Updated 04/27/2010 05:04 PM
Chancellor Unveils Vision for SUNY
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It is a long-range comprehensive plan expected to benefit all New Yorkers. SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher unveiled her vision for the state university system at Monroe Community College Tuesday.
She calls it a plan that will improve the quality of life for all of the state's citizens.
"The State University of New York could and should be the economic engine for the revitalization of New York's economy," Zimpher said in describing her plan.
Entitled "The Power of SUNY," Zimpher believes this comprehensive plan will enhance the quality of life for all state residents in the areas of entrepreneurship, health, education, and energy savings. The plan also includes community revitalization and achieving global distinction for SUNY.
Zimpher said the main focus is economic revitalization.
“A great big public university system, which actually is a growth industry, can bring revenue in from the federal government, can create jobs, create more graduates prepared for those jobs, that is exactly what New York needs,” Zimpher said. “New York needs revenue and we can produce it."
Each SUNY campus will benefit from this comprehensive plan. For MCC, that is expected to include a new downtown Rochester campus.
Renaissance Square was to be the home of MCC's downtown campus before that project fell through. The college is still interested in downtown and looking at a list of properties it hopes to choose from within the year.
MCC President Anne Kress said the downtown campus falls in line with the chancellor's long-term plan.
"When you look at the specific aspects about economic development, about entrepreneurism, and then also as SUNY as a community citizen, I think that's exactly what we're looking at in downtown Rochester is our participation in community revitalization," Kress explained.
Zimpher said her vision will also entice SUNY graduates to stay and work in New York, which is believed to be a plus for businesses looking to stay and others considering relocation to Rochester and other upstate communities.
"One of the things we tout with companies coming into the area or our current companies is the quality of our workforce and the knowledge based economy that we're growing in right now and this is huge for that," said Mark Peterson, president of Greater Rochester Enterprise.
Chancellor Zimpher said SUNY needs the state Legislature's support to implement this plan; however, Zimpher said she won't wait for the Legislature to act before moving forward.
"We are beginning to implement this plan, but we are saying unequivocally the breath, the scope, the ability for us to implement with speed, which is what New York needs depends on this Legislature being a partner with us,” the chancellor said. “The governor gets that; we want the Legislature to get that." State University of New York