Statement from Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on MaryEllen Elia’s Appointment as Education Commissioner

May 26, 2015

"Having attended two SUNY institutions before embarking on her successful teaching career, MaryEllen Elia is familiar with the immense value of a New York State education, and her appointment as commissioner comes at an opportune time for the State's teachers, parents, and students alike.

"I look forward to working with Commissioner Elia as the collaboration between SUNY and the Education Department continues to strengthen the education pipeline through improved teacher education, implementation of the common core, and expanded cradle-to-career partnerships in our communities.

"On behalf of my colleagues across SUNY, congratulations Commissioner Elia. We are proud to welcome a SUNY alum back to education in New York State."

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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