New York governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday enacted historic funding increases for the state’s two public university systems, the State University of New York and the City University of New York.
Under the budget for fiscal year 2024, SUNY will receive $163 million more than the current cycle, and the state has made a two-year commitment to further increases. The state will also match a $1.5 billion endowment to fund research at SUNY’s four major campuses in Buffalo, Stony Brook, Binghamton and Albany. In addition, the system was given more flexibility to raise tuition for non–New York State residents.
CUNY will receive a $132.8 million increase in operating support over FY23. That includes $50 million in additional one-time funding for the system’s 11 senior colleges and seven community colleges, and $1.75 million for the struggling Medgar Evers College.
The budget also allocates over $1 billion to each system for capital development and deferred maintenance.
After her victory in last year’s gubernatorial race, Hochul promised a “transformative” boost in higher ed support, which many higher education leaders have since been eager to see her fulfill. Leaders from both SUNY and CUNY lauded the latest increase—the third in as many years and the largest—as a signal that Hochul’s administration is following through.
They also said the additional funds would go a long way toward lifting up institutions that struggled under Hochul’s predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, whose decade-long tenure is known among SUNY and CUNY faculty members as an “age of austerity” for New York public higher education.
“This year’s budget is a vote of confidence in the power and potential of public higher education,” SUNY chancellor John King wrote in a statement.
CUNY chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez echoed King in his own statement, noting that Hochul’s “transformational” budget “delivers on last year’s bold promises.”
“Governor Hochul and legislative leaders realize how instrumental public education is to transforming our state,” Matos Rodríguez continued. “This funding plan will help ensure CUNY’s continued ability to uphold its historical mandate of providing a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background.”