On statewide tour, Johnson touts energy, sustainability
OSWEGO — At a little more than a year on the job, SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson continued her 64-campus jaunt around the New York education system Wednesday by visiting SUNY Oswego.
Johnson, who holds numerous advanced degrees in a variety of fields including engineering and letters, toured the campus and facilities while meeting a variety of administrators, staff and students on campus throughout the day. It was her 52nd stop on the 64-campus tour of SUNY.
Wayne Westervelt, SUNY Oswego’s chief communication officer, said Johnson met with President Deborah F. Stanley and her leadership team before embarking on a walking tour of campus.
“We were honored to have Chancellor Johnson on our campus today,” said Westervelt. “At each stop along her tour, we were able to highlight our first-rate facilities and a number of our academic programs, but most importantly share with the chancellor the people of SUNY Oswego, who are truly committed to the success of our students.”
The tour around campus included stops at Rich Hall to meet business faculty and students in the college’s Investment Club, Wilber Hall’s education students preparing to become teachers and the Richard S. Shineman Center to learn about the Human Computer Interaction program from faculty and graduate students.
During a brief press availability at the Marano Campus Center, Johnson offered thoughts to different student organizations, spoke about Tuesday’s reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and highly touted the leadership and passionate students at SUNY Oswego.
It was on the heels of a major election that Johnson visited SUNY Oswego, one where Democrats maintained a stronghold at the state level and took over the state Senate. SUNY is the nation’s largest comprehensive system of public higher education, serving more than 1.3 million students annually.
Johnson said that SUNY was very “lucky” to be involved with New York state.
“Not only do we get a direct state tax subsidy, but we get all our benefits, which have doubled over the last decade,” said Johnson. “We also get all the debt service from our buildings and facilities, so that’s one area of tremendous support.”
Johnson also said New York is a leader in “energy and environment,” something that she is also very passionate about as a former Under Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
“I feel very strongly about the environment and want to push those initiatives forward,” she said.
After meeting with members of student-run WTOP television, The Oswegonian newspaper and WNYO radio, Johnson noted the group as “phenomenal” and “hard-working” individuals who help represent the SUNY system well as a whole.
During a talk with members of the groups, Johnson recommended students look into the potential of providing a 3-D broadcast of Oswego State hockey games by utilizing two cameras and providing a different, unique experience for viewers.
Johnson applauded the leadership of Stanley and the President’s Council for helping make SUNY Oswego into a strong place to receive an education.
Stanley and Johnson also paid a visit to the Marano Campus Center Arena, widely considered one of SUNY’s top ice arenas. The duo posed for a quick selfie while a team practiced in the background.
During her busy schedule, Johnson stopped to Tweet a photo of a campus signed poster showing support for all those who have been impacted by racial, ethnic and religious violence — specifically those impacted by the shootings and 11 deaths of worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last week.
During an exclusive interview with The Palladium-Times, Johnson said while nothing is official, it seems Amazon’s HQ2 could be coming to New York and Virginia — and she envisions the SUNY system playing a critical role.
“We can provide that education to all of the employees for Amazon and all the citizens in the state of New York, and that’s one of our big initiatives,” she said.
Johnson planned to round out Wednesday evening at Colgate University, delivering the keynote address at the 8th annual State of New York Sustainability Conference. Her topic was “Leading the Way to a Sustainable Future: Opportunities for NYS Colleges and Universities.”