August 15, 2019
UUP President Fred Kowal talks about the need for transparency at SUNY’s campus foundations in the new installment of “Union Strong,” the New York AFL-CIO’s twice-monthly podcast.
Kowal’s 20-minute conversation with “Union Strong” host Darcy Wells is available to listen to and download on the NY AFL-CIO website, PodBean.com, Apple podcasts, iHeart radio and a host of other websites.
During the podcast, Kowal talks about the union’s push for legislation that would force the SUNY college foundations to be transparent about the inner workings of their organizations—how much money the foundations have, where it came from, where it’s going and how it’s being used.
SUNY’s college foundations are not subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Law, which is why UUP supports actions to allow the public to view the inner workings of these organizations. SUNY—and not the state Comptroller—has the power to audit the foundations.
In February 2018, the Comptroller issued a scathing report that found that more than half of SUNY campus foundations haven’t been audited by SUNY over the last 10 years.
Over the summer, UUP has been successful in gaining support from state legislators for bills—sponsored by Assemblyperson Glick (A4307) and Sen. Stavisky (S06275)—that would force the SUNY and CUNY trustees to issue an annual report on the SUNY and CUNY foundations. The report would include detailed data on contracts and a list of foundation and campus foundation employees with salaries, job titles and descriptions.
UUP continues to push for changes that would require the foundations to submit annual budgets to SUNY for approval; to restore the Comptroller’s authority to audit SUNY foundations; and to create a new System Administration compliance unit to ensure that foundation expenditures and transactions line up with SUNY’s mission statement.