January 20, 2014
By Stephanie West
Over the last five years, the SUNY and CUNY systems had nearly $2 billion in cuts, which drives up tuition and decreases quality affordable higher education. “NYSUT has consistently advocated that our public colleges and universities are vital community assets but they have been seriously underfunded and undervalued resulting in too many students finding their opportunities limited and on-time graduation threatened,” said NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi.
The “Keep New York a State of Mind” campaign, created by New York State United Teachers, is pushing for an expansion of full-time faculty and staff to the New York State College System and the increasing of the community college base aid. Educators generally agree that in order to maintain standards in the state college and university system adequate funding must be provided. Updating the state’s Tuition Assistance Program is also needed.
“New York state must find a way to re-imagine public funding for public higher education. The City University’s funding from New York State is now below 1990 levels, while tuition has risen 43 percent just since 2008,” said Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress at CUNY. “If New York wants to remain the opportunity state, it must find a way to resolve this funding crisis.”