State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher has chosen Genesee Community College for her first-ever commencement address as SUNY Chancellor, President Stuart Steiner reported to the Board of Trustees this evening. Dr. Zimpher will address Genesee’s Class of 2010 at commencement exercises May 23 at the Batavia Campus Gymnasium.
Dr. Zimpher began serving as SUNY Chancellor in June 2009. In her role, Dr. Zimpher is the Chief Executive Officer of SUNY, providing overall leadership and direction to the 64-campus system. Prior to her arrival at SUNY, she served as President of the University of Cincinnati; Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and Executive Dean of the Professional Colleges and Dean of the College of Education at Ohio State University.
Dr. Zimpher’s first three months in office were marked by a whirlwind tour of the State University’s 64 campuses. During her campus visits, she met campus presidents, trustees and college council members, faculty, staff, and students; observed facilities; and reviewed strengths and opportunities at each campus. Dr. Zimpher is currently spearheading a strategic plan for the State University system, and outlining ways that SUNY can help lead the way to an economic revival in New York State.
Dr. Zimpher began her educational career as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, and over the years became one of the most widely-known educators in the world. She has authored and co-authored numerous books, monographs, and journal articles on a variety of subjects, especially teacher education, urban education, academic leadership, and school/university partnerships. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education and Speech; a master’s degree in English Literature; and a Ph.D. degree in Teacher Education and Higher Education Administration, all from Ohio State University.
Dr. Zimpher is the third SUNY Chancellor to address Genesee graduates in recent years. Former SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan delivered the 2007 commencement address and former Chancellor Robert L. King delivered the 2003 commencement address.
Other recent commencement speakers have included SUNY Distinguished Professor and retired Genesee Professor of Sociology Ruth E. Andes (2009); Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System (2008); former U.S. Senator and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2006); and Olympic Medalist Abby A. Wambach (2005).
Dr. Steiner said that the new SUNY Chancellor is attentive to the needs of community colleges and appreciates the role they play in higher education today. “She has moved quickly to encompass the needs of community colleges within SUNY,” Dr. Steiner said. “She has already initiated plans to make transfers to baccalaureate colleges more seamless for community college students, she has worked closely with the community college president’s council, and I am sure community colleges will play a key part in the new SUNY strategic plan. She is approaching her role with a lot of energy. I am delighted that she accepted our invitation, and accepted it so rapidly.”