Statement from SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on President Obama's 2013 Budget

February 13, 2012

“President Obama’s 2013 budget puts his recent focus on education into action, and is a signal to college and university leaders across the country that now is the time to engage in rebuilding the ways we teach and learn in America.

“It’s especially good news in New York, where SUNY has already begun to partner with K-12 educators and officials, civic and community groups, and leaders in business and industry, to launch programs and initiatives that directly answer the President’s calls for reforming education at its earliest stages by establishing cradle-to-career networks, increasing work-study and paid internship programs, partnering with businesses to meet workforce needs, and keeping college costs in check.

“President Obama’s support for community colleges solidifies their role as the job creators for America’s future. The budget’s $8 billion commitment through the Departments of Education and Labor to support partnerships with business to train, or retrain, the American workforce is precisely the kind of ingenuity we need to remain competitive. SUNY and its 30 community colleges are at the forefront with what we call ‘SUNY Works,’ a program that brings co-operative education to scale, helping students across the SUNY system obtain paid internships and hands-on work experience with local businesses in their field of study.

“We also share the President’s commitment to keeping college affordable. That’s why we advocated for the rational tuition policy now in place, which gives all SUNY students and their families the benefit of knowing what their tuition costs will be through graduation, and assures them that tuition will remain affordable. It’s a policy that we believe to be a model for the nation.

“Finally, we don’t want to play catch up when it comes to educating America’s children. By intervening in education at its earliest stages and working collaboratively with our partners in schools and communities, SUNY is ensuring that more students have access to a college education and that they’re prepared for the coursework when they arrive on campus. With our recent launch of the country’s first rural Strive network and development underway on cradle-to-career networks in three major New York cities, SUNY is certain to play a leadership role in the President’s early education initiatives.

“As the largest comprehensive system of higher education in America, SUNY is primed to be a national leader as public higher education takes center stage. I look forward to working with the President and the New York State Congressional Delegation to return educational greatness to America’s schools and reinvent America’s workforce for today’s—and tomorrow’s—economy.”

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, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2017, more than 430,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served nearly 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2016-17 academic year. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 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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Holly Liapis
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