ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)--In a joint budget hearing on Higher Education, both the SUNY and CUNY chancellors testified before lawmakers.
SUNY Chancellor John King and CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez spoke about a wide variety of issues— from a decrease in student enrollment, to the financial struggles of the SUNY Downstate and other campuses, to the need for more operating money.
SUNY chancellor John King said while he’s grateful Governor Hochul proposed $54 million dollars for SUNY operating costs, ultimately he would like to see more in the finalized state budget.
"We are hopeful that the state will step in to address the $86 million dollars that it will cost to fulfill the new contract with our main faculty union," explained King. "Well-deserved raises, a fiscally responsible contract, but we really need the state’s help with that $86 million dollars."
Assembly Higher Ed Chair, Pat Fahy, agreed more investment is needed for staff contracts and other costs.
"We’ve got to provide on the operating dollars," said Fahy. "We’ve got to turn around the years of this investment and we need those capital investments. These science and research programs are expensive, but they also recognize we’ve got to show students directly that we have their back."
In an effort to increase enrollment, Fahy would like to see a $400 million dollar increase in the tuition assistance program to help make college more affordable.
The finalized state budget is due on April 1st.