Presidential Initiatives

aerial view of Upstate

Building on its commitment to provide outstanding education, research and patient care, Upstate is transforming its facilities and re-energizing its employees to become Central New York's leading example of a strong new economy.

The Office of the President has launched several initiatives to propel Upstate forward in this mission.

Engaging Excellence

Upstate President David Smith launched "Engaging Excellence," a strategic planning initiative to challenge and encourage SUNY Upstate students, employees, and faculty to create the best setting possible in which to learn, work, and serve.

The centerpiece of Engaging Excellence is a 10-year Strategic Plan, with five clear goals, representing Upstate's common purpose.

The Upstate Initiative

In Fall 2007, President Smith outlined a $500 million bricks-and-mortar proposal to provide a vision for growth. Building on institutional strengths, the InitiativePDF Icon is designed to serve patients and students, and attract and retain excellent faculty and employees. To date, 95% of the projects in the Upstate Initiative are completed, funded or underway.

Upstate Regional Extension

Upstate's name reflects its service area. Upstate supports programs and activitiesPDF Icon to improve access to care and to address provider shortages.

In particular, through its colleges, Upstate offers a range of opportunities that supply well-educated professionals to meet the health care needs of New York State.


SUNY Upstate is a founding partner with SUNY's three other academic health centers (Buffalo, Stony Brook and Downstate) and SUNY Optometry of SUNY REACHPDF Icon — a collective biomedical research plan that is aimed at New York State's most serious health care concerns.

Biomedical research conducted at these five SUNY schools constitutes one-third of SUNY's total funded research, and promises great potential in collaboration and connection with other scientists. The resulting proposal for alignment and investment — SUNY REACH — has begun its first stage with funding from all participants and the SUNY research Foundation and has already stirred collaborations, streamlined access for industry, and a new Clinical Research Organization.

President's Student Ambassadors

These student volunteers support the President of SUNY Upstate Medical University in the positive promotion of this campus.