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SUNY Plan Aims at Encouraging Entrepreneurship

April 14, 2010

Associated Press

April 14, 2010

The State University of New York, the nation's largest public university system, has a new roadmap for the future that aims to encourage entrepreneurship that officials say would create jobs and stem an exodus of young New Yorkers.

Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said Tuesday the strategic plan, 10 months in the making, will enable SUNY to help drive New York's economy and create jobs through innovation. She called for an "entrepreneur mindset" and "cradle to career" programs that would connect the 64 campuses to bring new ideas to market.

The plan also calls for revamping teacher education and making it easier for community college students to transfer to SUNY schools.

But how much will the "Power of SUNY" strategic plan cost, when the state's lingering fiscal crisis has prompted two years of cuts to SUNY aid?

"We have the capacity already," Zimpher said in an interview. "Connecting the dots and making the systemwide effort is not, in itself, expensive. It's a different way of doing business."

She said, however, that greater investment by government and through philanthropists would speed her promised results of jobs and other improvements for New York's economy. Accountability measures will show if the benefits are being realized.

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