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SUNY chancellor highlights shared services at first regional summit

CORTLAND – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher hosted the first in a series of regional discussions, at SUNY Cortland, highlighting successful shared services initiatives at work across the university system’s 64 campuses, and giving campuses a forum to share best practices and explore new opportunities.

“By sharing services with other campuses in the region over the past year, every SUNY college and university in New York has put itself in a better position to do more for its students,” said Chancellor Zimpher. ““From sharing online tutoring programs and clinical training facilities to collaborating on purchases and course offerings, SUNY campuses in Central New York have embraced this initiative with commendable action.”

Since launching its shared services initiative in August 2011, SUNY campuses have partnered to generate a net savings of more than $20 million, which are being reinvested in expanding academic and student services such as increasing course offerings, hiring more full-time faculty, and supporting on-time degree completion.

Examples of shared service initiatives highlighted at the summit include:

  • STAR-NY, an online tutoring program that links SUNY Cortland, SUNY Delhi, University of Buffalo, Tompkins-Cortland Community College, Alfred State, SUNY Oswego, and SUNY Ulster, enabling students to have access to tutors at any of those campuses.
  • A pilot program between SUNY Cortland and Upstate Medical University in which the observation rooms and program SUNY Upstate uses to train prospective doctors in communicating with patients are made available to SUNY Cortland for training prospective teachers on how to deal with difficult interactions with parents or struggling students.
  • A joint offering of foreign language courses between SUNY Cortland and TC3, piloted last fall with Arabic 101, in which campuses split the cost of one instructor and offer the course to students at both campuses via video.
  • SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Cobleskill have collaborated on a pilot project to reduce reliance on external printing vendors. SUNY Cobleskill has begun submitting selected print orders to SUNY Oneonta's print shop, increasing the work volume there, while lowering the cost of production.
  • Broome and Cayuga Community Colleges have convened SUNY Engine (Education Network to Grown Innovation and Entrepreneurship), a group of 11 SUNY colleges and other partners to pool resources and share best practices to support campus entrepreneurs.
  • The expansion of The SUNY Wellness Challenge, a uniquely engaging faculty and staff wellness program created by Cayuga Community College, to SUNY Cortland and Onondaga Community College.
  • SUNY Delhi and TC3 have launched a partnership to facilitate baccalaureate degree attainment, using a combination of face-to-face and distance learning courses.
  • Onondaga and Broome Community Colleges developed a partnership to jointly provide the required coursework to train Clinical Laboratory Technicians and Histological Technicians. Onondaga students now take their required liberal arts courses at Onondaga and the discipline-specific courses online with Broome, for example.
  • A memorandum of understanding between SUNY Oswego and SUNY ESF articulating a process for facilitating admission of ESF undergraduates into graduate-level initial teacher certification programs in biology and chemistry at Oswego.
  • Binghamton University is leading an effort in cooperation with System Administration that will increase the efficiency of the SUNY Business Intelligence (BI) system.
  • Binghamton University, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Delhi, and SUNY Morrisville have developed a shared collection agency contract.
  • The Binghamton Advantage Program is a unique joint admissions program between Broome Community College and Binghamton University in which Broome students can live on the BU campus, participate in student life, involvement, and other campus activities while taking courses at Broome for one or two years.

Today’s event included representatives from Binghamton University, Broome Community College Cayuga Community College, SUNY Cortland, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Onondaga Community College, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, Tompkins-Cortland Community College, and Upstate Medical University.