Tuesday, December 6, 2011


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SUNY head in DC for talks on affordable higher education

WASHINGTON – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher joined President Barack Obama, Secretary for Education Arne Duncan, and senior White House officials today for a roundtable discussion on affordability and productivity in higher education.

Chancellor Zimpher was invited to the White House as part of a small group of college presidents and higher education thought leaders across the country to engage directly with President Obama in a candid conversation designed to explore how America can best restore its leadership in higher education attainment by removing barriers to college access, affordability, and success for students. 

“Today’s discussion with the President and with my colleagues in higher education has been enlightening, rejuvenating, and very productive,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “President Obama has a clear focus on improving education in America while maintaining college affordability for students in today’s economy. It has been my absolute pleasure to engage with him and his administration about the current state of our education system and the directions it can and should take to achieve these goals in the future.”

The discussion explored constructive solutions designed to bring down overall campus costs in an effort to make college more affordable for everyone. Chancellor Zimpher and the other participants were asked to share perspectives and best practices on enhancing productivity, advancing access and attainment, and leading change at institutions of higher education – all in an effort to ease the financial burden placed on students so that more Americans can attend and graduate from college.

Chancellor Zimpher highlighted SUNY’s plan for shared services among campuses within the system, which will expand academic resources and course availability for students while increasing efficiency within the SUNY system; the rational tuition plan included in Governor Cuomo’s NY SUNY 2020 legislation, which makes the cost of education predictable for students; the SUNY Works co-operative education model as a solution to the burden of debt experienced by college students; and SUNY’s work to establish cradle-to-career networks in communities across New York that will improve the academic success of students at every stage of their education, reducing the need for costly remediation programs.