top_2_1.jpg top_2_2.jpg
SUNY at Sixty
The Promise of the State University of New York
SUNY at Sixty
Click on image to enlarge

John B. Clark - Editor
W. Bruce Leslie - Editor
Kenneth P. O'Brien - Editor
Nancy L. Zimpher - Foreword by
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 387 pages
Release Date: February 2010
ISBN10: 1-4384-3303-4
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-3303-5

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 387 pages
Release Date: February 2010
ISBN10: 1-4384-3302-6
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-3302-8

Available as a Google eBook
for other eReaders and tablet devices.
Click icon below...

Available as a Kindle Edition.
Click icon below...


A close examination of the history, accomplishments, and potential of the State University of New York system.

The State University of New York is America’s largest comprehensive public university system, with sixty-four campuses, including community colleges, colleges of technology, university colleges, research universities, medical schools, academic medical  centers, and specialized campuses in fields as diverse as optometry, ceramics, horticulture, fashion, forestry, and maritime training. Despite its reputation for wide access, demanding academic programs, vital public services, and cutting-edge research, little has been written about its fascinating history.

Originating in a lively conference held in spring 2009 to mark SUNY’s sixtieth anniversary, the book’s authors examine SUNY’s origins, political landscape, evolving mission, institutional variety, international partnerships, leadership, and more. Taking its place alongside studies of state systems such as those in California, Michigan, and Texas, this book is a long overdue effort to return SUNY to the national conversation about public higher education during the last half century. Edited by a former interim chancellor of the system and two SUNY history professors, and with a foreword by current Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the problems and promise of public higher education in New York State, or, indeed, anywhere.

John B. Clark is Acting Executive Director of the City University of New York’s Office of Business and Industry Relations, former Interim Chancellor of the State University of New York, and was Interim President of four of SUNY’s colleges: Plattsburgh, Brockport, Alfred State, and Optometry.

W. Bruce Leslie is Professor of History at the College at Brockport, State University of New York. He is the author of Gentlemen and Scholars: Colleges and Community in the “Age of the University” and State University of New York at Brockport (with Mary Jo Gigliotti and Kenneth P. O’Brien).

Kenneth P. O’Brien is Associate Professor of History at the College at Brockport, State University of New York and President of the SUNY University Faculty Senate. He is coeditor (with Lynn Hudson Parsons) of The Home-Front War: World War II and American Society.

Bookmark and Share

Table of Contents


Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher

Introduction: Taking Stock of New York’s State University after Six Decades

I. A Guided Tour through SUNY’s First SixDecades

II. Twenty-Seven Ways to Understand SUNY

1. The Empire State Creates a University

Sanford H. Levine

I. Shared Goals, Different Politics, and Differing Outcomes: The Truman Commission and the Dewey Commission
Philo Hutcheson

II. Forging SUNY in New York’s Political Cauldron
Tod Ottman

III. The Temporary Commission Surveys Bias in Admissions
Harold S. Wechsler

2. The Building Blocks of SUNY

Douglas R. Skopp

I. SUNY Oswego: From Recovery and Refugees to Re-Invention and Revival
Tim Nekritz

II. Rescuing the State Teachers College from History’s Scrapheap
Kenneth P. O’Brien & W. Bruce Leslie

III. “A Touch of New England in Western New York”: The Transformation of SUNY Geneseo
Wayne Mahood

IV. From Schools of Agriculture to Colleges of Technology: A Century of Evolution
Joseph Petrick

3. Varied Missions in America’s Largest “Comprehensive University”

Christopher C. Dahl

I. The College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY: A Unique Relationship
Hugh O. Canham

II. SUNY Maritime College: A History
Maryellen Keefe

III. Why a University Press Should Be and Must Be Relevant
Gary Dunham

4. Community Colleges: Emergence of an Educational Giant

Dennis Golladay

I. A Retrospective View of the Westchester Community College Experience
Marjorie Glusker

II. The Pioneers Speak: Voices from the Early Years of the SUNY Community Colleges
Benjamin J. Weaver

5. SUNY Strides onto the National Research Stage

John W. Kalas

I. Presidential Leadership, Change, and Community: SUNY-Buffalo from 1966 to 1981
Patricia A. Maloney

II. Documenting Research at SUNY University Centers: A Comparative Approach
Nancy Diamond

III. Better Late Than Never: Intentions, Timing, and Results in Creating SUNY Research Universities
Roger L. Geiger

6. The Best Laid Plans

John Aubrey Douglass

I. James Bryant Conant and the Limits of Educational Planning in California and New York
Wayne J. Urban

II. Three Historical Moments: Contested Visions of the State University of New York
Henry Steck

III. An Assessment of the Recommendations of the NYS Commission on Higher Education
John B. Clark

7. “Diversity”—Demography, Culture, and Education for a Changing New York

Pedro N. Cabán

I. Changing Demographics and Representational Dilemmas: Latinos at SUNY and CUNY Meeting the Diversity Challenge
José E. Cruz

II. Creating Educational Equity: A Brief Look at the History and Development of the SUNY EOCs and EOP
Carlos N. Medina & Jeffrey Scott

8. SUNY in and of the World

James Ketterer

I. SUNY’s Strategic Role in International Higher Education
Karla Back

II. SUNY from an English Perspective
John Halsey

9. The View from the SUNY Tower: Two Chancellors Look Back

I. Historical Vignettes of SUNY: A Personal Sampling
Clifton R. Wharton Jr.

II. The State University of New York: Memories and Perspectives
D. Bruce Johnstone

10. Telling SUNY’s Tale: Historians Look Back and Forward

Chris Ward

I. The State of Archives on SUNY Campuses: The Good, the Bad, and the Unaccounted
Geoffrey Williams

II. Pride and Identity: The College Histories of the SUNY Campuses
Joel T. Rosenthal

III. The Strange Career of SUNY’s History
W. Bruce Leslie

Conclusion: Some Concluding Thoughts about SUNY and the Promise of Public Higher Education in New York


Appendix 1: Presidents and Chancellors of the State University of New York
Appendix 2: Governors of New York State in the State University of New York Era
Appendix 3: SUNY Campus List by Alphabetical Order / Institutional Sector


The History of SUNY & of Higher Education in New York State
SUNY Campus Histories
Histories of State Systems of Higher Education
(except SUNY)

List of Contributors

Related Subjects

Related Titles

Red Genesis
Red Genesis
Slavery in the Circuit of Sugar, Second Edition
Slavery in the Circuit of Sugar, Second Edition
ACTA Volume #15
ACTA Volume #15
Biondo Flavio's Italia Illustrata
Biondo Flavio's Italia Illustrata
Four Centuries of Dutch-American Relations
Four Centuries of Dutch-American Relations
The Other Loyalists
The Other Loyalists
Gleanings in Europe
Gleanings in Europe
The Invasion of Canada by the Americans, 1775-1776
The Invasion of Canada by the Americans, 1775-1776
Aristocrats and the Crowd in the Revolutionary Year 1848
Aristocrats and the Crowd in the Revolutionary Year 1848
America's First Crisis
America's First Crisis