State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher will swing through the north country this week as part of her summer-long tour of the college system's 64 campuses.
"I think we're her 30th campus. So just trying to get her to remember us is going to be a heavy lift. If she just remembers that we're a creative, innovative college, I'll be a happy person," said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy.
She will visit SUNY Canton on Monday. The college plans to introduce Ms. Zimpher to more than 80 international students and faculty members who are visiting over the summer from Russia, China and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They will take a tour of the growing campus, including the $39.5 million Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center under construction and renovated residence halls and labs in Nevaldine Technology Center and Wicks Hall.
"One thing we're not going to do is focus on a tour. She knows what a college classroom looks like. We really wish to focus on where we are programmatically and philosophically and where we're going — not necessarily the 'gee whiz' things you might show a prospective student," Mr. Kennedy said. "We're lucky, because we're not bound by the traditions of traditional colleges."
Ms. Zimpher will continue her tour with a trip to Jefferson Community College, Watertown, on Tuesday, SUNY spokesman David M. Henahan said.
The chancellor will head to SUNY Potsdam on Wednesday, when the college hopes to emphasize its ties to the arts and education.
She will tour the Literacy Center and the Gibson Gallery's art collections and talk with students and faculty about SUNY Potsdam's first-year program Adirondack interest group, college spokeswoman Deidre L. Kelly said. The chancellor will preview plans for the $55 million Performing Arts Building.
Ms. Zimpher will be treated to a theater and dance performance in Satterlee Hall and a short concert of musical selections at the Crane School of Music, Ms. Kelly said.
"Our campus is one of only three arts campuses in the SUNY system," Ms. Kelly said. "We want to show our different enrichment opportunities."
Ms. Zimpher also will visit North Country Community College, Saranac Lake, and SUNY Plattsburgh.
The chancellor is halfway through her 64-campus tour, with 32 more colleges left to visit within her first 100 days in office. She has met with students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as community and business leaders across the state, as she works toward crafting a strategic plan for SUNY by next spring.
"I have been struck by the pride of each SUNY campus, the feeling that 'We're the best,'" Ms. Zimpher said in a statement. "Developing a strategic plan for SUNY requires input and then buy-in from all stakeholders, which means we have to go and talk to people. By working in an inclusive and collaborative way, we can succeed in making SUNY the finest system of higher education in the nation and a model for the world."
Ms. Zimpher is the 12th chancellor in SUNY history.
She previously was president of the University of Cincinnati and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ms. Zimpher was executive dean of the professional colleges and dean of the college of education at Ohio State University, her alma mater, where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees and doctorate.
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