December 12, 2013

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UUP president calls for SUNY endowment

uupdate 12-12-13

UUP President Fred Kowal, right, says SUNY needs a permanent endowment to have a long-term source of funding.

Kowal and NYSUT Director of Legislation Stephen Allinger, left, testified at a Dec. 12 legislative committee hearing that the state should finance a SUNY endowment. That would allow the university to hire more full-time faculty to serve its increasing student enrollment, and improve conditions for part-time, adjunct and contingent faculty.

Kowal gave testimony at a public hearing conducted by the state Assembly Standing Committee on Higher Education.

Kowal also spoke out against the state Education Department’s refusal of NYSUT's request to delay implementation of its new student performance assessment - the edTPA.

“The result is a chaotic and educationally unsound transition that threatens to unreasonably deny the current cohort of students their teaching certification, despite their successful program completion at our institutions,” Kowal said.

He pointed out that student teachers have not been adequately prepared for the edTPA, because the requirements were not clear nor made available to teacher education programs in enough time to adjust the curriculum. Students must pass the edTPA this spring semester to be certified to teach in New York.

“SUNY students who have invested in their college education, who have worked hard, who have completed the teacher preparation program requirements successfully and who have been assessed by experienced educators to be prepared to enter the teaching profession may be denied teaching certification at unacceptable rates,” he said.

Kowal also asked lawmakers to support the “Brooklyn Hospitals Safety Net Plan” that would save SUNY Downstate Medical Center and preserve public health care and medical education in Brooklyn. UUP, NYSUT, AFT, CSEA and the Public Employees Federation (PEF) endorse that plan.

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