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State of Education: Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Chancellor
I recently stopped by the State University of New York Administration building and met with the SUNY Chancellor, Nancy Zimpher. She has many future plans for the SUNY system, including what's known as the Empowerment Act.
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"We're looking at a more rational and predictable tuition policy so that students and their families can plan the cost of college and also keep the lid on the cost of college," Zimpher said.
There's the goal of getting state support for a SUNY partnership with public private partnerships.
"Like an incubator on campus or some relationship we have with business and the corporate community to grow jobs for New York," said Zimpher.
To get a feel for what's happening, chancellor also embarked on a 64- statewide campus tour, which consisted of several town-hall style meetings, focusing on different themes from diversity to sustain ability.
"And what I enjoyed the most is that students would tell me how much they enjoyed being at Delhi or Plattsburgh or Stony Brook, so I wouldn't have begun my tenure here at SUNY any other way...I kind of fell into it thinking it's just obvious that I'll visit the campuses," the chancellor said.
And then there's the chancellor's 21-page plan known as "the power of SUNY" which calls for, among other things, a closer connection between students, faculty, and the college community.
"It is a connection between SUNY and the economic revitalization of New York but also the quality of life, we think our campuses bring great vibrancy to the local communities and we want to celebrate that and make sure it's even closer," said Zimpher.
But with the SUNY system losing nearly $634 million in state support just in the last three years, the chancellor's plan is more focused on ways of building the state's economy, rather than traditional approaches to higher education. Just recently, however, the Empowerment Act failed to pass through the assembly, but the chancellor mentioned she's optimistic there can be an agreement in the near future...for the future of SUNY.