Zimpher is Unanimous Choice and the First Woman to Lead SUNY
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Albany – The State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees today voted unanimously to name Nancy L. Zimpher the 12th chancellor of SUNY, the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the country. Zimpher is the first woman to be named chancellor in SUNY’s 60-year history.
Zimpher is currently president of the University of Cincinnati. Her appointment as chancellor is effective June 1, 2009.
“Nancy Zimpher brings to SUNY an outstanding national reputation earned through her many accomplishments in public higher education,” said Carl T. Hayden, who chairs both the SUNY Board of Trustees and the chancellor search committee. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome her to SUNY as chancellor.”
“I extend my deep appreciation to the members of the search committee whose tireless efforts have achieved such an outstanding result.” Hayden said.
SUNY Trustee and search committee member H. Carl McCall said, “Nancy Zimpher is an educator, scholar and administrator of the highest quality. She possesses the intelligence, determination and experience SUNY needs for the challenging times that confront us. I could not be more pleased with the results of our search.”
“Nancy Zimpher’s impressive career has been devoted to keeping public higher education high quality, affordable and accessible, which aligns with SUNY’s mission,” said search committee member Milton Johnson, president of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges. “On behalf of my colleagues at the 30 community colleges, I welcome Nancy to SUNY and I look forward to beginning our work together.”
“Nancy Zimpher’s considerable skills in managing complex institutions of higher education will enable her to advance the SUNY system to new heights,” said Cornell University President David J. Skorton, a member of the search committee. “SUNY and all of New York are most fortunate to have such a capable leader. I congratulate Nancy on becoming SUNY Chancellor and look forward to working with her as we strengthen higher education in the Empire State.”
“Congratulations are well in order for Nancy Zimpher and the SUNY system,” said former NFL Commissioner and search committee member, Paul Tagliabue. “Nancy Zimpher possesses all of the essential qualities a leader needs to overcome obstacles and achieve results. I expect her tenure as SUNY chancellor to be most successful.”
“Creative ideas and energy combined with wisdom and a strong set of problem-solving skills mark Nancy Zimpher as a remarkable leader,” said President and CEO of the Asia Society and search committee member Vishakha Desai. “Nancy Zimpher is an ideal candidate for SUNY and I congratulate her on becoming the next chancellor.”
My deep appreciation and gratitude go out to the Chancellor Search Committee, Chairman Hayden and the SUNY Board of Trustees for their support and for placing their trust and in confidence in me,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Together with Governor Paterson, the state Legislature, the Board of Trustees, campus presidents, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, we will advance the educational, research and public service missions of the State University of New York and I look forward with great anticipation and excitement to beginning our work.”
During the spring of 2009, Zimpher anticipates traveling to Albany on several occasions to ensure a smooth and effective transition. In addition to campus presidents and SUNY senior staff, she expects to meet with constituency groups, faculty and student governance leaders, and state legislators, among others.
Dr. Zimpher succeeds former SUNY Chancellor and United States Navy Vice Admiral John R. Ryan, who stepped down May 31, 2007 to become the president of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.
About Nancy L. Zimpher
Dr. Zimpher is president of the University of Cincinnati, an urban research university with an enrollment of more than 37,000 students, comprised of 16 colleges, an academic medical and research center and an annual budget of $1 billion.
She became UC’s 25th president, and its first woman president, in October 2003. Under her leadership, UC embarked on an unprecedented consultation process that involved a wide spectrum of the university’s stakeholders and resulted in the strategic vision, UC|21: Defining the New Urban Research University.
Under President Zimpher’s direction, the university continues to make significant strides in its UC|21 vision to become a leading urban research institution for the 21st century. The university has experienced increased retention and graduation rates, improved student satisfaction and enhanced national rankings.
These achievements have been accomplished through a number of strategic actions that President Zimpher implemented, among them restructuring the university’s decision-making process and introducing comprehensive state-of-the-art business practices; raising admissions standards while growing enrollment and maintaining the university’s deep commitment to access and a diverse student body; introducing a series of academic reforms related to Strategic Enrollment Management, program offerings and performance-based budgeting; redesigning mechanisms for research support and opportunities for commercialization on intellectual property; as well as transforming decanal leadership through the completion of several national searches.
Prior to her arrival at UC, Dr. Zimpher served as the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she led the university from 1998 to 2003, developing The Milwaukee Idea strategic vision and holding a faculty position in the School of Education.
Prior to her appointment in Wisconsin, she was the executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of the College of Education at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. During her career at OSU, she worked in various administrative positions and engaged in research and development efforts concerned with improving the preparation of teachers, especially teachers for urban contexts.
Zimpher holds a bachelor’s degree in English education and speech, a master’s degree in English literature, and a PhD in teacher education and administration in higher education, all from The Ohio State University.
Zimpher is married to Dr. Kenneth R. Howey, a Research Professor in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at the University of Cincinnati. He was previously on the faculties of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, the University of Minnesota, and The Ohio State University. He is a former teacher, principal, and laboratory school director.
The author or editor of several books on teacher education and educational reform, Howey served as the principal investigator for the federal government's Contextual Teaching and Learning project and as a senior scholar in the National Partnership for Education and Accountability in Teaching. He was the team leader for the longest running study of teacher education in the United States, the eight-year Research About Teacher Education [RATE] study.
For 10 years he served as director of the Urban Network to Improve Teacher Education [UNITE], a consortium of over 30 P-12 schools and colleges of education working in partnership with major school districts to improve the recruitment and preparation of teachers for urban contexts. He is currently working with presidents of urban universities to examine how resources within these universities might be better mobilized to assist with reforms in urban elementary and secondary schools.
About the Chancellor Search Committee
The SUNY Board established a Search Committee to carry out the process of selecting the next chancellor of the State University system.
The naming of Dr. Zimpher as chancellor is the end result of the rigorous national search that followed the formation of the committee. The Search Committee was assisted by Michael Baer, Arnie Miller, Sean Farrell and Monroe Moseley of the Boston-based firm of Isaacson Miller Search Consultants.
The position was advertized nationally and strong applications from across the country we carefully considered. The very best of these were interviewed for the position. The diverse membership of the committee reflected the larger SUNY community and included college and university presidents, students, faculty, trustees and alumni.
Distinguished members of the committee from outside of SUNY included Vishakha Desai, president of the Asia Society, Paul Tagliabue, former commissioner of the National Football League, Enrique Senior, a managing director at Allen & Company, and ReiJane Huai, CEO of FalconStor Software, a global data protection and storage virtualization company based on Long Island.
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 440,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.
Dr. Zimpher will receive an annual State salary of $490,000. Dr. Zimpher will also be provided an additional retirement benefit via direct annual contribution in the amount of $55,400 per year; the use of a state car and driver when she is traveling on University business in New York State; and the use of the University apartment in New York City and the Chancellor’s apartment in the South Tower of SUNY Plaza in Albany. A Compensation Comparison is available online.