Chancellor Johnson Delivers Third Annual 2020 State of the University System Address Providing a Report on the Largest Higher Education System in the Nation

January 23, 2020

Reports on the Four Pillars of Her Vision for SUNY Detailing the Launch and Expansion of Key Programs

Outlines a Path to “Absolute Inclusivity” to Make Higher Education Universal in New York State

Launches New Graduate Research Fellowship

Albany – In her third State of the University System Address, State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson delivered a report on the four pillars of her vision for SUNY that provided details on the launch and expansion of key initiatives. At the same time, Chancellor Johnson offered a forecast of New York State educational needs outlining a path to “absolute inclusivity” to make higher education universal in New York State.

SUNY Chancellor Johnson said, “Because we have such an affordable and comprehensive system of public higher education, with strong support from the Governor and the legislature, New York State is ready for the revolution taking place in the world of work, offering a path to high-skilled jobs and better lives to New Yorkers of all backgrounds.”

Chancellor Johnson highlighted progress toward her vision for SUNY, including her four strategic themes of Individualized Learning, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, and Partnership. Key results include:

Individualized Learning

  • SUNY Achieve was launched at 27 campuses. During the first four semesters 7,676 student benefitted, which will grow to 22,000 students by 2023, SUNY’s 75th Anniversary.
  • SUNY Online was piloted in Fall 2019 with 20 new degree programs and more than 100 high-quality microcredentials at 10 SUNY campuses.
  • Open Education Resources expanded and has now generated $47 million in savings to SUNY students through nearly 15,000 courses at 59 campuses.
  • Re-Enroll to Complete was expanded from 2018 to 2019 to include 52 campuses. From August to October 2019, 30 percent more students returned as a result of the program, for a total of 8,353 re-enrolled.
  • PRODiG has received 100 percent participation from SUNY’s doctoral universities and comprehensive colleges. To date, 74 women in stem fields and underrepresented minority faculty were hired in the first six months.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Chancellor Johnson set a goal of doubling research.

  • In 2019, SUNY exceeded $1.7 billion, and sponsored research funding was up $136 million from the prior year.
  • SUNY announced a partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory to launch an open innovation campus at Griffiss International Airport focused on quantum computing.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy selected Brookhaven National Laboratory, co-managed with SUNY’s Stony Brook campus, as the host of the multi-billion dollar electron-ion collider, which will accelerate work and access to nuclear physics.
  • During the year, 18 faculty earned the National Science Foundation Career Award.
  • SUNY will lead a $41 million Offshore Wind Consortium in partnership with New York State Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy.


  • SUNY has reduced its greenhouse gases to 39 percent. By SUNY’s 75th anniversary in 2023, the system will be ahead of Governor Cuomo’s 2030 deadline.
  • SUNY is also realizing savings from strategic measures including: $1.5 million in wholesale electricity savings, cuts in managed print by $25 million, and $89 million savings from dormitory debt refinancing.


  • New York State public and private partnership has led to $5 billion investment in research and development.
  • SUNY and Applied Materials opened a $600 million materials engineering accelerator.
  • Cree Inc will invest $1 billion and build the largest silicon carbide integrated circuit fabrication plant at SUNY Nanocenter in Marcy, NY and create over 600 jobs. 

SUNY Launches New Graduate Research Fellowships

As Chancellor Johnson acknowledged the future economic needs of New York State, she reaffirmed her commitment to encouraging more top students to go on to earn their graduate degrees. Her donation of $1 million with wife Veronica Meinhard to the SUNY Impact Foundation will grow graduate fellowships. SUNY Impact Foundation will administer the fellowship program for SUNY doctoral candidates.

For more information about the SUNY Impact Foundation visit

A link to Chancellor Johnson’s full State of the University System Address can be found here.

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, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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