Statement by SUNY Director of Communications Casey Vattimo on the 2016-17 New York State Budget

April 1, 2016

“We are disappointed that the final budget will not include Governor Cuomo's proposed extension of the landmark NYSUNY 2020 reforms, and that the Legislature was unable to provide the resources identified by the SUNY Board of Trustees as needed for our state-operated campuses and community colleges.

“SUNY greatly appreciates that the budget will provide additional funds for the continued expansion of Education Opportunity Programs and Centers, as well as some key capital projects at campuses across the state. This assistance will serve some of our neediest students while contributing to SUNY’s delivery of path-breaking research and innovation, advances in healthcare, and economic development.

“As a system, SUNY waged perhaps its most comprehensive advocacy campaign to date, and we are proud of our efforts, especially the relentless advocacy of our students. Despite this setback, SUNY will work together, as a system, to determine how to make up the budget shortfall while not sacrificing educational quality or forfeiting the progress we have made over the past five years.

“Working with our campus presidents, Chancellor Zimpher and the Board of Trustees will consider every option within SUNY’s authority to ensure that our more than 1 million students continue to receive the world-class higher education they deserve.”

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, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three 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 opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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