SUNY Chancellor Visits SUNY Cortland and Cayuga Community College

February 14, 2019

Continues Statewide Tour of Campuses with 55th and 56th Stops

Meets with Students and Faculty to Promote Increase in Faculty Diversity and Boost Enrollment and Retention Rates

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today visited SUNY Cortland and Cayuga Community College as she continued her statewide tour of SUNY’s 64 campuses. At each stop, Chancellor Johnson promoted key initiatives to increase faculty diversity and boost student retention rates. 

"These tours give me the opportunity to listen to the concerns of students and faculty while relaying our deep commitment to deliver on increasing faculty diversity, boosting enrollment, and encouraging more students to complete their degrees," Chancellor Johnson said. "These priorities are critically important to strengthening each of our campuses and communities throughout the entire SUNY system." 

Chancellor Johnson’s visits included meetings with campus leadership, faculty, staff, and students. The visits offered the opportunity for candid discussion and feedback on campus and system wide initiatives. Today’s visits focused on key SUNY system priorities, including plans to hire 1,000 underrepresented minorities and women in STEM to join SUNY faculty by 2030. Conversations also centered on efforts to promote new programs to increase retention and on-time graduation rates, such as Excelsior Scholarships. 

Chancellor Johnson helped the SUNY Cortland community celebrate the 150th anniversary of the campus’s founding at a reception. The campus is known for its President’s Council on Inclusive Excellence, which focuses on the recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented backgrounds. Cortland’s Peer2Peer Mentor Program and Academic Support and Achievement Program are also highly regarded successes.

In addition to her conversations on promoting faculty diversity and enhancing enrollment, Chancellor Johnson spent time with students in SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Program, which provides access, academic support, and supplemental financial assistance to students from disadvantaged populations. 

"SUNY Cortland wants all of its students to succeed, regardless of their backgrounds or individual challenges," SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum said. "We are grateful for Chancellor Johnson’s shared commitment to this goal and her support for programs and initiatives that help students reach their full potential."

Cayuga Community College created the Student Success Advocate Program in 2014 to help students transition to and succeed in college. The program’s early success on the persistence rates of first-time students served as a catalyst to expand the program and its services. Student Success Advocates meet with students throughout the year and refer them to on and off campus resources as needed, including Cayuga’s Center for Academic Success (CAS). The CAS offers multiple levels of tutorial support and testing services, as well as accommodations for students with documented disabilities, and has made a measurable impact on student success.

"I am grateful to the Chancellor for the opportunity to talk about Cayuga Community College, and to highlight the efforts of the faculty, staff, and students who work each day to help our students achieve their goals," said Dr. Brian Durant, President of Cayuga Community College. 

While visiting both campuses, Chancellor Johnson spoke to students, faculty, and staff about initiatives outlined recently in her State of the University address. A link to the Chancellor Johnson’s 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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