ALBANY, N.Y. December 17, 2007 - Preliminary recommendations released today by Gov. Spitzer's Commission on Higher Education, reaffirm what NYSUT and its higher education affiliates have been saying for years: Higher education is crucial to the state's future, but has been chronically and dangerously underfunded for too long.
"The commission's diagnosis of the problems created by years of underfunding and neglect by the state lays the foundation for building solutions, starting in the upcoming budget season," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "NYSUT looks forward to working with Gov. Spitzer and his commission, as well as the state Legislature, to place CUNY, SUNY and our community colleges among the premier university systems in the world, as the governor has pledged."
NYSUT - with a total membership of more than 585,000 in education and health care - represents 63,000 academic and professional faculty at the State University of New York, City University of New York, the state's community colleges and some private institutions.
"We were pleased to see the commission's emphasis on increased support for community colleges," Iannuzzi added. "These institutions are the gateway to higher education for many New Yorkers, especially students of color and students from low-income families. Their viability will go a long way toward efforts to end the academic achievement gap."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin lauded Spitzer for establishing the commission.
"NYSUT thanks the governor for his leadership in making higher education a priority in New York," Lubin said. "Creation of the commission demonstrates that the state is serious about ensuring all New Yorkers have access to a quality, affordable college education."
NYSUT represents more than 585,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.