SUNY Silence on Socarides' Higher Education Qualifications

"Jim Owles Liberal Democrats Denounce Governor Cuomo's Appointment of Hack Gay Pol Richard Socarides to Board of Trustees of the  State University of New York" --Allen Roskoff

By: Michael Petrelis
Friday, June 22, 2012 


It's a simple question, one that I expected the communications department at the State University of New York to answer with speed. What exactly are the higher education qualifications of Richard Socarides to give him a seat on the SUNY Board of Trustees?

After several emails and phones calls to the communications department since yesterday, I don't have an answer. The department promised to get back to me, without specifying when.

Earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Socarides to the state's public university's Board of Trustees and therelease congratulating him and the other appointees does not list one higher education qualification for Socarides.

It says he's "a New York attorney who has held senior positions in the media and entertainment sector, and government and law, as a media relations and communications executive, presidential adviser at the White House, and partner in a New York City law firm." Nary a mention about public education.

Over at his Twitter account, Socarides has remained silent about the SUNY position.

I asked two longtime Big Apple gay advocates for comments about the appointment, and here's what they had to say. First up is Allen Roskoff, head of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club:

I'm not at all surprised that the Republican controlled New York State Senate approved Socarides' appointment, after all, except for the fact that he hasn't changed his party registration he is a Republican. Socarides has done a great deal of harm to the LGBT community by providing the talking points in favor of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act when working in the Clinton White House. He's bashed President Obama for not acting fast enough to undo the damage of DADT and DOMA, and this must not go unnoticed.

Also weighing in is Andy Humm, commentator for Gay USA:

The governor appoints people who will not rock the boat and who will toady to his center-right, starve-the-system position. No one rises up when any of these appointments are made by Cuomo. The last time anyone paid attention to the rightwing composition of these colleges boards was when they voted to deny Tony Kushner an honorary degree that Lehman College wanted to give him. That set off a firestorm of liberal indignation. But these same "liberals" could give two shits about all the other votes taken by the board which has been fucking the youth of color in the system for decades.

Why has Cuomo appointed Socarides, an ambitious political hack who's number one agenda item is always expanding his prestige and resume, to a position of great influence at SUNY when he lacks obvious qualifications? Both the governor and SUNY need to answer this question.



  1. Hon. Eric Adams
  2. George Arzt
  3. Lance Bass
  4. John Blair
  5. Mark Benoit
  6. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  7. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  8. Erik Bottcher
  9. Robin Byrd
  10. Hon. Gale Brewer
  11. Christian Campbell
  12. Gus Christensen
  13. Hon. Martin Connor
  14. Hon. Jon Cooper
  15. Wilson Cruz
  16. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  17. Alan Cumming
  18. Valorie Curry
  19. Michael Czaczkes
  20. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  21. Jon Del Giorno
  22. Aries Dela Cruz
  23. Kyan Douglas
  24. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  25. James Duff
  26. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  27. Hon. Rafael Espinal
  28. Hon. Herman Farrell
  29. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  30. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  31. Dan Gettleman
  32. Jason Goldman
  33. Emily Jane Goodman
  34. Hon. Mark Green
  35. Tony Hoffmann
  36. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  37. Binn Jakupi
  38. Hon. Letitia James
  39. Hon. Corey Johnson
  40. Camille Joseph
  41. Phillip Keane
  42. Greg Lambert
  43. Dodge Landesman
  44. Phillip McCarthy
  45. Matt McMorrow
  46. Michael Mallon
  47. Mike C. Manning
  48. David Mansur
  49. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  50. Troy Masters
  51. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  52. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  53. John Cameron Mitchell
  54. Donny Moss
  55. Barry Mullineaux
  56. Hon. Paul Newell
  57. Denis O'Hare
  58. Noah Pfefferbilt
  59. Josue Pierre
  60. Bob Pontarelli
  61. Billy Porter
  62. Hon. Keith Powers
  63. Randy Rainbow
  64. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  65. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  66. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  67. Maer Roshan
  68. Toby Russo
  69. Bill Samuels
  70. James Sansum
  71. Scott Sartiano
  72. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  73. Lynn Schulman
  74. Frank Selvaggi
  75. Rev. Al Sharpton
  76. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  77. Tom Smith
  78. Anne Strahle
  79. Hon. Scott Stringer
  80. Wayne Sunday
  81. Hon. Bill Thompson
  82. JD Thompson
  83. Hon. Matt Titone
  84. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  85. Sam Underwood
  86. Jessica Walter
  87. Patricia Nell Warren
  88. Wil Weder
  89. Seth Weissman
  90. Mel Wymore
  91. Emma Wolfe
  92. Hon. Keith Wright
  93. Zephyr Teachout