The Process

Together, we’ve come a long way in the process to create Open SUNY, and there’s still much more to do.

Here’s a bit about the process so far . . .

  • The SUNY Learning Network (SLN)

    SLNStudentThe SUNY Learning Network (SLN) was created as a way to enhance and expand educational opportunities for SUNY students in all corners of New York State and beyond. SLN documents the history and development of their program on their website. The following is a brief history from their page:

    “The SUNY Learning Network began with a basic premise: to bring SUNY’s diverse and high-quality instructional programs within the reach of learners anywhere.

    The SUNY Learning Network started as a regional project in the Mid-Hudson Valley involving eight SUNY campuses. Annual numbers now estimate 4,000 fully online courses, 107 online degree programs,  and 100,000+ SUNY student online enrollments. With generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, combined with enthusiasm and resources from SUNY System Administration and participating campuses, the SLN has successfully met the challenges of the initial developmental phases that focused on “proof of concept” and “expansion/scalability”.  Today SLN has grown to support the faculty and students at over 30 SUNY institutions.”

  • Announcement of the Open SUNY Initiative


    On January 15, 2013, Chancellor Zimpher hosted her third State of the University Address in Albany, NY. It was at this event that the Open SUNY initiative was officially announced.

  • Formation of the Chancellor’s Online Education Advisory Team

    The ChancGraphicRecorder2ellor’s Online Education Advisory Team convened for the first time in April of 2012 to discuss ways to expand and enhance online education options for new and existing SUNY students. It was in early 2013 when the Chancellor charged the team with “opening the door to online education” that the team’s efforts began to focus on what would become an early part of the Open SUNY process. One output from this group was the development of a proposal for Open SUNY.

    Additional information about this group and their work can be found at the Chancellor’s Online Education Advisory Team webpage

  • Coursera Partnership

    In recent years, the popularity of MOOCs has grown as a way to supplement traditional classroom experiences. Open SUNY is about more than just MOOCs. To ensure SUNY offers its students a wide-range of educational opportunities, a partnership with Coursera was established on May 30, 2013.

    Read more about the partnership between Coursera and SUNY by viewing the press release.

    A list of FAQs related to MOOCs can be found here: MOOC FAQ

  • Creation of the Provost’s Open SUNY Advisory Committee

    The Provost’s Open SUNY Advisory Committee was established in June of 2013 with a charge to work on curricular projects related to Open SUNY. The group’s membership spans a wide-range of levels throughout SUNY, including campus Presidents to faculty members. Chaired by former Faculty Senate President and current Provost Fellow, Dr. Kenneth P. O’Brien, the group will serve as advisory on multiple aspects of Open SUNY with their main focus on curricular issues.

    More information on the group can be found by clicking here: The Provost’s Open SUNY Advisory Committee.

  • Open SUNY Regional Meetings


    Between August and October of 2013, the Open SUNY team is taking the development process on the road to engage and gather input from multiple stakeholder groups on how to proceed with the development of Open SUNY. This project is about expanding and creating enhanced opportunities for student learning across New York State and beyond, so we are going to the source: our campuses.

    More information about these sessions and outcomes can be found on our Engagements page.

  • Call for Program Nominations at SUNY Presidents Meeting

On September 19, 2013, Presidents from all SUNY campuses gathered in New York City at SUNY Global Center for a meeting in which Open SUNY was an agenda item. At this meeting, Presidents were asked to go back to their campuses and select programs or assets their campuses would like to nominate for possible inclusion in the January 2014 launch of Open SUNY. A follow-up call for nominations was distributed to SUNY Chief Academic Officers, and other SUNY groups to try and ensure that word got out about the open nomination period. When the open nomination period ended on October 5, 2013, over 60 programs and more than 45 assets were submitted from nearly 30 campuses.

  • The Elements of Open SUNY Coming Together

By the end of 2013, the Open SUNY team had spoken with more than 300 people from across the SUNY system about what they thought Open SUNY could and should be. All of this feedback was collected and documented and can be found here: 12/2013 Open SUNY Overview. This document will continue to evolve over the life of this effort, but provides an accurate representation of where the Open SUNY effort stood at the end of 2013. This material is also covered in a recorded narrative version with Associate Provost, Carey Hatch; Provost’s Open SUNY Advisory Committee Chairperson, Ken O’Brien; and Lisa Stephens, Senior Strategist, Academic Innovation. To view the narrated version of the slide deck linked below please click here: 01/2014 Narrated Open SUNY Overview.

  • The Announcement of 8 Programs Powered by Open SUNY+

On January 14, 2014 at the annual State of the University Address, Chancellor Zimpher officially announced Open SUNY to the world. It was at this event that the initial vision of Open SUNY was revealed along with 6 partner campuses offering 8 programs powered by a suite of supports and services we are calling powered by Open SUNY+. To relive the address, please click here: 2014 State of the University Address.

Powered by Open SUNY+ Programs

  • Nominations for the next wave of Open SUNY+

On April 11th, 2014 a call for nominations was launched for campuses to formally recommend programs for inclusion in the next wave of powered by Open SUNY+ programs. A refined and transparent nomination and selection process was introduced under the guidance of the Provost’s Open SUNY Advisory Committee. In addition to program nominations, campuses were encouraged to share ideas about courses that would speed time to degree for students for possible inclusion in Open SUNY+ at a later date. Nominations of programs from the certificate through doctoral degree level were encouraged. The nomination period closed on May 16th, 2014. The next wave of Open SUNY+ partner programs was announced in October 2014.

  • 56 Additional Programs Powered by Open SUNY+

On October 16th, 2014 Chancellor Zimpher announced that 56 additional programs would join the existing 8 powered by Open SUNY+. These 56 programs from 17 campuses increased the total number of programs with Open SUNY+ academically sound supports and services to 64 from 19 campuses. Additionally, the number of students enrolled in programs powered by Open SUNY+ is now around 6,000 with the addition of these new programs.

  • So, where do we go from here?

    We still have a lot of work ahead to make Open SUNY a success and we can’t do it without your help. Open SUNY will continue to evolve, so please take a moment to Tell Us what you want to see in Open SUNY. Whether it’s how Open SUNY can improve access for students on your campus, or how Open SUNY can support faculty in delivering their knowledge to existing students in new ways or broader audiences, we want to know what you think. Maybe you have questions or concerns. Visit our FAQ page for a quick listing of some frequently asked questions, and if your question isn’t answered there, start a conversation with us to make sure your voice is heard. Please visit our Tell Us section to start a conversation toward making Open SUNY work for you.