New SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher met with members of the local media at the University at Buffalo’s Harriman Hall yesterday to discuss her tour of the Buffalo SUNY campuses.
When asked if she would support UB 2020, Zimpher’s answer was “an unequivocal yes,” saying that she sees the “constancy of the message” coming from UB. She said that the medical research that UB is doing is a great importer of Federal dollars, and that we will “soon see UB at the heart of the city with a medical center.”
Questioned whether she would advocate the Flexibility and Economic Growth Act, a bill brought to the Senate for tuition flexibility, Zimpher said that it was a great idea and an opportunity for UB to manifest its destiny. Though brought to the legislature by UB, she noted that a lot of entities within the SUNY system “think that it would be good for them as well.”
In relationship to how this would impact UB specifically, Zimpher said that those universities and colleges most ready to employ initiatives and implement plans based on readiness to take advantage of them would receive prime consideration.
UB President John B. Simpson introduced Zimpher to the media who had gathered for the briefing, saying that Zimpher “knows the value of the institutions” within the SUNY system. She then shared her impressions of Buffalo.
“This is a whole much greater than the sum of its parts,” Zimpher said. She continued, saying that this tour is her opportunity to say hello, get acquainted with UB’s Simpson and outgoing Buffalo State President Muriel Howard. Most importantly, Zimpher said that her objective is to familiarize herself with the vision held here in order to begin a process of framing the “strategic plan” for the entire SUNY system through context, support and enablement.
Zimpher asked for patience in bringing herself up to speed as chancellor, and said that her overall vision for NYS campus plans will come clearer by spring of 2010. “I’ll also be working on state budget issues and polishing the image of the state system,” she stated.
“Buffalo is an incredibly welcoming community,” Zimpher noted. She said that it was clear to her that Buffalo’s “self concept is well intact – not made up or orchestrated” for the sake of her arrival. She sees that UB in particular is “really working on a plan for the future” along with the immediate plans to find a successor for Muriel Howard at Buffalo State College.
As a region within the state, we certainly have UB President Simpson to thank for bringing Buffalo to the forefront of the SUNY system with his UB 2020 plan.
Top image: Simpson and Zimpher