Statement by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on U.S. Department of Education “Beyond the Box” Guide

May 9, 2016

"I commend the U.S. Department of Education for its leadership on this issue, one that has challenged public universities across the country.

"In our continuing effort to provide all New Yorkers access to a quality, affordable higher education that prepares them for success in college and career, and at the direction of our Board of Trustees, SUNY has also been evaluating its application process with regard to those individuals that have a record with the justice system.

"This federal guidance comes at an ideal time in SUNY's own review, as our system-wide workgroup is finishing its vital consultation with campuses and preparing to bring recommendations to our Board.

"In addition, our system-wide Student Assembly recently passed its own progressive resolution recommending we 'move the box.'

"We look forward to reviewing the ‘Beyond the Box’ guide in full so that we can align SUNY's effort."

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. 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 2023, 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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