CUNY Matters, Winter 2001 0
Winter 2001

2001-2002 Budget Request Highlights

 

 

At its November meeting, the City University Board of Trustees approved a Budget Request for 2001-2002 that totaled $1.473 billion. This represented a 7.2% or $99.2 million increase over the previous year. A Capital Budget Request was approved at the same time. Covering the fourth year of a five-year, $1 billion Capital Building Program, this request totaled $322 million for bonded projects (senior colleges, $232 million; community colleges $90 million) and $7 million in minor rehabilitation projects. Following here, in adapted form, are highlights from the document, which can be accessed in full at the CUNY Web Home Page (www.cuny.edu) by going to "About CUNY," then "CUNY Finances," then "2001-2002 Budget Request."

From the Introduction:

reshman enrollment at the senior and community colleges rose in Fall 2000 for the first time in five years. Preparation of new students improved significantly, a result of the University's expansion of outreach to the high schools through "College Now" and record participation in summer immersion programs. . .The University has opened or is currently constructing new, technologically sophisticated facilities on nearly half of its campuses. The University has managed its expenses and has raised considerable funds for targeted programs. Yet no amount of fiscal restraint or flow of money to restricted projects will fully compensate for our budgetary deficiencies as we strive to raise the visibility of the University. This is CUNY's dilemma. It is this year, however, when students increasingly clamor for exposure to our faculty, facilities, and coursework, that the disjunction is most apparent between success and the underlying need for new resources to continue that success.

Creating a Flagship Environment
The University is establishing a "flagship environment" that will foster national prominence in targeted undergraduate liberal arts and science programs and professional and graduate programs. Six fundamental components of the "flagship" initiative have been identified: significant increases in full-time faculty; concentrated or "cluster" hiring of faculty in selected disciplines; establishment of an Honors College; comprehensive academic and student support systems; a digital core and research library; and state-of-the-art management information systems. Cluster hiring has already been initiated in four areas: photonics, teacher education, new media and computer sciences, and Foreign Languages. This year two new areas were added to the flagship hire initiative: biological sciences and art history/visual arts.

Full-time Faculty
The central component of the flagship initiative, the one that will allow CUNY to build disciplinary strength, is replenishment of full-time faculty and the improvement of the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty. The excessive reliance on adjunct teaching is counter to exemplary academic practice and was identified by the N.Y. State Board of Regents' Commission on Higher Education as one of the greatest threats to program quality in higher education. Our goal is to provide 70% of instruction by full-time faculty. CUNY plans to hire 750 new faculty through fiscal year 2004. In the current year the University is hiring 150 new faculty.

Supporting Student Success
and Academic Achievement

Over the next four years, the University will focus intellectual and financial resources on a number of initiatives designed to improve preparation and support of its students as they move from high school to college and beyond. Among these are the following: expansion of existing advising and counseling services; improvement of tutoring and supplemental instruction strategies; strengthening of the Writing-Across-the-Curriculum program (with a doubling to 200 the number of fellows in the associated Writing Fellows program); expansion of the Coordinated Freshman Year Program; refinement of articulation and transfer policies for the 24,000 students who transfer to a CUNY college with advanced standing every year (notably through the CUNY Transfer Information and Program Planning System, or CUNY TIPPS); major expansion of the College Now program in city high schools to reach, by 2002-2003, 45,000 enrollments in the 9th through 12th grades; and improvement and expansion of programs for students with disabilities and students with child care needs.

Centers and Institutes
The University is planning two major new technology initiatives. The CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development will help the state's software/internet industry compete more effectively with other regions in the country. A technology center focusing on applied research in photonics will expand upon the existing staff and facilities of the Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers at City College and the CUNY-wide New York State Center for Advanced Technology. This is an area in which CUNY has a competitive edge and is positioned to make major advances on behalf of industry in the state.

The Digital Core
and Research Library

The University is requesting an annual allocation of $5 million to strengthen, expand, and maintain up-to-date digital library collections, support research-level work in the sciences, and restore the libraries' ability to collect print materials after years of eroding library budgets. CUNY lags far behind its peer institutions in acquiring licensed electronic resources. The University of Texas at El Paso, for example, currently holds 250 licensed electronic resources, compared to 22 at CUNY. Funds will be used to expand the CUNY Digital Core, a growing collection of licensed digital reference works, abstracts, indexes, and electronic journals and monographs.

Capital Projects
The four major senior college construction sites are John Jay College's Phase II, west of Haaren Hall ($113 million), Brooklyn College's West Quad Building ($52 million), Academic Building I at Medgar Evers College ($32.5 million), and Lehman College's Consolidated Computer Center ($10 million). The breakdown of CUNY-wide projects at senior colleges is as follows: health and safety/preservation ($33 million), network infrastructure/telecommunications ($9.5 million), educational technology ($3 million), energy conservation ($4.8 million), and science and technology equipment ($3.8 million).

The four largest community college projects are Borough of Manhattan's Chambers Street renovation ($11 million), LaGuardia's Center 3 design ($11 million), Hostos' Clinical Science Facility ($7.3 million), and Bronx's North Instructional Building ($6 million). Expenditures for all CUNY community colleges (funded 50-50 by state and city) are: health and safety/preservation ($9 million), network infrastructure/telecommunications ($6.5 million), educational technology ($3.3 million), and energy conservation ($2 million).