We worked incredibly hard this year to leverage our systemness and move our students forward. There have been so many exciting developments across SUNY; these are some of the accomplishments we are most proud of.
The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program was extended to all SUNY campuses in 2012, leveraging SUNY’s systemness to support economic development statewide. The plans from each of SUNY’s four university centers have been approved by Governor Cuomo.
Governor Cuomo continues to be a champion for the State University. He has it right: SUNY is a great equalizer for New Yorkers, and it will provide our state with an infinite return on its investment as SUNY drives economic development in every region, creates jobs, jobs, jobs, and trains students to become the workforce of tomorrow.
The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Act embodies our ambition to marry academic excellence with economic revitalization and is propelling our university centers to the next level. The Governor’s extension of this act to all SUNY campuses, in the form of three additional $20 million grants, will allow our campuses to further carry out their mission to learn, to search, and to serve.
This year’s State of the State Address reaffirms the Governor’s commitment to advancing public higher education in New York State and his unwavering confidence in SUNY’s ability to lead New York’s economic resurgence.
It has been my absolute honor to partner with Governor Cuomo since he took office. I applaud his continued commitment to education in New York, and I look forward to building upon our partnership in the coming year.
We are also thrilled that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, in his State of the State presentation, made a commitment to increase support for SUNY’s community colleges.
His recognition of the state’s obligation to fund community colleges at fair and sustainable levels not only highlights his commitment to their critical role in workforce development, but also to relieving the tuition burden that for far too long has fallen on the shoulders of students and their families.
I commend Speaker Silver’s decision to make this pledge on such a momentous day for the people of New York, and I in turn pledge SUNY’s support in working with the Speaker to help realize this increased investment in our state’s future.
This week I had the unique opportunity to meet with President Barack Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, senior White House officials, and a dozen of my colleagues from across the U.S. to discuss affordability and productivity in higher education.
It is clear after having spent nearly two hours with this group, about an hour of which was in candid conversation with President Obama, that this administration is keenly focused on and deeply committed to keeping college costs affordable, enhancing productivity and efficiency in higher education, and expanding access for all prospective students.
The conversation was respectful of the challenges that all of higher education – and public higher education in particular – faces to achieve these goals despite a national trend in declining state support for our university systems and individual institutions. I left the White House with a renewed sense of urgency toward carrying out the many SUNY programs that address New York’s own challenges, educational needs, and workforce demands. And I left more confident than ever that New York and SUNY can continue to be a model, in many respects, for education systems elsewhere in the nation.
As part of my conversation with the President, I was able to highlight SUNY’s plan for shared services among campuses, which will expand academic resources and course availability for students while increasing efficiency within the SUNY system; the rational tuition plan included in Governor Cuomo’s NY SUNY 2020 legislation, which makes the cost of education predictable for students; the SUNY Works co-operative education model as a solution to the burden of debt experienced by college students; and SUNY’s work to establish cradle-to-career networks in communities across New York that will improve the academic success of students at every stage of their education, reducing the need for costly remediation programs.
As Governor Cuomo has done in New York, President Obama seems to be willing to take a hard stance on the culture shifts that are needed to create real change to better our country’s education system. With his leadership, I am confident that we can and will make real progress toward educating more Americans and toward educating them in a more affordable manner.
A university system of our great size generates a lot of activity—whether it’s the latest achievements taking place on each of our campuses or new developments that affect the entire system. We’re an educational powerhouse, and we’re important contributing members of nearly every community in the state. Continue reading →