Chancellor Zimpher Named to National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

September 20, 2016

Aspen Institute Convenes Educators, Policy-Makers, & Researchers To Broaden K-12 Focus

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher has been appointed to the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, convened by Aspen Institute to broaden K-12 focus beyond academic achievement. The Commission will develop ways to fully integrate social, emotional, and academic development into K-12 education so that students are better prepared to thrive in school, career, and life.

"Today’s social and economic landscape demands that leaders from every sector work more closely together to serve the whole student, from cradle to career," said Chancellor Zimpher. "It is our collective responsibility – that of our schools, colleges, business, governments, and communities – to get this right. I am honored to serve on the Commission and to share what we have learned in New York and nationally about the astounding impact that this approach to education can have on students, families, and communities."

In more than 40 years as an education professional, Chancellor Zimpher has attained international recognition for her visionary institutional and community leadership. She has led three major public research universities throughout her career and, as chancellor of SUNY, is the chief executive of the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the country.

Throughout her career, Chancellor Zimpher has lifted up the power of higher education as an economic engine; spearheaded community initiatives that improve education outcomes from cradle to career; helped set higher standards for clinical teacher preparation; and developed initiatives that ensure student mobility, shorten time-to-degree, reduce student debt, and drive efficiency.

In partnership with StriveTogether, a national organization co-founded by Chancellor Zimpher, SUNY now supports seven community partnerships across New York in an effort to mend the state’s education pipeline and support youth as they prepare for college and career.

In addition to Chancellor Zimpher, the commission includes leaders in education, government, business, and research. It will be co-chaired by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute; Former Michigan Governor John Engler, President, Business Roundtable; and Dr. Tim Shriver, Co-Founder and Chair, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), and Chairman, Special Olympics.

A complete member listing is available online.

About the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The National Commission is uniting leaders to fully integrate social, emotional, and academic development in K-12 education so that all students are prepared to thrive in school, career, and life. The Commission was formed in response to growing policy momentum, advances in research, and increasingly urgent demand. After intensive engagement, learning, and deliberation, the Commission will identify specific action steps in research, practice, and policy. For more information, visit or follow the Commission on Twitter at @AspenSEAD.

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas. The Institute is based in Washington, DC and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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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