SUNY Plattsburgh students are some of the hundreds of thousands to benefit from Shared Services.
Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher announced this week that more than $6 million has been redirected to academic instruction and student services in the first year of SUNY’s system-wide shared services initiative.
Since last August, campuses have worked together to identify and eliminate duplicative administrative services and to collaborate on common expenses. Among structured findings, the campuses shared best practices, which led to enhanced program offerings and academic advances in every region of New York.
“The SUNY campuses have made remarkable progress in this inaugural year of our shared services initiative – truly realizing the capacity of SUNY’s systemness – and freeing up funds for what matters most, our students,” said Chancellor Zimpher.
SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College announced today that both schools will be entering into a shared services agreement. This comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the SUNY System announcing the goal of utilizing shared services reduce administrative costs and redirect funding to direct instruction and student support services.
“These critical first steps towards implementing common sense and cost effective shared services place SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College ahead of the curve,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “By identifying efficiencies and working together these campuses will maintain access and affordability while expanding services that directly benefit current and prospective students. Plattsburgh and Clinton are to be highly commended for embracing SUNY’s systemness and leveraging their capacity as partners within the system and their shared community.”
Over the next three years, all SUNY campuses have been directed to shift 5% of administrative spending to academics and student support services, with a reinvestment goal of $100M. Some of the suggested areas of shared services to be implemented between Clinton CC and Plattsburgh were:
- Formation of a shared food service program for students
- Creation of a shared bookstore service for students
- Establishment of joint academic programs, in areas of mutual interest
- Development of a conditional acceptance program for domestic and international students that benefits both campuses
- Establishment of short- and long-term goals for shared services
- Establishment of joint conferences and seminars
- Development of close cooperation in the area of curricular development
Currently, there is neither a start date as to when the shared services projects at Clinton CC and Plattsburgh will begin nor definitive plans pertaining to specific services that will be shared.
SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam have appointed their first shared officer to serve both institutions. Patrick Massaro will be the new Veterans and Military Services Coordinator, a newly created position designed to be the primary contact for military families and to advise veterans’ organizations on university campuses.
Massaro’s previous experience uniquely qualifies him to tackle the job, given his military background and the fact that he is an alumnus of both colleges. In 2003, he graduated from SUNY Canton and in 2005 from SUNY Potsdam. The Massena Central High School graduate then served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010, including one tour of duty in Iraq. He now holds the rank of Captain in the U.S. Marine Reserves. Most recently, Massaro completed his Master of Science degree in sports administration while working as the director of hockey operations at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.
“This is a great opportunity for me to give back to both colleges and to those that have served and to the families of those that have served,” Massaro said.
This new position was created to enrich the student veterans’ university experience and is the first joint hire between the universities resulting from the ongoing shared services discussions between SUNY Potsdam’s and SUNY Canton’s Campus Alliance Network.
“Filling this position was a significant step in the goal of greater shared services for our colleges. We learned a lot about the search process and what we need to do in the next years to more efficiently use our resources,” SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy said.
Five SUNY community colleges have teamed up to form an online learning partnership that will facilitate progress in 34 associate degree and certificate programs that can be completed completely online.
The five partner institutions in the Online Western New York Learning Alliance (OWL) are Corning, Erie, Finger Lakes, Genesee, Jamestown and Monroe Community Colleges.
Marilyn Zagora, JCC’s Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs said of the new program, “As community colleges, we are committed to providing access to higher education. By offering five associate degrees and two certificate options online, JCC has helped many students remove the barriers of time and place. The OWL Alliance provides even greater access by helping students identify even more pathways and facilitating the interchange of credit experiences via the web.”
In a commentary for CNN’s schools of thought, Chancellor Zimpher offers New York’s approach to keeping college affordable as a model for the nation:
My View: A model for addressing college costs
College costs are exploding. Last fall, U.S. public four-year colleges increased tuition by more than 7%. Combined with severe cuts in state funding, university systems are scrambling to get a hold of skyrocketing costs. Worse, more than half of students earning bachelor’s degrees at public colleges – 56 percent – are graduating with $22,000 of debt, on average.
The sharpest tuition increase – 21 percent – took place last fall at California’s public colleges and universities, where one in 10 of the country’s four-year public college students are enrolled. Arizona and Washington fell in just behind the Golden State, increasing tuition by 17% and 16%, respectively.
This year, an especially bleak financial outlook in Pennsylvania has spurred talk of privatizing public universities.
This full-blown crisis in higher education is being felt by students in virtually every state in America, except for ours in New York. Here, we’ve solved our revenue problems and kept tuition in check by implementing a five-year rational tuition policy and earning a commitment from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to be held immune from state budget cuts. Not bad for world-class colleges and universities located in one of the most expensive areas of the country.