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CONTACT: Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
Lisi’s cell number: (518) 944-9528

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6, 2011

UUP blasts Stony Brook and Buffalo NYSUNY 2020 proposals as bad deal for students


ALBANY
The NYSUNY 2020 proposals advanced by Stony Brook and the University at Buffalo would severely restrict student access, erode academic quality and amount to a backdoor tax on students, according to United University Professions President Phillip H. Smith. He questioned both campuses’ reliability on tuition and fee revenue to fund their proposals.

“Stony Brook University and UB are looking to increase their tuition charges by eight percent per year for five years to partially fund the construction of new facilities. Tuition increases should benefit students rather than create revenues for private businesses,” Smith said. “We are in favor of economic development, but these plans do little more than relocate existing medical services or combine them in new buildings with the hope of expansion. That is not real economic development.”

Smith said both plans place the emphasis on private business at the expense of education, which is SUNY’s primary mission.

“By seeking tuition and fee increases to implement their plans, UB and Stony Brook administrators have made it clear that buildings are more important to them than students. These plans would give SUNY a blank check signed by students to hike tuition to expand or construct buildings,” Smith said. “UUP supports a rational tuition plan, but the plans presented are not rational and represent a tax targeting students, despite repeated vows by state leaders not to raise taxes.”

Smith is urging state lawmakers to reject the NYSUNY 2020 plans and keep SUNY accessible to students from working class families, many of whom would not be able to attend SUNY if tuition increased by eight percent annually.

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 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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