SUNY chancellor John King speaking at Farmingdale State College on...

SUNY chancellor John King speaking at Farmingdale State College on Nov. 6, 2023. Credit: Howard Simmons

ALBANY — SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. highlighted work being done on Long Island’s public college and university campuses, from climate change research to increasing diversity and equity, during his State of the University address Wednesday.

King, who took the helm of the 64-campus system in January 2023, discussed progress made and efforts to increase access to higher education, grow enrollment, focus on degree completion and prepare students for jobs in nanotechnology and artificial intelligence research.

“Our quest for excellence rests on four pillars: student success; research and scholarship; diversity, equity and inclusion; and economic development and upward mobility,” he said.

One of the biggest hurdles for the more than 367,500-student system is helping students navigate the application for federal financial aid, known as FAFSA, King said. SUNY plans to scale up programs to help prospective students and their parents fill out the free application.

King’s agenda extended to the SUNY campuses across Long Island: SUNY Old Westbury, Stony Brook University, Farmingdale State College and Nassau and Suffolk county community colleges. “They’re hugely important,” King told Newsday following his address.

Here’s what to know about SUNY’s plans for public colleges and universities on Long Island:

Degree completion, workforce

King announced an expansion of the Advancing Success in Associate Pathways at community colleges, and Advancing Completion through Engagement at baccalaureate colleges. The programs aim to help students stay on track and complete their degrees by providing academic and personal support as well as counseling and financial assistance. Twenty-five campuses are working to implement the programs, including Nassau and Suffolk community colleges and Farmingdale State, according to SUNY.

King and Gov. Kathy Hochul described the dire need for workforce development, particularly as the state looks to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs in various tech industries in the coming years. SUNY will expand its paid experiential learning opportunities and is helping campuses scale internship and training programs with a focus on the semiconductor industry, electrifying the building and automotive sectors, and health care.

King singled out Stony Brook, Suffolk County Community College and Old Westbury for their work on social mobility, lifting students economically by helping them be prepared for the workforce.

Research, development

King highlighted Stony Brook University as the anchor institution for the creation of a climate solutions center in New York City’s harbor, as well as the university’s role in the development of quantum computing, which uses quantum mechanics to solve complex problems.

“Stony Brook is driving tremendous advances in research across the SUNY system,” King told Newsday.

Later this year, SUNY will bring faculty from across the system together to work on a Climate Research Task Force as well as a Quantum Task Force to break ground in quantum physics, he said.

Stony Brook researchers also will play a role with SUNY’s Empire AI Research Center for the Public Good based at the University at Buffalo.

Diversity, inclusion

SUNY plans to expand its efforts to recruit veterans and military-connected students, as well as students from high-need communities, King said.

He put a spotlight on Farmingdale State for its work to support veteran students, who have different needs and strengths.

SUNY also will revamp its programs to increase faculty diversity, King said. And the system will prioritize civic education and require all faculty and staff to receive training in federal civil rights requirements that protect students from discrimination and harassment, he said.

A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday Staff

Updated now A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports.

A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday Staff

Updated now A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports.

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