District News - A Statement from the Utica City School District Board of Education

A statement from the Utica City School District Board of Education:

Earlier today, at a special meeting called by the Utica City School District Board of Education, the Board voted 5 to 2 on a resolution to immediately terminate Superintendent Bruce Karam’s employment, marking a significant and necessary step for the District.

This decision is the result of conduct and comments by Mr. Karam that render it impossible for him to continue in the position of Superintendent of our District. Simply put, Mr. Karam breached the trust placed in him by the Board and the UCSD community.

Factors compelling the Board to part ways with Mr. Karam include his egregious comments disparaging individuals on the basis of their ethnicity, disability, and appearance, of the kind revealed as a result of the investigation into complaints made against him by District administrators, as well as a series of concerning actions by Mr. Karam, relating to such complaints, recent indictments by the Oneida District Attorney’s Office, and creating a detrimental work environment. These issues have compelled us to act firmly in the District's best interests.

Since placing Mr. Karam on administrative leave in October 2022, the Board has actively and diligently collaborated with legal counsel to pursue a judicial resolution and continues to pursue those efforts. While the District would have preferred to have a court confirm that Mr. Karam’s purported employment contract is void before moving to terminate his employment, after carefully weighing the various factors and considering possible consequences of different courses of action, the Board believes it is in the District’s best interest to take action at this juncture.

At this meeting, the Board also voted 6 to 1 to adopt a resolution to formally designate Dr. Kathleen Davis as Interim Superintendent, effective immediately. Dr. Davis, who has capably served as Acting Superintendent since July 2023, has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities that are crucial for navigating the District during this period of transition.

We thank the Utica City School District community for their support and patience through these challenging times. Our Board is unwavering in its commitment to identifying and removing any obstacles that hinder the education and development of our students. We are dedicated to fostering a thriving and supportive environment for our students, staff, teachers, and administration, and will soon initiate the search for a new, permanent superintendent who aligns with these values.