Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher Unveils Plan to Strengthen State University of New York Over Next Decade

New York City – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today unveiled the newly developed strategic plan. The plan incorporates six forward-looking, interdependent areas of opportunity and challenge in which SUNY and its 64 campuses can serve as the driving force behind New York State’s economic revitalization and to improve the quality of life for its citizens.

The Power of SUNY will serve as the roadmap for the State University of New York for the next five years and guide its development for the next decade.

The chancellor made today’s announcement at the New York Academy of Sciences in Manhattan and tomorrow will present the plan in Albany at The Egg.

The plan is available at

“We see The Power of SUNY as a testament to what public higher education can do for the State of New York,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “This strategic plan will enable the State University to drive New York’s economy through our size, scale and the capacity of the system as a whole.”

"The fact that town-hall conversations were held in every corner of the state to ensure that student voices from all campuses were heard is unprecedented,” said Melody Mercedes, president of the SUNY Student Assembly and student member of the SUNY Board of Trustees. “Students can finally say they were instrumental in the creation of a plan which will benefit generations of students to come."

“This strategic plan, The Power of SUNY, is distinguished by the breadth of the 200 representatives who met eight times during the past six months to discuss issues that are central to both New York State and its public university,” said Kenneth O’Brien, president of the SUNY Faculty Senate. “The result is a plan that rewrites the relationship between SUNY and the citizens of the state, with SUNY committing its intellectual and human resources to revitalizing New York's economy and enriching its social and community life.”

“It was an honor to be a part of the strategic planning process,” said Raymond Cross, president of Morrisville State College. “I am excited about this plan and the commitment embedded in every paragraph. This is not your traditional academic strategic plan - it is bold, exciting, and real, and certainly demands attention. It calls for action, requires commitment, and will aggressively move SUNY and all of New York forward. Every campus and community should be eager to help make this vision a reality!”

The product of an unprecedented 10-month effort which included a 64-campus tour and 10 statewide conversations and symposia across the New York, The Power of SUNY explores the many issues affecting New York State and the State University community, while identifying six “big ideas”:

• SUNY and the Entrepreneurial Century
• SUNY and the Seamless Educational Pipeline
• SUNY and a Healthier New York
• SUNY and an Energy-Smart New York
• SUNY and the Vibrant Community
• SUNY and the World

In addition, the plan focuses on the crosswalks between the six ideas and SUNY’s central commitment to diversity within those themes.

Each idea represents areas in which SUNY can have the greatest impact on the State of New York. By connecting all 64 campuses, the State University system becomes greater than the sum of its parts with the ability to bring innovative and entrepreneurial initiatives to scale. Three such initiatives are provided for each idea whose progress can be measured and evaluated over time, ensuring accountability. Chancellor Zimpher has already begun to lead an effort to create implementation goals for each idea over the next five years.

“The call for accountability has never been louder,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “We must deliver results in a more meaningful and measurable way to show New Yorkers that we mean what we say.”

After the plan is unveiled in Albany and New York City, Chancellor Zimpher will also present the plan in Binghamton and Utica on April 15, Syracuse on April 16, Westchester on April 22, Long Island on April 23, Rochester on April 27, and Buffalo on April 28.

Release of the strategic plan begins the third phase of a strategic planning process for SUNY with the goal of preserving the strengths of the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the world, while introducing a new way forward that aligns SUNY’s purpose with New York State’s economic future.

“In the coming weeks and months I will engage our students, my colleagues across SUNY, elected officials and our communities in discussions on the plan; what it means to them; how they can be a part of the change this state needs – a part of The Power of SUNY” said Chancellor Zimpher.

“Nancy Zimpher was hired and immediately charged with developing a strategic plan for the State University of New York, and she has delivered” said SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Carl T. Hayden. "This plan bears the imprint of the entire SUNY family. It will work because the people it affects most are the people who helped to make it possible."

“As I noted at the end of our campus tour in September, the greatest pathway to national and international recognition is to serve your state,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Our strategic plan for SUNY presents the people of New York with an exciting vision for how we will harness the power of SUNY to make New York State one of the most vital, resilient, and inclusive economies here in the U.S. and around the world.”

Additional information about the SUNY strategic planning effort is available here.

Further remarks from SUNY stakeholders about The Power of SUNY can be found here.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 465,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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Mike Albright
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