Chancellor Zimpher Urges All New Yorkers to “Stand With SUNY” in Annual State of the University Address

January 11, 2016

Systemness & Data will Continue to Drive SUNY’s Performance, Increase Completion

2016 Will Include Comprehensive Data Analytics, Internship Matching Tool for Students and Employers, Open SUNY 2.0

Albany – Delivering her sixth annual State of the University Address today in Albany, Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher urged all New Yorkers to “Stand with SUNY” as the university system continues to let systemness and data drive its performance in service to students, faculty, staff, and the State of New York.

“Systemness—working together toward shared goals with shared vision—is the only way to ensure that higher education in the 21st century is doing its job,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “That we are truly preparing students for work and for life. That we’re making sure they finish school with the right skills and knowledge. That they are equipped to be critical thinkers, good decision makers, creators, and communicators. That they can be leaders.”

A transcript of the speech is available online.

“Chancellor Zimpher’s vision for SUNY and its ‘systemness’ has far exceeded our expectations. SUNY’s amazing progress in recent years to become New York State’s greatest economic asset and the nation’s premier, most inclusive system of public higher education is evidence of that,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “As I have come to do every January, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board to keep SUNY’s momentum moving forward and implementing new initiatives to increase access, completion, and success for our students.”

Under Chancellor Zimpher’s leadership since 2009 and through the implementation of its strategic plan, SUNY has identified the evidence-based programs and initiatives that are most effective in increasing access, completion, and success for students. As the university system continues to implement a Completion Agenda that aims to award 150,000 degrees annually by 2020 through the scale up of these programs, Chancellor Zimpher said that SUNY’s commitment to data as the driving force behind its performance is unwavering.

“There is no other system like SUNY, in scale, scope, and opportunity,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Maximizing our data capabilities will lead to discoveries that transform public higher education and research in New York, across the country and the world.

“This is what you get when you Stand with SUNY,” she said, highlighting milestone achievements from the past year including landmark new policies to ensure seamless transfer and diversity as well as enhanced degree auditing and financial planning services for students, and advancements in research and business development as an economic driver for New York. “We are methodically figuring out what works, and we know how to grow the best ideas so they reach every single student.”

Chancellor Zimpher introduced several new initiatives for SUNY in 2016, including:

  • SUNY Path, Predictive Analytics Transforming Higher Education, which will aim to be the most comprehensive set of data analytics on teaching and learning in the world. The goal of SUNY Path will be to identify at-risk students and guide them to the supports and interventions that will keep them on track toward completing their degree. The tool will also be used to enrich SUNY’s diversity, measure and strengthen its economic impact, and inform its reinvention of teacher preparation.
  • InternShop,a cutting-edge database that matches employers with prospective student interns who meet their expressed criteria. InternShop is the result of an historic SUNY alliance with the The New York State Business Council, and was created with the help of Accenture It will be offered exclusively to SUNY students and Business Council member companies for the Spring 2016 semester.
  • Open SUNY 2.0, which will take the university system’s signature online teaching and learning initiative to the next level. Open SUNY 2.0 will go beyond traditional degree and certificate programs to meet the evolving needs of students and employers, offering new strategies such as prior learning assessment, adaptive learning platforms, competency-based education, and stackable micro-credentials that can be recognized for credit.

“We are intent on ensuring that every student’s college experience is meaningful and useful,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Every program we are bringing to scale is riveted on ensuring that every student has the chance to succeed. Maybe a college degree won’t be the end game for everyone, but it can’t be for lack of opportunity, and it’s certainly not going to be for lack of our trying to get it right. This is the responsibility of public higher education in 2016 and 2017 and 2030 and 2050. And it is what SUNY will keep doing—innovating and adapting to reach every student and give him or her the chance to succeed.”

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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