United University Professions applauds Greg Slabodkin’s Feb. 21 Viewpoints story, “Is UB 2020 the answer?” for raising some serious concerns about UB 2020. The proposal has morphed into the governor’s Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act which, if enacted, would raise many of the same concerns at SUNY campuses statewide.
Slabodkin accurately recognizes that the 2020 bill would dramatically boost tuition by as much as 40 percent over the next four years. The governor’s proposal threatens to have the same result, hiking tuition to a level that would make the University at Buffalo unaffordable for tens of thousands of students from low-and middle-income families whose only hope for a college degree is through SUNY. UB could wind up with fewer students instead of more. A declining student body would hurt the local economy.
We share Slabodkin’s description of the purported benefits of UB 2020 as “marketing puffery.”UB can still be an economic engine for Western New York without changing the regulatory framework of SUNY or abandoning the best interests of its students.
UB Chapter President, UUP Amherst