SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is generally pleased with what she heard from Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his budget presentation Tuesday.
First was the fact that no big cuts have been proposed to the SUNY budget for its numerous units throughout the state, including colleges in Potsdam, Canton and Wanakena.
Zimpher said she was pleased “with the inclusion of full re-appropriation of existing SUNY capital funds to allow continuation of existing projects, a residence hall proposal that provides access to funding to build new residence hall facilities and rehabilitate existing facilities, and new support for transformational projects and programs through REDC (Regional Economic Development Council) process.”
She said she was grateful for support for SUNY’s “rational tuition plan,” where colleges would be able to set tuition rates yearly and not wait several years between larger increases, which “allows our students and their families, as well as our campuses, to plan ahead.”
She said that the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program, “which will allow our campuses to boost academic quality and collaborate with the state’s Regional Economic Development Councils to create jobs and innovation throughout the communities we serve, would be expanded under the governor’s plan.
“The $3 million in performance based funding provided for community colleges will also benefit our efforts across the system to enhance workforce development. By both adding new funds and tying dollars to our community colleges’ ability to train citizens for the jobs our state needs, Governor Cuomo has further incentivized at a local level a philosophy for meeting high-need workforce demands that SUNY is looking to implement across all of its campuses.”
Zimpher indicated she had been hoping for more in the way of money for capital maintenenace projects on SUNY campuses.
“Given the age, size, and number of building assets SUNY is responsible for, we look forward to working with the governor and legislature to address ongoing critical maintenance needs," Zimpher said.