From President Kleniewski
To All Faculty and Staff
I hope that your spring 2011 semester is off to a good start. I’m sure it comes as no surprise at this point that Governor Cuomo, who presented his executive budget on February 1, predicts that 2011 will be another fiscally challenging year for our state. We anticipate that the same will hold true for our college.
The governor’s spending plan would cut nearly $88 million in operating funds for state-operated campuses, including a projected decrease of approximately $2.2 million for SUNY Oneonta. It also would hold tuition flat, thereby providing no increase in revenue to offset reductions.
However, Governor Cuomo’s proposal does include capital funding for critical facilities maintenance on SUNY campuses, and it maintains the current level of funding for the Tuition Assistance Program.
Unlike many of our sister SUNYs, so far we have been able to minimize the impact of budget cuts on our academic programs, thanks to the concerted efforts and exceptional fiscal stewardship of the campus community. Our college remains well positioned despite the state’s financial forecast. Nevertheless, we will need to identify additional savings opportunities as we face increasingly difficult decisions.
While we expect further reductions from the state, I must stress that the governor’s proposal is just the first step in a lengthy conversation that will involve the state legislature and SUNY’s many stakeholders. The SUNY Board of Trustees and the Student Association of SUNY already have reiterated their support for a tuition increase and a rational, multi-year tuition policy. We will join in advocating for these measures.
Throughout the budget process, we will have many opportunities to share the strengths of SUNY Oneonta with policy makers. We have much to be proud of, such as our recently announced Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification and our highest ranking ever—#47—among Kiplinger’s “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” nationwide.
These honors reflect the vitality and dedication of our campus community, which will be assets as we advocate for our college’s fiscal well being. Guided by our mission and strategic plan, I look forward to working with you as we continue to shape the future of SUNY Oneonta.