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Binghamton University

Think Binghamton
JANUARY 18, 2010 

Think Tank Announcements newsletter header

Dear Friends of Binghamton University,

I am writing to you to share good news from Albany. On Jan. 15. Governor David A. Paterson announced the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act. This legislation will unleash the power of the State University of New York and allow it to reinvigorate the economy through innovation and job creation.

SUNY ensures that New Yorkers have access to high-quality, affordable education, which helps keep the state's best and brightest in New York. Right now, however, SUNY has too little revenue, too little investment and far too much regulation. If we fail to remedy these problems, we risk crippling our system of public higher education and miss an opportunity to help New York state lead developments in sustainability, engineering, health care and business.

The Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act maintains SUNY's focus on high-quality, affordable education while providing the revenue and regulatory reform needed to expand and innovate. Highlights of the legislation include:

  • Spending and contracting flexibility to better serve students, faculty, researchers and staff in a timely manner.
  • Access to capital to build the infrastructure necessary to support the state's economic development mission.
  • The ability to lease or purchase land and facilities.
  • Additional flexibility in setting tuition, as well as the ability to retain revenue generated by tuition.

In anticipation of the passage of this legislation, Binghamton has laid out an ambitious agenda that draws upon our strengths as a leader in internationalism and sustainability. Over the next decade, our "Think Green. Think Global. Think Binghamton" plan calls for the University to:

  • Hire an additional 1,800 faculty and support staff.
  • Expand enrollment by 5,000 students. The addition of these students to the campus will create more than 2,200 sustained jobs within Greater Binghamton and will generate more than $1.15 million in volunteer services to the community and more than $8 million in new property taxes.
  • Invest an estimated $889 million in construction and critical maintenance through the construction of 12 new buildings, including a law school, additional science and lecture facilities and residence halls, to accommodate the larger student body. This building boom is projected to result in sustained hiring of more than 5,200 construction workers over a 10-year period and have a statewide economic impact of more than $1.96 billion.
  • Fuel entrepreneurialism, technology transfer and small business development with increased support for local start-up companies.
  • Add unique academic programs that will produce graduates who are prepared to lead the way in building a new, greener future for the state.
  • Continue to achieve efficiencies in energy use. The University will expand; its carbon footprint will not.

By implementing the legislation through the Think Binghamton plan, Binghamton University is expected to have an additional $170 million annual impact on Greater Binghamton and an additional $231.6 million annual impact on New York State, for totals of $920 million and $1.23 billion, respectively.

New York must seize this moment and find a way to position itself for long-term growth. Through passage of the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act, SUNY can help the state succeed in this knowledge-based economy of the future and Binghamton University can be at the center of this vibrant, high-tech movement.

Your voice has already made a difference in ensuring that SUNY reform is a top priority for the state, but we need your help to make this legislation a reality.  During the coming weeks, you will receive messages at critical points when your voice can continue to make a difference. By clicking on links in the messages, you can quickly and easily send letters to your local state legislators and other critical policy makers, asking them to support Binghamton University and SUNY.

I thank the governor and legislators for their support of higher education and look forward to working with them to ensure passage of the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act. Thank you for your support.

Best regards,

Lois B. DeFleur
President

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