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January 3, 2011

SUNY Empire State College: 40 Years of Innovation in Higher Education

A Message from The President

Alan Davis

January 27, 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the State University of New York Empire State College.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate 40 years of innovation in teaching and learning and as we embark on our future as New York’s open university, a mandate we proudly share with other SUNY institutions. Like open universities around the world, the college is committed to eliminating barriers that restrict access to higher education.

In pursuit of this broad objective, Empire State College has been charged with taking the lead in advancing “OPEN SUNY,” an initiative put forth in the State University’s strategic plan The Power of SUNY. Both OPEN SUNY and the college’s own strategic plan, Vision 2015, call for the expansion of education opportunities for all learners through inclusive, progressive programs and services.

The college was modeled on “open” institutions of higher education located around the world to ensure that motivated adult learners have access to college programs regardless of their geographic location or time-limiting work responsibilities.

During the last four decades, dedicated faculty and staff have steadfastly upheld the central hallmark of the college: its ability and willingness to support the individual learner; to value their acquired knowledge, and respect their personal, academic and career goals; to provide variable ways to learn, whether it’s online, independently, in small groups, face-to-face with a faculty mentor, or online; and to design degree programs that allow learners to attain their educational and career goals while also providing the flexibility for them to fulfill their personal and professional commitments.

We pledge to continue to support the relationship between students and their faculty mentors, which is at the core of our educational philosophy and mission: to define each member of our community as a learner, encouraging and appreciating their distinctive contributions.

Empire State College will expand its own reach far beyond our 34 locations around the state of New York, all the states in the nation and the 50 countries around the world where our students are working and studying and in doing so, we will extend the global reach for SUNY.

That’s the future we are creating, building on 40 years of experimentation, innovation and dedication to the educational needs of our learners.

We welcome your participation in our celebration and in our extended community.

Alan R. Davis

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