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New chancellor for SUNY is named

ALBANY – The State University of New York Board of Trustees on Monday announced the appointment of John B. King Jr. as the 15th chancellor of SUNY, the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the United States.

King brings to this position decades of experience as a leader in education administration and policy at the local, state, and national levels. He has championed expanding access to high-quality, affordable education in recognition of the transformative power it holds for students from all walks of life.

“As we work to continue to transform SUNY to meet the needs of the next generation of students and New York’s economy, we need a leader who understands how to balance striving for both excellence and equity. John King has a proven record of doing both,” said SUNY Chairman Dr. Merryl H. Tisch. “We are thrilled to welcome John back to New York and are confident that he is perfectly positioned and prepared to tackle the challenges that face our system in the years ahead,” said SUNY Vice Chairman Cesar Perales.

King’s selection was the result of a year-long global search, and the Board unanimously approved his appointment. He will replace Deborah F. Stanley, former president of SUNY Oswego, who has been serving as interim chancellor since December 2021. King will move back to New York and begin his new role in January.

“I am humbled and honored to accept the position of chancellor and to advance Governor Kathy Hochul’s vision to make SUNY the best statewide system of public higher education in our nation,” King said. “Public education quite literally saved my life when I lost both of my parents at a young age, and I have dedicated my professional career ever since to ensuring that every student has access to the academic opportunities that they need and deserve. I look forward to working with all members of our campus communities, lawmakers, and stakeholders to bring SUNY to new heights and maximize its potential.”

King is currently the President of The Education Trust, a nonprofit organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students in early childhood, K-12 education, and higher education.

“John King is an extremely smart, capable, steady, strong and fair educator. He’s just what SUNY needs.” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

Prior to his appointment to that post in 2017, Chancellor King served as U.S. Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama, who called him “an exceptionally talented educator.” While serving in this cabinet-level post, Chancellor King worked to simplify the financial aid process, oversaw federal investments in evidence-based strategies to increase college completion, and advocated for the president’s America’s College Promise proposal, which called for creating a federal-state partnership to make attendance at community colleges free and also investing in scaled wrap-around services to support students on the path to academic success.

From 2011 to the beginning of 2015 when he joined the Obama Administration, Chancellor King served as New York State’s first African American and first Puerto Rican education commissioner. He worked in this position to leverage federal Perkins funding to invest in a statewide initiative connecting K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and employers to tailor high school curriculum to meet the needs of a modern-day workforce – an effort he has expressed to the board that he hopes to continue and expand on as chancellor.

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