The New York State Board of Regents has changed the regulations related to the number of graduate-level degrees an institution must offer to qualify as a University. You need to have at least 3 graduate programs across 3 distinct disciplinary areas, and SUNY Oneonta qualifies. University President Alberto Cardelle says it's the next evolution of the institution, and doesn’t expect the change will bolster enrollment, but does believe it could potentially open up more grant prospects, and help attain University partnerships.
"It’s going to open opportunities and justify our growth in our graduate areas, our potential scholarship and research opportunities for our faculty. All of those doors are now open because of the University."
The University status is also expected to open the market to students that normally wouldn’t consider looking at an institution with just a –college- designation, especially those looking to advance their career opportunities.
"Working adults to take a year and a half- 2 years to come back and get a Master’s Degree becomes harder and harder, so how is it that we can make some of our existing graduate programs that are really unique…to make them more accessible."
That accessibility may come in the form of online studies, as the University will gain recognition with International students.
"This also impacts our international recruitment the nomenclature of University is one that’s better understood internationally than the term college."
Students and staff held a celebration to commemorate the occasion on this first day of classes. In the meantime there’s still some work to do changing the signage and documentations indiciating it's now the State University of New York at Oneonta.