SUNY Chancellor Delivers Testimony on 2012-13 Executive Budget

February 1, 2012

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today delivered testimony on the Governor’s 2012-13 Executive Budget proposal at a joint meeting of the fiscal and higher education committees of the State Legislature.

In her remarks, Chancellor Zimpher expressed the gratitude of the entire SUNY community to members of the Legislature for their passage of the historic NY SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Act as a part of last year’s on-time budget, and praised their accomplishments in support of public higher education.

Chancellor Zimpher also commended Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for an Executive Budget proposal that honors the maintenance of effort commitment on the part of the State, the expansion of the Challenge Grant program to all SUNY campuses, and the implementation of the second year of a rational tuition plan that has the support of SUNY students

“Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget supports our shared vision to make SUNY a world-class leader in higher education by marrying the system’s academic excellence with its capacity to create jobs and develop a stronger workforce for New York State,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Expansion of NYSUNY 2020 gives all SUNY campuses greater opportunity to drive economic development in their regions. Additionally, we appreciate that the governor has held the line on SUNY’s budget across the board, reversing the trend of deep funding cuts we had seen in recent years.”

The Chancellor also indicated, however, that because of the $1.4 billion in cuts SUNY absorbed over the last four years, additional support is still needed to help the system achieve its goals and deliver on its promises to New Yorkers. The SUNY budget request includes:

Hospitals: A $115 million request for hospital support, based on the difference between the cost of fringe benefits at our hospitals and the cost at their non-public competitors, reflects a $55 million increase over the current $60 million and excludes any costs associated with the acquisitions of Long Island Community Hospital and Community General Hospital.

Community Colleges: The SUNY community colleges were created on a model of one-third funding each from the State, local sponsors, and students. However, the budgeted average state share for community colleges today is 24.8 percent. SUNY proposes a five-year Rational Base Aid Plan, which would raise funding per full-time-equivalent student by $205 annually.

State-Operated Campuses: SUNY requests the next installment of the partial return to the University of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 tuition revenues that SUNY was not allowed to spend, more commonly known as “the tuition sweep.” This next 10 percent, worth $16.5 million, would bring SUNY to a 50 percent share of that tuition, as was promised when the law was enacted.

Capital: SUNY requests $600 million in capital funding for its three hospitals and $355 million for its residential facilities at state-operated campuses, in order to optimize programmatic and revenue enhancing opportunities and address critical maintenance needs. These capital programs are self supporting, meaning they absorb their own costs and have no long term impact on the State treasury.  

Chancellor Zimpher’s testimony is available online.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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