The University Budget Request, scheduled for a vote at the October 25 Board of Trustees meeting, is more ambitious than it has been in years and may be a springboard to a very successful budget cycle. We’re ready to seize the moment, and need. PSC members should save the date–Monday. October 25, 4:30 PM–for simultaneously in-person and remote action planned to coincide with the next CUNY Board of Trustees meeting.
The Message :
Dear PSC Members:
Several planks of the New Deal for CUNY platform – developed by the PSC and our coalition partners in the CUNY Rising Alliance – are reflected in CUNY’s University Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2023. While we are still analyzing the details of the budget request, we believe it is an important springboard to a successful budget cycle.
During the tenure of former Governor Cuomo, CUNY’s annual budget request was a source of anger and exasperation for PSC members and students. The administration did not ask for what we needed, and the resulting budgets damaged the University and hurt students, faculty and staff alike. But CUNY’s budget proposal for FY 2023 is a dramatic improvement.
A new governor and mayor present a major opportunity for our underfunded university system. (NY Daily News, “Getting CUNY on solid footing.”) The CUNY administration appears to be seizing the moment, and we are encouraged that our years of organizing with the CUNY Rising Alliance and lawmakers have borne fruit in the CUNY budget request.
CUNY is requesting 16 percent more for FY 2023 in state support than last year, an additional $313 million, and 20 percent more in city support, an additional $103 million.
With the increased funding, CUNY aims to hire 1,075 new full-time faculty, nearly half of whom would be in Lecturer positions open to current adjuncts. CUNY is seeking to bolster full-time staffing in mental health counseling, health clinics, and childcare centers. Rather than pursuing a “predictable” tuition increase, as in many past years, CUNY would continue a tuition freeze next year. And they have requested $1.247 billion in capital funding, a $437 million increase over last year’s COVID crisis budget.
This is not the whole New Deal for CUNY – state legislation that would phase in major structural changes — but it represents an important step in that direction. We will need all of us in the PSC to support this budget request, and then press for more from the Governor and the Mayor.
There is still much to do. CUNY lost more than 500 full-time faculty and staff during the last two years that must be replaced. Many laid-off adjuncts still must be rehired and part-time mental health counselors hired with one-time stimulus funds should be made full-time employees. Ultimately, our goal is passage of the New Deal for CUNY and the return of a tuition-free university.