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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


The state Legislature is ``a good partner,’’ she added, and, ``we have to help the Legislature help us.’’

Zimpher said the plan will also address SUNY’s image. Campuses within the system are more successful at marketing than the system itself, she said.

``Our higher-education system is a wonderful one,’’ she said. ``We need to better communicate it.’’

With a growing number of applications, the SUNY system may be losing students who aren’t accepted into their first-choice program because they don’t know about programs at other campuses that might interest them, Zimpher said.

``Why SUNY? Because you can be anybody you want to be if you go to SUNY,’’ she said.

The SUNY system enrolls 440,000 students at its 64 campuses and has 2.4 million alumni. For every state dollar received, according to SUNY’s website, $8 in total spending in New York state is generated.

The 2008-09 all-funds budget of $10.7 billion, which includes $3.7 billion in state support, equals an estimated $29.6 billion of economic impact.

Zimpher said that after Labor Day, a committee of a couple of hundred members representing faculty, college foundation boards, community leaders and others will be formed to work on a strategic plan. Town-hall-style meetings will be scheduled, and a plan will be ready in the spring.

SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski reviewed Zimpher’s background during welcoming remarks Monday.

In February, the SUNY Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Zimpher the 12th chancellor of SUNY at a salary of $545,000.

She is the first woman to be named chancellor in the 60-year history of SUNY, the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the country.

Zimpher most recently was president of the University of Cincinnati, an urban research university with more than 37,000 students, 16 colleges, an academic medical and research center and an annual budget of $1 billion.

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