The negotiations over state aid to higher education started off this year on a hopeful note as the executive budget proposal would invest more in SUNY, CUNY and the community colleges than anyone has seen in years. Even so, leaders of NYSUT higher education affiliates are telling lawmakers that, due to a decade of fiscal neglect prior to Gov. Hochul’s administration, they need to increase funding to colleges and universities in the 2022–23 state budget.
“We are thankful for many of the initiatives contained in this year’s executive budget proposal, but more is needed to reverse the impact caused by years of underfunding,” said Andy Sako, president of the Faculty Federation of Erie Community College. “We will once again be looking to our friends in the Legislature … as we struggle to emerge from the pandemic.”
“Campuses continue to face difficult decisions concerning the potential elimination of programs and declining student services due to inadequate resources,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta.
“Our SUNY and CUNY systems have long provided a pathway to
the middle class for so many New Yorkers,” he said, “and they must have access to the funding necessary to offer the high-quality programs and services students rely on to prepare for their careers.”
United University Professions, representing academic and professional faculty at SUNY campuses, and the Professional Staff Congress, representing faculty and professional staff at CUNY, each seek more than $250 million in additional funding for their campuses.
“We thank the governor for addressing longstanding issues like closing the TAP Gap and investing in the Excelsior Scholarship, said UUP President Frederick E. Kowal, but more is needed for campuses and to support the SUNY teaching hospitals.
PSC seeks resources to fund year one of the New Deal for CUNY legislation, which could restore CUNY as a tuition-free institution for undergraduates.
PSC President James Davis called on the governor and lawmakers “to reaffirm the values of equity, opportunity and access to quality higher education.”
You can find NYSUT’s budget testimony on higher education at nysut.org/testimony.