Binghamton and SUNY Broome presidents call on state leaders for support
BINGHAMTON, NY - Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger and SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm today called on legislative leaders to continue their bold leadership in supporting New York's public higher education sector by creating a new Investment Fund and extending NYSUNY 2020 – including the broadly successful rational tuition policy – in the 2015-16 New York State Budget.
"This is a critical time for all of our SUNY campuses, as lawmakers in Albany decide how they will dedicate New York state resources for current and future fiscal years," said Stenger. "At Binghamton, NYSUNY 2020 has helped stabilize our resources and we have been better able to plan for the future — developing new academic programs, hiring more faculty and providing better educational outcomes for our students. For us, for our students and for the community, it is imperative that this funding be extended."
The key component of SUNY’s budget request is an Investment Fund that will enable SUNY to graduate 150,000 students annually by 2020 through the system-wide scale up of evidence-based programs known to support student success, including Finish in Four completion promises, applied learning, Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) and expanded advisement services.
In addition to the SUNY Investment fund, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is also advocating:
· to maintain base costs and extend the rational tuition plan for state-operated campuses through 2020;
· a rational funding plan for community colleges: an increase of $250/FTE for three years;
· support for a five-year capital plan;
· and increased operating and capital support for SUNY-supported hospitals.
"New York state’s investment in our SUNY system is extraordinarily important at this juncture," said Drumm. "We believe that this new investment will allow us to continue to raise up SUNY and make it the world-class university system New Yorkers deserve."
"Higher education is critical to a healthy economy," said Katherine P. Douglas, president of Corning Community College. "Investing in SUNY, New York's premier system of higher education, sets individual students on an upward trajectory for life and provides the workforce and taxpayers upstate New York requires for a robust quality of life. Successful SUNY students are the dividend of our taxpayers' investment in SUNY."
Since NYSUNY 2020 was first enacted, SUNY campuses have used additional revenue generated by rational tuition to grow and expand student services, including the hiring of 520 net new instructional staff, 270 of whom are full-time faculty, and the implementation of 100 new degree programs reflecting high-demand areas in New York’s workforce.
"We cannot plan the future of our State University on yesterday's dollars, which is why extending this legislation until 2020 is essential. NYSUNY 2020 is perhaps the smartest, most impactful legislation to support SUNY in history," said Zimpher. "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."