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Executive Budget Testimony by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher

February 10, 2011


Good morning and thank you for having us today. My name is Nancy Zimpher, and I am Chancellor of the State University of New York. 

I want to thank Chairperson John DeFrancisco and Vice Chairperson Owen Johnson, Chairperson Denny Farrell, Chairperson Ken LaValle and Chairperson Deborah Glick, members of the Senate and Assembly, and legislative staff for this opportunity.  

It is a privilege to come before you today on behalf of The State University of New York to comment on the 2011-2012 Executive Budget.

Who We Are

When I first arrived at SUNY in June 2009, I recognized SUNY’s potential to meet the demands of a changing state and a changing world. 

We are the largest system of public higher education in the nation. We have 64 campuses with 468,000 students; a current workforce of 88,000, over 20,000 committed retirees; nearly 8,000 programs of study; and 3 million alumni.  

We are an unparalleled network of teachers, students, scholars, and entrepreneurs that extends into each of New York’s 62 counties, within 30 miles of every New Yorker. We have 160,000 on-line enrollments and another 1.2 million students in continuing education; further, 18,000 students seek a SUNY degree from out-of-state, and another 19,000 students come to SUNY from around the globe.

The boost that SUNY provides New York in economic impact each year is remarkable. For every state dollar received, SUNY generates $8 in total spending. With a statewide economic impact in the billions, SUNY’s role stretches from a convener of the minds to one of the most significant economic engines of our time.  We are not only the most comprehensive higher education system of its kind in the country; we are one of New York’s largest employers.

Of the many conclusions that will be made throughout this budget process, one to me is unwaveringly clear: the past, present, and future of New York State is uniquely tied to its State University. And that’s a partnership we stand willing and able to push to new heights.

Full Testimony


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