This letter has been viewed over 100 time already since it was reported by the New York Capital District ABC news website. Thank you! And if you are as concerned about education and ethics as I am, please share with others! — BR

December 29, 2022

Dear Former Colleagues,

As I complete the last semester of my twenty-four-and-a-half-year career at Saint Rose, I’d like to extend my best wishes for the New Year.  As you are aware, my departure from Saint Rose is not by my own volition. Despite tenure and seniority, I am one of among thirty of your colleagues that was laid off in the College’s unethical retrenchment process.  I and several of my colleagues sued the College to fight for our jobs.  First, though, we pursued our grievances through the Faculty Review Committee, which found in our favor.  Marcia White rejected FRC’s recommendation that we be reinstated.  As you know, our initial lawsuit brought victory to us and national disgrace to the College – an institution unrecognizable from the one I had helped to build. We were reinstated to our faculty positions by court order with Judge Lynch writing that the College’s skewed interpretation of the faculty manual was done purposely, or as he put it “by design.”  Marcia White and the College promptly appealed.  We lost that fight in October. 

I do not regret for a moment suing the College.  I suggest if or when you find yourself in a similar position, you should not regret it either.  We were faculty sticking up for ourselves. We demanded dignity both in our place of work and in the manner of our terminations.  Like you, we deserved nothing less.  What seems painfully clear, however, is that my layoff and the layoffs of so many other of our dear friends and colleagues were senseless, meaningless.  They did not stop the financial bleeding.  They did not alleviate the College’s oppressive financial burden.  All our layoffs did was make the world of The College of Saint Rose smaller, more insular, academically and culturally poorer.

This not a farewell letter, as I expect to continue engaging with former colleagues, students, alumni, community members and all of Saint Rose’s stakeholders in order to raise awareness of the College’s financial and ethical challenges.  As I dare to speak out, I trade the academic freedom I enjoyed as a faculty member for the First Amendment freedoms I enjoy as a citizen.  Former colleagues,  neither silence nor apathy nor insincere plastic smiles will restore Saint Rose to its former and rightful positive trajectory.  Only honesty, transparency, a commitment to academic integrity and an equally strong commitment to dignity for all can possibly save this College. 

But if at the end of the day, The College of Saint Rose does fail, please understand that for the vast majority of you, it will not be your fault.  It’s not that you didn’t recruit hard enough or teach well enough or attend enough meetings or serve on enough committees.  Sometimes we as academicians believe that through our keen ability to rationalize, we can control our destiny.  That is not always the case.  In this case, in particular, I believe the fault rests squarely with a devastating lack of ethics intermingled with lack of leadership. 

On the campus at The College of Saint Rose is a monument with the College’s motto: “IN THY LIGHT WE SHALL SEE LIGHT.”   Light is an often-used symbol for Truth, Integrity, and Knowledge on college campuses.  In the coming year,  let’s commit ourselves to those values – the values that founded this institution.  Towards this end, I offer you the below resources, many of which, came about as a result of our lawsuit against The College of Saint Rose: 

Saint Rose Exposed  A blog which offers insights and commentary into the College, based largely on documents from the lawsuit.  Your suggestions for content are always welcome.

Board of Trustees Minutes: Shared Google doc:

These once confidential documents provide the inside story of what the President and other administrators, Board of Trustee members, and certain faculty representatives were thinking and doing at the time of retrenchment.  The document also reflects on President White’s position with regard to the College’s faculty:  “Upon questioning, Interim President White noted that she is planning that faculty will work with her to design the future Saint Rose, but she is prepared to move forward without them if necessary.” [P. 105] The documents encompassed in this one PDF represent the following:

  • CONFIDENTIAL: Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees [AGENDA]; November 20, 2020; PDF document P. 13
  • CONFIDENTIAL: Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees [MINUTES]; November 20, 2020,; PDF document p. 90
  • CONFIDENTIAL: Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees [MINUTES]; December 7,; PDF document p. 101

Report and Recommendations for Inclusion in the College of Saint Rose Middle States Self-Study Shared Google doc:

The report uses the above Board of Trustees Minutes and other source material (with many hyperlinks) to provide the Middle States Commission on Higher Education with a more fulsome picture of the institution, particularly with regard to MSCHE Standards II, Ethics and Integrity; and VII. Governance, Leadership, and Administration. 

April 6, 2021, Interrogatory with RepCom senior member Angela Ledford.

The responses to questions posed by Attorney Meredith Moriarty provide revealing details (and even more questions) as to how the secret and unethical Music Industry proposal ever became inserted into the retrenchment process.  

Former colleagues, 2023 will present a whole host of challenges for you and for me.  At sixty, I am too young to retire and too old to start over in academia.  I have no doubt that I have developed organizational and leadership skills that will serve me well outside of this campus.  Indeed, we would all be wise to remember that our dedication to educating, empowering and serving the public goes beyond any one institution. I look forward to working with you and with all members of our community so that I can continue to make our community better. 

I thank you for being my colleagues and wish you the very best.  I will be terminating my Strose email account immediately.  Please note that this letter will be posted openly on the Saint Rose Exposed blog and on Facebook.  If you wish to contact me, please do so either through my personal email or via the contact information on the blog.

Again, happy New Year to all.


Bruce C. Roter, Ph.D.

2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Former Colleagues at The College of Saint Rose

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