SUNY faculty decry proposed budget cuts

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Several hundred academic and professional faculty with United University Professions, along with members of their affiliate, New York State United Teachers, urged elected officials today to reverse proposed cuts to the State University of New York budget.  SUNY, a 64-campus system that includes three hospitals, is reeling from nearly $215 million in budget reductions this fiscal year (which ends March 31). That has led to fewer classes, job freezes, limits on enrollment and other difficulties at campuses, according to the unions.

   For 2009-10, Gov. David Paterson has proposed reducing state operating funds by 80 percent of what a SUNY tuition hike would bring in, using campus reserves and cutting state aid for community colleges by 10 percent. The governor’s budget would cut the state subsidy for the hospitals — located in Brooklyn; Stony Brook, Suffolk County; and Syracuse — by $25 million. Instead of cuts, the hospitals should receive a $40 million increase, the unions said. UUP is asking lawmakers to give its members their negotiated 3 percent salary increase in 2009-10, which has not been included in the governor’s budget.

   Union members, who rallied outside the Capitol, said Paterson’s recommended budget for 2009-10 would make things more difficult for SUNY. They warned that thousands of students would be shut out of a public education and fewer patients would be treated at SUNY’s three teaching hospitals unless lawmakers provide more funding. Members carried signs with messages like, “Keep SUNY open to all,” “Save SUNY now” and “Protect SUNY hospital patients.”

   “SUNY is an important part of the economy of New York,” UUP President Phillip Smith said during the rally. “In fact, SUNY may be one of the only solutions to bring this state out of its economic crisis.”

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  1. Peter D.G. Brown on

    Education is unquestionably the lifeblood of economic growth. As we are all beginning to realize, higher education helps us leverage every other investment we make: in medicine, green jobs, transportation and alternative energy. The sooner we realize that education is the best investment a society can make, the sooner we will turn this state’s economy around. Investing in SUNY really is the indispensable key to solving New York’s economic problems!

  2. Too many kids in college, many of which (colleges) are quickly becoming the high school of past generations. Open more trade schools. Remember, half of the people in this country and elsewhere, are below average, and even the contemporary definition of “average” is shaky. No one is being done any favors, including the students, by “educating” people beyond their intelligence or their interest. We end up with the Peter Principle squared. In addition, all these teachers and “professors” should be doing research in their fields, not just in “education,” eg: Ed.D degrees, if they are truly enthusiastically interested in their “field,” and are to be truly useful in the classroom.

  3. Many of SUNY’s 2 and small 4 years schools teach trades. Delhi has for years been a leader in teaching trades, such as carpentry, masonry,heating/airconditioning, welding etc.
    Many students get jobs payiong more than what their faculty makes. THese are real important at a time when people are loosing jobs to have these courses available.

  4. The SUNY Systems salaries just for people earning $200,000 and up, totals $65,203,158. If you factor in social security, benies and a NYS pension, the total easily tops $100 million. And that’s some serious money.

    SUNY has been on a pork fest for years and its time to trim some fat.

    I invite all of these handsomely paid bureaucrats to find equivalent salaries in private industry. Oh yea, that’s one of the main problems right now, what private industry?

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