Global EngagementUC HomeAbout UCUC AcademicsUC AdmissionsUC AthleticsUC GlobalUC HealthUC LibrariesUC ResearchNews


Former UC President to Receive Honorary Doctorate

Nancy Zimpher will be awarded UCís highest honor at the April 29 Commencement ceremony.

Date: 4/18/2017
By: Jac Kern
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Nancy Zimpher

Chancellor of the State University of New York and former University of Cincinnati president Nancy L. Zimpher will receive an honorary doctorate during UCís Commencement ceremony April 29. Zimpher will be presented an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of her energetic and enduring advocacy for education as the key to success and for the power of community engagement to create better places to live, learn, work, play and stay.  

A widely recognized leader in higher education, civic engagement, economic development and urban education reform, Zimpher served as the president of the University of Cincinnati from 2003-09. 

She became UCís 25th president and its first woman president in October 2003. Under her leadership, UC embarked on an unprecedented consultation process that involved a wide spectrum of the universityís stakeholders and resulted in the strategic vision, UC|21: Defining the New Urban Research University. 

In June 2009, Zimpher became the 12th Chancellor of the State University of New York. With nearly 463,000 students and 64 colleges and universities, SUNY is the nationís largest comprehensive system of higher education.

Zimpher leads a diverse set of successful initiatives at SUNY in several key areas, including dramatic expansion of cooperative education and new partnerships with K-12 professionals ó always with the goal of optimally serving New Yorkís students and communities and preparing them to succeed in the 21st century. She has been a vocal advocate for groundbreaking legislative reforms that ensure SUNY can provide broad access to higher education in an environment of declining state support, while maximizing its impact as an engine of economic revitalization across the state. 

Zimpher is active in numerous state and national education organizations, and is a renowned leader and speaker in the areas of teacher preparation, urban education and university-community engagement. Concurrently with her role as chancellor at SUNY, she served as chair of the Board of Governors of the New York Academy of Sciences 2011-16. She led the national Coalition of Urban Serving Universities ó an organization she co-founded ó from 2005-11 and was chair of CEOs for Cities from 2012-13. She is the current chair of the National Association of System Heads. As co-founder of StriveTogether, Zimpher has been instrumental in creating a national network of innovative systemic partnerships that holistically address challenges across the education pipeline. 

Earlier in her career, Zimpher served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and executive dean of the Professional Colleges and dean of the College of Education at The Ohio State University. She has authored or co-authored numerous books, monographs and academic journal articles on teacher education, urban education, academic leadership and school/university partnerships. 

Zimpher holds a bachelorís degree in English Education and Speech, a masterís degree in English Literature and a Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Higher Education Administration, all from The Ohio State University.

Zimpher is one of two recipients of honorary degrees at April Commencement. Sportscaster alumnus Lewis Johnson will receive the other award.