STONY BROOK, NY; June 9, 2011 – Today Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a bill to implement the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program – “a joint program between the Governor and State University of New York (SUNY) that will incentivize bottom-up, individualized long-term economic development plans on SUNY campuses and the surrounding communities. The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program will enhance SUNY's academic mission while maintaining affordability and placing college campuses across New York at the center of the state's regionally-based economic revitalization strategy.”
Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., lauded Governor Cuomo’s vision and leadership, and Chancellor Zimpher for her commitment, saying that the NYSUNY 2020 legislation “is significant for SUNY, for Stony Brook University and for the Long Island region.
“Rational tuition and Tuition Plus are essential components of this legislation and we are committed to investing the revenue generated directly into our students’ academic experience. This groundbreaking legislation will help make it possible for Stony Brook to build and staff a new, state-of-the-art translational medicine facility, which furthers our deep commitment to providing world class medical care to the Long Island community. It also supports our mission of education, research, and discovery, and will play an important role in the economic recovery of Long Island.”
On June 1, Stony Brook University presented its NYSUNY 2020 application to Governor Cuomo and an invited group of elected representatives, including State Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, the Senate and Assembly Chairs of the Higher Ed Committee, Senator Ken LaValle and Assemblyperson Deborah Glick, Chancellor Zimpher and a full complement of the Long Island Senate and Assembly delegations. If its plan is accepted, and if the legislation moves forward as written, Stony Brook will be able to build a new translational medical research building; hire additional faculty and staff; and, launch economic development partnerships with industry in the Long Island region. Under the Governor’s new Tuition Plus legislation, it would also give Stony Brook the ability to implement a predictable tuition program that will protect families from runaway tuition hikes and, at the same time, increase financial assistance for eligible students from families with an income of $75,000 or less.
Kevin Law, President of the Long Island Association said, “Today, Governor Cuomo proved that he is serious about boosting Long Island's fragile economy with the introduction of this bill. It provides Stony Brook with the opportunity to expand its research, enrich its academics, and most importantly create quality jobs. The LIA strongly endorses this bill and urges the legislature to pass it this session.”
Jimmy Castellane, President of the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council, said, “This bill gives Long Island the shot in the arm we so desperately need. It would put thousands of our hard working members back to work and off the unemployment line. The 65,000 members of the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction trade unions thank the Governor for his leadership on this issue and urge the legislature to pass this bill and get our guys back on the job.”
Cheryl Hamilton, Director of Stony Brook University’s Educational Opportunity Program said, “Governor Cuomo's bill benefits every Stony Brook student. It means more classes, smaller class sizes, and an end to students being closed out of required courses while protecting our most economically disadvantaged students.”
The plan has also been endorsed by the Stony Brook University Senate, student leaders, dozens of Long Island business, civic and community groups and leaders, including the Association for a Better Long Island, Vision Long Island, Long Island Metro Business Action, Rauch Foundation, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and numerous chambers of commerce.
According to a press release issued by the Governor’s Press office, provisions in the legislation include:
- Authorizing all SUNY campuses to implement a rational tuition plan by increasing tuition five percent annually for five years;
- Authorizing University Centers to implement a rational plus tuition plan by including an additional three percent increase annually for five years conditioned on the approval of their NYSUNY 2020 applications by the Governor and SUNY Chancellor;
- Requiring that any tuition increase under the five year rational tuition does not apply to students eligible for maximum TAP award;
- Creating a State University Low Interest Revolving Loan Fund;
- Requiring conflict of interest policies for implementation of NYSUNY Challenge Grant Program; and,
- Authorizing the Empire State Development Corporation to issue $80 million in bond proceeds to implement NY-SUNY Challenge Grant Program
"Our application for the Governor’s NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant is not just about expanded research and economic development, although it accomplishes both of those goals,” said Dr. Stanley. “Most importantly, it’s about increasing access to a quality education at Stony Brook. Students will be able to get the classes they need to graduate on time and we will be able to open our doors to 1,500 more students over the five year period of the plan. At the same time, we’ve made a commitment to increase our financial aid so that our most economically disadvantaged students will be protected against a tuition increase. Every student will benefit."