To further amplify the need for increased funding for public higher education, United University Professions, NYSUT’s local union representing academic and professional faculty at 29 state-operated campuses of the State University of New York, launched an advertising campaign this week urging the state to create a public higher education endowment to hire more full-time faculty and professional staff to safeguard the quality of public higher education. The campaign comes after SUNY and the City University of New York have lost nearly $2 billion in state funding in recent years.
The campaign dovetails with the message of NYSUT’s "Keep New York a State of Mind" campaign, launched earlier this year in partnership with the statewide union’s public higher education affiliates - SUNY, CUNY and community colleges. The campaign calls for passage of the Public Higher Education Quality Initiative, which would create an endowment to restore and rebuild SUNY and CUNY academic departments by adding full-time faculty and professional staff; increase funding for SUNY, CUNY and community colleges; and increase funding for student financial aid and opportunity programs.
UUP is airing a series of 30-second television ads in and around Albany this week and next, and a half-page print ad in weekly and daily newspapers in areas near SUNY campuses, over the next two weeks. The ads ask viewers and readers to call 1-888-866-2561, toll-free, and urge their elected state officials to create the endowment and increase state funding for SUNY campuses and state hospitals.
UUP also launched a separate New York City print ad campaign to protect SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, a cause that NYSUT has long championed. The ad describes SUNY Downstate as a beacon of hope that provides vital safety-net services and asks readers to call a different toll-free number, 1-888-789-9085, to tell state lawmakers to increase state aid for SUNY Downstate. The ad begins appearing Thursday, March 13, in two daily newspapers and several Brooklyn-based weekly newspapers.