Statement from SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on President Obama's 2012 State of the Union Address

January 25, 2012

“I applaud President Obama for his continued commitment to better educating Americans, from cradle through career.

“When I met with the President last month, he was focused on tackling the ‘iron triangle’ of higher education – cost, productivity, and access and completion. The higher education initiatives he laid out in his State of the Union Address approach these challenges head on, and are fully in line with how SUNY plans to address them in the coming year.

“President Obama understands that to truly prepare our nation for the workforce of tomorrow, we must make improvements to education at every stage. And those changes must be made by working together.

“At SUNY, we stand ready to support the President’s call. We are working to develop cradle-to-career education networks throughout New York State and have invited K-12 officials to join us in ensuring that students who enter college are well prepared and can graduate on time, ending the need for remedial education. And as the President aims to double the number of work-study jobs in the next five years, SUNY is doing its part. We are bringing 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.

“Like President Obama, we also see that retaining our graduates is critical to the rejuvenation of our economy. SUNY’s partnerships with business and industry provide all students – whether they are born New Yorkers or have sought an American education from overseas – with an incentive to stay in the U.S., build a career here after graduation, and contribute to strengthening our economy.

“Above all, SUNY welcomes the President’s challenge to cut higher education costs. As we continue to identify opportunities for our 64 campuses and central office to share services and to become better stewards of student tuition dollars, we are committed to moving $100 million in administrative costs to instruction and student services over the next five years.

“There is no one answer to our nation’s education challenges, but SUNY looks forward to working with President Obama and the New York State Congressional Delegation to return educational greatness to America’s schools and reinvent America’s workforce for the next 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

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications