From: The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)
September 05, 2008
State should restore cut in SUNY funding
Updated: 09/05/08 6:32 AM
Sen. Ken LaValle is on the mark expressing concern over the state’s massive funding reductions for SUNY in his Aug. 30 Another Voice. He accurately portrays State University of New York campuses as economic development engines providing quality jobs in their local communities. Nowhere is that statement more compelling than in Buffalo, where the University at Buffalo, one of the area’s largest employers, has a resounding $1.5 billion overall economic impact, according to the University at Buffalo Regional Institute. And that doesn’t take into account the economic contributions generated by Buffalo State College.
The $148 million cut in state support for SUNY, coupled with a $109 million reduction in nongeneral-fund spending, threatens to derail this economic engine. While we fully realize that New York State is coping with difficult economic times, it makes no sense to financially undermine SUNY, which produces significant economic dividends.
Add to that the fact that many of those displaced by the economy look to higher education to acquire new skills. This is no time to limit access to SUNY for those who desperately need help.
We join with LaValle in calling upon the state to increase support for SUNY. That effort should begin by restoring the funds that have been cut so SUNY can continue to offer a quality and affordable higher education for thousands of New Yorkers.
Phillip H. Smith
President, United University Professions