We have consolidated all of our University news sources into one location called BingUNews. Inside stories published through 2016 will remain available here. Stories published in 2017 and later will be found at BingUNews. Enjoy!
Binghamton University Harvey Stenger, right, and SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm call for state legislators to continue investing in SUNY during a March 3 news conference in the Couper Administration Building.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Stenger urges state to invest in SUNY
March 3, 2015Tweet
For Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, it is imperative that SUNY 2020 funding be extended through the end of the decade.
“It’s been one of the key reasons why we have been able to plan effectively at Binghamton University, add more than 150 faculty, grow our student population and steadily increase the diversity and quality of our freshmen classes,” he said.
Stenger and SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm met March 3 to call on state legislative leaders to continue supporting New York higher education by extending SUNY 2020 and creating a new Investment Fund in the 2015-16 state budget. Corning Community College also supported the request.
Approved as a five-year plan in 2011 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature, SUNY 2020 allowed the campus system to increase tuition by $300 a year over the five-year period. SUNY campuses have used the additional revenue generated by this predictable tuition to grow and expand student services.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has called the extension of the plan “essential.”
“SUNY 2020 is perhaps the smartest, most impactful legislation to support SUNY in history,” Zimpher said. “Gov. Cuomo and state leaders showed excellent foresight when this bill was enacted, positioning our campuses to drive regional economic development for New York while protecting our students’ investment, taking tuition roulette off the table so that they are able to plan for the full cost of college without the possibility of unexpected tuition spikes.”
Stenger said he believes now is the ideal time to extend SUNY 2020, which will expire in 2016.
“It is such a good program – and it has worked so well – that there really isn’t a reason not to extend it,” he said.
Stenger also advocated for Zimpher’s $50 million request to create a SUNY Investment Fund to increase the number of SUNY graduates. The governor’s budget now provides $18 million for the project, which would include a five-year performance-funding plan. The Investment Plan also would expand the Educational Opportunity Program, build online programs through Open SUNY and improve coordination and advisement in high school and college.
“We think this is a good idea because the answer to problems is more educated people,” Stenger said. “A smarter society will benefit us all. If there are funds that can help us increase retention and graduation rates, that would be great.”
Stenger remarked on other areas of the budget that affect Binghamton University:
• Zimpher’s call for a Master Innovators Program received Stenger’s support. The program will offer funds to attract high-profile faculty members to SUNY schools. “This provides a great opportunity for Binghamton University because our research profile has increased over the past couple of years,” he said.
• The University is looking forward to the construction of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences building in Johnson City, Stenger said. The 2015-16 state budget allocates $50 million for the project, which Stenger said has benefitted from strong support from state Sen. Thomas Libous and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “It’s a great project for us, the community, Johnson City and the discipline of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences,” he said. “It will also be an attraction for industry to re-locate here, as well.”
The state’s backing and extensions of SUNY investments will enable Binghamton University to better conduct efforts such as faculty hiring and adding classrooms, Stenger stressed.
“We’re not asking for a tremendous amount of funding,” he said. “We’re just asking for a large amount of certainty.”