Statement on Governor Hochul’s State of the State
We are heartened to see Gov. Hochul commit to continuing implementation of her vision for the transformation of our state’s higher education system in her State of the State policy book. After years of public disinvestment, she committed last year to increase CUNY and SUNY funding by $1.5 billion over five years. This funding is critical to improving student access and educational quality. The Governor started her planned reinvestment in CUNY with funding in her first budget for new faculty, financial aid reforms, expanded access to student loan forgiveness, additional campus childcare, capital improvements and other investments. These year-one investments in CUNY aligned significantly with the New Deal for CUNY, popular state legislation that would restore our once-free public university, rebuild its ranks of faculty and staff, fix its crumbling facilities and fulfill its potential as an engine of opportunity and equity. But there is more damage to undo. CUNY needs the Governor’s reinvestment and additional investments in the New Deal for CUNY to fully unlock its potential.
The Governor’s plan to invest $1 billion to improve mental health services also aligns with the New Deal for CUNY, which would ensure at least one mental health counselor for every 1,000 students. Unfortunately, the proposal to increase tuition is a move in the wrong direction, especially when colleges are struggling to recruit and retain students at pre-pandemic levels and household budgets are strained by record inflation. CUNY was free for more than a century. It should be free once more.
Statement on Mayor Adams’s Preliminary Budget
CUNY needs increased investment from the City—not more cuts. The austerity of Thursday’s Preliminary Budget Proposal does not comport with the projections of the city’s Independent Budget Office.
The Mayor, a CUNY alum who has marched with students and staff to oppose past budget cuts to our university, knows firsthand the value and economy-boosting power of CUNY. CUNY graduates contribute $4.2 billion annually to the state economy, most of it here in our city. No university system lifts more students and families out of poverty and into the middle class than CUNY. Yet the “Program to Eliminate the Gap” (PEG) cuts proposed by the Executive in the December budget modification and additional cuts proposed in the Preliminary Budget add up to $18.5 million (January 2023 PEG, Pg. 16) They would leave CUNY students without the faculty and staff they need to help them succeed. The enacted and proposed cuts from FY23 combine to leave CUNY unable to fill 235 empty faculty and staff positions at the community colleges (January 2023 PEG, Pg 16). And that staff loss is on top of the loss of 128 full-time faculty lines in FY22 (February 2022 Financial Plan Detail Fiscal Years 2022 – 2026 Pg. E-53) We need to preserve those positions and invest in CUNY.
Fordham Adjuncts’ Pre-Strike Rally Tomorrow, January 19
PSC members are urged to join Fordham Faculty United’s pre-strike rally tomorrow, January 19 at 12 noon at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, West 60th Street and Columbus Avenue, Manhattan. RSVP here to let them know you’ll be there.
Adjunct faculty represented by Fordham Faculty United | SEIU Local 200 voted recently to authorize a strike on January 30 if their university fails to meet their demands for across-the-board salary increases, pay parity between departments and expanded health benefits. (“Instructors at Fordham University Threaten to Strike,” The City)
Published: January 18, 2023
Last Modified: January 19, 2023