By Elisabeth Costanzo Stewart
Members of SUNY Broome’s campus community were delighted to spend the afternoon of Thursday, April 27, 2023 welcoming SUNY Chancellor, Dr. John B. King Jr.
Flanked by a small, friendly team from SUNY System, Dr. King toured the campus and hosted mini-meetings with a collection of faculty, staff, students, and board members.
After an extensive career in public education and public service, including a stint as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Education under President Barak Obama, Dr. John B. King Jr. was appointed the position of SUNY’s 15th Chancellor. SUNY, the State University of New York, is the largest comprehensive public higher education system in the United States and is comprised of 64 university centers, university colleges, technical colleges, and community colleges.
SUNY Broome was #52 on Chancellor King’s system-wide tour. “My intention with these campus visits is to learn about what makes each campus special. I certainly want to learn about what is going well, but I also want to know about the challenges, so that we can help to address them,” explained King.
Chancellor King began his visit downtown with a quick trip to the Culinary & Event Center. After a tour of the CEC’s state-of-the-art amenities such as smart laboratory spaces and garde manger and production kitchens, he traveled to the main campus to meet with members of the leadership team and representatives from Shared Governance. Dr. King then joined a group of faculty and staff on a “Points of Pride” tour of campus, visiting spaces such as SUNY Broome’s new outdoor athletic complex, the Ice Center, the Dental Hygiene Clinic, electrical and mechanical labs, and more!
In a genuinely personable manner, Chancellor King took time to ask each staff member and student about their unique “SUNY Broome Story.” This simple question consistently evoked interesting responses, with information that even decades long colleagues didn’t know about one another. It didn’t take long before the room would turn silent in preparation for Dr. King’s question and the fascinating follow-up answers.
Following the tour, Chancellor King requested that he have the opportunity to meet privately with a group of students to hear their unfiltered thoughts and opinions on their educational experiences. “The incredible thing about the SUNY system, which we want every student in New York to know, is that there is a place for you. Whether you like physics, theater, environmental science, mechatronics, or business… there is a place for you within SUNY. And thanks to the incredible foundations that you can receive through our community colleges, like SUNY Broome, there can be several SUNY’s for you, as you progress throughout your educational careers,” said Chancellor King.
A special thank you goes out to Diana Lenzo, Assistant to the President, for her weeks of preparation and coordination leading up to the Chancellor’s visit.