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McBee Lecturer Calls for Fundamental Reforms to Aid Academia, Nation

A nationally recognized leader in education, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is known as an effective agent of change. President Michael Adams affirmed this statement in his introduction when he said she was “one of America’s truly great academic leaders . . . and she is at the forefront of many issues we are facing today [in higher education].” Transporting her leadership style from the University of Cincinnati to SUNY, she has introduced a new set of initiatives called the Power of SUNY, while also leading the way for groundbreaking legislative reforms. Zimpher believes that we desperately need ambitious institutional transformation. In her presentation, Dr. Zimpher gave her recipe for “a 5-way approach to the perils that are plaguing public higher education in tough academic times.”

Institutional transformation: Vision trumps everything and is derived at the hands of many.

Assessment and accountability are cornerstones.

    Anchor institutions are “sticky” capital: “The reciprocal relationship between our universities and our communities is the life blood of economic revitalization for our country.”

    Sealing the leaky education pipeline: “We have to ‘shake it up’ with business and industry and get more faculty working with more responsibility for the education pipeline.”

Access and the talent dividend.

Student mobility: ( e.g., transferring course credits between institutions more easily).

 New technologies for teaching and learning: “We have a long way to go in integrating innovative instructional technologies into our work.”

In closing, Dr. Zimpher shared her belief about education with a quote by David Leonhardt (New York Times), “It helps society leverage every other investment it makes. Educating more people and educating them better appears to be the best, single bet that a society can make.”

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