SUNY Announces Dynamic Final Agenda for SUNYCON 2015

October 15, 2015

Chancellor Zimpher Announces Alan Alda as Luncheon Keynote Speaker, Closing Panel to Include Donna Shalala, Chris Hughes, Admiral William McRaven, & Kenneth Daly

Industry Leaders To Explore “A New Business Model for the Academy” October 29-30 in NYC

New York City – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced the final, dynamic agenda for SUNYCON 2015, the university system’s fifth annual “Critical Issues in Higher Education” conference. During this national conversation, to be held in New York City on October 29th & 30th, thought leaders in higher education, business, and philanthropy will consider the theme: Building a New Business Model for the Academy: Partnerships, Affiliations, Mergers & Acquisitions.

Acclaimed actor, director, writer, and Stony Brook University Visiting Professor Alan Alda will deliver the luncheon keynote address on the first day of the event. Alda has a lifelong passion for science and is the founding member of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. His work educating scientists by using innovative communication methods is reinventing how scientific research is shared with the public. Alda’s will be an inspiring voice as SUNY re-imagines a higher education sector that is not just sustainable, but thriving.

To close the conference, a panel featuring distinguished business and higher education leaders will discuss their experiences in creating new business models and the prospects for new, transformational approaches that could benefit higher education. The panel will be moderated by NY1 Journalist Errol Louis and include Chancellor Zimpher as well as Kenneth Daly, President, National Grid New York; Chris Hughes, Publisher & Executive Chairman, New Republic; Admiral William McRaven (Ret.), Chancellor, University of Texas System; and Donna Shalala, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Clinton Foundation.

The complete agenda is available online and includes speaking appearances from Ted Mitchell, U.S. Under Secretary for Education; Marissa Shorenstein, AT&T President for New York; Jim Malatras, Director of State Operations for Governor Cuomo; Stan Litow, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs; as well as leaders and representatives from university systems throughout the country and many more.

SUNY previously announced John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, as the opening keynote speaker; and an all-star media panel featuring some of the most distinguished journalists in the country scheduled for the first day of SUNYCON 2015. The panelwill be moderated by Al Roker, proud SUNY Oswego alum and host and weatherman of NBC's Today Show. He will be joined by David Leonhardt of The New York Times, Nirvi Shah of POLITICO, Doug Lederman of Inside Higher Ed, and Liz Benjamin of Time Warner Cable News.

SUNYCON 2015 is OPEN PRESS and will be held as follows:

Date:         Thursday – Friday, Oct. 29-30
Agenda:     Available Online

Location:   The Times Center
                 242 West 41st Street
                 New York, NY
Twitter:     @SUNY; #SUNYCON

RSVP: Media planning to attend any part of the conference should contact to register for credentials. 

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

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications