Oct. 5, 2016

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Kowal makes case for SUNY transparency

uupdate 10-5-16

CLICK HERE to watch President Kowal's interview on "Capital Tonight"

UUP President Fred Kowal explained the union’s call for complete transparency at SUNY and said the state comptroller should be allowed to audit the University’s paid consultants, outside contracts and procurement processes.

Kowal, in an Oct. 5 interview on Time Warner Cable’s “Capital Tonight,” said the time has come for total transparency at SUNY—especially at the SUNY Research Foundation and individual campus foundations.

"There's a lot that goes on that is not open to the light of day," Kowal told host Nick Reisman during the nine-minute interview. "Whether it's the legislators, or whether it's the public, or parents sending their sons and daughters to a SUNY institution, they need to know where these resources are going and how they're being used to further the academic mission of SUNY."

UUP’s latest push for SUNY transparency stems from the bid-rigging scandal at SUNY Polytechnic Institute that resulted in the Sept. 22 arrest of SUNY Poly President and CEO Alain Kaloyeros and several prominent real estate developers. On Oct. 1, nearly 300 delegates at the union’s 2016 Fall Delegate Assembly policymaking convention unanimously approved a measure urging SUNY to adopt a full transparency policy.

Kaloyeros was arraigned Sept. 23 on three state felony charges connected to the alleged bid-rigging of development projects in Albany, Central and Western New York. Kaloyeros, suspended without pay, was also part of a Sept. 22 federal complaint that charged him with secretly rigging bids on state-funded contracts related to the state’s “Buffalo Billion” project.

UUP has been advocating for transparency at SUNY and its research foundations for the past five years.

During his interview, Kowal also called for audits of SUNY contracts and its procurement processes by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“We believe it’s necessary for the state comptroller to be back into that process,” Kowal said. “I’m very concerned that with this breaking scandal, all of SUNY will be painted with a broad brush, and that it will impact funding for SUNY and parents’ decisions about sending their kids to SUNY. We have an incredibly strong public higher education system.”

“Capital Tonight,” Time Warner Cable’s nightly statewide public affairs program, airs on Time Warner Cable systems across upstate.

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