New York Tuition Reform Plan Fails

August 5, 2010

New York State's Legislature had adopted a budget for the fiscal year that does not include a higher education reform measure that would have given the State University of New York and the City University of New York more authority over setting their tuition rates and using the tuition revenue. The measure has been a major goal of the university systems and of Gov. David Paterson. But members of the Assembly balked at some provisions. SUNY's chancellor, Nancy L. Zimpher, issued a statement in which she called the failure to enact the reforms "a missed opportunity" for the state. And she noted that the public university systems now face state budget cuts and increased enrollment pressures without the budget flexibility sought in the reform measure - and she vowed to continue to urge legislators to enact the reforms. John B. Simpson, president of SUNY's university center in Buffalo, said that the state's leaders had been unfair to their students. "On top of these very significant cuts, students have watched their tuition increase by large amounts, virtually all of which has gone as a tax to the state, while the university has been able to provide less and less. And we have been forced to continue to operate in a highly regulated environment, more befitting a state agency than a research university. Simply put, the regulatory status quo, which we are now left with, will not allow this university to thrive."

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