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For Immediate Release
January 26, 2021

Statement by UUP President Frederick E. Kowal on the 2021 State of the University System Address

“SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras’ message during today’s 2021 State of the University System Address was uplifting and forward-looking. UUP agrees that SUNY should be at the cutting edge of health care, research and innovation and workforce training.

“We join the chancellor in a push for social, racial and economic justice and to make SUNY a more diverse place of learning. It is also imperative that we take bold action on climate change, with SUNY campuses leading the way in fully implementing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“Additionally, we must secure the critical mission funding for the SUNY hospitals, which COVID-19 has starkly shown to be crucial for the health and well-being of our communities.

“To expand access and enrollment for all sectors of New York’s diverse population, I believe that the state must double its investment in SUNY’s successful Educational Opportunity Program, while also establishing clear and measurable targets with respect to faculty and staff diversity in SUNY.

“For SUNY to be at the forefront at this dynamic time, New York state must dedicate real resources to our state university. For us to achieve great things, we must truly make a commitment to invest in SUNY by raising revenue from the wealthiest among us. They have reaped a windfall during the pandemic, and the time is now for those with the most to pay—for the good of our state and university system.

“The work of SUNY is so closely tied to the success of our state, and our SUNY system has passed the tipping point of needing strong financial and innovative policy support. It is imperative that our governor and our state Legislature join us in this fight to carry the mission of our university system into the future.”

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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