SUNY Oneonta Music Students Rally Behind Famed Professor
Blake Fleming, music professor and former drummer of the Mars Volta, is being rallied behind by the students of SUNY Oneonta with a massive petition asking the school to allow him to continue teaching courses.
On Monday, April 16th, news broke on the campus of Oneonta that the music department’s beloved professor, Blake Fleming, would be having his courses reassigned to other professors, leaving him without classes he is well-known for teaching including History of Rock Music, as well as his roles as the advisor for the school’s Music Industry Club and director of multiple musical ensembles. This sparked much upset and outrage within the campus department, and an outpouring of love and support for the drumming instructor has been demonstrated across social media.
Blake Fleming is a multi-talented drummer and music professor. His drumming has received press coverage from the New York Times, NPR, and Rolling Stone, and has toured nationally with The Mars Volta and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He has worked extensively as a session drummer and has performed on over 50 studio albums, and has composed sync music for commercials as well. He has served as an adjunct lecturer at SUNY Oneonta since 2008.
Students on campus have taken action in defense of Blake Fleming. A petition asking the university to keep him employed has received nearly 700 signatures from students in support of the professor. Many students have left comments on the subject, with one naming him “an invaluable asset to our school and our community”, and another saying he is a “professor like none other, he truly cares about us and changes students' lives with his compassion, love of his craft, and expertise.”