Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York, offered ideas on how to exercise leadership in a difficult economic climate spoke at a policy forum at the Steinhardrt School on November 11th. The event, co-sponsored by the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy and the NYU’s College of Arts and Science, was attended by graduate students and faculty from the Steinhardt School’s higher education program, as well as faculty and administrators from local SUNY and CUNY campuses.
Zimpher spoke about how she developed The Power of SUNY, a strategic plan for the largest public higher education system in the nation. She described the economic return on investment of public higher education and how SUNY can revitalize the state’s economy and help to fix the leaking “college-to-work pipeline.”
During a question and answer period, Zimpher addressed some of SUNY’s political challenges. As an example, she sited the complexity of negotiating with the state legislature to allow greater flexibility in setting tuition rates. At the end of the discussion, a SUNY alumna and mother of a college student implored Zimpher to continue to advocate for the adequate funding of public higher education because of the vital role that SUNY and other public higher education systems play in providing educational and advancement opportunities.
Photo: Nancy Zimpher (provided by the State University of New York).