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New SUNY Chancellor visits SUNY Oneonta

By By GARY LIBERATORE

ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Remember Hillary Clinton's "Listening Tour" when she became a U.S. Senator?

She traveled to just about every municipality across the State of New York that she could.

Well now, SUNY's new Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is following suit. She took her new position on June 1st and vowed to visit all 64 of the SUNY institutions, to help her come up with a grand master plan for the entire SUNY system.

On Monday, she hit Oneonta, her 25th stop on her tour.

She said "we want more kids graduated from high school, college ready."

To do that, she believes the quality of the education system for teachers needs to be improved. Oneonta, having a major education program, is a good place to get some tips on how to better the programs state wide.

Regarding her statewide tour, Oneonta Professor and Chair of Biology, Dr. William Pietraface says "Well, I think it shows the commitment that she has and the idea that she is coming and meeting all of the stakeholders so to speak, says wonders of what she wants to do and accomplish."

Zimpher is meeting with faculty, staff and community members at each SUNY Institution. She says the feedback she gets will ultimately be used to come up with a master plan for the entire SUNY system.

While at the University of Wisconsin-Milwuakee, she named her grand master plan "The Milwuakee Idea", and while at the University of Cincinnati, she named her plan, "UC21", a vision for the University for the 21st Century.

Zimpher says so far, she hasn't named her SUNY master plan just yet, but believes she will soon, and hopes to have a completed plan in place sometime next spring.

Before coming to SUNY, Zimpher was President of the University of Cincinnati, and became somewhat of a cult hero in the academic world for getting the head basketball coach, Bob Huggins ousted in 2005.

Huggins was ousted even though he brought the school a lot of notoriety and money for leading the school deep into the NCAA Tournament so many times.

Zimpher's reasoning - she wanted the coach to recruit players with better grades and an aversion to trouble. Zimpher also wasn't happy that Huggins had been arrested for DUI, saying she wanted a coach that was a better role model.

Huggins has since become the head coach at the University of West Virginia and has already taken his Mountaineers team deep into the NCAA Tournament as well.

On Monday when asked if she had met the coach of SUNY Oneonta's basketball team while on her visit, she said no, but went on to say that she doesn't believe any coaches should be intimidated by her being around, but...some might.

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