Kristina Johnson inaugurated as the State University of New York’s 13th chancellor

Chancellor discussed education, research and community engagement initiatives

Kristina Johnson discussed her agenda to help SUNY continue to grow during her inauguration on Friday as the system’s 13th chancellor. 

Johnson spoke about plans to expand educational opportunities by improving student retention, online learning and entrepreneurial programs, according to a SUNY press release. Johnson said she expects SUNY to impact New York State in multiple ways, including “boosting research and innovation, harnessing the power of data, and facilitating community service.”

The SUNY Board of Trustees, presidents and delegates from SUNY’s 64 campuses attended the event at the Morris W. and Fannie B. Haft Theater at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Roughly 600 people attended the event, including UB President Satish K. Tripathi and Student Association President Gunnar Haberl. 

SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall delivered a welcome address, during which he said Johnson will fit her new role well. 

 “Today, we celebrate our new chancellor as she looks to secure a bright future for our great system. Johnson possesses the experience, ingenuity, and enthusiasm to lead SUNY and take us to even greater heights,” McCall said. 

Johnson said SUNY’s research and innovation will help mitigate climate catastrophe, prepare for growth in emerging industries and solve for issues impacting society. She also stressed the importance of collaboration among academia, business and government in achieving these goals.

She also announced the PRODI-G –– Promoting Retention, and Opportunity for Diversity, Inclusion and Growth –– program to help retain faculty, as 40 percent of current SUNY professors are approaching retirement. The program will be created through a partnership among the SUNY system, individual campuses and donors, “whose collective goal will be to hire 1,000 PRODI-G faculty with named chairs within the next decade,” Johnson said.

 Johnson described SUNY’s role as an engine in the state’s economic growth. “We will prepare the state to thrive in challenging times, while adding to the economic and cultural vibrancy of our communities,” Johnson said. “And, we will embrace the diversity that makes New York the most dynamic state in the nation.”

Max Kalnitz is the senior news editor and can be reached at