Deborah F. Stanley, president of SUNY Oswego, assumed the chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Board of Directors during the association’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.

President Deborah F. StanleyIn her role as chair of AASCU, President Stanley will lead the national association in its vision to influence American public higher education through advocacy, leadership and service. In addition to working together as AASCU member institutions who share a learning and teaching-centered culture, Stanley points out that the more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems are committed to underserved student populations and are dedicated to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. 

According to Stanley, the association brings college and university presidents and chancellors together to support member institutions in their public mission. “I look forward to the leadership role that SUNY Oswego will play in the association’s efforts to prepare students to enter a competitive economy and global society; advocate for effective public policy; promote access and inclusion; and foster regional stewardship, economic progress and educational innovation,” she said.

Before becoming chair-elect in 2015, Stanley completed a three-year term on AASCU’s Board of Directors as secretary-treasurer. She also served on AASCU’s Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Steering Committee and as an MLI Mentor; on AASCU’s Financial Review Task Force, the investment committee; the Council of State Representatives; the Committee on International Education; the Nominating Committee; and Policies and Purposes.

At Oswego, Stanley’s tenure has been highlighted by academic excellence, campus renewal and the creation of a learner-centered environment. She established the Presidential Scholarship program for outstanding academic achievers, the Possibility Scholarship Program, and the pioneering Oswego Guarantee that promises the necessary classes will be available for students to complete a degree within four consecutive years and, during those years, there will be no increase in the cost of room or meal plans. She enhanced the Oswego Guarantee with the Graduation ROI in 2013 – a $300 Return on Investment (ROI) awarded to all first-time students who complete their baccalaureate degree in four years or less.

President Stanley’s ambitious campus-wide renewal plan, now in its second decade, encompasses hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations and construction, including the environmentally designated LEED Gold Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation. She launched Oswego’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, spearheaded a massive upgrade of campus technology, internet and laboratory equipment and guided the college to its most culturally diverse student body in SUNY Oswego’s history—25.8% of the total undergraduate and graduate population including a record-setting 33.8% of the first-year class self-identified as culturally diverse at the start of the fall 2016 semester.

Mildred García, president of California State University, Fullerton, was elected chair-elect of the AASCU board; she will serve as chair in 2018.