John B. King Jr. has been appointed the fifteenth chancellor of the State University of New York, the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the United States.
More than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY operates four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs.
“I am humbled and honored to accept the position of chancellor,” Dr. King said. “Public education quite literally saved my life when I lost both of my parents at a young age, and I have dedicated my professional career ever since to ensuring that every student has access to the academic opportunities that they need and deserve. I look forward to working with all members of our campus communities, lawmakers, and stakeholders to bring SUNY to new heights and maximize its potential.”
Since 2017, Dr. King has been the president of The Education Trust, a nonprofit organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students in early childhood, K-12 education, and higher education. In the fall of 2015, President Obama tapped Dr. King to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Chancellor King served as state education commissioner in New York – a post to which he was appointed in 2011 – overseeing all elementary and secondary schools, as well as public, independent, and proprietary colleges and universities, professional licensure, libraries, museums, and numerous other educational institutions.
Dr. King is a graduate of Harvard University, where he majored in government. He earned a master’s degree in social studies education and a doctorate in educational administrative practice from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Dr. Also holds a juris doctorate from Yale Law School.