Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds Testifies on State Budget

Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds testified before the New York State Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on Jan. 16 about the effects of the 1996-97 State Executive Budget on CUNY and the need for restoration of $50 million in state funds to CUNY senior colleges, and $50 million in TAP funding for both senior and community college students. Highlighted in her testimony were the following topics:

Chancellor Reynolds noted that a $10 million financial aid block grant would partially offset cuts for CUNY's neediest students in the Executive Budget, but pointed out that it only compensates for 17% of funding losses. This leaves CUNY students with a $50 million net loss. CUNY students would bear 50% of the proposed TAP cuts statewide, even though they receive less than 25% of the statewide TAP appropriation.

The result of these changes, she said, would be more students struggling to take courses part-time and others who would simply leave college. Conservatively, the Chancellor estimated, this could mean a loss of 10% of full-time undergraduates next fall: 7,000 at CUNY senior colleges, and 4,000 at the community colleges. Since the University loses revenue for every qualified student who does not enroll, that could result in another $21.3 million loss at the senior colleges beyond the $50 million shortfall described above, and a loss of $9.8 million at the community colleges.

Chancellor Reynolds acknowledged the Governor's support in the Executive Budget for the following University programs and goals: Academic Program Planning, the College Preparatory Initiative, long- range planning efforts of the Board of Trustees, the Language Immersion Program and the hiring of 100 new, full-time faculty. She also expressed gratification at the inclusion of funding in the capital budget to continue construction of facilities at Baruch College and to complete renovations at the B. Altman building to house the Graduate School and at Fiterman Hall of the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

In her testimony, the Chancellor requested a $3 million lump sum allocation to the community colleges for educational technology and support for the first-phase implementation of the Master Plan at Brooklyn College.