Power of SUNY - Year 1

Power of SUNY Year One: 2009-2010

 SUNY at 60

A close examination of the history, accomplishments, and potential of the State University of New York system

SUNY at 60 Book CoverThe State University of New York is America's largest comprehensive public university system, with sixty-four campuses, including community colleges, colleges of technology, university colleges, research universities, medical schools, academic medical  centers, and specialized campuses in fields as diverse as optometry, ceramics, horticulture, fashion, forestry, and maritime training. Despite its reputation for wide access, demanding academic programs, vital public services, and cutting-edge research, little has been written about its fascinating history.

Originating in a lively conference held in the spring of 2009 to mark SUNY's sixtieth anniversary, the book's authors examine SUNY's origins, political landscape, evolving mission, institutional variety, international partnerships, leadership, and more. Taking its place alongside studies of state systems such as those in California, Michigan, and Texas, this book is a long overdue effort to return SUNY to the national conversation about public higher education during the last half century. Edited by a former interim chancellor of the system and two SUNY history professors, and with a foreword by current Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the problems and promise of public higher education in New York State or, indeed, anywhere.

64 Campus Tour


Chancellor Zimpher met with SUNY faculty members, staff, students, alumni groups, affiliate organizations, and community and business leaders during her visits to each of the campuses to begin the strategic planning process. In addition, she met with congressional and legislative representatives, the SUNY Board of Trustees, the SUNY campus presidents and members of the media. The Campus Tour provided the Chancellor and her team with an invaluable perspective on the state of SUNY and an initial understanding of SUNY's most pressing issues and possibilities from the ground up. Information collected from these activities was compiled. Sixteen preliminary themes and several core infrastructure issues emerged to serve as a foundation for the development of the Strategic Plan.

Chancellor's Top 10 | Highlights from the Tour | Tour Map

A map of New York State with SUNY campuses labeled as well as pictures of the Chancellor visiting with students across the state. Statewide Conversations


Group of 200 traveled to eight Town Hall-style meetings across the state. This is a compilation of images from those meetings. ‌To begin the development of the Strategic Plan, SUNY formed a Strategic Planning Steering Committee comprised of campus presidents, staff, students and community members. This Committee prioritized themes and objectives for SUNY's statewide conversations and framed strategic actions necessary to realize the full dimensions of the plan. The Steering Committee regularly provided updates to the Strategic Planning Task Force of the SUNY Board of Trustees.

SUNY conducted eight statewide conversations at regional locations selected to maximize outreach and participation. Sessions were held in New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Delhi, Stony Brook, Plattsburgh and Syracuse. Campus presidents and SUNY affiliates nominated two hundred people to participate in these conversations. These individuals represent a cross section of key SUNY stakeholders and include faculty, system administrators, staff, students, alumni, foundation staff, community leaders and others linked to our campuses. Each day-long conversation had a structured dialogue, organized in a way for participants to consider, evaluate, and prioritize the challenges and opportunities facing SUNY.

In addition, teams of distinguished experts from within and outside of SUNY comprised the working groups. Each working group was assigned a theme or infrastructure issue. These working groups reviewed ideas and suggestions from the stateside conversations, feedback from meetings of the Steering Committee and input from the SUNY campus presidents. In the spring of 2010, the working groups completed reports that provide a high-level summary of SUNY's strengths, capabilities and key challenges it faces, and recommended initiatives by which SUNY can provide transformative solutions to meet these challenges.

You may visit our archived Schedule page for additional information on SUNY's Strategic Planning activities and on the statewide conversations.

Chancellor's Strategic Plan 2010 Presentation (PDF)  /  (txt) 

Launch of the Power of SUNY

In the spring of 2010, SUNY launched its Strategic Plan: The Power of SUNY. In conjunction with SUNY partners and campuses, Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher conducted a series of SUNY Strategic Plan launch events at several locations throughout New York State.


More Strategic Plan launch videos at youtube / generation suny

Picture of the Strategic Plan cover and details of the work that led up to the launch: 11 locations, 93 speakers, 1500 participants, and 27 speeches to stakeholder groups around New York.

Click here to continue to...Year Two: 2010-2011‌