Protests erupt over firing of Dr. Cephas Archieof at SUNY Brockport

BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WHEC) — Supporters like Chiadikaobi Njoku have a message for the College at Brockport's recently-fired Chief Diversity Officer: "Doctor Archie, I stand with you. We stand with you."

Njoku is one of several students and community leaders who have voiced strong support for Dr. Cephas Archie on social media on Saturday, a day after word broke of his firing spurred protests on the Brockport campus and online. Over a hundred protested on Friday.

Many of those speaking out online say that Archie has been a force for inclusion on campus.

Outpouring after Brockport diversity officer fired

"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," wrote current student Hannah Arp on Facebook. "Archie is one of the very few that has a voice and advocates for underrepresented students on this campus."

"Both the leadership of the college more widely and I as your college president have an absolute and unwavering commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion," said Brockport President Heidi McPherson in an e-mail sent to students. She added that she cannot directly address personnel matters.

Archie had been at the college since 2017.

Dr. Gary Owens was one of the Brockport faculty members who was responsible for Dr. Archie's hiring. He praised Archie for his ability to care about the campus and stand up for students. Owens says protests like Friday's are a demonstration that many on campus will not be happy until Dr. Archie is reinstated.

President McPherson says she plans to hold a town hall meeting with students on Monday from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Seymour Campus Union.