[Faculty-L] Chancellor's Letter to Presidents: Explore SUNY’s Online Opportunities

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Wed Aug 8 17:59:16 EDT 2018

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kay, Gwen <Gwen.Kay at suny.edu>
Date: Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 4:56 PM
Subject: Fw: RFI to Explore SUNY’s Online Opportunities
To: UFSALL-L at ls.sysadm.suny.edu

Hi. I only just got permission to share this out. Some of you may have
already seen this, but I think it's important for everyone to know things
that are "in the pipeline." More at the fall plenary!



Gwen Kay

President, SUNY University Faculty Senate
Member, SUNY Board of Trustees

S-120 State University Plaza
Albany, NY 12246
518-320-1376 (office)
315-396-4646 (cell)

*From:* McCabe, Lauren *On Behalf Of *Johnson, Kristina
*To:* Presidents - All <*Presidents-All at suny.edu* <Presidents-All at suny.edu>>
*Subject:* RFI to Explore SUNY’s Online Opportunities

Dear SUNY Presidents –
The mission of SUNY compels us to provide “educational services of the
highest quality, with the broadest possible access.”  As you are well
aware, we face significant fiscal pressures that can be expected to
continue for the foreseeable future.  As demographics shift and the number
of traditional students declines across our state, we must search for new
and growing markets of increasingly non-traditional students seeking
educational opportunity.
Thus, we need to aggressively pursue opportunities that improve the fiscal
underpinnings of this institution and also provide an excellent education
for our students in the increasingly digital and flexible ways they
require.  We cannot be left behind as other higher education institutions
continue to innovate delivery of services to students.
We see other systems and campuses across the country attracting millions of
students and generating significant revenue.  These few examples illustrate
the point:

   - Southern New Hampshire University has over 100,000 exclusively online
   students, generating over $500 million.
   - The California Community College system just received funding of $100
   million in this year’s California state budget to create an entirely online
   community college, which will also receive an additional $20 million
   annually from the state for 7 years.
   - The University of Massachusetts system made $104 million in 2017 from
   approximately 30,000 students who take exclusively online courses.  They
   project revenue growing to $400 million, with most of the growth in revenue
   coming from out-of-state students.

SUNY has made strides in this arena in the past with Open SUNY, but a more
scalable and comprehensive approach is required to catch up and ultimately
surpass these programs.  We know that while 177,000 of SUNY’s 433,000
students took one or more online course in 2016-17, 90 percent of them are
blending both face to face and online courses, and very few are exclusively
online learners.  This blended option isn’t enough for many learners with
full time jobs or significant family responsibilities.  There is a
significant market of post traditional learners interested in pursuing
their degrees exclusively online.  Hundreds of thousands of them are being
served by our competitors—and we need to catch up.
We are a comprehensive system of higher education; thus, we must have a
comprehensive system of *online* higher education.  To determine the best
way to do this, I have asked our team at System Administration to pull
together a Request for Information (RFI) to get input from a large
cross-section of industry leaders.
The RFI will gather information that will assist SUNY in the development of
a future plan to achieve maximum utility of SUNY’s Online/Digital
educational model.  We will utilize the expertise gained to better serve
the educational needs of the State of New York and compete and thrive in a
national online market.

We will issue this RFI to identify the following:

   - Opportunities to position SUNY as a unique provider of educational
   opportunities for all learners;
   - Reaching the millions of New York residents currently not enrolled at
   a SUNY campus, who are in need of higher education to be more effective on
   their jobs;
   - Significantly expanding SUNY’s online learning experience to serve
   exclusively online students who are currently not at a SUNY campus;
   - Potential next-generation innovations in online/digital education
   where SUNY may have a unique opportunity to leapfrog competition;
   - The most appropriate ways to productize SUNY’s vast educational
   offerings to prospective students;
   - Business and revenue sharing models to incent behaviors, ensure
   sustainability and provide campus/System revenue growth;
   - Opportunities to capture students SUNY is losing to other online
   schools generating revenue for investment in our campus operations;
   - Outreach and marketing plans that reach a broad range of key
   stakeholders, including potential students in-state and out of state,
   internal staff and professors, and other key stakeholders as identified;
   - Platforms and services to expand SUNY’s current online environment and
   enrollments to challenge current leaders in the field;
   - Insights into the type and structure of programs appropriate for this
   platform/business model;
   - Requirements to continually align educational opportunities with labor
   market needs;
   - How to best integrate SUNY’s 64 campuses and their faculty into this
   improved platform/business model;
   - The impact of the changing demographics in New York, as well as
   surrounding states and potential global opportunities;
   - Partnering with interested industry leaders, including other
   university systems;
   - Consideration of prior learning assessment as part of the improvement
   to this process.

I will keep you apprised of our progress and solicit your input in this
important area.  We will include campus representatives in evaluations of
the responses that we receive.  This process will be inclusive and
collaborative, as our long-term success rests in working together on this
important effort.

With warm regards,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD

*Chancellor *The State University of New York
State University Plaza - Albany, New York 12246
Tel: 518.320.1355  Fax: 518.320.1560
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