Statement by SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson on Elizabeth Capaldi Phillips

September 30, 2017

"The recent passing of Elizabeth Capaldi Phillips is felt deeply throughout The State University of New York, where Betty’s leadership will leave a significant and lasting impact on our students, faculty, staff, and alumni for many years to come.

"Serving in several capacities, including provost, at the University at Buffalo, and later as vice chancellor and chief of staff at SUNY system, Betty pioneered the creation of a Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, which continues to be a major contributor to SUNY’s education, research, and workforce development portfolios. She also started us on the important paths toward seamless transfer for students and using performance data to improve graduation rates.

"Betty did all of this for SUNY with the strong sense of purpose and seemingly endless energy she was known for throughout an esteemed career in higher education. Our thoughts and prayers are with Betty’s husband Win and their family during this difficult time."

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 state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 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 2021, 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 opportunity, visit

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