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Statement from James Davis, President of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, on the New York State Budget’s Investments in CUNY

State Budget is A Step Closer to a New Deal for CUNY

May 03, 2023

By rejecting tuition hikes for in-state undergraduates, increasing the operating budget allocation by more than $100 million, including more than a billion dollars in new capital funding and explicitly committing to funding increases for CUNY for two years, the state has made a long-awaited reinvestment in our great public university.

The tenacious advocacy of PSC members, CUNY students, NYSUT, CUNY Rising Alliance, and other allies of public higher education made this budget possible. We thank Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie, as well as higher education committee chairs Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, and New Deal for CUNY prime sponsors, Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Karines Reyes and the many other legislators who advocated for CUNY.

These gains couldn’t have come at a better time, as CUNY management has proposed deep “savings target” cuts to academic programs and student services because of state budget uncertainty, cuts from Mayor Eric Adams, and enrollment declines. With these significant increases in state funding, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez must reverse the planned cuts and commit to protecting the jobs of PSC members, appropriate class sizes, and the quality of a CUNY education. The chancellor must now fight to increase NYC funding for CUNY.

CUNY faces considerable challenges, but we are now a step closer to a New Deal for CUNY—a New Deal for Higher Education. New Yorkers are ready for a free and fully funded public university system and we are committed to making that vision a reality. Our students deserve no less.

Published: May 3, 2023

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