Binghamton University lays out ambitious agenda in support of Governor’s public higher education reform package


 BINGHAMTON, NY -- Governor David A. Paterson today announced the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act. This legislation will unleash the power of the State University of New York and allow it to reinvigorate the economy through innovation and job creation.

“Public higher education has a unique mission and responsibility,” said Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur. “SUNY ensures that New Yorkers have access to high-quality, affordable education, which helps keep the state’s best and brightest in New York. Right now, however, SUNY has too little revenue, too little investment and far too much regulation. If we fail to remedy these problems, we risk crippling our system of public higher education and miss an opportunity to help the state set the pace for developments in sustainability, engineering, health care and business.”

Through this legislation, SUNY would have spending and contracting flexibility to better serve students, faculty, researchers and staff in a timely manner. It would also allow SUNY the ability to access capital necessary to support the state’s economic development mission. The legislation would give SUNY the ability to lease or purchase land and facilities. Additionally, it will provide greater flexibility in setting tuition as well as the ability to retain revenue generated by tuition.

“Investment in SUNY and Binghamton University is an investment in the economic foundation of New York State,” said DeFleur. “Given these tools proposed by the Governor’s reform package, Binghamton University will have a stronger role in the economic development and future of central New York. In response, we have laid out an ambitious agenda which draws upon Binghamton’s strengths as a leader in internationalism and sustainability.”

Binghamton’s initiative, known as the Think Green. Think Global. Think Binghamton plan, will, over the next decade:

- expand enrollment by 5,000 students.

- hire an additional 1,800 faculty and support staff.

- fuel entrepreneurialism, technology transfer and small business development with increased support for local start-up companies.

- construct 12 new buildings, including a law school, additional science and lecture facilities and residence halls, to accommodate the larger student body.

- add unique academic programs that will produce graduates who are prepared to lead the way in building a new, greener future for the state.

- continue to achieve efficiencies in energy use. The University will expand; its carbon footprint will not.

By implementing the governor’s legislation through the Think Binghamton plan, Binghamton University is expected to generate an additional $170 million annual impact on Greater Binghamton and an additional $231.6 million annual impact on New York State, for new totals of $920 million and $1,23 billion, respectively. With this legislation, Binghamton University plans:

- an estimated $889 million in construction and critical maintenance. This building boom is projected to result in sustained hiring of more than 5,200 construction workers over a 10-year period and have a statewide economic impact of more than $1.96 billion.

- the addition of 5,000 students to the campus will create more than 2,200 sustained jobs within Greater Binghamton when fully implemented. This includes 1,800 faculty and support staff as well as 440 jobs in the region.

- the addition of 5,000 students will generate more than $1.15 million in volunteer services to the community as well as more than $8 million in new property taxes.

 “New York, like the country as a whole, must seize this moment and find a way to position itself to succeed,” said DeFleur. “Through passage of the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act, SUNY can help the state succeed in this knowledge-based economy of the future and Binghamton University can be at the center of this vibrant, high-tech movement.“

Last Updated: 9/17/13