SUNY Board of Trustees, Presidents Ask State Legislature to “Invest in SUNY”

State-Operated Campus Presidents Request Extension of NYSUNY 2020 in Open Letter

Albany – State University of New York Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall and Ambassador Carl Spielvogel, chair of the Board’s Communications and External Affairs Committee, today led a delegation of SUNY trustees and leaders at an Albany press conference calling for increased state investment in SUNY.

SUNY campus presidents in every region of the state have called on the Legislature to “Invest in SUNY” at press events in recent weeks as the system campaigns for the establishment of a SUNY Investment Fund and extension NYSUNY 2020 legislation in the 2015-16 New York State Budget. The system has also established an Invest in SUNY website, outlining the details of its request and providing a vehicle for New Yorkers to lend their support.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher stands beside Board Chairman H. Carl McCall as he leads the Trustee Delegation at the Albany press conference.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher stands beside Board Chairman H. Carl McCall as he leads the Trustee Delegation at the Albany press conference.

“SUNY has a knowledge and expertise in what works and we know that, given the right amount of state investment, we can lead our students to higher degrees of access, completion, and success,” said Chairman McCall. “Chancellor Zimpher and campus presidents in every region have brought the ‘Invest in SUNY’ campaign to communities across New York State in recent weeks. The Board wholeheartedly agrees with this critical message. It’s time to increase invest in SUNY.”

“I have watched with great enthusiasm and anticipation in recent years as Chancellor Zimpher has united our stakeholders around a common vision and created a significant buzz around what it means to support SUNY,” said Ambassador Spielvogel. “Investing in SUNY will have a significant impact not only for our students, but for New York’s local and state economies. As SUNY works to increase the number of annual graduates from 93,000 to 150,000, state support through a SUNY Investment Fund is essential.”

The key component of SUNY’s budget request is an Investment Fund that will enable SUNY to bring to scale evidence-based programs known to support student success, including Finish in Four completion promises, applied learning, Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP), and expanded advisement services. These programs – proven to work at one or more SUNY campuses already – would be expanded system-wide.

SUNY is also asking the Legislature to extend NYSUNY 2020 and continue the legislation’s rational tuition policy, which adds predictability to the cost of a SUNY education through incremental annual tuition increases. Since NYSUNY 2020 was first enacted, SUNY campuses have used additional revenue generated by rational tuition to grow and expand student services, including hiring 520 net new instructional staff, 270 of whom are full-time faculty, and the implementation of 100 new degree programs reflecting high-demand areas in New York’s workforce.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran represented the Technology College sector at the Albany Press Conference.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran represented the Technology College sector at the Albany media event.

The presidents of SUNY’s state-operated campuses presented an open letter to legislative leaders today, supporting the system request and requesting an extension of the legislation through its indicated end – 2020. The presidents’ letter was presented at today’s event by UAlbany President Robert J. Jones and Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz, who both spoke at the event. A copy is available online.

Several student organizations throughout SUNY have already voiced support for its extension as well, including those at Stony Brook University, University at Buffalo, SUNY Maritime College, and SUNY Oneonta.

“We cannot plan the future of our State University on yesterday’s dollars,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature have said they want education to be a priority. By supporting our request in its entirety – establishing a SUNY Investment Fund and extending NYSUNY 2020 – New York can give SUNY the tools it needs to educate more of its residents and prepare them for success in college and career.”

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About the State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 460,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 college and university campuses, and online through Open SUNY. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally-sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.

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