Issues: Higher Education

Thank you Senator LaValle: SUNY Stony Brook Breaks Ground on New Computer Sciences Center

 State-of-the-art facility continues expansion of one of university’s fastest-growing departments STONY BROOK, N.Y., September 28, 2012 – Stony Brook University hosted a groundbreaking dedication event for its new 70,000-square-foot Computer Science building on Friday, Sept. 28, continuing the expansion of the school’s nationally ranked Department of Computer Science and adding to its reputation as a rising star in the cutting edge research, education and industrial interaction essential to the innovation economy.State Sen. Ken LaValle, who helped secure State funding through appropriation for the construction, was a special guest at the groundbreaking ceremony. 

September 28, 2012

Nazareth Opens Peckham Hall

On Thursday afternoon, I had the privilege to attend the grand opening ceremony for Peckham Hall on the campus of Nazareth College in Pittsford. Peckham Hall will serve as the Integrated Center for Math and Science. The $30 million dollar building features classroom and lab lecture rooms with modern technology and 20 labs to serve science, math, and computing areas of studies.

September 28, 2012


Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C – Poughkeepsie) partnered with the President of Dutchess Community College, Dr. David Conklin, today to announce that he has secured $100,000 in job training monies for the Dutchess County college.

Building on a tradition that dates to 1994, Senator Saland acquired the new monies to be used for job training programs at the college, developed in collaboration with local businesses and employees. Over the past decade, he has helped facilitate over $1 million worth of funding for these services at Dutchess Community College, with an estimated 5,000 workers receiving training and over 150 area companies participating in 200 programs.

August 30, 2012

Empire State College Announces Agreement for New Brighton Campus

I was pleased to join Dean Franz, Assemblyman Joe Morelle, and others today to announce the agreed upon location of Empire State College in Brighton on property currently owned by the state, located on Westfall Road. Empire State College is an important part of SUNY, allowing adult-learners and people in the work force to have flexible curriculums in pursuit of their professional degrees.

August 22, 2012

College at Brockport Breaks Ground on Liberal Arts Building

On Tuesday, August 21st, I had the privilege to speak at, and help break ground at, a ceremony to mark the start of construction on a new liberal arts building at The College at Brockport. The new building will be over 60,000 square feet and located to the east of Drake Memorial Library. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, with a projected cost of over $29 million. It is the first new academic building on the campus in 40 years and will house the departments of English, history, modern languages and cultures, philosophy, and women and gender studies. Funding for the project is coming from the SUNY educational facilities five year capital plan, which I am proud to support.

August 21, 2012


Electeds Urge Comprehensive Plan to Save Hospital and Medical School

BROOKLYN – Today, a coalition of Brooklyn elected officials sent a letter to Governor Cuomo urging immediate action to save critical services and medical training at the State University of New York’s Downstate Medical Center (Downstate) and its affiliates.

Downstate faces a major operating deficit, and a significant restructuring is necessary for the institution’s survival. Downstate’s Long Island College Hospital has already laid off 150 employees; over 400 more Downstate employees will receive contract-mandated notice of future layoffs this month, with over a thousand layoffs expected in the next year. This will lead to a massive cut in services and the ability to train medical professionals in Brooklyn.

August 9, 2012

Kennedy Unveils Proposal to Bridge Skills Gap, Prepare Workers for Jobs in New Economy

ECC, Ford, UAW join Kennedy to highlight new plan to develop skilled workforce and foster “matchmaking for manufacturing”

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy unveiled a new proposal to help bridge the “skills gap” and prepare workers for jobs in our ever-evolving economy at a press conference Tuesday at Erie Community College’s City Campus. Officials from ECC and Ford Motor Company joined Kennedy, as he outlined his proposed plan to establish Centers of Workforce Achievement – which will partner community colleges with local employers to develop a skilled workforce for growth industries within the regional economy.

August 7, 2012

ECC, Ranzenhofer mark completion of North Campus consolidation

Williamsville, NY - Representatives of Erie Community College joined New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer to celebrate a $50,000 state allocation to consolidate and enhance ECC’s North Campus Student Services wing on Monday, August 6th inside the college’s Spring Student Center in Williamsville. “Here at Erie Community College, we consider ourselves a student-first institution,” said ECC President Jack Quinn. “With the help of Senator Ranzenhofer, we’re now able to serve our students better than ever before.” In 2010, ECC teamed with the second-term senator to acquire the funds necessary to consolidate the college’s student services—such as admissions, registration and financial aid offices—into one location.

August 6, 2012

University of Rochester Unveils Supercomputer

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and local officials today cut the ribbon to unveil one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers for health research, which will be housed at the Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation (HSCCI) in Rochester. The HSCCI is a $100 million partnership with the University of Rochester and IBM dedicated to applying high performance computing solutions to the nation’s health challenges. Last year, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council chose the HSCCI as one of its priority projects and received $5 million in state funds for its completion. 

August 3, 2012

New York Launches New Pilot Program to Make Health Insurance More Affordable for College Students

New York has launched a new pilot program that will allow large universities to directly provide health coverage to their students at a lower cost. The program is the result of legislation signed into law last week. The five universities that are eligible to self-insure are Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, and the University of Rochester.

August 1, 2012

Governor Advances Seward Backed College Health Insurance Program

ALBANY, 08/01/12 - State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) announced today that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is advancing a new pilot program that will allow large universities to directly provide health coverage to their students at a lower cost.

The program is the result of legislation (S.7314A) sponsored by Senator Seward signed into law last week.

August 1, 2012

SUNY Adopts Federal Version of Provision from LaValle College Affordability Act

When New York State Senate passed Senator Ken LaValle’s (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) legislation to help middle-class families and students afford the rapidly increasing cost of a college education on June 5 it included a provision that has been mimicked by the Obama administration and will now be adopted by SUNY.

The  voluntary ‘Shopping Sheet’ that the Obama Administration is promoting for the 2013 school year and which the State University of New York will use will let college-bound students do an apples to apples comparison of what it will cost them to attend one of several schools. The sheets also provide statistics on default rates, as well as graduation rates at comparable schools.

July 25, 2012

Rochester Educational Opportunity Center Opens

(Rochester, N.Y.) - On Thursday, July 19th, I had the privilege to speak at, and take part in, the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center (REOC). The new state-of-the-art building includes modern classrooms, a healthcare lab, a cosmetology salon, and a bistro. For more information on what is offered at REOC, visit

July 20, 2012

Golisano Institute for Sustainability Tour

(Rochester, N.Y.) - Recently, I had the privilege to join R.I.T. president Bill Destler on a tour to see the progress of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability on the campus of R.I.T. The new headquarters of the GIS will house students beginning in September. For more information on studies available at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, visit

July 10, 2012


Area Business Leaders Laud Choice of Western New York Senator  

ALBANY - Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-C-I, Rockville Centre) announced today that Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) has been appointed Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business.

July 2, 2012

Committee Meeting: Higher Education Meeting

SenateStanding Committee on Higher EducationSenator Kenneth P. LaValle, ChairThursday , June 21, 2012OFF THE FLOOR

THE COMMITTEE WILL CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOMINATIONS SUBMITTED BY THE GOVERNOR: Brian D. Obergfell, CUNY Board of Trustees (new appointment) Richard Socarides, SUNY Board of Trustees (new appointment) Henrik (Hank) N. Dullea, SUNY Board of Trustees (new appointment) Angelo Fatta, SUNY Board of Trustees (new appointment) Marshall A. Lichtman, SUNY Board of Trustees (reappointment)The new appointees will appear before the Committee.

June 21, 1:00 PM - 2:04 PM

Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta On President's Executive Order To Help 'Undocumented Americans'

"For many undocumented immigrants, America is the only country they know.  In their hearts and minds they are American.  Sadly, Republicans either can't, or choose not to understand this.  By blocking the Dream Act, they denied millions of undocumented Americans the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

"The president's executive order will at least afford undocumented Americans the chance to come out from the shadows and enter the economic mainstream.  

"Thank you Mr. President."

June 15, 2012

Griffo Says Affordable College Plan Passes Senate

Senate Passes College Affordability PlanIncreased Tuition Tax Breaks; Lower Student Loan Interest Rates; Tuition Pre-Payment; Truth-in-Lending for Student Loans

June 5, 2012

Senate approves 'College Affordability Plan'

Albany, N.Y., June 5—The New York State Senate has unanimously approved legislation called the “College Affordability Plan” that Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) said proposes state-level actions  to try to find new ways to ease the burden of college costs for students and families.

June 5, 2012
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