie was doing a good job at unifying the college at Brockport.

Protests were held Friday and Saturday after the firing. Little in terms of clarify was provided by college officials.

“Doctor Archie, I stand with you. We stand with you,” one student said at a protest while speaking with WHEC-TV.

“This institution, no matter how much the administration insists that they are here for underrepresented, oppressed and minority students, faculty and staff — they are not,” Hannah Arp wrote on Facebook. She’s a student at the school. “Archie is one of the very few that has a voice and advocates for underrepresented students on this campus.”

Brockport President Heidi McPherson told students in an email that the college has unwavering commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Archie had been with the college since 2017, according to WHEC-TV.

A town hall is planned for Monday from 7-8 p.m. to address concerns students voiced over the weekend. Meanwhile, Dr. Gary Owens, one of Brockport’s faculty members who spurred Dr. Archie’s hiring – said students won’t be satisfied until there are answers, and the beloved faculty member is reinstated.

Mayor Lovely Warren expressed her concern with the firing in a posting to Facebook. “It’s my understanding that Dr. Archie was fighting against institutional and structural bias’ and for that he has been dismissed. It’s unfortunate when the people that work toward diversity and inclusion across the collegiate spectrum also face it themselves,” she said.


To have the latest delivered to your smartphone or tablet – download the FingerLakes1.com App for Android and iOS. Follow the links below to download the app now! Android (All Android Devices) iOS (iPhone, iPad)