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, 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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