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For Immediate Release
February 27, 2018

Kowal: SUNY must exercise strong oversight of campus foundations

United University Professions President Frederick E. Kowal said the union is troubled by a new state Comptroller’s report that exposed many ambiguous and problematic actions and policies of the SUNY campus foundations.

Kowal said UUP will continue its call for new legislation that would give state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli audit oversight of the campus foundations.

“Unions fight for everyone: for women, for people of color, for the young and old, for the LGBTQ community, for immigrants and for so many others.

“These institutions are tasked with serving the academic mission of SUNY. After reading the study, it is clear the foundations have lost their way.

“SUNY must wake up, step up and demand far more accountability from the foundations. The foundations—and SUNY—owe that to the students and the SUNY community at large.

“As indicated in the report, SUNY’s oversight of these 30 campus foundations has been very much lacking. Auditors found numerous questionable expenses by the foundations, which have net total assets of $2.1 billion as of 2015.

“Amazingly, the University at Buffalo and the Stony Brook foundations, which have combined assets of $1.1 billion, have not been audited by SUNY since 2007—that’s 11 years. Fourteen other foundations haven’t had audits since then.

“UUP is also concerned over issues raised in the report regarding contracts that weren’t bid competitively, questionable procurement and payroll policies, and potential conflicts of interest.

“I would like to thank the Comptroller for shining a spotlight on the campus foundations, whose actions UUP has questioned for years. We strongly agree with recommendations by the Office of the State Comptroller that SUNY increase its oversight of the foundations.”

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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