December 08, 2008

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Chapter leaders hold strategy session on state’s financial crisis

Chapter presidents and vice presidents met in a special strategy session on Nov. 24 at UUP’s Latham headquarters to discuss the state’s financial crisis and its impact on the University.

UUP President Phillip Smith also urged UUPers to become more involved letting local legislators, business owners, parents and students know that SUNY is the solution to the state’s financial crunch.

Several chapter presidents reported success in spreading that message.

SUNY Cortland Chapter President Lawrence Ashley said his members put together a brochure explaining the financial importance of SUNY Cortland to the local economy. The brochure will be distributed to thousands of area residents.

Buffalo State Chapter President Richard Stempniak sent out 1,000 “SUNY is the Solution” signs to his chapter’s members and asked them to post them in places where they do business. Plattsburgh area Rotary members have put UUP signs in Rotary members’ shops and offices. Plattsburgh UUPers have also developed palm cards with facts on how a strong SUNY benefits the community, said David Curry, Plattsburgh chapter president.

Smith and chapter presidents discussed the SUNY Board of Trustees’ plan to raise tuition, as well as the “Four Pillars” plan, a major part of SUNY’s 2009-10 budget proposal. The plan would grant the Trustees power to sell or lease University assets, allow it to control revenue from tuition and fees, and gain “appropriate” state financial support.

"We've told SUNY in no uncertain terms that not all aspects of their flexibility plan can be supported by UUP,” said Smith.

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