June 25, 2011 | The University
I commend Governor Andrew Cuomo for his exemplary leadership in achieving a truly historic milestone in public higher education in New York State. The governor’s partnership with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and the New York State Legislature establishes a rational tuition policy that will allow families to plan for the costs of higher education and that protects the neediest students. I praise the work of our executive and legislative leaders to prioritize the long-term well-being of the state by advancing educational opportunities for all New Yorkers. We are especially appreciative of the extraordinary diligence and dedication of Chairwoman Deborah Glick and Chairman Kenneth P. LaValle, who lead the higher education committees of the legislature. For the better part of a decade, we have been advocating a policy of modest, incremental tuition increases tied to state funding. As envisioned in the CUNY Compact, such a policy provides a vital measure of financial stability, which will allow the University to maximize philanthropic support and operational efficiencies and meet record student enrollment, which we have witnessed since CUNY raised its standards and enacted institutional reforms. The state’s rational tuition policy enables multi-year planning and positions CUNY and SUNY to compete more effectively in the national and international marketplace. It sends a powerful signal to families, donors, and the business community that New York is investing in its students and its future through stable support of its public university systems. In our unforgiving economy, CUNY provides a pathway to upward educational, financial, and social mobility for hundreds of thousands of students and families. The state’s governmental leaders have cleared the pathway for present and future generations to benefit from access to a quality higher education, assuring our society of an educated workforce capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century.