Calls for full funding of SUNY schools in light of massive deficits

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. Higher education professionals are sounding the alarm on funding for state universities.

Higher ed union United University Professions rallied Thursday in Rochester to draw attention to the deficits threatening SUNY schools. In the Finger Lakes region, SUNY Brockport and SUNY Geneseo both face deficits of approximately $10 million. UUP is demanding full funding for SUNY campuses.

“SUNY is economic development,” United University Professions President Fred Kowal said. “The economic returns on investing in SUNY are indisputable. SUNY is a living, breathing vessel comprised of the future change-makers of our world and, for that matter, right now. State leaders right now are depriving SUNY of the oxygen needed for SUNY to grow, expand and create a better future for our students and indeed our communities.”

UUP says that across New York, SUNY campuses face deficits totaling over $155 million.

In a statement to News10NBC, SUNY said: “The most recently enacted state budget included the most significant investment in higher education in a generation. SUNY alone is receiving about a $300 million increase in operating aid and $660 million in new capital, which will enable campuses to construct state-of-the-art classrooms, as well as research and lab space and continue to fulfill its mission to provide an affordable, high-quality, academic experience for all students. This significant funding supports the Governor’s vision to secure SUNY’s place as a global leader in higher education and workforce development, and – most importantly – includes unprecedented funding to support students, campuses, faculty, and researchers across all public colleges and universities.”