SUNY Announces $18 Million in Investment & Performance Fund Awards for Campuses

January 11, 2016

First-of-its-kind State Investment Expected to Boost Degree Completion for SUNY Students

Chancellor Zimpher Calls for Expansion of SUNY Investment Fund in State of the University Address 

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced $18 million awarded to SUNY campuses throughout New York as a result of the university system’s Investment and Performance Fund, established with a first-of-its-kind investment by New York in the 2015-16 State Budget. Campus awards will support SUNY’s Completion Agenda, which aims to boost the number of degrees awarded annually to 150,000 by bringing evidence-based programs to scale.

In all, 32 proposals directly involving 22 state-operated SUNY campuses and collaborations with nine community colleges will receive funding as a result of the state’s $18 million investment. These include early alert software, enhanced advising, development of Student Success Centers, stronger k-12 connections, math competency programs, degree and certificate programs in high-demand fields, new opportunities for applied learning, and more.

“The campuses that comprise the great State University of New York continue to rise to every challenge before them, collaborating and innovating to meet New York’s highest needs while always moving the success of our students forward,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “Today’s awards are a validation of SUNY’s collective plans and capacity to meet Chancellor Zimpher’s ambitious completion goal. Congratulations to all of the campuses receiving funds today.”

“These awards are a remarkable sample of what SUNY campuses are prepared to do in order to help more students complete their degree,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Whether it’s working with area high schools to get students ready for college, supporting students at risk of falling behind, or providing an applied learning opportunity to ensure career success, SUNY is committed to improving student outcomes at every stage.”

Delivering her annual State of the University Address today in Albany, Chancellor Zimpher added, “With the creation of the Investment and Performance Fund last year, New York State challenged SUNY to prove it can move the dial on college completion, and our campuses delivered. Now, we are counting on Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to keep the momentum going and expand their investment in SUNY.”

In November, Chancellor Zimpher launched the Stand with SUNY campaign to secure increased state investment for the system in the upcoming 2016-17 State Budget. In addition to growing the Investment and Performance Fund, the goals of the campaign are to build base funding for all campuses and extend NYSUNY 2020.

To maximize the State’s $18 million investment and extend the Fund to its community colleges, SUNY pooled existing resources – from the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Open SUNY, and the Empire Innovation Program – to create a $100 million Expanded Investment and Performance Fund. In response to a Request for Proposals for the $100 million, SUNY received 211 proposals from campuses totaling more than $460 million. Awards from the remaining resources will be announced in the coming months.

Campus proposals were evaluated by a distinguished panel of external reviewers, including leaders in higher education, finance, policy, and research. Reviewers donated their time to ensure that proposals were consistent with or exceeded national best practices, and that they would support SUNY’s completion agenda as well as the goals of its performance management system, SUNY Excels.

“Importantly, we have in place a mechanism to ensure accountability, to ourselves and the public” said SUNY Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright. “Through SUNY Excels, each campus worked this year to develop a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). These plans detail commitments to continuous improvement in the areas of Access, Completion, Success, Inquiry and Engagement—including any Investment and Performance Fund requests. With a common set of metrics, targets through 2020, and a narrative detailing strategic priorities, these plans serve as a blueprint for moving forward.”

An approved PIP was required for receipt of an Investment and Performance Fund award for state-operated campuses and for receipt of NY Jobs Linkage funding for community colleges. These plans were approved by Chancellor Zimpher on behalf of the SUNY Board of Trustees in December and can be found online at: www.suny.edu/PerformancePlans.

Awards announced today are as follows:

Capital Region

University at Albany will receive $1.5 million to create the Advantage Program to enhance advising by providing faculty and staff with the tools they need to conduct early outreach and intervention for students in academic distress.

The University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University will receive $1 million ($250,000 each) to build common student learning outcomes and assessments to increase completion in high demand/high impact gateway undergraduate courses.

Empire State College will receive $400,000 to create a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences, drawing on fields that span the healthcare professions.

Central New York

SUNY Cortland will receive $1 million to scale up the Sharing Technology and Academic Resources-NY Consortium (STAR-NY), a real-time, online tutoring service that is free to students. STAR-NY includes 14 SUNY schools sharing resources and expertise.

SUNY Cortland will receive $240,000 to work with Tompkins Cortland Community College and SUNY Broome to support the transfer path from a two-year to four-year baccalaureate program.

SUNY ESF will receive $190,000 to support new online-enabled STEM-focused programs that will increase overall enrollment and credentialing.

SUNY Oswego will receive $750,000 to begin a three-pronged effort to improve student outcomes in Math, including a Mathematics Learning Success Center, summer bridge program, and technologically-enhanced instruction.

SUNY Oswego and Jefferson Community College will receive $275,000 to support the Start Now program, where students from low-income areas who do not meet freshman admission criteria can enroll in community college and receive various supports from the four-year campus, including a student mentor.

SUNY Upstate will receive $575,000 to establish the SUNY Institute for Precision Cancer Research, Education and Care (IPCREC), which will fuse a patient’s personal data to the cancer treatments in the clinic. Partnering campuses include: SUNY Oswego, Onondaga Community College, and SUNY ESF.

Finger Lakes

SUNY College at Brockport will receive $600,000 to support the creation of an Academic Success Center at the college that will support student retention and completion.

SUNY College at Brockport will receive $200,000 to support an ongoing initiative to identify former students of the college and provide them with new information and access to help them finish their degree.

SUNY College at Brockport and Monroe Community College will receive $600,000 to work with the Rochester EOC to facilitate degree completion among at-risk students in the region.

SUNY Geneseo and Monroe Community College will receive $275,000 to transform their existing Honors program into Honors Transfer Path and enhance services for students.

SUNY Geneseo will receive $200,000 for supplies, equipment, and training associated with the creation of a Critical Language Consortium. Partnering campuses include SUNY College at Brockport and Monroe Community College.

Long Island

Farmingdale State College will receive $1.3 million to launch “Students First & Foremost,” which will accelerate student success rates using a 4π approach: Pickup Tutoring, Pilot Mentoring, Pipeline Advising, and Pivotal Learning.

SUNY Old Westbury will receive $500,000 to support the creation of a digital campus that will use technology to construct digital curricula, transform teaching and learning approaches, build active learning spaces, and automate student-centered business processes.

Stony Brook University will receive $1.75 million to support its goal of increasing the four-year graduation rate for entering freshman to 60 percent by 2020, including an extension of a pilot Finish in Four program that demonstrated 100 percent success in the first year.

The University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University will receive $1 million ($250,000 each) to build common student learning outcomes and assessments to increase completion in high demand/high impact gateway undergraduate courses.

Mohawk Valley

SUNY Cobleskill will receive $110,000 to train faculty and purchase supplies in order to expand the College in High School/Home School program.

SUNY Cobleskill will receive $70,000 to support the development of a Farm and Food Entrepreneurship certificate program and Farm to Plate Camp, a summer program for k-12 students. The SUNY College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University will partner.

SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Cobleskill will receive $350,000 for a “Making Cents” financial literacy program that will help students develop a strong understanding of personal financial management concepts.

SUNY Oneonta will receive $90,000 to enhance its advisement capabilities, including the acquisition and implementation of Early Alert Software.

SUNY Oneonta will receive $20,000 to increase graduate student enrollment, retention, and post-graduate success.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute will receive $450,000 as the lead campus working with Mohawk Valley Community College and SUNY Morrisville to establish a High Impact Learning and Teaching Hub that will advance applied learning opportunities for students.

New York City

Downstate Medical Center and Nassau Community College will receive $375,000 to create a joint Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

SUNY Maritime College will receive $750,000 to expand tutoring services and add a writing center to the Academic Success Center (ASC), and to create a new innovative Sophomore Program for Academic Skills and Success (Sophomore PASS) program for at-risk students in the summer between freshman and sophomore year.

North Country

SUNY Canton will receive $575,000 to expand access to Jump Start, a summer boot-camp style program that provides remedial opportunities for students.

SUNY Canton and Jefferson Community College will receive $500,000 to expand evidence-based interventions that support retention and completion among Veteran students.

Southern Tier

Binghamton University and SUNY Broome will receive $350,000 to increase diversity among STEM graduates by providing intensive research experience to undergraduate students from non-traditional pathways, such as first-generation students and community college transfers.

Binghamton University and SUNY Broome will receive $360,000 to provide college access and support services to help local residents and current students finish their degree. 

The University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University will receive $1 million ($250,000 each) to build common student learning outcomes and assessments to increase completion in high demand/high impact gateway undergraduate courses.

SUNY Delhi will receive $525,000 to create a program that will provide immediate, centralized, and structured advisement throughout the college careers of at-risk students.

Western New York

The University at Albany, Binghamton University, University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University will receive $1 million ($250,000 each) to build common student learning outcomes and assessments to increase completion in high demand/high impact gateway undergraduate courses.

The University at Buffalo will receive $1.75 million to develop innovative skills-based, experiential, and interdisciplinary Advanced Certificate and Master’s degree programs that complement the degrees and skills acquired in Arts and Humanities study and provide students with pathways to employment.

SUNY Fredonia will receive $420,000 to lead a five-campus partnership to analyze course offerings, course capacity, and space utilization. Partnering campuses are College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Dutchess Community College, SUNY Oneonta, and Schenectady Community College.


In addition to the awards above, Chancellor Zimpher announced that SUNY is committed to funding campus proposals in five areas that were common among applicants. They are:

  • Early Alert Software – expanding the use of early alert software, which notifies advisors and faculty when students are falling behind, so that interventions can be made to keep students on track for degree completion.
  • Quantway/Statway Implementation – leveraging a recent $1.8M grant from the Gates foundation, SUNY will invest the remaining funds necessary to make these remedial math pathways available to students across all SUNY campuses interested in participating.
  • Data Collection & Utilization – programs to improve the collection of data by campuses throughout SUNY and to bring uniform student success analytics to scale.
  • North Country Initiatives – programs for which SUNY campuses in the North Country region of the state will collaborate to build stronger connections with the local community.
  • Smart Track Re-Enroll to Complete – more than 25 SUNY campuses will collaborate to proactively engage with students who have withdrawn and encourage them to return and finish their degree.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2014-15, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit bearing courses and programs and nearly 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally-sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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