Washington, D.C. – State
University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher met with key federal
legislators in Washington earlier this week to bring greater attention to the
multifaceted role that urban universities play in leading economic development
and community revitalization efforts in their communities.
The meetings were part of a
two-day annual conference of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, a
membership organization of 46 universities committed to improving their local metropolitan
regions. Chancellor Zimpher, who serves as chairwoman of the Coalition, worked
with her colleagues to raise visibility and awareness for the Urban University
Renaissance Act of the 21st Century, a new piece of education
The bill, introduced by
Congressman David Wu, D-Ore., would benefit universities across the country
located in major urban centers, as well as their communities.
“Through meeting with our
legislators, we solidified support for the Act from multiple partners,” said
Chancellor Zimpher. “We have strengthened our ability as a coalition to make
the case for the revitalization of America’s cities, with our urban
universities serving as the anchors of these efforts.”
The two-day event also
included a reception on Capitol Hill with several legislators who support
education, including Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., and Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y.
“We want to make the federal
government a relevant partner in helping your universities tackle the urgent
challenges facing our urban areas,” said Rep. Fattah. “This couldn’t have
happened without the great leadership role that Nancy Zimpher is providing not
just in New York, but to urban serving universities nationwide.”
Senior White House staffers,
including David Agnew, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Derek
Douglas, Special Assistant to the President on Urban Policy, also met with
Chancellor Zimpher and other coalition members. During their talks, they
emphasized how closely aligned the work of urban serving universities is
aligned with White House economic and urban revitalization initiatives.
“We don’t have to convince
the administration that cities and their universities are instrumental in
meeting our economic and educational goals,” said Agnew. “Creative local
leaders like you all have proven that it can be done.”
To provide tangible examples
of the innovative efforts urban serving universities are leading, the Coalition
also released its original research paper, Urban Universities: Anchors
Generating Prosperity for America’s Cities. The paper provides an overview
of the progress and impact of the initiatives USU members are leading in their
The mission of USU aligns
with SUNY’s new strategic plan, The Power of SUNY, which has as its goal
the economic revitalization of the state and improving the quality of life for
its citizens. To learn more about the plan and one of its six big ideas, “SUNY
and the Vibrant Community,” click here.
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 465,000 students in 7,351 degree and certificate programs
on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu
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