Although the university did not directly tie Dr. Morris’s resignation to its handling of the outbreak, state and local officials at a news conference on Thursday announcing the change praised the efforts of Mr. Craig, who guided a successful reopening plan at SUNY Purchase, which is in Westchester County, just north of New York City.
SUNY Purchase has reported just seven cases at its campus of more than 4,000 students.
“SUNY Purchase has one of the best plans out of the SUNY system,” the system chancellor, Jim Malatras, said at the news conference. “They brought back about 25 percent of their students and they have had regular testing and a very low positivity rate. President Craig led the way on that.”
Mr. Malatras said Dr. Morris informed them last week of her decision to resign.
When asked if Dr. Morris’s resignation was related to her handling of the virus outbreak, Mr. Malatras skirted the question, saying she resigned of “her own volition.”
“I think everyone in the community would agree that there were problems collectively, but now we want to move forward,” he said.
The outbreak at Oneonta began modestly with only two cases on Aug. 25, but then spread quickly.
Initially, the university tied the cases to a series of parties near campus, which led to five suspensions. But group gatherings off campus were common, students said.
The latest on how schools are reopening amid the pandemic.
Within days, 29 more positive cases were found. By Aug. 30, the university announced that 105 students — or about 3 percent of the people who were on campus or using campus facilities by then — had tested positive.
By now, more than 700 students had tested positive.
Oneonta, a school of about 6,000 students, has had almost more than double the number of virus cases that any other school in the SUNY system had.