Governor Paterson proposes significant public higher education reforms for 2010-11 executive budget

01.15.10

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that his 2010-11 Executive Budget will include significant reforms to the State’s system of public higher education.  The Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act will provide the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY), including SUNY Potsdam, the flexibility needed to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing economy. The measures would eliminate numerous over-regulations on contracting, procurement, land use, and other areas, while still maintaining appropriate accountability and State oversight, while offering flexibility in tuition that will make the cost of attending a SUNY school more equitable and predictable.

“This legislation is a common-sense strategy that will allow greater flexibility and support public higher education locally and in the State.  It also puts SUNY Potsdam in a position to strengthen its academic programs, provide numerous new prospects for students and generate jobs,” said Dr. John F. Schwaller, president of SUNY Potsdam. “It is critical to the future of the College and the SUNY system to support this effort by Governor Paterson and I will work in the next weeks and months to demonstrate our advocacy for this initiative.”

A tuition policy guided by the Board of Trustees will provide financial stability necessary to establish multi-year plans to address campus goals and invest in new faculty hires, academic quality initiatives and establish differential tuition for all SUNY State-operated campuses, by campus and by program. Rational increases in tuition would prevent the sudden increases that have plagued SUNY Potsdam in the past and would allow each campus to retain the money generated from these modest tuition increases.  This reform will have an exceptionally positive impact on SUNY Potsdam students and their families as it allows for a more predictable measure by which to plan.

Additionally, the Act would eliminate numerous over-regulations on contracting, procurement, land use, and other areas, while still maintaining appropriate accountability and State oversight.

“I commend Governor Paterson for his leadership in bringing forward the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act. This legislation harnesses high-impact, zero-cost solutions that will create jobs, build the foundation for tomorrow’s economy and strengthen public higher education – while saving millions of taxpayer dollars,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

The Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation can be found at www.ny.gov/governor/press.