March 5, 2015

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SUNY leaders call for Albany’s continued support of higher education

Christian:  "... a new
investment fund"

Hilgersom:  "... we really do
transorm lives "

NEW PALTZ – Representatives from the region’s SUNY colleges are asking legislators to continue the Rational Tuition Policy and NY SUNY 20/20 Policy.

Representatives, led by SUNYSUNY_NY_budget-05Mar15 New Paltz President Donald Christian, met Wednesday at the college’s campus, to discuss their concerns for the upcoming 2015-16 state budget.

“We’re here to call on our Mid-Hudson legislators to continue their leadership in supporting New York’s public higher education sector,” Christian said. “We ask that they create a new investment fund for SUNY in the 2015-2016 state budget.”

Christian says that prior to 2011 and the Rational Tuition Policy, students, as well as their parents, had no way to predict changing tuition costs that could be unchanging for periods, then change, at once, in the amount of thousands of dollars at a time. He said current estimates are rising tuition costs of about $300 per year for SUNY schools.

Karin Hilgersom, president of SUNY Sullivan, said they are looking for more funding this year to increase the current amount of $2,497 per student that they are receiving from the state.

“It’s time to invest more in our community colleges because we really do transform lives. For now, we are requesting $250 per year, for three years, which really isn’t enough, but at least it helps us continue and forward the important work of community colleges,” she said.

All of the SUNY representatives agree it is important for the community colleges and four year schools to work together on this initiative since a majority of the SUNY community college graduates transfer to four-year SUNY schools.

President Christian said that school representatives are still meeting with the legislators to promote their needs for the new year with the next session taking place next week.

The deadline for adopting a new state budget by March 31, but it is rarely met.


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