Monday, September 14, 2009

SUNY Visions

This weekend I attended the New York Community College Trustees Association Fall Institute in Albany. The keynote was delivered by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. When the Chancellor visited our Utica Campus June 5th, as the first community college visit and second overall of her sixty four campus tour, she openly shared her leadership philosophy, that "vision is critical for good leadership; vision should be created at the hands of many and, most importantly; bold action must be taken to bring that vision to life.” Her energy, intelligence, and warmth was inspiring.

Three months later, Dr. Zimpher has made good on her word and completed her tour of all 64 campuses, where she listened to the needs and perspective of each campus - collecting input for a new strategic plan for the State University of New York. Her next steps will be to conduct regional meetings, with the support of a statewide committee of 200 constituents. By the end of next spring the plan is to synthesize a voluminous amount input into a clear set of strategic goals to drive the plan. You can see just how much the Chancellor welcomes input into this process by reviewing the Chancellor's Corner on the SUNY website http://www.suny.edu/chancellor/.

A comprehensive strategic plan for the University will clearly define priorities, coordinate and focus the collective energy of the 64 campuses, and elevate the system to new heights. Dr. Zimpher likes to highlight what she calls the New York trifecta of public higher education in the SUNY system - education that is *high quality, *accessible, and *affordable. Everytime I've spoken with Dr. Zimpher and everytime I've heard her speak, I get excited about the emerging vision for SUNY and even more excited about the possibilities of actually leveraging the strengths of the largest, most diverse university system in the country to the benefit of our country, our state, and the local communities we serve.

MVCC has so many exciting things happening, it would be great if we could amplify our efforts as part of a more focused and significant University system. With Chancellor Zimpher leading the way, I have a renewed sense of hope for the potential of the SUNY system and I hope you do as well. If you have any thoughts about the Chancellor's planning process and the bright future of SUNY, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.