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April 24, 2017

UUP ‘very encouraged’ by new SUNY chancellor appointment

The president of the union representing faculty and staff at the State University of New York said he is pleased by the selection of Kristina M. Johnson as the next SUNY chancellor.

“We are very encouraged by Dr. Johnson’s appointment as SUNY chancellor,” said Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., president of United University Professions, America’s largest higher education union. “She’s held a variety of leadership roles in her academic career, including her service at public universities, in addition to serving in the public sector in the Obama administration.”

Kowal described her as an “innovator” whose talents will be put to good use at SUNY.

“We look forward to working with her and sharing our goal to keep SUNY as the premier public higher education system in the nation,” he said.

Kowal praised Johnson’s record as dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, where she hired more faculty and significantly increased research spending as part of an ambitious expansion plan.

“SUNY needs more full-time faculty, a need that will become more apparent with an expected influx of students under the Excelsior Scholarship program. Dr. Johnson’s prior willingness to hire additional faculty will serve SUNY and its students well,” Kowal said.

“We are pleased that students will benefit directly in that any tuition increases must be used to hire more full-time classroom faculty and staff,” Kowal explained. “Also, the (SUNY) chancellor is required to report to the Legislature and governor how the initiative is faring. We welcome this transparency.”

Kowal said he is also impressed by Johnson’s intent to focus on environmental sustainability, a UUP priority.

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 37,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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