CUNY Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds Testifies on State Executive Budget

Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds testified before the Fiscal Committees of the New York State Legislature today that proposed cuts in State aid for The City University of New York, coupled with a recommended $400 tuition increase and cutbacks planned for the State’s Tuition Assistance Program TAP), could result in as many as 12,000 students not being able to continue their studies at CUNY. The Chancellor called on the Legislature to restore the proposed budget reductions, the tuition increase and recommended changes to student financial aid, and asked that it provide funding for initiatives outlined in the 1997-98 CUNY budget request.

Chancellor Reynolds noted that the proposed $57 million cut in State support for CUNY senior colleges is actually larger because of mandatory costs not factored in. She also said that the proposed tuition increase, if enacted, would mean that tuition had jumped 47% in just three years, which could force substantial numbers of students to drop out. State support, she added, would have declined by 33% since 1990. Currently, tuition at CUNY amounts to 64% of state aid. If enacted, the proposed cuts would necessitate the elimination of positions and a reduction in course offerings, which would clearly lead to decreases in student admissions and retention. Already, three-quarters of CUNY students say that not enough courses are offered at times they can take them.

The Chancellor voiced appreciation for support in the Executive Budget for hiring 85 new full-time faculty members, for CUNY’s Language Immersion Program, including $1 million in federal welfare funds for English language training for the needy, and enhanced collaborations with the New York City public school system.