Higher Education Leaders call on Congress to avoid sequester

February 21, 2013 | The University

Commission in Independent Colleges and Universities President Laura L. Anglin, City University of New York Chancellor Mathew Goldstein, and State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher today called on New York’s Congressional delegation regarding to take action along with their colleagues in Congress to avoid budget actions such as sequestration that will harm the nation’s long-term competitiveness by slashing valuable investments in scientific research and education.

In a joint letter sent to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and New York’s 27 House members, the higher education leaders—representing 198 colleges and universities located in New York State with more than one million students—said sequestration would mean an automatic cut of nearly $110 million in the current fiscal year just for two key sources of research funding and two key student aid programs.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 called for across-the-board cuts on January 1 of this year if certain deficit reduction targets were not met. The so-called “fiscal cliff” deal pushed the cuts to March 1.

Below are statements from the higher education leaders regarding sequestration:

Laura L. Anglin, President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, a statewide association for more than 100 private, not-for-profit New York State colleges and universities, said: “Funding for basic research and student aid are essential to the future of New York State, as well as the nation as a whole. To innovate, it is essential to fund our scientists and students who will develop the next generation of advances in human, scientific, technology advances allowing us to live better lives and compete globally.”

Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor of The City University of New York, stated: “The proposed sequestration cuts will have a negative impact on CUNY in two ways. First, opportunity programs such as TRIO and GEAR-UP will be cut by 5.1%. These programs are vital to low-income students trying to realize their dream of higher education. Many are the first in their family to attend college. Others work at the same time they attend college to support themselves and their families. Second, research dollars received from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation would be cut by 5.1 percent as well. Research funding is the critical pathway to the economic development of New York State. Our nation’s economy and ability to thrive in global competition depends on a well-educated workforce. Opportunity grant programs are critical in providing access to college. Recipients repay the investment made in their education many times over through increased earnings and taxes over the course of their lifetime.”

Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor of The State University of New York, said: “The effects that sequestration would have on core research, innovation, workforce development, and student aid programs is devastating. Continued federal support for higher education in these areas is imperative as New York’s colleges and universities strive to keep pace not only with those across the country but around the globe.”

About the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU): The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) represents the chief executives of New York’s 100+ independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities on issues of public policy. Member colleges compose the largest private sector of higher education in the world and confer most of the bachelor’s degrees (54%), master’s degrees (73%), and doctoral and first-professional degrees (79%) earned in New York State. www.cicu.org.

About The City University of New York (CUNY): The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University is comprised of 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. The University serves more than 269,000 degree credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.

About the State University of New York (SUNY): The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating more than 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses with more than 3 million alumni around the globe. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu