13th SUNY chancellor begins new term

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Tuesday was the first day for the new State University of New York chancellor.

Dr. Kristina Johnson is the thirteenth chancellor of all SUNY schools. She said the Excelsior Scholarship is one of the biggest reasons she was excited to take the position.

“It’s a very progressive policy,” she said. “It’s a tool in the toolbox by which we can give every individual a shot at higher education in New York State.”

Encouraging more students to attend Upstate SUNY schools is another challenge the chancellor faces this year, although she did not specify any projects that may be in the works.

“And I heard that from the faculty governance that they think this is something we need to take on and look at carefully, so we’ll be exploring that,” she said.

On Tuesday, Pres. Donald Trump announced he would rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which affects around 4,000 New York students.

Johnson said she is on the side of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on the issue.

“We’re welcoming for all students, and again, first day, so not sure, but whatever we can do to support our students we absolutely will do,” she said.

According to the New York State Education Department, one in three New Yorkers have a college degree from a SUNY school.

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