NYSUT is urging lawmakers to support a proposal by United University Professions that would create a financial incentive program for State University of New York campuses and allow recent SUNY graduates to refinance school loans.
"As the largest higher education union in the country, it is the duty of UUP to develop and articulate plans that will strengthen SUNY," said UUP President Fred Kowal.
The package, announced in December, also includes a new loan forgiveness mechanism for SUNY adjuncts and a permanent publicly funded endowment for SUNY.
"The SUNY system was created in the first place so we can have an affordable public university for all New Yorkers. Let's put the money up and fund this program and give our students the opportunities they deserve," NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta said.
The plan calls for creating:
- The SUNY Student Loan Refinancing program for SUNY graduates with student loans incurred as of Jan. 1, 2008. Participants must earn a SUNY degree and wait one year after graduating to take part.
- The Adjuncts Loan Forgiveness Program would provide eligible SUNY adjuncts with a waiver for up to $29,400 in loans.
- Bringing Opportunities for Student Success, a program that would award financial incentives to campuses that work to hire more full-time faculty and staff; promote part-time faculty to full-time positions; develop greater diversity in their faculty, staff and student bodies; and significantly support the Educational Opportunity Program's pre-freshman summer program.
- A permanent, publicly funded endowment for SUNY to rebuild faculty and professional staff. The endowment would be used to expand hiring of full-time faculty and allow more part-time faculty and staff to move into full-time positions.