May 07, 2009

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UUP: Restore New Paltz nursing, graduate programs

UUP President Phil Smith takes the lead role at a news conference in New Paltz calling upon the school administrations to reverse its decision to eliminate its nursing program and suspend its graduation education programs in chemistry, earth science, French, math and Spanish. Joining Smith at the podium, L-R, are Peter Brown and Glenn McNitt of New Paltz and NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler.

Smith described the move that calls for cutting more than 100 jobs as shortsighted.

“The New Paltz administration overreacted,” Smith said. “They have the state budget funds to continue these programs.”

Smith was joined at the podium by than a dozen New Paltz faculty, including UUP Chapter President Glenn McNitt. McNitt said New Paltz campus president should be looking at raising more revenues instead of making cuts. He said the Steven Poskanzer administration has failed to respond to calls to cancel its plans, but the union is pressing him to change his mind.

“Good leaders need to reverse themselves when they’ve clearly been mistaken,” McNitt said to the applause of fellow faculty and nursing students carrying signs protesting the elimination of their programs.

Nursing department chairperson Eleanor Richards charged the decision makes absolutely no sense, especially since the nursing program raises tuition revenues that fully cover its cost of operation and creates extra revenues for New Paltz.

“We are the only program to be cut. We are fully accessible and affordable,” Richards said.

NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler also spoke at the new conference, affirming the UUP affiliate’s strong support for the nursing and graduate education programs.

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