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King calls for increased financial support for SUNY

By : Katie Ellis

Robert l. king
SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King last week called on the New York state Legislature to increase its financial support for SUNY.

In his testimony to the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees, King, asking for a restoration of the funds that were not provided during last year’s budget process, said an increase of $50 million would enable SUNY to repair much of the damage that has been done and provide all campuses with some increased revenue.

Citing a recently published report on SUNY efficiency and effectiveness, King said that the campuses and the SUNY System have done well with limited resources, but “all efficiency eventually affects quality — and I am here to tell you we are at that point academically and financially.”

King said he would target the additional funds to hire full-time faculty and staff; purchase equipment to support technical education, especially in engineering, the hard sciences and health care; provide additional scholarships; and devote more attention to preventive maintenance.

The additional revenue would be an investment in the system, he said. “These investments would go far toward reversing the impact of last year’s budget when SUNY had no choice but to realign its resources to cope with the substantial reduction in state support and the limits that were placed on us in replacing that support with higher tuition,” King said.

President Lois B. DeFleur said the campus will work with the SUNY system. “I wholeheartedly endorse the proposals Chancellor King has made,” she said. “We will strongly advocate for them to try to garner additional funds for our campus.”

King also urged the Legislature to restore a $820,000 reduction proposed by the governor to the Educational Opportunity Program and to approve a new five-year capital plan. The plan would provide capital financing through 2008-09 and give campuses the funding certainty they need to implement effective long-range planning for renovations and improvements.

The $1.8 billion capital plan proposal includes $25 million in financing for the downtown education center and $21 million for the creation of a High Technology Commercialization Center to capitalize on the University’s strengths by leveraging partnerships in small-scale systems packaging.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08