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SUNY Chancellor, Board of Trustees ask New Yorkers to “Stand With SUNY”
November 11, 2015Tweet
State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, the SUNY Board of Trustees, and student and faculty governance leaders on Nov. 5 asked all New Yorkers to “Stand With SUNY,” announcing the launch of a statewide advocacy campaign urging public support for the university system, its campuses, students, faculty and staff. SUNY will seek to secure increased state investment and the renewal of the landmark reform legislation, NYSUNY 2020, in order to keep tuition-setting authority with the SUNY Board for the next five years.
“With increased investment in SUNY, I have every confidence that our university system will not only meet – but exceed – the expectations of students, faculty and staff, as well as the communities we serve in every region,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “As a result of the bold action of Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature in passing NYSUNY 2020 and establishing the Investment and Performance Fund, New York is only beginning to realize how valuable SUNY can be. Now, we need to continue that progress and plan for our future.”
“In carrying out the landmark reforms of NYSUNY 2020 and preparing to allocate the Investment and Performance Fund, we have proven that SUNY can and will maximize the state’s investment,” said Zimpher. “Our completion agenda for SUNY is ambitious but achievable, given the funding necessary to bring our best programs and initiatives to scale throughout New York State.”
“NYSUNY 2020 has allowed Binghamton University to expand both academically and physically,” said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. “As a result of the original NYSUNY 2020 funding, we have hired faculty, expanded academic programs and increased our enrollment, but perhaps the most visible sign of growth is the progress we are making on our $70-million Smart Energy Research and Development Facility. Construction is well underway, with opening expected in 2017.
“We would welcome renewal of NYSUNY 2020 legislation to enable Binghamton University to continue on its path to becoming the premier public university,” Stenger added.
“Students stand with SUNY because SUNY has stood with us,” said Thomas Mastro, a Binghamton University student who is a SUNY trustee and president of the SUNY Student Assembly. “It is crucial that decisions concerning tuition continue to be made by the Board. Students and families must have the ability to financially plan ahead and be able to rest assured that their tuition dollars are staying within SUNY and on their respective campuses. The Student Assembly looks forward to continuing to work with leaders in Albany to make SUNY the very best that it can be for students.”
The goals of the #StandWithSUNY campaign are to secure state investment for SUNY in order to:
• Build base funding for the system’s state-operated campuses, community colleges, statutory campuses, and teaching hospitals;
• Grow the Investment and Performance Fund so that SUNY can bring evidence-based programs to scale; and
• Extend NYSUNY 2020 to continue the challenge grants for campuses and keep tuition-setting authority with the SUNY Board while ensuring tuition flexibility by college sector.
The SUNY Board adopted three resolutions to support the campaign, the system’s 2016-17 Operating and Capital Budget Requests, as well as the methodology that will be used to allocate a $100 million Expanded Investment and Performance Fund to scale evidence-based campus programs in support of SUNY’s completion agenda.
Zimpher said the financial predictability provided by NYSUNY 2020 has vastly improved the SUNY experience not only for students, but also for campus operations.
“We simply cannot go back to a time when students applied to SUNY without knowing what their tuition rates would be year-to-year; when our state-operated campuses faced massive reductions in direct support from the State; and when each new budget further decreased funding per student for our community colleges,” Chancellor Zimpher said. “NYSUNY 2020 has become essential to maintaining the affordability and quality of a SUNY education, and we cannot let it expire.”
In the four years since NYSUNY 2020 was enacted, new predictable tuition revenue has benefited SUNY students through the hiring of more than 1,000 new faculty and instructional staff, the creation of more than 100 new degree programs in high-need fields, enhanced student services, and expanded tuition assistance to ensure that SUNY remains affordable for the neediest New Yorkers.
About the 2016-17 SUNY Budget Request
In addition to general maintenance and operational costs, the 2016-17 State Budget Request adopted by the Board today reflects a total of $8.7 billion of activity for the coming year, comprised of direct State tax support and self-generated revenue activity, including:
• $164 million in direct State tax support for the base costs of, and investment in, the state-operated campuses, community colleges, statutory campuses, hospitals, university-wide programs, and linked activities, including salary support costs and a predictable plan for increasing the community college State funding per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) student by $250 a year for three years;
• $109 million in direct State tax investment for all SUNY institutions, including the increase of the Investment and Performance Fund from $18.0 million to $50.0 million, a State match of unrestricted philanthropic activities and federal research/ grant activity, State support for student scholarships and fellowships, and investment by the State in a system-wide diversity program
• $1,525 million to support SUNY’s capital plans for educational facilities, community colleges, residence halls, and hospitals.