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Looking Forward to the 2015 State of the University Address

Chancellor Zimpher on stage delivers the 2014 State of the University AddressEach year in January, SUNY holds its annual State of the University address, delivered by the Chancellor to SUNY stakeholders and all New Yorkers. During the presentation, the Chancellor reviews the past year’s achievements in the SUNY system while announcing new initiatives that will continue to provide broad access to quality higher education for all.

Since becoming the leader of the nation’s largest comprehensive system of higher education in 2009, Chancellor Zimpher‘s transformative leadership has positioned SUNY to undertake many innovative, system-enhancing initiatives that have had a collective impact on higher education nationally as well as SUNY’s students, faculty, and staff, New York State’s communities and its economy.

Last year we saw the introduction of Open SUNY and SUNY Smart Track, among other topics. Next week – at Chancellor Zimpher’s fifth annual State of the University Address – we will find out what’s next for the system. In the meantime, here is a look back at some of SUNY’s developments and accomplishments over the last five years.

A Look Back

In her first five years at SUNY, Chancellor Zimpher has helped to develop an unprecedented level of partnerships that have resulted in numerous achievements, among others:

  • The Power of SUNY, the system’s first multi-year strategic plan developed with input from all of SUNY’s stakeholders. Chancellor Zimpher spent her first 100 days at SUNY visiting each of the system’s 64 campuses to launch this collective strategic planning process.
  • Applied Learning – Driven by a strong belief in the power of learning by doing, Chancellor Zimpher has set the system on course to ensure that every SUNY student has access to an applied learning opportunity such as cooperative education, even those attending online.
  • Cradle to Career – SUNY now supports 12 community partnerships across New York in an effort to mend the state’s education pipeline and support youth as they prepare for college and career. The New York Cradle to Career Strategic Alliance serves as a central support system for cradle-to-career networks statewide.
  • Higher Ed for Higher Standards – Chancellor Zimpher helped establish Higher Ed for Higher Standards, a growing coalition of college and university leaders from across the country who believe that college- and career-ready standards, including the Common Core State Standards, are critical to improving student success in K-12 and beyond.
  • SUNY Networks of Excellence – The Networks of Excellence connect SUNY students and faculty with private sector experts, as well as national labs, to support the commercialization of the system’s most promising and effective research. By sharing knowledge, facilities, and ideas in the most critical areas of research, the networks are driving innovation, economic opportunity, and job growth across the state.
  • NYSUNY 2020 NYSUNY 2020, ground-breaking state legislation passed in 2011, enabled a long-sought rational tuition policy for SUNY, secured a maintenance-of-effort promise from New York State to hold SUNY harmless from annual budget cuts, and further positioned SUNY campuses to maximize their economic development efforts with competitive annual state-funded grants.
  • Open SUNY – Launched in January 2014 and growing rapidly, Open SUNY is on pace to become the world’s largest online learning environment while increasing SUNY enrollment by 100,000 students.
  • SUNY Seamless Transfer – In service to the nearly 30,000 students who transfer within the system each year, SUNY now has the country’s most comprehensive transfer policy, which assures the seamless transfer to and from all campuses of every course approved for SUNY’s 30 credit general education requirement, and the coursework students need to complete the degree requirements of their major.
  • Shared Services – By coordinating services with other campuses in the system, each of SUNY’s campuses have been able to reinvest cost savings into services that directly benefit students. From sharing online tutoring programs and clinical training facilities to collaborating on purchases and course offerings, SUNY campuses have become a model of efficiency.
  • SUNY Smart TrackSUNY’s Smart Track campaign is the nation’s most aggressive and comprehensive initiative to ensure financial aid transparency.
  • Teacher Preparation & Training – Governor Cuomo and Chancellor Zimpher have positioned New York as a national leader in teacher preparation and training through SUNY’s Statewide Teacher Education Network (S-TEN), the Master Teacher Program, STEM Tuition Program, and increased admission standards for SUNY teaching programs.

Chancellor Zimpher will deliver her fifth annual State of the University Address next week in Albany, highlighting the system’s 2014 accomplishments and outlining its agenda for the coming year. The Address will be held Friday, January 23, at the Lewis A. Swyer Theatre at The Egg, at 10 a.m. Events will be available to livestream for viewing online.

Taras Kufel

Written by Taras Kufel

Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.

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