Chancellor Zimpher: SUNY Makes History in Cuba

April 24, 2015

Albany – In a post for the State University of New York’s Big Ideas Blog today, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher reflects on her recent trip to Cuba, which was highlighted by a visit with University at Albany students studying abroad.

New York’s trade mission, led by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, is the first to take place following President Barack Obama’s announcement of new policies to re-establish diplomatic ties, expand travel, and increase business relationships between the U.S. and Cuba.

There are some opportunities that cause one to pause – even just for a moment – to appreciate that you are a part of something historic,” Chancellor Zimpher writes. “I remain honored to have had the privilege to accompany the Governor on this trade mission, to represent the first American university system to extend an olive branch to this country under President Obama’s new policies. SUNY will take this responsibility to heart, and hopefully help to lead the way to a vibrant exchange of knowledge and ideas between our people.”

Chancellor Zimpher’s entire blog, “SUNY Makes History in Cuba,” can be read online.

As a result of the visit, SUNY and the University of Havana will develop a Memorandum of Understanding to outline their collaboration and partnership moving forward, and SUNY will create a Cuba Lecture Series to benefit students from both universities.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, 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 2022, 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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Holly Liapis
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