Legislation Would Create a Task Force to Study Feasibility of Creating a New SUNY College

             Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle have introduced legislation establishing a state task force to study the feasibility of establishing and independent SUNY College at Southampton.

            Thiele and LaValle have been strong proponents of higher education at the Southampton campus. When LIU announced it was closing Southampton College, LaValle and Thiele spearheaded the charge to have the State University acquire the campus to be part of Stony Brook University.

Since 2006, the State University has expended $78 million in capital improvements at the campus. In addition, admissions applications were up 54% this past year and SAT scores rose by 100 points. Yet, in April, SUNY announced it was pulling the plug on the Southampton campus.

The SUNY decision has been widely criticized by the East End community. The decision to close the campus is currently the subject of litigation brought by several Southampton students. The move is widely believed by critics to represent a shift in the mission of Stony Brook rather than a budget matter.

Thiele and LaValle stated, “We have demonstrated a long term commitment to a full service college and public higher education at Southampton. The State’s investment in the future of Southampton was prudent and must not be wasted. The social and economic future of the East End requires that it continue to have a 4 year college for its residents. However, based on the experience with both LIU and Stony Brook, it is clear that the business model of operating the college as a satellite to another institution will never properly serve the needs of the community. Our legislation will put in motion a process that will ultimately lead to the maximization of the State of New York’s investment in Southampton for higher education.”