Tag Archives: SUNY

Erie County Republicans Support Free Tuition for All

24 Feb

I applaud the Erie County Republican Committee’s efforts to make a college education free for all in-state children. The problems that the students in this video identify are all wholly solvable through legislation, and I’m sure that our local Republican delegation is working feverishly to ensure that every New Yorker attending a state school gets the free quality education that our post-industrial society requires. 

UB 2020 TroubleTrouble

29 Mar

Generally, autonomy is good.  It makes sense to enable the people on the ground – the people closest to the delivery of services – to make decisions concerning how those services are delivered, and for how much.

So it is with UB, which has established a comprehensive plan that will not only help the university grow and thrive, but hopefully help nudge the region-at-large towards a 21st century economy.

As the News reports today, the entire vision of UB 2020 is in jeopardy due not only to the state budget crisis, but also to a bill now languishing in the state legislature that would enable UB to set its own tuition rates, within a certain framework, and taking that power away from the legislature itself.

A key piece of the SUNY legislation would allow schools to set their own tuition rates and to keep any additional tuition revenue on their campuses.

The extra money would help pay for UB 2020, a plan that would add 10,000 students, directly create 6,700 jobs and double the school’s economic impact to $3.6 billion, officials contend.

The plan also would create 20,000 construction jobs and see significant expansion of UB’s physical plant, including a move of its Medical School to the university’s downtown campus.

UB had pushed a package of reforms in Albany that would give the school more flexibility to grow on its own without having to rely on additional aid from the state.

The measure was pushed by lawmakers from Western New York. But critics feared that the proposed tuition flexibility could make UB too expensive for lower-income students and they said it could give UB officials too much power with too little regulatory oversight.

The legislation passed the State Senate but it never reached the floor of the Assembly. This year, Gov. David A. Paterson embraced the legislation and proposed expanding it to cover all SUNY campuses.

This being New York, this move is predictably opposed by several unions and interest groups who thrive under or rely on the status quo.  UB gets about $181 million of its $350 million annual operating budget from the state.  Contact your Assemblymember and urge them to support more local control – and more local control over funding –  for UB so that we can help spur some movement in our economy away from the mid-50s.