January 10, 2008 | News from the Chancellor
Governor Spitzer’s visionary call to reinvigorate public higher education in New York State is critical to the state’s future, and we commend the governor for recognizing public higher education as a high priority for New York. New investment in CUNY and SUNY is the best investment in the state’s economic development. The governor’s proposals acknowledge the forward-thinking work of the Commission on Higher Education and lead the way in positioning the state as a global center of research and new industry, with a highly skilled workforce and a diverse, knowledge-based economy.
Most notably, the governor’s plan affirms the importance of hiring at least 2,000 additional full-time faculty at CUNY and SUNY over the next five years, including 250 eminent scholars. Full-time faculty are the core of every great educational institution, and building the faculty ranks at CUNY and SUNY is vital to the universities’ advancement.
The governor’s embrace of the commission-recommended Innovation Fund rightly puts university research at the center of the state’s development by supporting scientific and technological inquiry that holds promise for New York’s economic growth.
We also applaud the governor’s support for CUNY and SUNY community colleges through his endorsement of another important commission recommendation: a seamless transfer process between community and senior colleges.
In addition, we are very encouraged by the governor’s proposal to cover CUNY or SUNY tuition costs for returning combat veterans, which complements the comprehensive array of veterans programs CUNY offers. We look forward to seeing the details of his proposals in the Executive Budget.
Governor Spitzer’s proposed $4 billion endowment for the two public university systems, with revenue derived from the state’s lottery system, recognizes the need for true investment in order to cultivate world-class institutions with graduates well prepared for competing in the innovation economy. A healthy endowment is an essential factor in building universities that can adapt to change and generate cutting-edge ideas. We look forward to reviewing the details of what seems to be an innovative mechanism to provide new revenues, consistent with the principles and components of the Commission on Higher Education’s call for a New York State Compact for Public Higher Education.
Governor Spitzer’s progressive leadership offers the state an unprecedented opportunity to build a nationally recognized public higher education system, one that offers every New Yorker an outstanding and affordable advanced education. We look forward to working with Governor Spitzer and our legislative leaders to make 2008 the dawn of a new investment in futures–the higher education of the people of New York.