SUNY Chancellor visits Binghamton University

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 11:58 PM EST
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VESTAL (WBNG) -- Former New York State Education Commissioner and U.S. Education Secretary Dr. John B. King Jr. has officially begun his first month as SUNY Chancellor after being selected for the position in December.

To kick off his new role, King is touring all 64 SUNY campuses. He made the second stop of his tour at Binghamton University Tuesday, where he toured the university’s Innovative Technologies Complex to view some of the school’s research labs.

During his visit, he also shared his goals for the SUNY system. Those goals include student success, increasing student diversity, investing in research and scholarship and focusing on economic growth.

“It’s a privilege to have not just national, but global leadership in research here at Binghamton. We have to continue as a SUNY system to amass in research, in scholarship -- that’s a priority for me, that’s a priority for the governor and a priority for our Board of Trustees,” said King. “We have to make sure that every New York student knows there’s a place for them at SUNY. It may be at one of our community colleges, it may be at one of our four-year institutions, it may be in one of our graduate schools, but every New Yorker should know that SUNY is a place they can gain skills, gain access to opportunity.”

Following the proposal of integrating SUNY Broome and Binghamton University, King didn’t acknowledge fully merging the two institutions, but rather focused on integrating activities to deliver more opportunities for students. He said this would benefit both campuses and would help grow enrollment at SUNY Broome.

“They are two institutions with distinct identities. The question here is are there ways to integrate activities so that students are better served and so that there are some efficiencies that are gained as we direct resources to students,” said King. “The promise for Broome students that they can have a smooth transition into a four-year degree at Binghamton is a way to grow enrollment at Broome.”

The chancellor also shared his support for student housing projects, something that has been a topic of discussion in the Binghamton area. He said student housing is part of a long-term economic development strategy for the region.

“That student housing translates into students who are shopping at local stores, shopping at local restaurants. We just came from the Incubator space, where Binghamton alums and other business leaders are creating exciting new businesses that are growing jobs in this region,” he said.

King succeeds interim chancellor, Deborah Stanley. He served as the United States Education Secretary from Jan. 2016 to Jan. 2017 under former President Barack Obama.