More and more New York colleges are striving for the designation “university”.

Several colleges in upstate New York have renamed themselves “universities”.

SUNY New Paltz President, Dr. Darrell Wheeler says the state university system officially changed the name “university” about a year ago.

“To make it possible for historically comprehensive colleges like SUNY New Paltz and Oswego to request a name change from ‘State University College at New Paltz’ to ‘University’ instead of ‘College,'” Wheeler said. “This designation recognizes from the state system that one does not have to offer advanced PhD or doctoral degrees to achieve what the state considers university status.”

Independent Colleges and Universities Commission President Lola Brabham commended the New York State Board of Regents for updating the definition, a search that began in December 2021 and became official this month.

“CICU has campaigned for years on behalf of more than 100 private, nonprofit colleges across the state to make this crucial change,” Brabham told students both home and abroad in a manner that reflects the depth and breadth of their academic offering. “

Most people didn’t notice because the word “university” is already in the SUNY acronym. Wheeler says there was no major celebration of the new title on the New Paltz campus.

“The New York designation was one of the last of any university system in the United States in our state education system to allow the use of the university for master’s degree institutions, but actually we’re a bit behind the rest of the country in taking that particular step ‘ Wheeler said.

What does the name change actually mean for these schools in the future? Brabham says it improves their ability to attract new students.

“And just to give you an example, you know, there are a lot of areas outside of the US where the term ‘college’ is really the equivalent of high school,” Brabham said. “And this can lead to misunderstandings about an institution’s academic offering. That just makes it clearer. What it does for the schools in New York State keeps us competitive with other states and of course increases our ability to really recruit in a way that reflects what the schools can offer.”

The “university” tag can also be a boost for students who want to study at a graduate school.

The appointment will come when new SUNY Chancellor John King begins his term. He spoke to Alan Chartock about WAMC’s Capitol Connection program.

“We offer an incredibly affordable, very high quality education at SUNY,” said King. “And SUNY should be mentioned in the same breath as UC Berkeley or the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, we should have such a national reputation. Some of our campuses are well known, others less so. So we have to work to ensure that all New Yorkers see that there is a place for them at SUNY.”

The regents made the following statements:

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