University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi today praised the passage of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NYSUNY 2020 bill as a major accomplishment in the pursuit of academic excellence at UB and for economic development efforts vital to Western New York.
“Today the university and all of Western New York share in an achievement that puts our community on a path toward a promising future,” Tripathi said. “I extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all those who helped make this possible: Gov. Cuomo, the Western New York delegation, Senate and Assembly leadership, business, labor and community leaders and UB alumni, faculty, staff and students.
“We have worked together successfully over the past several years to make the case that a stronger university will benefit students, families and all of Western New York.”
The bill, Tripathi said, will have a “transformative impact” on UB and public higher education in New York state. Moreover, it offers a historic new model for investing in public higher education during a period of declining state funding support.
The bill authorizes all SUNY campuses to implement a rational tuition plan that gives the campuses the ability to raise tuition up to $300 annually for five years. In addition, as a component of the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, the four University Centers in Buffalo, Albany, Binghamton and Stony Brook are authorized to raise tuition 10 percent for out-of-state students.
Importantly, the bill prevents the state from cutting funding to SUNY an amount equal to the revenue generated by tuition increases. This was a long-standing practice in Albany following SUNY tuition increases.
A copy of the bill is available here.
These critical resources will provide the revenue needed for UB to implement the next phase of the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence, under the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, Tripathi said.
The three main interrelated objectives of UB 2020′s next phase, Tripathi said, are “enhanced educational and research excellence, improved health care for Western New York and creation of an innovation economy that will produce regional job growth.”
UB will use funding provided by the bill to offer students the very best academic programs, hire new faculty in a variety of academic disciplines across the university and spur regional economic development through groundbreaking faculty research and education of a talented workforce.
“UB 2020 is first and foremost a plan for building a great university; it’s a plan to advance the academic and research enterprise of our university so we can make the world, locally and globally, a better place,” Tripathi said.
New York State low-income students who qualify for maximum financial aid through the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) will not be impacted by tuition increases authorized by the bill. To ensure equitable access to UB, the university also will invest a portion of tuition revenues into need-based financial aid.
“The financial-aid program authorized by the bill, and UB’s financial-aid plan, will assure that a UB education remains accessible to low-income and middle-income students,” Tripathi said. “Even with tuition increases, UB will remain one of the most affordable public universities in the U.S.”