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For Immediate Release
January 16, 2018

Statement from UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on the proposed 2018-19 state budget

"UUP certainly understands that 2018-19 will be a fiscally challenging year for New York state. But what appears to be essentially another flat budget for SUNY may endanger the high-quality educational experience offered by SUNY.

"A college degree is increasingly necessary to provide students with the skills and experiences they will need to excel in an ever-changing global economy. The state needs a strong investment in higher ed.

"With increasing enrollments at SUNY’s four-year colleges, campuses are in need of increased aid to hire more full-time faculty and maintain and provide necessary services for these students. It will be difficult to meet this commitment with the current budget proposal for SUNY.

"Major concerns, such as state support for the full cost of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for students at state-operated campuses, and support for hiring more full-time SUNY faculty and staff, remain unaddressed in this spending plan.​

"Preliminary information also suggests that the $78.6 million subsidy for SUNY’s three state-run public hospitals in Brooklyn, Stony Brook and Syracuse is being repurposed for capital projects. If this is true, this is concerning indeed, and would make it challenging for the hospitals to maintain health care of the highest quality. ​

"These public teaching hospitals—which treat all who walk through their doors, regardless of whether they can pay for care—rely on these funds to help offset those costs and support their medical schools. These medical schools provide an important pipeline of doctors and professional health specialists to New York City and throughout the state.​

"UUP looks forward to working with the Legislature and the governor on these and other issues of importance that will serve the long-term interests of public higher education in New York."

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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