SUNY Board of Trustees Appoints Nancy L. Zimpher as Chancellor Emeritus

June 21, 2017

Albany – The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher as chancellor emeritus in recognition of her eight years of dedicated service and continuing partnership with SUNY. This is only the fifth time in SUNY’s history that the title has been conferred, and the first time the appointment immediately follows a chancellor’s active tenure.

In addition, the Board named the large courtroom at SUNY Plaza the “Nancy L. Zimpher Boardroom” and released a commemorative video in which cross-sector leaders in education, business, government, and the media discuss the impact of Chancellor Zimpher’s career and leadership.

“From her first days as chancellor as she completed her signature 64-campus tour, Nancy has always recognized the inherent strengths within SUNY and helped to bring them out for all to see,” said Chairman H. Carl McCall. “Nancy’s leadership has elevated our university system to unprecedented heights of academic and research excellence, student and faculty service, community engagement, and economic development. Her tenure will have a lasting impact on SUNY, New York State, and all those we serve.”

“Serving as SUNY chancellor has been a highlight of my career, and there is no system whose name I would more proudly carry in an emeritus title,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “I am deeply honored and grateful to the Board for today’s recognitions. Indeed, none of what we have accomplished together would have been possible without the Board’s consistent and unwavering dedication to the students, faculty, staff, and communities that SUNY serves across New York State and around the globe.”

Watch the commemorative video:

About Chancellor Zimpher

Chancellor Zimpher is among the most in-demand thought-leaders in higher education in the United States and around the world. Since 2009, she has served as the 12th SUNY chancellor, following distinguished service as president of the University of Cincinnati, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of the College of Education at The Ohio State University.

Throughout a more than 40-year career in education, Chancellor Zimpher has formed a paradigm-shifting vision that rises to meet the expansive responsibilities of public higher education in the 21st century. “To educate more people and educate them better” is the mantra at the center of her collective-impact theory of action, which she exercises in several key areas, including building on university strengths to drive regional and local economic development; creating seamless cradle-to-career education pipelines within communities; and systemically transforming teacher education into a rigorous clinical practice that reliably creates excellent teachers for every classroom and student.

Chancellor Zimpher is co-founder and current chair of StriveTogether, a national network of innovative partnerships that holistically address challenges across the education pipeline. Concurrent with her role at SUNY, Chancellor Zimpher served as chair of the National Association of System Heads from 2014–2017, the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences from 2011–2016, and CEOs for Cities from 2012–2013, and led the national Coalition of Urban Serving Universities from 2005–2011.

In Chancellor Zimpher’s eight years at the helm of SUNY, she developed and led a diverse set of initiatives that transformed the system from a loose constellation of 64 campuses into a focused, cohesive whole. Through the disciplined cultivation of its “systemness” under Chancellor Zimpher’s vision and leadership, SUNY implemented groundbreaking new policies that expand college access and affordability; improve degree completion; promote diversity; ensure equity; support world-class teaching, research, and innovation; and much more.

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. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves throughout the year about 1.4 million students in 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 exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are 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 opportunity, visit

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