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Zimpher: 'Systemness' And Data Drive SUNY

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher delivered her sixth annual State of the University address this morning in Albany, making several announcements that will impact the system’s 64 campuses.

Among those announcements: $18 million awarded to SUNY campuses throughout New York as a result of the university system’s Investment and Performance Fund, established in last year’s state budget. Zimpher says the awards will support SUNY’s Completion Agenda, which aims to boost the number of degrees awarded annually to 150,000 by 2020.

Credit WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Zimpher urged all New Yorkers to “Stand with SUNY” as it continues to let "systemness" and data drive its performance in service to students, faculty, staff, and the state.  "Through systemness we've created and launched Open SUNY, the world's largest consortium for learning, with 472 online programs and 20,000 course sections, and we are still extending access to limitless numbers of people, anywhere in the world. Since its launch in 2014, more than 230,000 students have enrolled in Open SUNY classes."

SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall says Zimpher’s vision for SUNY has far exceeded expectations. Zimpher is forging ahead with the concept. "All of these things, diversity training and performance measurement and shared services and cradle-to-career and seamless transfer — these are things SUNY wasn't doing at scale before systemness. But now we are. And it's making a difference."

Zimpher introduced several new initiatives for SUNY in 2016, among them Open SUNY 2.0 and SUNY Path, Predictive Analytics Transforming Higher Education, which will aim to identify at-risk students and guide them toward completing their degree.

New York's Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul is standing with SUNY:  "I don't think there's a person in New York state that lives further than 30 miles from a SUNY campus. Is that true? 93 per cent of our population's within 15 miles, so you've no excuse. I mean you have a world-class affordable education right in your own communities, and that's the story we need to continue to tell."

Locally, University at Albany President Robert Jones quickly released a statement supporting Zimpher’s goals. Jones says “the awards announced will greatly enhance UAlbany's student success and completion programs, and help us become an even stronger engine of opportunity for thousands of students from across New York state."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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