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For Immediate Release
December 12, 2019

Statement from United University Professions President Frederick E. Kowal on the SUNY Board of Trustees’ budget request

“The SUNY Board of Trustees’ 2020-21 budget proposal, while a good first step in recognizing years of disinvestment in the SUNY system, is a missed opportunity. We support the decision to call for increased state spending to help close the TAP Gap and make critical repairs to SUNY’s aging buildings.”

“However, the budget request results in a very small funding increase for SUNY’s cash-strapped state-operated campuses, and zero investment in SUNY’s three public teaching hospitals in Brooklyn, Stony Brook and Syracuse.”

“We are disappointed that SUNY continues to fail to advocate for the desperately needed operating subsidy for SUNY’s hospitals, which are the people’s hospitals. The health care of the vulnerable communities served by these public medical centers is not a priority in this budget request.”

“Because of this continued lack of commitment to SUNY’s hospitals, we fear a ripple effect when it comes to educating and training the next generation of medical providers for New York State.”

“Also, the Trustees’ request doesn’t adequately address financial problems faced by our campuses, which still haven’t recovered from massive Great Recession-era cuts that reduced support to SUNY’s core operating budget by a full third. Many SUNY campuses continue to struggle with budget shortfalls, including the University at Albany, SUNY Buffalo State, and SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, among others. ”

“As the budget process unfolds, we look forward to working with SUNY to address the needs of the SUNY system. UUP will be advocating to the governor and Legislature to expand on SUNY’s request, to properly serve our students, our patients, and our communities across the state.”

“We invite SUNY to partner with us in NY25, our bold new proposal for SUNY that would create a carbon-neutral SUNY, keep the University accessible and affordable, and address pressing statewide health care issues.”

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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