By Emily Tai
Since 2015, the members of the UFS Executive Committee, the UFS Committee on Student Affairs, and the University Student Senate have worked together to advocate for a state commitment to current or increased levels of state funding for the City University of New York, or what is known as Maintenance of Effort (MOE). Cooperation between students and faculty has sometimes borne fruit, as when, in 2016, Governor Cuomo agreed to fully support the City University after demonstrations in which students, the UFS , the Professional Staff Congress, and the staff union DC-37 all participated. Governor Cuomo was less willing, however, to sign legislation establishing Maintenance of Effort for CUNY and SUNY , despite calls to do so from the New York State Senate and Assembly, last summer. Past MOE legislation on behalf of the City University and the State University of New York systems was, moreover, vetoed by Governor Cuomo in 2015.
This fall, a new campaign to support Maintenance of Effort legislation proposed in New York State Senate Bill 1596A and New York State Assembly Bill 00934A has once again brought together the UFS Executive Committee (represented by the UFS Executive Committee’s representatives to the CUNY Board of Trustees Committee on Student Affairs, and the University Student Senate, Professors Hugo Fernandez and Emily Tai); the members of the UFS Committee on Student Affairs (chaired by Professor Kimora of John Jay College of Criminal Justice); and the leadership of the University Student Senate, now presided over by Chair John Aderounmu (Hunter College). Last month, at the November University Student Senate Plenary, the University Student Senate adopted a Resolution in support of the Maintenance of Effort Bill. This month, the UFS Committee on Student Affairs reviewed the resolution and voted to recommend that the UFS Plenary endorse the MOE Resolution. UFS Committee Chair Professor Kimora read the resolution to the UFS Plenary; USS Legislative Director Donovan Borrington answered questions; and the resolution was unanimously endorsed by the members of the University Faculty Senate.
As of this writing, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams has written a letter to Governor Cuomo that it is hoped will rally more support for maintenance of effort for the City University of New York in Albany. The UFS and the USS will continue to work together in the hope that the coming year will yield good things for CUNY.
As our semester draws to a close, the UFS Executive Committee is likewise wishing to very best to all our colleagues in the CUNY faculty for a healthy, peaceful, and productive holiday season.
Emily Tai is an associate professor of History at Queensborough Community College and edits the UFS Blog.
The UFS Blog is a forum for CUNY Faculty, and welcomes the expression of all points of view. Posts may be sent to the editor, Emily S. Tai at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Photo: Onasill, flickr, CC 2.0 Attribution