• SUNY Cortland students in classroom look toward teacher.

Our Ask

 

We cannot plan the future of our State University on yesterday’s dollars.

There is a critical need for increased and new investment in the State university system.

Three Finger Lakes Community College students study in student lounge.

SUNY has set a goal to produce 150,000 graduates each year by 2020, an increase of 60,000 students per year. That means 150,000 New Yorkers every year who will be better equipped to have a career that pays well and a better quality of life.

Getting to this 150,000 goal requires an ambitious agenda, including a number of initiatives that will be game-changers for education in New York State. But without new investment, few if any of those initiatives can come to fruition and be brought to scale across the state.

Education should not be unpredictable—and neither should tuition.

Throughout its history, SUNY, the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the nation, has had virtually no control over setting its own tuition. In five decades the authority of the SUNY Board of Trustees to raise State-operated campus undergraduate tuition was only recognized 13 times. The smallest increase was $310 while the largest was $950.

This system led to obvious inequality between classes over time, as 17 classes never saw an increase, while others saw as many as three. Faced with financial trouble, the State withdrew financial assistance, while raising tuition for students and families in order to bridge the gap. The additional funds provided by students covered the State’s budget gaps and was not allocated to help SUNY grow and develop new programs for its students.

As a result of the budget gap left by the State, SUNY was forced to deactivate programs, reduce course sizes, and increase class sizes. Full-time faculty positions were left vacant and the reliance on adjunct faculty increased.

 

 

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