Monday, April 19, 2010

SUNY Visions Revisited

Last September I did a post on the transformation that is underway in The State University of New York. The SUNY system has been around for more than 60 years. It has grown so large with its 64 campuses, that its power has fallen short of the potential inherent in such a large system. With the launch of a new Strategic Plan for the SUNY system last week, that potential moves much closer to being realized, and it creates some exciting connections for MVCC.

Our new Chancellor, Dr. Nancy Zimpher, has provided necessary and visionary leadership at a critical time. Over the last few months she has facilitated a group of 200 individuals, including our own John Bullis, through productive meetings around the state to understand the various needs faced by society and the manner in which SUNY can best address those needs. The result is a compelling Strategic Plan.

The Plan has six guiding points—“Big Ideas”—by which to frame system initiatives:
• SUNY and the entrepreneurial century
• SUNY and the seamless educational pipeline
• SUNY and a healthier New York
• SUNY and an energy smart New York
• SUNY and the vibrant community
• SUNY and the world

As a famed French author once remarked, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” The six pillars of SUNY’s plan are themselves useful tools for 64 campuses plans to align local initiatives for maximum return on effort. Guided by the direction set forth in this new compelling plan for SUNY, we can leverage the work we do every day here in the Mohawk Valley to help accelerate the collective work to advance SUNY’s overall local, regional, and global goals.

With all 64 campuses focusing their energies in the same direction, with the intent to address significant issues, we will all see a greater return on investment. Each college and university, the system as a whole, and students across the state and right here in the Mohawk Valley will reap the benefits of amplifying a system-wide vision by applying it locally.

Like other SUNY colleges in the Mohawk Valley, we at MVCC are very well positioned to leverage our location, our community’s support, and the initiatives we already have underway. We are committed to doing so in ways that match up with the big ideas of SUNY’s Strategic Plan. In other words, we’re already starting to connect our local dreams and plans with SUNY’s vision for the state system as a whole and this plan serves as a catalyst for that important work.

If we work together, we can adapt and implement SUNY’s plan in creative and bold new ways. We can harbor big dreams and solid plans for our college, our community, and our state. Most of all, we can turn those dreams and plans into local action to the benefit of those we serve. If you have any thoughts on this post, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.