press release banner
For Immediate Release
March 31, 2022


Advocates Send More Than 6,000 Letters, Make 16,000 Phone Calls Urging Albany to Include Crucial Funding for SUNY In The 2022-2023 State Budget

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate and Assembly Higher Education Committee Co-Chairs Join Over a Dozen Elected Officials In Support Of UUP’s NY HEALS Campaign

ALBANY, NY – United University Professions (UUP), the nation’s largest higher education union, today released data on the surge of support for public higher education campuses and public teaching hospitals in New York state. More than 6,000 letters were sent and 16,000 phone calls have been made to Gov. Kathy Hochul and state leaders requesting an increase in crucial funding for SUNY colleges and programs in the 2022-2023 state budget to restore funding to the system, which has declined dramatically over the past decade.

UUP kicked off this year’s NY HEALS campaign in late 2021, holding a series of events from Long Island to Buffalo. Numerous state and local elected officials took part in the events, including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, State Higher Education Committee Co-Chairs Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick and State Sen. Toby Stavisky, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, as well as UUP President Dr. Frederick E. Kowal, UUP members, SUNY advocates and students, and coalition partners.

“We are grateful for the endless support from our coalition of elected officials and advocates who are fighting for New Yorkers. It is evident that this campaign has resonated with countless constituents who rely on the SUNY system for their healthcare, education, and community support,” said Kowal. “With just days left before the budget is set to be finalized, we’re once again calling on Albany to listen to their constituents and consider the detriments that their inaction would cause.”

Over the course of its campaign, UUP and public higher education advocates have urged the addition of hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding to revitalize SUNY and strengthen communities and local economies throughout New York state, and support the public teaching hospitals and health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. This advocacy comes in response to an analysis showing SUNY is down over $7 billion in state funding since the Great Recession.

Specific requests include $200 million in additional new direct operating aid to SUNY state-operated campuses, as proposed in the Assembly one-house budget proposal; $68.8 million in debt relief for SUNY public teaching hospitals, as proposed by the Senate; $143 million for public teaching hospitals to fulfill their critical mission of saving lives and stemming the pandemic, as proposed by the Assembly; expanded eligibility for essential health care worker bonuses so that every front-line health care worker is compensated for their service; and at least $88 million for hiring new faculty, an area identified by the Senate and Assembly one-house budget proposals.

UUP also launched a six-figure ad buy in response to the Executive Budget proposal announced in January. The proposal fell short in providing the funding levels that are desperately needed to overcome more than a decade of gross underfunding of SUNY. UUP’s aggressive ad campaign calls for the restoration of funds to support the entire SUNY system, and crucial funding for SUNY’s public teaching hospitals to support their mission and to account for the debt service, a cost that only the SUNY hospitals bear.

Outreach to the governor and state legislators will continue throughout the remainder of the legislative session. For more information on UUP’s advocacy efforts, visit

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.


Follow us on Social Media!

Not a UUP Member Yet?

Join your co-workers in the nation's largest higher education union