Statement on Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams’s Preliminary Executive Budgets
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Today the City University of New York (CUNY) students and staff are receiving mixed budget news from the Governor and Mayor. We welcome Governor Hochul’s commitment to public colleges and universities. We applaud her new investments in fringe benefits and CUNY operations and her return to the practice of funding collective bargaining agreements for our public universities. These are critical investments, though far more state funding is needed.
That said, we remain deeply disappointed in Mayor Adams for failing to support CUNY. Mayor Adams has turned his back on his alma mater and has given New Yorkers no reason to expect better from him in his Preliminary Budget. Why can’t this Mayor recognize that an investment in CUNY is an investment in the future workforce of New York?
The fact is, in the last year, enrollment has begun to rebound from the pandemic at almost all CUNY colleges, and the question is what awaits those students who want to pursue their degrees. CUNY is at risk of a twin crisis in student retention and faculty and staff attrition without significant new investments in city and state operating aid.
Thanks to the Mayor’s budget cuts, years of public disinvestment and CUNY’s over dependence on tuition revenue, CUNY imposed plans on every college to close “structural deficits” totaling $128 million in Fiscal Year 2024. A freeze on new full-time hires coupled with reductions in budgets for adjunct hiring and other temporary services has led to an understaffing crisis. Now, midway through the academic year, the CUNY administration has demanded even more cuts at nine campuses, including two community colleges, six senior colleges, and one professional school. This harms students and staff as hundreds of spring semester classes have been canceled, enrollment caps on remaining classes have been raised, and adjunct faculty and full-time faculty serving on term-limited contracts have lost their positions, their expected income, and in some cases their health insurance.
We urge the Governor and the Legislature to work together this spring to pass the New Deal for CUNY and provide the resources that our students, current and future, truly deserve. In New York City, the Mayor has the money to reverse his cuts to CUNY, as he’s done for the NYPD and other agencies. We are counting on the City Council to continue to oppose the Mayor’s needless cuts to CUNY.
Published: January 18, 2024
Last Modified: February 8, 2024