Chancellor Johnson calls for doubling research, innovation across SUNY
SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson’s vision for the future of the State University of New York involves innovation and entrepreneurship, individualized education, sustainability, and strategic partnerships. Formed following her travels across the state to meet the students, faculty, and leadership at SUNY campuses, the themes mark a new era of leadership for SUNY, Johnson said in In her first State of the University System address .
Johnson—an energy expert, researcher, entrepreneur and educator—called for a doubling of research and innovation across the SUNY system in the next decade.
“In terms of education and research, the boundaries between disciplines are disappearing,” she said. “For SUNY to be a leader in this next century and realize the potential of artificial and augmented intelligence, we need to increase the cross-disciplinary research, scholarly work, and outreach we do.”
This goal will be achieved in part by expanding student opportunities and internships in emerging fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, data analytics, and their applications to education and healthcare, and by making targeted investments in research and faculty development.
The other pillars of her vision for the school system include an effort to continue to build a more individualized SUNY experience, with a strengthened commitment to ensure every student is given the tools, support, and safety needed to complete education. A sustainable SUNY with a goal to source 100 percent of SUNY’s electricity from zero-net carbon sources as soon as possible, is also a part of Johnson’s plan. She announced a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to support eligible SUNY campuses to develop energy master plans and provide access to on-site energy managers who can identify areas for improvement, engage in strategic planning and feasibility studies, and implement changes to achieve greater sustainability all across SUNY.
Finally, Johnson urged an increase in strategic partnerships with state, national, and international organizations to broaden SUNY’s reach and impact. In support of this aim, she announced a new collaboration with Empire State Development and four venture capital funds selected to administer the Innovation Technology Commercialization Investment Funds—an $8 million pool of capital that invests in high-growth potential, pre-seed stage firms.
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state.