The State University’s 2006-07 budget request has two main
- To support the mandatory and base-level needs of our
campus’ faculty, employees and students; and
- To increase the number of full-time faculty to meet the
academic needs of our current and prospective students, and to better
serve the state’s economy. While the total number of faculty has
increased, the percentage of full-time faculty has continued to decline;
reaching a low of 62.2 percent for the current academic year. This trend
must be reversed. While adjunct faculty provide wonderful instruction and
are a necessary part of the campus community, they do not provide the
level of student counseling and mentoring, nor the total program support
and quality control of their full-time peers.
The budget request was a result of a collaborative process
with and among SUNY campuses. It took into account the significant fiscal
challenges facing New York State over the next several years, but was mindful
of the need to provide adequate resources to support the statutory mission of
It was a disciplined budget request. More than 75 percent
of the additional dollars requested are necessary to simply support base-level
costs. It was also strategic, with funds targeted to economic development and
performance initiatives that will have an extraordinary positive impact of New
York’s economy. It focused on all of this, but yet, represented a state
investment of less than 3% of the University’s all funds budget.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire
University, I would like to thank Governor Pataki for including in his
Executive Budget Proposal a number of the items outlined in the University’s
We are pleased that the Governor’s budget recognizes most of
University’s base budget costs such as collective bargaining agreements, fringe
benefits, and general inflation. We are particularly grateful for the State
tax dollars recommended for SUNY’s unanticipated energy cost increases in the
current year and projected escalation next year.
The Executive Budget also recognizes the contributions the State
University is making in economic development throughout the state. The
University is proud to be host to three of the five Centers of Excellence the
Governor has established at leading universities throughout the state. The
Governor, along with the Legislature and our corporate partners, have invested
billions of dollars in the SUNY based public-private partnerships in nano-electronics
at State University at Albany, bioinformatics at the State University at
Buffalo, and wireless and information technology at the SUNY’s Stony Brook
University. These Centers are prime examples of how the State University is
helping position New York State as a global leader in high-tech business growth
and private sector development.
The Senate’s Ge*NY*sis and the Assembly’s RESTORE programs
are also great contributors to the state’s economy through the investment of
over several hundred million dollars at numerous State University campuses in
conjunction with private partners. We are grateful for this support.
A new key initiative called the Empire Innovation Program in
the Executive Budget builds on the Board of Trustees’ proposed Excelsior
Faculty Initiative. It will enable our campuses to recruit 200 of the most
promising new research faculty over the next three years. New faculty will be
hired in clusters focused on areas the University is already demonstrating
national and international strength, including our Centers of Excellence in
nanotechnology, bioinformatics and wireless technology. By 2011, we expect
that these additional faculty will attract nearly $300 million in new federal
and private research and development grants, resulting in over $1 billion of
growth in New York State’s economy.
Meeting today’s workforce needs in the areas of economic
development and public health was also addressed in the Executive Budget. The
$1 million investment will help the University begin to increase the course
sections and faculty in high need areas, thus increasing the number of
graduates demanded by our economy and communities for engineers, information
technology specialists, nurses, and allied health professionals.
The University’s contribution to public health is centered
at our three hospitals at Stony Brook, Downstate in Brooklyn and Upstate in Syracuse.
These hospitals are integral elements of SUNY’s research, teaching and public
service missions. They provide a full array of patient care services designed
to meet the needs of the communities they serve, while providing a unique
environment to train the next generation of health care professions—the
majority of whom remain in New York State to care for its citizens. I look
forward to ensuring that SUNY’s hospitals are efficient and economically
viable, and continue to serve the critical health care needs of their host
communities and regions.
The Governor also proposed a rational tuition policy that
would lock in tuition for the 2006-07 academic year and begin indexing tuition
with the 2007-08 academic year. I support this plan and strongly believe that
our students, prospective students and their parents deserve a predictable
tuition plan. A rational tuition plan will also provide a great benefit to the
University by allowing the campuses to plan long-term investments in academic
quality for full-time faculty, technology, academic equipment and other
educational resources needed by the students. I hope to be able to work with
you this session to implement a rational tuition policy.
We believe the Executive Budget provides a good base on
which the University looks forward to building upon in partnership with the
State Legislature in the coming weeks and months.
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