SUNY Advocates

Supporting New York State's Public Colleges and Universities

Building columns
Take ActionGet InvolvedIssuesNewsAbout Us


« August 2010 | Main | March 2011 »

BU encourages entrepreneurial spirit across disciplines; Program part of larger SUNY initiative

February 28, 2011

Press & Sun Bulletin Op-Ed

When Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and other American billionaires pledged last year to give a substantial portion of their wealth to philanthropic causes, they underscored a critical truth: While financial gain may be a result of entrepreneurship, it is not the primary goal in itself.

During a recession, such fortune as amassed by these donors seems enviable. It motivates many people to turn to education as a means of enhancing their opportunities to survive difficult times and to have a chance of becoming the next American billionaire. Such students often are lured to entrepreneurship with hopes of boundless wealth. Profits — financial and personal — are an essential aspect of the American dream, both for those born here and for immigrants like me.

Full Story

SUNY Tuition Plan Needed

February 23, 2011

Press Republican Editorial

Feb. 20, 2011

When families sit down to work out their budgets for the coming year, it's helpful to know what their bills will be. Will their costs remain the same or will some rise? The State University of New York needs that kind of stability, as far as tuition is concerned, and so do the students attending the system's colleges.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher recently proposed reform of the tuition system. It's not something new; she has talked about it in the past with the Press-Republican Editorial Board. She thinks that both SUNY and its students need to know what is coming over the next five years — and that tuition increases should occur incrementally, not when the state is in panic mode.

Full Story

Let SUNY Schools Raise Tuition

February 15, 2011

Daily Gazette Editorial
February 15, 2011

At budget hearings last week, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher resisted the apocalyptic rhetoric favored by faculty union representatives and, while recognizing the state’s fiscal crisis, asked the Legislature not to cut SUNY’s budget again — at least not so deeply. If Gov. Cuomo’s $362 million in proposed cuts are adopted, she pointed out, the public colleges and universities will have absorbed $1.5 billion in cuts over the last four years, about a third of their state funding.

Meanwhile, their ability to raise revenue themselves was constrained by the Legislature, which approved only one tuition increase during that time and then took much of the money for use outside the state university system. In light of all this, Zimpher’s main pitch last week, to establish a predictable, five-year tuition plan that would provide new revenue for schools and allow students and parents to prepare in advance for tuition increases, makes sense.

Full Story

Protect SUNY

Buffalo News Editorial
February 14, 2011

Predictable tuition increases would preserve programs, help students plan

Raise my tuition, please!

Who would ever have thought that college students would get upset with the governor for not increasing tuition? That's exactly what happened recently when a student delegation representing the state's 465,000 public college students got together.

The students are advocating what college campus presidents have urged over the past several years, and that is for modest, regular tuition increases at the State University of New York, as long as the extra money is used to fund the campuses and -- this is important -- not just go straight to Albany's coffers.

Those "sweeps," in which money intended for college campuses has been pilfered to bolster Albany's bottom line, have occurred more or less regularly, though perhaps never to such a maddening degree as two years ago. That was when lawmakers and the governor snatched the $620 tuition increase students had been forced to pay to help balance the state's budget.

 Full Story

Executive Budget Testimony by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher

February 10, 2011


Good morning and thank you for having us today. My name is Nancy Zimpher, and I am Chancellor of the State University of New York. 

I want to thank Chairperson John DeFrancisco and Vice Chairperson Owen Johnson, Chairperson Denny Farrell, Chairperson Ken LaValle and Chairperson Deborah Glick, members of the Senate and Assembly, and legislative staff for this opportunity.  

It is a privilege to come before you today on behalf of The State University of New York to comment on the 2011-2012 Executive Budget.

Who We Are

When I first arrived at SUNY in June 2009, I recognized SUNY’s potential to meet the demands of a changing state and a changing world. 

We are the largest system of public higher education in the nation. We have 64 campuses with 468,000 students; a current workforce of 88,000, over 20,000 committed retirees; nearly 8,000 programs of study; and 3 million alumni.  

We are an unparalleled network of teachers, students, scholars, and entrepreneurs that extends into each of New York’s 62 counties, within 30 miles of every New Yorker. We have 160,000 on-line enrollments and another 1.2 million students in continuing education; further, 18,000 students seek a SUNY degree from out-of-state, and another 19,000 students come to SUNY from around the globe.

The boost that SUNY provides New York in economic impact each year is remarkable. For every state dollar received, SUNY generates $8 in total spending. With a statewide economic impact in the billions, SUNY’s role stretches from a convener of the minds to one of the most significant economic engines of our time.  We are not only the most comprehensive higher education system of its kind in the country; we are one of New York’s largest employers.

Of the many conclusions that will be made throughout this budget process, one to me is unwaveringly clear: the past, present, and future of New York State is uniquely tied to its State University. And that’s a partnership we stand willing and able to push to new heights.

Full Testimony