Research Foundation Board Advisory Member Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher


Dr. Nancy Zimpher

Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher is the 12th Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY), the nation’s largest comprehensive public university system with more than 440,000 students. A dynamic, nationally recognized educational leader, Chancellor Zimpher begins her tenure with a commitment to visit all 64 SUNY campuses in her first 100 days so she can meet with and learn from students, faculty, administrators, community leaders and other stakeholders on the future of New York’s public higher education system.

The tour marks the first step in creation of a SUNY-wide strategic plan, expected to be completed in the spring. The planning process will be a model for statewide collaborations – gathering suggestions, ideas and comments from thousands of stakeholders through town hall meetings, web conferences and other outreach. The public discussion will be emblematic of the most comprehensive, inclusive and transparent strategic planning process in SUNY’s 60-year history.

Chancellor Zimpher says the plan is aimed at “making SUNY a public higher education model not only for the nation but the world.”


President, University of Cincinnati (October 2003 - May 2009). An urban research university with 16 colleges, an academic medical and research center and annual $1 billion budget. Spearheaded development of UC|21: Defining the New Urban Research University. Under her leadership, UC’s retention and graduation rates, student satisfaction ratings and national rankings all improved. Served as Big East Conference representative to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.

Chancellor, member of School of Education faculty, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1998-2003). Executive Dean of the Professional Colleges and Dean of the College of Education at the Ohio State University.

Chair, Urban Serving Universities Board; past chair, National Association of State University and Land-Grant Colleges Board of Directors; and member, National Board for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

Authored or co-authored numerous books, monographs and academic journal articles on teacher education, urban education, academic leadership, and school/university partnerships.

Dr. Zimpher holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education and Speech, a master’s degree in English Literature, and a Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Higher Education Administration, all from The Ohio State University.


Married to Dr. Kenneth R. Howey, a nationally recognized expert and researcher in teacher preparation, particularly in urban settings. Dr. Zimpher has one son, Fletcher, and two step-sons, Mark and Michael.