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Lawmakers concerned about SUNY tuition increase in proposed budget

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  • Staff Report 

SUNY Chancellor John King and CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez testified before the state legislature on Monday, urging lawmakers to accept the investments proposed in the executive budget.

“SUNY respectfully asks our champions in the legislature to accept all the SUNY investments proposed in the executive budget,” said King.

The proposed investments include $53 million for faculty hiring, $75 million for a transformational initiative fund to support workforce development programs, and $200 million for digital transformation and IT infrastructure.

However, a proposal to increase SUNY tuition has raised concerns among some lawmakers. Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed an annual tuition increase of up to 3% for CUNY and SUNY campuses and up to an additional 6% each year for the next 5 years for university centers.

When asked about the support for a tuition increase, King stated, “The governor has proposed a modest tuition increase across the system to try to provide that reliable revenue source. That said, 53% of our students at our campuses today don’t pay tuition because of the generosity of Pell, TAP, and Excelsior Program, and that will continue to be true even with the tuition increase.”

The differential tuition for the four university centers of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook was also discussed. King explained that the cost structure of these centers is different and emphasized the need to fund research faculty, graduate students, and lab operations to attract federal research money into the state.

Chancellor King emphasized the importance of making sure SUNY University Centers remain competitive with universities in other states.

The final budget is due on April 1st.