communications

Letter to Editor

SUNY an essential part of state's economy

First published: Thursday, November 6, 2008

Your Oct. 30 article ("Dear D.C.: Send help'') on Gov. David Paterson's appeal to Congress to "reignite the engine of our economy" by helping New York out of its fiscal doldrums seems very familiar to us at United University Professions.

UUP, representing more than 35,000 academic and professional faculty at the State University of New York, has been stressing for months that SUNY is the economic engine that drives the state's economy. Every dollar in state support it receives returns an average of $7 to the local economy where its campuses are located. For example, the University at Albany reports its annual economic impact on the Capital Region totals $3 billion. SUNY's leading role in propelling the state's economy is why New York's elected leaders need to rethink $148 million in prior cuts to SUNY's budget this year and approach state support to the university as an investment in the future economic well-being of the state. The state ought to build its way out of this crisis instead of cutting its way out, and SUNY is the solution. Restoring state support to the levels in the original 2008-09 budget is a start. That's why UUP has called on the governor and SUNY administrators to give the university the funding it needs to keep SUNY's economic engine humming. Whether Washington comes to the aid of New York or not, the governor needs to realize that, in SUNY, he holds the key to start the engine of New York's economy. He should keep that in mind as he draws up future budget plans.

PHILLIP H. SMITH
President United University Professions


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