January 23, 2017

Chancellor Zimpher Delivers Farewell State of the University Address

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher
Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher delivers her final State of the University Address. Photo/Empire State College

Delivering her eighth and final State of the University Address in Albany, N.Y., SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today highlighted progress made by SUNY in the last decade.

Reviewing her SUNY tenure since 2009, Chancellor Zimpher praised the system’s accomplishments in the areas of:

  • access
  • affordability
  • inclusion
  • seamless transfer
  • degree completion.

In his introductory remarks for the chancellor, SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall highlighted many of the “ground-breaking” policies achieved throughout their tenure together, including SUNY Smart Track, Sexual Assault Reporting and Prevention, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Move the Box and many others.

“No one else does what SUNY can do,” Zimpher said. “No one else matches our reach or strength or potential to educate more people and to educate them better…to be New York’s best economic engine…to push the boundaries of research and innovation…and to always figure out how to improve. This is who we are. This is the SUNY brand.”

Zimpher attributed SUNY’s progress and national leadership to the university system’s capacity to work as a system to collectively increase access, completion and success for students, while also serving as New York state’s greatest asset for economic and workforce development.

SUNY Empire State College President Merodie A. Hancock attended the event, together with many other presidents, trustees, student leaders, alumni, faculty and staff from across the 64-campus system, as well as many other non-SUNY dignitaries and educators, such as state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.

“It was a fantastic recommitment to accomplishments in the years behind her, as well as a look forward to where we are going and a reaffirmation of the future and the new opportunities,” said Hancock.

Hancock also noted the chancellor’s challenge to the SUNY system to continue to be, “the best at getting better,” and that SUNY Empire faces particular challenges going forward.

“I think there is a lot of attention on the young student right now, and that’s critical,” said Hancock. “We, however, have to be looking at the nontraditional student, the older student. We need to continue to advocate heavily for financial funding for those students who are looking to further and better their lives, and their communities later on in life.”

A transcript and video archive of the chancellor’s 2017 State of the University Address is available on the SUNY website.

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