Possible Gift to SUNY Linked to Tuition Legislation

July 12, 2010

A possible gift to the State University of New York at Stony Brook is yet another factor in the ongoing debate over giving SUNY and the City University of New York new flexibility on tuition rates and more control over the use of funds raised with tuition, The New York Times reported. Gov. David Paterson, with strong backing from the university systems, is pushing the legislation, which is facing legislative skepticism. Now word is circulating that James Simons, a former mathematics professor at Stony Brook and already a major donor, may give as much as $150 million, but only if the tuition bill passes, the Times reported. Simons agrees with the governor that more control over tuition policy is essential for the state's universities to improve. Some legislators are not happy about the linkage between the gift and the bill. Deborah J. Glick, an assemblywoman who opposes the legislation, told the Times: “I don’t think it’s out of bounds for someone to say, ‘I want to make a really strong commitment.' But we’re not supposed to be considering legislation on the basis of what could be viewed as some quid pro quo.”

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