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CONTACT: Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
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December 16, 2008

Governor’s budget for SUNY campuses moves in right direction

Gov. Paterson’s Executive Budget proposal appears to take a step in the right direction regarding funding for the State University of New York’s academic programs, but his proposed cuts to SUNY’s three teaching hospitals could cripple those facilities, according to United University Professions, the union representing faculty and professionals at SUNY.

The governor proposed a $7 million increase to the SUNY state-operated campuses this year by allowing SUNY to, in effect, retain 10 percent of a proposed $310 tuition increase for the spring semester. His budget provides a $35 million increase for 2009-2010 by allowing the University to keep 20 percent of a $620 annual tuition increase.

“We are pleased the governor proposed a modest increase in the state budget for SUNY’s state-operated campuses because they suffered massive budget cuts this year,” said UUP President Phillip H. Smith. “This enhancement will give SUNY a fighting chance to protect student access and preserve academic quality, and a strong public university system is even more critical during this fiscal crisis.”

“However,” Smith added. “Slashing $25 million from the budget for SUNY’s three teaching hospitals at Brooklyn, Stony Brook and Syracuse—coupled with proposed Medicaid cuts—would be devastating. Cuts of that magnitude would jeopardize the hospitals’ core mission to deliver quality patient care, to serve all patients regardless of their ability to pay and to train the next generation of health care providers.”

Smith said UUP will urge the Legislature to restore the funding for the teaching hospitals, and to consider other revenue-generating options.

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 37,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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