We will nurture a culturally fluent, cross-national mindset and put it to work improving New York’s global competitiveness.
If you look around our campuses on any given day, it quickly becomes clear that we have succeeded at bringing the world to SUNY: taken together, our campuses comprise one of the most diverse learning communities in the world. Our system attracts adventurous and ambitious people from every possible background. In the international race for talent—the most fiercely contested race of the 21st century—we’re off to a running start.
But numbers alone are inadequate. For SUNY to drive economic vitality, we must remain a beacon for talent worldwide. And once that talent is here, we need to retain it within our state. Most important, we must think of diversity in terms of the energy and perspective that it represents and use it to everyone’s advantage—for example, in partnerships with domestic companies that are struggling to expand globally and adapt to new economic and competitive realities.
While building upon our New York roots, we can transform SUNY into a transnational enterprise of the highest order—a ubiquitous knowledge generator and provider, and a leader in the globalization of information.
In the globalized economy, students with a broad cultural and international perspective have distinct competitive advantages. To create a globally competent student body, we must increase the opportunities for international exposure throughout all courses and degrees. Not only will we send more students abroad, but we will also increase the pool of talented foreign students studying on our campuses, making use of certified recruitment agents around the world. We will also develop incentives for foreign students to remain here in New York after their studies end and contribute to the state’s economy. The lessons of Silicon Valley should not be lost on us: more than half of Silicon Valley start-ups were founded by immigrants over the last decade—businesses that employed 450,000 workers and had sales of $52 billion in 2005.