April 14, 2011

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SUNY looks for economic partnerships

Zimpher: "We are job creators"

NEW PALTZ – As the region tries to concentrate on many economic drivers, such as various technologies, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation is pushing to become friendlier with the bio-tech community.

Nancy Zimpher, the Chancellor of  the State University of  New York, spoke at the organization’s board meeting Wednesday at SUNY New Paltz, and said SUNY will do anything it can to help the bio-tech community.  She also said SUNY is striving to help all the towns and villages it’s a part of in regions through the Empire State.

“As residents of this community, we are huge employers of this community,” she said. “The faculty and staff spend money in the community, so we contribute to the welfare of the community.”

As a system that educates in many communities, Zimpher said SUNY is doing everything it can to directly bolster the communities that are so dependent on it.

“We are job creators,” she said. “When we innovate, we help these businesses – and we even create new businesses.”

As far as providing an affordable education for students, Zimpher said SUNY is working closely with the state officials to ensure there’s a system in place so the state, students and the universities can find common ground to keep a college education within reach of many.

“We have asked the state to give us some latitude in creating a rational tuition policy that is a five -year -plan, so we can be more predictable about our investment,” she said.

Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said the SUNY system is a major part of the county’s economic development effort.

“From an Ulster County perspective, we’re thrilled to be able to welcome the Chancellor of SUNY,” he said. “It’s an exciting opportunity to see how the SUNY system impacts economic development throughout the region.”

As the nation, state and region endure the stagnant economy, Hein said this is a time when local governments and the state education system can work together to preserve communities.”

“This is an opportunity for partnership,” he said. “We see this as an opportunity rather than a challenge.”


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