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July 14, 2009

SUNY’s leader lays out goals in visit to Oneonta

Student leader asks chancellor how she’ll help keep down costs

By Denise Richardson

Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ The new SUNY chancellor stopped in Oneonta on Monday to learn about the campus, meet constituents and gather ideas for a strategic plan for the State University of New York system.

Nancy Zimpher said SUNY Oneonta marked her 25th campus visit since she started as chancellor June 1. In this region, she has visited Binghamton University but not the campuses in Delhi, Cobleskill or Morrisville.

Zimpher said Monday that when she announced the tour in February, she didn’t realize the state’s size and diversity, and the visits are key to developing a strategic plan.

Her Oneonta visit included meetings with the college president, the College Council and the STEM Leadership Council.

She also spoke at a session open to the campus and local community, and addressed elected, community, business and student leaders during a luncheon.

SUNY Oneonta enrolls about 5,875 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students.

Some student leaders at SUNY Oneonta welcomed Zimpher’s visit to the campus as a way for her to manage directly instead of from Albany headquarters.

Juliette Price, editor of the college’s State Times newspaper, said she is paying her way through college. She asked the chancellor to name three ways to help students meet costs.

Zimpher replied that the top priority is for SUNY is help the state increase its revenue base. SUNY also must seek more scholarship programs and paying internships to help students, she said.

SUNY tuition is $4,970 as of this fall.

Price said looking the chancellor in the eyes and hearing her answers is ``the definition of accountability.’’ The chancellor’s approach is ``inspirationally realistic,’’ Price said, and ``she’s a breath of fresh air.’’

Legislature “a good partner”

The future of SUNY depends on creating plans, ``wading into new relationships’’ and reviewing progress to see if goals are met, Zimpher said.

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