1 BEFORE THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE FINANCE
AND ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEES
3 JOINT LEGISLATIVE HEARING
4 In the Matter of the
2016-2017 EXECUTIVE BUDGET ON
5 HIGHER EDUCATION
7 Hearing Room B
Legislative Office Building
8 Albany, New York
9 February 8, 2016
12 Senator Catharine M. Young
Chair, Senate Finance Committee
Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr.
14 Chair, Assembly Ways & Means Committee
16 Senator Liz Krueger
Senate Finance Committee (RM)
Assemblyman Robert Oaks
18 Assembly Ways & Means Committee (RM)
19 Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick
Chair, Assembly Higher Education Committee
Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
21 Chair, Senate Higher Education Committee
22 Assemblyman William Colton
23 Senator Toby Ann Stavisky
24 Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee
1 2016-2017 Executive Budget
3 PRESENT: (Continued)
4 Assemblyman Peter A. Lawrence
5 Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer
6 Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis
7 Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon
8 Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci
9 Assemblywoman Barbara S. Lifton
10 Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy
11 Senator Simcha Felder
12 Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright
13 Assemblyman David Weprin
14 Senator Diane Savino
15 Assemblyman Joseph S. Saladino
16 Assemblyman Edward Ra
17 Assemblyman Al Stirpe
18 Assemblywoman Pamela Harris
1 2016-2017 Executive Budget
3 LIST OF SPEAKERS
4 STATEMENT QUESTIONS
5 Nancy L. Zimpher
6 State University of New York 7 38
Anne M. Kress
Monroe Community College 18 38
8 Robert Jones
9 University at Albany 29 39
SUNY Potsdam 24 46
11 Tom Mastro
SUNY Student Assembly 34 53
City University of New York 113 131
NYS Education Department 184 191
Elsa M. Magee
17 Acting President
NYS Higher Education
18 Services Corporation 239 243
19 Andrew Pallotta
Executive Vice President
20 NYSUT 258
21 Jamie Dangler
22 United University Professions 266 289
23 Barbara Bowen
24 PSC/CUNY 276 295
1 2016-2017 Executive Budget
3 LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont.
4 STATEMENT QUESTIONS
5 Laura L. Anglin
6 Commission on Independent
Colleges and Universities 307 318
8 Higher Education Coordinator
Michael A. Molina
Association for Program
11 Administrators of CSTEP
and STEP 338
Dr. Jason Brown
13 Vice President
NYS Chiropractic Association 342 348
15 Executive Director
On Point for College 349 355
17 Director of Legislation
DC 37 363
19 President 367
20 Vice President 371
21 Dir., Legislative Affairs 369
22 Chief of Staff 374
SUNY Student Assembly
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Good morning.
2 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Good morning.
3 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Good morning.
4 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Good. We're still
5 alive; football lives. Today we begin the
6 12th in the series of hearings conducted by
7 the joint fiscal committees of the
8 Legislature regarding the Governor's proposed
9 budget for fiscal year 2016-2017. The
10 hearings are conducted pursuant to Article 7,
11 Section 3 of the Constitution, and Article 2,
12 Sections 31 and 32A of the Legislative Law.
13 Today the Assembly Ways and Means
14 Committee and the Senate Finance Committee
15 will hear testimony concerning the budget
16 proposal for higher education.
17 I will now introduce some of the
18 members of the Assembly, and Senator Young,
19 chair of the Senate Finance Committee, will
20 introduce members from the Senate.
21 We've been joined by Assemblywoman
22 Deborah Glick, chair; Assemblyman Bill
23 Colton; Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee;
24 Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright;
1 Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer; Assemblywoman
2 Barbara Lifton; Assemblyman Charles Lavine;
3 Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy; Assemblyman
4 David Weprin; and Assemblywoman Jo Anne
6 And Mr. Oaks?
7 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: Yes, we've also
8 been joined by Assemblyman Lupinacci,
9 Assemblyman Ra, and Assemblyman Lawrence.
10 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
12 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you, and good
13 morning. And welcome to our distinguished
15 I'm Senator Catharine Young, and I'm
16 chair of the Senate Finance Committee. And
17 I've been joined by my colleagues Senator Liz
18 Krueger, who is ranking member on the Finance
19 Committee; Senator Ken LaValle, who is chair
20 of the Senate Higher Education Committee;
21 Senator Toby Stavisky, who is ranking member
22 on the Higher Education Committee; and also
23 Senator Simcha Felder.
24 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Before introducing
1 the first witness, I would like to remind all
2 of the witnesses testifying today to keep
3 your statements within your allotted time
4 limit so that everyone can afford the
5 opportunity to speak.
6 And our members, the chairs of the
7 committees involved today will get 10 minutes
8 in their calls; everyone else will get five
9 minutes. We'd like to keep it going as
10 tightly, as quickly -- I'd like not to break
11 the record of going to 9 o'clock at night.
12 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: That actually is
13 not the record, Mr. Chairman. So we would
14 like to avoid the record.
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: That's right. All
16 right. State University Chancellor Nancy L.
17 Zimpher. I messed that up.
18 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: You got it just
20 Good afternoon, everybody. I'm Nancy
21 Zimpher, and I'm chancellor of the State
22 University of New York.
23 I want to thank Chairpersons Young,
24 Farrell, LaValle and Glick, members of the
1 Assembly and the Senate, the legislative
2 staff, for allowing us this opportunity to
3 share our perspective on the Executive
5 I'm pleased to be joined today by
6 President Robert Jones, to my left,
7 University at Albany; President Kristin
8 Esterberg of SUNY Potsdam; and once again,
9 I'm happy to be joined by President Anne
10 Kress, of Monroe Community College. And it's
11 also my honor today to be joined by Tom
12 Mastro, who is president of our statewide
13 Student Assembly. He is also a SUNY trustee
14 and a student at Binghamton University.
15 I'd also like to take this opportunity
16 to acknowledge the other SUNY campus
17 presidents who are with us today, thank them
18 for their time and their continued devotion
19 to the SUNY system. And I want to thank the
20 SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl
21 McCall and our entire board for their
22 leadership and support.
23 I believe that while requesting more
24 support for the State University, I need to
1 make the value proposition crystal-clear. So
2 I want to take this opportunity to tell you
3 about the accomplishments and our goals, to
4 demonstrate the level of performance and
5 accountability we are committed to on behalf
6 of our students.
7 As I shared with you four years ago,
8 we've coined a term, an organizational theory
9 that derives from our collective work at
10 SUNY, and we say this word "systemness." For
11 SUNY it means leveraging all of our campuses'
12 strengths and acting as one formidable force
13 armed with an ambitious set of goals to
14 create not just a stronger public university
15 system but also a better way of life for all
16 New York.
17 And when we say a better way of life,
18 we mean providing access to a high-quality,
19 affordable education to every single
20 New Yorker who wants one, regardless of age,
21 gender, race, religion, veteran status, or
22 any obstacle that might keep them from a
23 college education.
24 It means supporting students through
1 on-time completion. Last year I shared with
2 you SUNY's ambitious completion agenda to
3 increase the number of degrees granted
4 annually from 93,000 to 150,000 by 2020.
5 Since then, our provost, Alex Cartwright,
6 sitting in the next row, did the math to
7 figure out how we can get there. We still
8 optimize current enrollment by asking our
9 institutions to strive for "best in sector"
10 retention and graduation rates, and
11 increasing our workforce-ready credentialing.
12 And we will strategically increase enrollment
13 to approach our historic maximums and to
14 continue to promote online education through
15 Open SUNY.
16 But we don't stop at the completion
17 agenda at SUNY, we also talk about success --
18 where students go, what they do after they
19 graduate, whether embarking on a career or
20 advanced degree work. That is why we are
21 committed to ensuring applied learning
22 opportunities for every student before they
23 graduate, to help put them on a path to a
24 long-term successful career.
1 It has been seven years since I came
2 to SUNY, and only four years since we started
3 talking about systemness. Today I am proud
4 to report that we are working together better
5 and doing more for our students than ever
6 before. Let me share a few examples.
7 First, seamless transfer. Of our
8 460,000 students, about 30,000 transfer
9 between our campuses every year. In fact,
10 44 percent of our baccalaureate graduates
11 started at one of our community colleges. We
12 now have in place a transfer policy that
13 guarantees that when students transfer, they
14 don't lose time, they don't lose credit or a
15 single hard-earned dollar of what they've
16 invested. They are positioned and empowered
17 better than ever before to complete their
18 degree on time.
19 We also created and launched Open
20 SUNY, the world's largest consortium for
21 online learning, with 230,000 students
22 enrolled in 472 degree programs and 20,000
23 course sections, Open SUNY is speeding time
24 to degree and driving access like never
2 In 2012, we launched what has become
3 the nation's most proactive, comprehensive
4 financial literacy tool. Since we brand
5 everything, we called this SUNY Smart Track.
6 The program includes financial literacy
7 resources and tools, student engagement
8 activities for at-risk student borrowers, and
9 SUNY-wide default prevention and financial
10 literacy task forces which monitor the
11 success of the program and look for ways to
12 continuously improve it.
13 Thanks to our affordability and our
14 work through Smart Track, SUNY institutions
15 across all sectors see lower student loan
16 default rates than their national
18 And in 2011, we committed to sharing
19 services in our system and our regions to
20 save money and then take that savings and put
21 it right back to support our students.
22 Shared services is truly a matter of and a
23 measure of operational excellence. Within
24 just a few years of sharing services in human
1 resources, IT and procurement, we've exceeded
2 our $100 million run rate and have created an
3 operational excellence team to ensure that we
4 continue to save.
5 Last year we were honored to be joined
6 by Assemblyman Crespo when we announced our
7 new systemwide diversity, equity and
8 inclusion policy. We have welcomed his input
9 and are so appreciate of his leadership in
10 this area, and his patience with us as we
11 strive to be the most inclusive university in
12 the country. Our new policies are a good
13 start, but we know we have a lot of work to
14 do to ensure our students reflect the
15 diversity of our state.
16 Our Board of Trustees adopted the
17 policy in September, which calls for each
18 campus, and our system headquarters, to put
19 in place this year a diversity and inclusion
20 plan that addresses recruitment, retention,
21 campus climate and more. Central to the
22 plans, every campus will have a chief
23 diversity officer, offer cultural
24 competency training, and report annually on
1 their progress, which will be tied to campus
2 leadership evaluation.
3 So this raises the question, with all
4 of these initiatives, some with goals met and
5 some ongoing, how do we know what we're doing
6 is actually working? So SUNY is taking
7 bolder steps than ever to be transparent
8 about our performance at every level. We
9 created the SUNY Excels performance system.
10 Through two years of debate, we settled on 17
11 metrics across access, completion, success,
12 inquiry, and engagement. This helps us see
13 where we need to improve and target our
14 resources to get the outcomes we want and
15 New York State needs.
16 As part of this process, last year we
17 put it to our campuses to create
18 individualized performance improvement plans,
19 and they set very ambitious goals. Our
20 presidents led campus teams that delivered
21 great plans with intentions to establish new
22 degree programs in high-demand areas, to grow
23 enrollment and improve retention, and to
24 expand student services. And in our
1 commitment to transparency, every single one
2 of these plans is available to view in full
4 I sit here today confident that none
5 of this could have happened without your
6 leadership and support. And we are grateful
7 that the Executive Budget provides a good
8 start as we look ahead to what's next for
10 Regarding the Governor's budget, we
11 are today asking for your support of ongoing
12 and new programs included in his proposal, to
13 restore funding levels that were cut in
14 critical program areas, and to invest in the
15 State University by enhancing funding levels.
16 Let me begin with support for items in
17 the Executive Budget: $15 million for a
18 Clean Energy Workforce Opportunity Program,
19 $3 million for the Apprenticeship Program,
20 and an additional $1 million for community
21 college community schools.
22 In addition, we wanted to share some
23 details on how we used last year's
24 $18 million Investment Fund and why it is so
1 important to renew. We maximized the state's
2 $18 million investment by pooling other state
3 funding sources and limited existing
4 resources to create a $100 million expanded
5 Investment and Performance Fund. These
6 presidents can attest we issued our request
7 for proposals to each of the campuses to
8 apply for opportunities to scale or replicate
9 or pilot innovative programs and initiatives.
10 Given the limited funding, we set up a
11 competitive process to invest only in what we
12 know works to drive student success.
13 We received over 200 proposals from
14 nearly every SUNY institution. Last month,
15 we announced the first $18 million of these
16 awards, 32 proposals directly involving
17 22 state-operated SUNY campuses and
18 collaborations with nine community colleges.
19 The funded projects included implementing
20 early alert systems, enhancing advising,
21 stronger K-12 to college bridges, math
22 competency programs, new opportunities for
23 applied learning, and much, much more.
24 We anticipate great things to come
1 from our campuses on these projects, and we
2 know from the proposals we were not able to
3 fund that there is much more that we can do
4 with an additional $18 million this year.
5 We also ask that you consider
6 expanding eligibility for the Investment and
7 Performance Fund to our community colleges so
8 that they can apply directly and benefit from
9 this innovative approach.
10 Under restoration, as with every year,
11 we ask that you restore the legislatively
12 added funding, a total of $3.6 million for
13 childcare, the Graduate Achievement Placement
14 or GAP program, and the Career Center
15 programs; $18.6 million for our hospitals;
16 and other areas, including our Small Business
17 Development Centers, the Graduate Diversity
18 Program, and the Cornell Cooperative
19 Extension and Veterinary College.
20 And under the category of
21 enhancements, we have some additional asks
22 that we are referring to as an enhancement of
23 our support and restoration requests. Every
24 year we talk about the need for increased
1 base aid for our community colleges and
2 operating support for our state-operated
3 campuses. This year we are requesting
4 $37.3 million, or an additional $285 per
5 full-time student, for our community
7 I often hear that base aid isn't a
8 very compelling ask, so I'm glad that
9 President Kress is here to share Monroe
10 Community College's perspective as well as
11 some examples of the difference an increase
12 in support can make to our community college
13 students and faculty.
14 President Kress.
15 PRESIDENT KRESS: Thank you,
16 Chancellor Zimpher.
17 I'm Anne Kress, president of Monroe
18 Community College, and I am honored to be
19 here today. Thank you for this opportunity
20 to represent SUNY's 30 community colleges.
21 We bring you a simple and very
22 straightforward request this year. We ask
23 that you increase our base aid funding by
24 $285 per full-time equivalent student.
1 Our students come to our community
2 colleges for any number of reasons, but at
3 the heart of it, each one of them comes to
4 the community college seeking a pathway to
5 prosperity. But because our colleges'
6 funding from New York State has not kept pace
7 with our costs, increasingly we struggle to
8 fulfill the promise that we hold out to our
10 These are students like Cory. Cory
11 came to Jefferson Community College straight
12 from the armed services, and he was
13 struggling with sobriety. And he was also
14 struggling with the ability to care for his
15 family. He didn't know where he would find a
16 post-military career with the difficulties
17 that he presented, but he found a home at
18 Jefferson Community College. And because of
19 the outstanding faculty and services at
20 Jefferson, Cory is now on his way to a degree
21 in human services, he is on his way to
22 university transfer, and he is on his way to
23 a career as a counselor.
24 But 88 percent, 88 percent of
1 Jefferson's budget goes to the costs
2 associated with those outstanding faculty and
3 staff, and so serving motivated but
4 challenged students like Cory is harder every
5 single day. What I want you to know is that
6 when New York State stands with SUNY,
7 Jefferson Community College can stand with
8 students like Cory.
9 We can also stand with students like
10 Connie. Connie started her career at FIT,
11 and she was a nontraditional student. And
12 she had dreams of a degree in fashion
13 business management, and she saw career
14 opportunities there. But with few resources
15 of her own, she had to use the college's
16 computer labs and software in order to
17 complete her coursework. And it was in that
18 computer lab that one of the deans found her,
19 crying inconsolably. And what the dean
20 learned was that Connie couldn't use the
21 computers because they were so outdated, they
22 couldn't run the software programs that she
23 was required to use for her classes. Much
24 like the computer lab that surrounded her,
1 Connie's dreams were falling apart.
2 And without access to much needed
3 technology, Connie and many of her fellow
4 students at FIT simply couldn't gain the
5 skill sets that would make them competitive
6 upon graduation.
7 What I want you to hear is that when
8 you stand with SUNY, you stand with students
9 like Connie and you make it possible for FIT
10 to do so as well.
11 Patricio never thought that he would
12 need a college degree. He got a job right
13 out of high school, he started a family --
14 but he soon found that he maybe didn't have
15 the skill set to remain competitive, and he
16 was downsized from his company in Rochester.
17 And then he heard in his community
18 that MCC, my college, was offering a new
19 accelerated precision machining program, and
20 he thought, wow, in six months, I could get a
21 college credential and I could find a job.
22 And so he dedicated himself to that. And now
23 Patricio has not just a job, he has a career.
24 And he also has motivation to ensure that his
1 two daughters follow him to MCC and go to
2 college themselves.
3 We know at MCC that there are many
4 Patricios out there in our community. We
5 know that Rochester has one of our state's
6 highest poverty levels. We know that it has
7 one of the highest unemployment rates for
8 minority males in the State of New York. But
9 we also know that without increased base aid,
10 we can't afford to expand the programs in
11 workforce development, a program that served
12 Patricio so well. On average, those programs
13 cost 40 percent more than a traditional
14 academic program. These are high-tech
16 And know that when New York State
17 stands with SUNY, you stand with Patricio and
18 you make it possible for MCC to stand with
19 him as well.
20 Every one of my colleagues could share
21 similar stories. Our community colleges
22 increasingly lack the resources that they
23 need to stand with our students. Connecting
24 underprepared, financially and emotionally
1 challenged students to opportunity is hard
2 and it is costly work. Students in every
3 corner of our state are facing uncertain
4 pathways because our base aid has not kept
5 pace with our costs.
6 So I ask the Legislature to stand with
7 SUNY. We ask that you increase our base aid
8 by $285 per full-time equivalent student.
9 That will keep our colleges whole. It will
10 help us keep pace, if nothing else, with the
11 rising cost of benefits that we give our
12 valued employees and faculty. We want to
13 give our students the education they deserve.
14 Help us stand with Cory, with Connie, with
15 Patricio, with the tens of thousands of
16 students who come to our institutions every
17 single year. If you do that, New York will
18 stand strong.
19 Thank you so much for this opportunity
20 to speak on behalf of our students and our
22 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you,
23 President Kress.
24 For our 29 state-operated campuses,
1 we're grateful for the Executive Budget's
2 proposed direct support of $708 million. We
3 ask for your partnership in enhancing this
4 investment. We have not seen a significant
5 increase of operational support over the past
6 five years, which presents a growing
7 challenge as we face projected increases in
8 costs. We are requesting enhanced support of
9 $72.7 million for the state-operated
10 campuses, $61.9 million to support the
11 incremental costs of collective bargaining
12 salaries, and $10.8 million to offset the
13 costs campuses incur in internally funded
15 President Esterberg is going to offer
16 some perspective on the importance of this
17 operating support to Potsdam and our other
18 state-operated campuses.
19 PRESIDENT ESTERBERG: Thank you,
20 Chancellor Zimpher.
21 Good afternoon. My name is Kristin
22 Esterberg, and I am the president of SUNY
23 Potsdam. Celebrating our bicentennial this
24 year, we are the oldest campus in the SUNY
1 system and one of the 13 campuses in the
2 comprehensive sector.
3 The comprehensive campuses provide
4 access to a rigorous four-year degree
5 experience to 90,000 students from working
6 families across New York State. We are
7 typically the economic and cultural anchors
8 of our communities, and we are careful
9 stewards of the state's investment in us.
10 In Potsdam and Canton, SUNY campuses
11 are the largest employers in our communities,
12 along with the hospital. SUNY Potsdam
13 contributes over $375 million directly and
14 indirectly to the region's economy, just as
15 the other comprehensive campuses contribute
16 to their regions.
17 From 2010 to 2014, the State of
18 New York invested in a new performing arts
19 center for SUNY Potsdam, one of three
20 designated arts campuses in the SUNY system.
21 Over that four-year period, the center
22 brought over 300 jobs to the region -- an
23 important boost to a region with the highest
24 unemployment rate in New York, currently at
1 6 percent. That facility has brought
2 cultural performances to thousands of
3 community members and schoolchildren,
4 enabling SUNY Potsdam to serve as the
5 cultural hub in one of the poorest counties
6 in New York State.
7 We also match public investment with
8 private funding. For example, through a
9 generous $1 million gift from an alumna, SUNY
10 Potsdam created SUNYís first Center for
11 Applied Learning in 2015. A newly announced
12 SUNY Performance Investment Fund grant of
13 $750,000 to the center is enabling us to
14 scale up, along with our partner, SUNY
15 Oneonta, and serve as an incubator for best
16 practices across the system. The ultimate
17 aim is to improve student retention and
18 ensure that every student has the opportunity
19 for a high-quality internship, a study abroad
20 opportunity, service learning, or
21 faculty-student research.
22 We strive to maintain efficiency and
23 keep costs low. Our campus saves
24 approximately $180,000 each year through
1 shared services with SUNY Canton. Yet we
2 need state support more than ever to serve an
3 increasingly diverse and economically
4 vulnerable student population.
5 Approximately 17 percent of SUNY
6 Potsdam's students come from New York City;
7 another 32 come from the North Country, one
8 of the poorest regions in the state. Nearly
9 40 percent of our 4,000 students receive Pell
10 grants; almost half receive TAP awards. In
11 our freshman class, half had an estimated
12 family contribution, according to their
13 FAFSA, of between zero and $3,000. Our
14 campus provides nearly $2.8 million in
15 financial assistance to meet their needs,
16 including over $880,000 in privately raised
17 scholarships and awards.
18 Continued state investment in our SUNY
19 campuses is critical to meet the costs
20 associated with negotiated salary increases.
21 For Potsdam, the cost of unfunded negotiated
22 salary increases is about $750,000 each year.
23 Projected increases in the minimum wage will
24 have substantial impact on our student
1 employment. We are grateful for the state's
2 ongoing commitment to public higher
3 education, yet we know that increased
4 investment is critical for the continued
5 vitality of our students, our campuses, and
6 our regions.
7 Thank you.
8 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thanks, President
10 Also we are asking for $15 million in
11 additional support for our Educational
12 Opportunity Program, which represents the
13 total amount of requests for funding we got
14 from our campuses for new EOP funds. With
15 the new funding last year, we increased
16 availability of seats, helped offset more
17 costs for students, and expanded summer
18 bridge programs.
19 An increase in funding makes an
20 extraordinary difference to the program.
21 Last year SUNY received 30,000 applicants for
22 2500 available EOP seats. So at the
23 University of Albany, which is one of the
24 most successful EOP sites, I'm glad that
1 President Jones is here to talk about the
2 success of the program on your campus, and
3 the potential for the program systemwide if
4 more funds are available.
5 PRESIDENT JONES: Thank you,
6 Chancellor. And I want to thank the
7 committee chairs and members for the
8 opportunity to address you today on this
9 critically important topic.
10 EOP currently operates on 43 of the 64
11 SUNY campuses, including 14 community
12 colleges, with two additional programs
13 currently under development. As you know,
14 EOP students receive a range of services and
15 academic support, but they also receive
16 financial support to help with non-tuition
17 costs of college. Most incoming freshmen at
18 four-year campuses also participate in a
19 residential summer program that gives them
20 comprehensive preparation for entering the
21 college experience.
22 I cannot overstate the importance of
23 this program, which has been recognized as a
24 national model. As the chancellor mentioned,
1 University at Albany's EOP program has been
2 extremely successful. We currently have 750
3 EOP students on our campus, and more than
4 5,000 alums across the nation and around the
6 With the increased funding that you
7 included in last year's budget, we were able
8 to admit an additional 50 EOP students, for
9 an incoming class of around 200. I want to
10 thank you for that increase, and I can assure
11 you that it was a very, very sound
13 At the University at Albany, EOP's
14 first to second year retention rate is
15 92 percent, compared to 81 percent for the
16 overall student population. And our
17 sixth-year graduation rate for EOP students
18 is 78 percent, compared to 68 percent
20 So you can see EOP is very, very
21 effective -- so effective that we are in the
22 process of replicating critical elements of
23 the program in our university-wide student
24 retention and completion initiatives. And
1 the University at Albany's positive
2 experience with EOP is representative of the
3 success of the program across the entire SUNY
5 Because it has been so effective in
6 creating access and success for
7 underrepresented and underserved communities,
8 as a system we would like to expand the
9 benefits to even more campuses and more
10 students. There are several campuses that
11 don't have EOP, but they've identified a
12 large number of students who would benefit
13 from this program. Seven community colleges
14 have requested funds to launch EOP. And
15 system administration has received requests
16 to find innovative ways to expand the EOP
17 program to enhance support and increase
18 success rates among EOP students.
19 So again, I am absolutely convinced of
20 the efficacy of the EOP model, and I am
21 convinced that an increased investment in
22 this program will pay tremendous dividends to
23 SUNY and across New York State.
24 I would like to again thank all
1 members of the joint committee on behalf of
2 both SUNY and the University at Albany, and
3 we appreciate your consideration of these
5 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you,
6 President Jones.
7 I want to move to close with a very
8 important request around NYSUNY 2020. And to
9 do that, I must not mention at any length the
10 $30 million in state match for our research
11 programs and the enhancement of our capital
12 budget. It means I don't get to tell the
13 story about when Chairman LaValle and
14 Assemblymember Lifton visited our presidents
15 at Empire State College, we had to relocate
16 due to an electrical fire. So there's a lot
17 more I could say about capital, but I simply
18 don't have time.
19 So I have shared a lot about SUNY's
20 successes and goals and about our budget asks
21 and the rationale behind them, but many of
22 these investments will not be as impactful as
23 they could be if we don't enact a critical
24 piece of legislation. In 2011, with your
1 help and support, we did what many thought
2 was impossible -- we instituted a stable,
3 predictable, fair tuition policy for our
4 state-operated campuses. Thanks to NYSUNY
5 2020, for five years SUNY students have been
6 able to plan for tuition costs.
7 Since the tuition plan began in 2011,
8 we have been able to hire 919 new faculty
9 members and approved over 350 new academic
10 programs. Today SUNY's resident tuition
11 remains the most affordable in the Northeast
12 and among the most affordable in the nation.
13 SUNY tuition is less expensive than systems
14 in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Massachusetts,
15 Virginia, Ohio, California, and Texas. These
16 are the states with the best-rated public
17 university systems in the country, and SUNY
18 is undoubtedly among them, while being more
20 And nearly 30 percent of the tuition
21 revenues has been reinvested to cover the gap
22 between tuition and the maximum TAP award,
23 ensuring that the highest-need students will
24 attend tuition-free.
1 There are two core purposes of this
2 critical legislation. One, to protect SUNY
3 students from unpredictable changes in
4 tuition; and two, to provide reliable funding
5 that SUNY can count on so it can provide the
6 world-class education New Yorkers deserve.
7 We are glad that the Governor included
8 the extension of rational tuition in the
9 Executive Budget, and to once again have the
10 support of our students for the renewal of
11 NYSUNY 2020. And through our Student
12 Assembly, who will testify later this
13 afternoon, we thought it important to show
14 you that when we say we have our students'
15 support, we mean it.
16 President Tom Mastro.
17 MR. MASTRO: Thank you, Chancellor.
18 Good afternoon. My name is Tom
19 Mastro, and I have the distinct honor and
20 privilege of representing the 465,000
21 students of SUNY as president of the Student
23 The Student Assembly is the single
24 recognized voice for our students;
1 essentially, the SUNY-wide student
2 government. In the same way all of you speak
3 for your constituents, I speak for the
4 students of SUNY. Each of our 64 campuses
5 elect a certain number of delegates,
6 depending on their enrollment, who represent
7 them to the SUNY Student Assembly. And
8 having been elected by my peers from across
9 the entire system, my testimony in support of
10 the renewal of NYSUNY 2020 is being given not
11 on my behalf, but on behalf of all of my
13 And it's worth reminding everyone here
14 that the outcome of this discussion and your
15 vote affects me and my student colleagues
16 here today more than anyone else in this
17 room. Some critics have attempted to paint
18 the support as students standing in favor of
19 tuition increases. I am disappointed by this
20 interpretation, as it grossly misrepresents
21 our position.
22 At the Student Assembly Spring
23 Conference last year, a resolution was put
24 forth supporting the renewal of a fair,
1 equitable and predictable tuition plan. This
2 plan passed 59-4-1. Let me repeat: 59-4-1,
3 a remarkable majority. Even after five years
4 of tuition increases, SUNY students who were
5 elected by their peers voted overwhelmingly
6 to renew the plan.
7 Our student leaders spoke with a loud,
8 clear, and unified voice. They said we
9 cannot afford to be left in the dark. They
10 said we cannot afford sporadic and
11 unpredictable tuition hikes. They said we
12 want our SUNY system to continue on its path
13 of extraordinary success.
14 The Student Assembly's support of this
15 resolution does not come unconditionally,
16 another point often overlooked. The Student
17 Assembly would not vote in favor of a plan
18 which did not call for the guarantee of a
19 true state maintenance of effort. Yes, I
20 recognize that you have maintained support as
21 it was written five years ago. New York
22 State has lived up its statutory
23 obligations -- sort of. But if the students
24 are willing to invest more into their
1 education, so too should their elected
2 leaders. It is time that the state paid its
3 fair share.
4 The Student Assembly supports a plan
5 including continued commitment to ensuring
6 that our tuition dollars stay on our
7 campuses. And the Student Assembly supports
8 a plan that keeps the discussion surrounding
9 our tuition within the body that best
10 understands the needs of me and my 465,000
12 As a fellow elected representative, I
13 understand how difficult it can be to explain
14 certain decisions to your constituents. But
15 a renewal of NYSUNY 2020 is a renewal of
16 fairness, a renewal of equity, and a renewal
17 of predictability. It is my sincere hope
18 that you take that into consideration when
19 making your final decisions.
20 Thank you.
21 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thanks, Tom.
22 It's always a privilege to be before
23 you. We welcome your questions. Thank you
24 very much.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
3 We've been joined by Assemblyman
4 Stirpe and Assemblyperson Harris.
5 And Mr. Oaks?
6 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: Yes. Also
7 Assemblywoman Malliotakis.
8 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: First to question,
9 Deborah Glick, chair.
10 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you,
11 Chairman Farrell.
12 Good to see you all.
13 In relation to the SUNY 2020 and the
14 proposal to expand that going forward, has
15 there been a change in the economic
16 demographics of the student body at the
17 various campuses? Are you seeing that
18 there's been a diminution of those who are at
19 different economic strata?
20 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: You want to say
21 it for our community and then comprehensive?
23 PRESIDENT KRESS: Sure. I can start
24 first with the community colleges.
1 What we're seeing is actually part of
2 a national trend, which is that many of our
3 students will go to work if they can find
4 employment. And so with the recovery of the
5 economy, we see some of our especially
6 lower-income students really forgoing
7 education in order to go to work. And so I
8 think across most of our institutions we're
9 seeing fewer low-income students.
10 We're also seeing fewer Pell Grant
11 recipients, simply because they've been able,
12 over the past couple of years, to accumulate
13 some financial resources, which does impact
14 that. But otherwise what we're really seeing
15 is not a significant change in our
16 demographics overall, except for honestly
17 we're seeing more underprepared students.
18 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Robert or
20 PRESIDENT JONES: Yes, Assemblywoman
21 Glick, I'd just like to add that at
22 University at Albany what we have observed is
23 that we're probably running pretty constant
24 in terms of the number of our students that
1 are Pell recipients, at about 40 percent.
2 But what's interesting is that we have
3 seen a very dramatic increase of the number
4 of students that are first-generation
5 students. Currently it stands at about
6 40 percent of our students are
8 And our students of color numbers,
9 underrepresented students, is going up on an
10 annual basis. Currently it stands at about
11 34, 35 percent. But with the last three
12 entering classes, about 40 percent of those
13 students have been students of color.
14 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you.
15 Now, how much capital needs actually
16 do exist? Obviously, there's -- and how much
17 could the system, across its many different
18 campuses, how much could you spend in a year?
19 Because there's obviously contracting
20 requirements and so forth.
21 So I'm just wondering, my estimate is
22 that the capital needs are well underfunded
23 in this budget. But by how much? And how
24 fast could you spend -- should we be able to
1 write a blank check, what actually could you
2 spend in the course of a year?
3 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Bob Haelen?
4 VICE CHANCELLOR HAELEN: Hi, I'm Bob
5 Haelen, vice chancellor for capital
7 When you look at SUNY in its entirety,
8 as we look at it into components, and if I
9 look at just the state-operated campuses
10 alone, they make up about 60 million square
11 feet. We're looking at a current backlog of
12 needs of about $3 billion, $3.2 billion.
13 In our capital budget request, we
14 asked for $600 million a year over five
15 years. We're looking at our state of decay,
16 so to speak, or depreciation at around that
17 $600 million mark. And if we wanted to be
18 more transformational with our investment in
19 capital, we had asked for an additional
20 $200 million per year, for a total of
21 $800 million per year.
22 At our peak with the program, we had
23 spent a billion dollars, over a billion
24 dollars. So that speaks to our capacity.
1 We think an $800 million investment is
2 something that is achievable, and we have the
3 people to do it. There's only so much work
4 you can take on at any given campus. But
5 across the board, there is tremendous needs
6 and the ability to meet those needs.
7 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you.
8 This jumps around a little, but the
9 SUNY hospitals have been -- which are, in my
10 opinion, very important to the regions in
11 which they exist -- have been cut rather
12 dramatically over the last five years. They
13 are cut once again by the $18.6 million that
14 we added last year. And I'm wondering what
15 kind of impact not just adding -- if we were
16 to add the 18.6 million, that just brings you
17 back to where you were. What could -- what
18 is really the projected need in our ability
19 to have you serve the regions in which the
20 hospitals exist?
21 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Eileen,
23 CFO McLOUGHLIN: Yup.
24 Hello, I'm Eileen McLoughlin, the CFO
1 of SUNY system. Good day to everyone.
2 All three of our hospitals actually
3 operate at a slight operating loss even after
4 state support. I don't know what that exact
5 number is, but I will get it to you. The
6 $18.6 million is just going to aggravate or
7 increase that loss.
8 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Okay. Well, get
9 back to us with some greater specificity
10 about that.
11 CFO McLOUGHLIN: Yes.
12 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: In this round of
13 SUNY 2020, you've hired 919 professors, I
14 believe. If there isn't an increase going
15 forward, if there were no change in the
16 funding from student tuition, what would be
17 the impact on those new hires?
18 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, we continue
19 to grow. We've developed high-demand
20 programs that meet the economic needs of the
21 state. We don't always have the faculty in
22 place to do that, so we hire new faculty to
23 person these on-demand programs. So we'll
24 slow down, we won't be able to meet the needs
1 of the students.
2 And I want to say, one of the absolute
3 commitments we made when NYSUNY 2020 was
4 passed, is that every dollar would go to
5 support student programming, access to
6 faculty, access to student services. And I
7 daresay that's why the Student Assembly is so
8 supportive of this effort.
9 So all of that falls by the by. And
10 you know we've made this incredible pledge to
11 graduate more students, to get more degree
12 completers. All that capacity will be
14 And there's one other thing I want to
15 say at this point, which is I think a lot of
16 people are looking at the way New York State
17 has supported public higher education through
18 NYSUNY and NYCUNY 2020. This is a concept as
19 much as it is an investment. And it also
20 speaks to the fact that tuition increases
21 with a cap are less necessary when the state
22 makes more investment.
23 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: The maintenance
24 of effort that was baked into the original
1 SUNY 2020 turned out to have some
2 shortcomings. The Legislature in both
3 houses, in near unanimous votes, put forward
4 a stronger, more vigorous maintenance of
5 effort, which was vetoed by the Governor with
6 the message that it really needed to be
7 discussed within the context of the budget.
8 Do you have an estimate for SUNY what
9 a broader, more robust -- what would have
10 been the advantage to SUNY had that
11 legislation been passed? Or what do we need
12 to be looking for in this budget relative to
13 the maintenance of effort?
14 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, I think the
15 critical ask is around negotiated salaries.
16 And Eileen can probably give you an exact
17 number, but it's in the $70 million range.
18 CFO McLOUGHLIN: Seventy million for
19 our collective bargaining, 134 million that
20 we've absorbed so far. As well as about 8 to
21 9 million of utility costs that go up are
22 some of the fixed costs that our
23 state-operated campuses absorb.
24 And of course the community colleges
1 also absorb a lot of their fringe benefit
2 costs, does not get that indirect support
3 from the state.
4 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you. I'm
5 almost out of time. We started last year a
6 STEM scholarship program for a full ride for
7 students who are in the top 10 percent of
8 their high school classes. I don't know that
9 it's well known around the state. We've done
10 what we could to recommend to our colleagues
11 to get it out there. Has there been -- have
12 you seen an increase in the number of
13 students who are coming to SUNY as a result
14 of this offering?
15 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Kristin?
16 PRESIDENT ESTERBERG: In our campus
17 we've seen dramatic growth in students
18 studying biology, chemistry and computer
20 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: This is also a
21 campus that's put the "A" in STEM, so one of
22 the things that the president likes to talk
23 about is STEAM, so that we don't overcorrect
24 for the STEM fields without acknowledgment of
1 the arts and humanities.
2 PRESIDENT ESTERBERG: Thank you,
4 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you very
5 much. My time is 10 seconds away from -- so
6 I will end now and perhaps there might be a
7 follow-up later.
8 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you,
9 Chairperson, for allowing Bob Haelen to talk
10 about capital. That means I can go home
13 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Senator?
14 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
15 And I do want to announce that Senator
16 Diane Savino has joined us.
17 And at this time I'd like to introduce
18 Senator Ken LaValle, who is chair of the
19 Higher Education Committee in the Senate.
20 SENATOR LaVALLE: Chancellor, thanks
21 for being here.
22 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you.
23 SENATOR LaVALLE: Since I get to talk
24 to you all the time, I'm going to hopefully
1 limit my questions.
2 Can you comment on balancing the need
3 to maintain competitive salary levels to
4 retain valued faculty and administrators with
5 reducing overall costs to keep college
6 affordable for students?
7 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, balancing a
8 budget of any sort is challenging. One of
9 the things we've tried to do -- and I think
10 have done successfully -- at SUNY is really
11 throw ourselves into shared services. When
12 we say we have a $100 million run rate, we're
13 talking about savings that we accrue every
14 year at a very high level. Why? So that we
15 can continue to invest in the faculty and
16 staff who serve our students.
17 We live in a very competitive market
18 in higher education. And interestingly
19 enough, the public sector has to compete with
20 the private sector. So when you look at the
21 salaries, particularly those that always
22 interest us the most, the high end, we're
23 looking at doctors, we're looking at coaches,
24 we're looking at top researchers whom we
1 recruit from around the country. And they
2 don't seem to pay as much attention about the
3 economics of a state as they do the economics
4 of postsecondary education. And that's where
5 we compete.
6 So to give us that margin of
7 excellence, you invest in us, but we also
8 invest in ourselves. We save money so that
9 we can recruit the best and brightest in the
10 world of physicians, in the world of all of
11 our allied health professions, in the world
12 of our top researchers -- and yes, sometimes
13 in the world of competitive collegiate
15 But I daresay -- and we're doing a
16 study once again of compensation of our SUNY
17 employees -- that we are competitive but at
18 the lower end of the scale. We do the best
19 we can to attract the best and brightest
20 given the resources that we have.
21 SENATOR LaVALLE: So you feel you're n
22 a competitive market in at least the three
23 areas you talked about, which are doctors,
24 researchers and coaches.
1 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, and I will
2 add to that, in my tenure at SUNY I have
3 recruited 47 campus presidents. This is a
4 challenge by any standard, because
5 presidential salaries across the country I
6 believe to be higher than most of ours. And
7 the presidents who have been here longer and
8 not experienced any kind of compensation
9 increase now are compressed by those I've
10 hired more recently who manage to attract a
11 slightly higher salary.
12 So we are trying our best to create a
13 compensation program for our presidents that
14 is competitive -- which I would say we are
15 not as competitive as we would like to be --
16 and ensures that the savings we make go to
17 support our leaders.
18 SENATOR LaVALLE: The Legislature
19 keeps looking at the higher tuition burden on
20 students, ballooning costs in higher
21 education across the board. But what are we
22 doing to address what is really two-thirds of
23 the public university cost, and that's room
24 and board?
1 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, I think we
2 try in every other area, the same in our room
3 and board, to be competitive. You have a
4 largely residential campus, Potsdam is a
5 residential campus. Do you want to talk
6 about increases in room and board lately?
7 PRESIDENT ESTERBERG: We have not
8 constructed new residence halls in the last
9 several years, and we do try and maintain the
10 costs for our residence halls.
11 But we know that in addition to
12 providing housing, the cost of the
13 out-of-classroom experience for students is
14 extraordinary. We know that out-of-classroom
15 experiences, often in the residence halls,
16 contribute to the rising cost of college, but
17 it also contributes greatly to student
18 retention and student success, and so we have
19 put major investments in our student
21 SENATOR LaVALLE: Chancellor, can we
22 focus in on that area, maybe take a five-year
23 picture and give -- so we could share it with
24 the Senate Higher Ed Committee -- to look at,
1 over five years, what those costs actually
3 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Absolutely. We
4 may not have it handy, but we have it
5 available and we'll share it with you and
6 with the committee. We would welcome that
8 SENATOR LaVALLE: Just the last issue,
9 the tuition issue that my partner in the
10 Assembly talked about. You know, rational
11 tuition helps families plan for the future.
12 And it does keep higher education costs kind
13 of flat at whatever level we choose.
14 So why should the Legislature extend
15 SUNY 2020, which again authorizes increases
16 of up to $300 per student in tuition costs?
17 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, as I
18 mentioned before, and certainly President
19 Mastro mentioned as well, tuition is a
20 balancing act with the state's investment.
21 If the state invests more, then we can charge
22 less in tuition.
23 So there are two things I think are
24 really important here, the first of which is
1 that NYSUNY 2020 is a safety net. It sets a
2 cap, it makes planning for tuition more
3 predictable for our students and protects
4 them, because we have maintenance of effort,
5 from any kind of state sweep to fill other
6 over budget gaps.
7 But if the state were to increase its
8 investment, our commitment is to ask our
9 Board of Trustees not to increase the tuition
10 either to the max of $300 or relative to the
11 state's investment. I think that's what the
12 Student Assembly has said quite clearly, but
13 I think maybe you ought to repeat why the
14 Legislature would make this investment.
15 MR. MASTRO: And to mirror the
16 chancellor, we see where our tuition dollar
17 has gone the past five years. We've seen the
18 increase in programming, the increase in
19 professors across our entire system.
20 When looking at the numbers and when
21 we worked with our rational tuition task
22 force and legislative affairs team, in 1991
23 tuition went up by $650. In 1995, tuition
24 went up by $750. In 2003, tuition went up by
2 The safety net that the chancellor has
3 developed is ensuring that our tuition does
4 not go over $300. We have developed a
5 rational tuition task force which will be
6 working with system administration to look at
7 where our tuition dollars go from year to
8 year within the next five years. And just to
9 reiterate, the more state investment, like
10 the chancellor has stated, the lower our
11 tuition will go up.
12 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: I love the fact
13 that the Student Assembly has actually called
14 on presidents to say: Show me exactly where
15 the rational tuition money went. And you
16 have done so. This task force of the
17 students is helping you do your work by
18 making sure that we spend the money on our
20 SENATOR LaVALLE: I'm going to slip in
21 one last question. How does the Legislature
22 deal with community college aid when many of
23 the community colleges have declining
1 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: So let's draw the
2 enrollment picture first because it's very
3 important that we understand that picture.
4 PRESIDENT KRESS: Sure.
5 And I think enrollment is a metric,
6 but I will tell you it is not the metric to
7 assess institutions by. And so I'll just
8 take my institution as an example.
9 So in 2010, that was one of our
10 highest years of enrollment. And for every
11 100 students who walked in our front door,
12 over 40 walked out the back door before that
13 semester even concluded. We simply were not
14 funded to address the challenges that they
15 presented us. We put in place a number of
16 policies to really address some of those
17 challenges. We put in place registration
18 deadlines. We put in place drops for
19 nonpayment so students wouldn't walk into a
20 classroom with no sense of how they would pay
21 for that course and then walk away before the
22 term was over with bad debt. Many of my
23 colleagues have done the same.
24 It's a difficult decision to make
1 because it is really changing your funding
2 level as an institution. We know we're being
3 funded by FTE, so in many ways we have an
4 incentive to gather as many FTEs as possible
5 regardless of whether or not those students
6 will be primed for success.
7 Since that point, I can tell you our
8 enrollment took a hit, without question. But
9 what didn't was our retention rate, which has
10 gone up. Our GPAs have gone up. Our course
11 completion rates have gone up. Our
12 graduation rates have gone up. What has gone
13 down is our student loan per average student,
14 and also our cohort default rate. Why?
15 Because we were asking students to think of
16 themselves as students before they came to
18 I would hate to think that when we
19 take steps like that to ensure more success
20 for our students that in some ways we are
21 penalized for those decisions.
22 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you.
23 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
24 Assemblyman Lupinacci, ranking.
1 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Good
2 afternoon, Chancellor.
3 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Good afternoon.
4 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: The first
5 question I have relates to some of the new
6 programs that you spoke about. And the
7 Executive Budget does provide for a transfer
8 of $15 million to SUNY for a Clean Energy
9 Workforce Opportunity Program, and $3 million
10 you said, for the Apprenticeship Program.
11 And I guess my question is, how does
12 SUNY specifically want to use the $15
13 million? And is this considered one-shot
14 revenue, and how will they sustain the
15 program going forward?
16 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, we have yet
17 to see how this program is going to play out.
18 But I think the first thing you would say
19 is this is a very hot issue. And it's going
20 to be good for the state that we are
21 preparing more professionals to deal with
22 energy management, and especially clean
23 energy management.
24 I think initially it can feed on top
1 of programs that already exist, where we are
2 doing clean energy training and workforce
3 development. And we can do more of it, we
4 can increase the use and creation of
5 laboratories, but I'm guessing there's more
6 detail to that. But it is an evolving idea,
7 we welcome it, we think it's a hot topic for
8 our students, and we'll distribute
9 accordingly. Probably competitively, as we
10 are learning to do, across our campuses.
11 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Great. Thank
13 My next question has to do with
14 international programs. And I know the past
15 few years many of the campuses have increased
16 the international student population and such
17 with, obviously, partnerships with the
18 Dominican Republic and other schools. And
19 it's very competitive obviously, to get into
20 many of the SUNY campuses and colleges. Is
21 there ever a choice where sometimes our
22 in-state residents are turned away because of
23 the seating for the international students?
24 Or are they allotted differently? Or do we
1 see, for example, our students within-state
2 sometimes not being able to succeed to get
4 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: It's interesting,
5 New York is not a state that has a quota, as
6 I've worked in other states that do. Our
7 international population is under 10 percent.
8 To my knowledge, it has not displaced any
9 New Yorker. You have a pretty mature
10 international program, President Jones?
11 PRESIDENT JONES: Yes. At this
12 juncture, our international enrollment at
13 University at Albany is running about
14 7 percent, and we've set a very clear goal to
15 try to double that in the years ahead.
16 But I can say unequivocally we give
17 very high priority to New York residents.
18 Our efforts to expand our international
19 recruitment is not at the expense of New York
20 residents. But it's a reality of the
21 shifting demographics that we see not only in
22 the State of New York but across the entire
23 region, where the number of 10-year-olds that
24 exist today that are dramatically lower than
1 it was 10 years ago, and it will be even
2 lower 10 years from now.
3 So it's a shocking reality that we
4 have to think differently about how we
5 recruit our students, where they're going to
6 come from, if we are going to be able to at
7 least maintain the type of student body, the
8 number of students that we have across our
10 You know, at University of Albany we
11 have more than enough room to accommodate all
12 the students from New York that are
13 interested in the programs that we have, and
14 we work very hard to recruit more of those
15 students, particularly the ones in the top 10
16 percent of their class. But I think our
17 record clearly shows we are a gateway to
18 opportunity for students from low
19 socioeconomic backgrounds. It's reflected in
20 our graduation rates, it's reflected in the
21 growing number of underserved students. But
22 at the same time, we have many opportunities
23 to recruit students from outside of the State
24 of New York and internationally as well, and
1 that is part of our strategic plan.
2 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Good.
3 Especially as the international and national
4 reputation continues to build, it's
5 important. Very good.
6 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Exactly. Thank
8 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: And my last
9 question I guess has to do with seating also,
10 because for the past several budgets we've
11 spoken about the DREAM Act. And how has the
12 forecasting been going if it becomes part of
13 the budget process? How many students do you
14 see that will benefit from the program and is
15 it -- you know, will seating or capacity be
16 at play, or how are the schools planning
17 on -- in terms of accommodating numbers?
18 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: First of all, the
19 SUNY Board of Trustees was very early in its
20 support for the DREAM Act. And we open our
21 doors widely. We've been working with the
22 Hispanic/Latino caucus to really increase our
23 opportunity for Hispanic students especially.
24 And I think we have some
1 second-language capacity that's going to
2 really attract a lot of students. And we've
3 got colleges and campuses, many in our
4 community colleges, that are very capable and
5 have an extensive second-language program.
6 So I think we are planning to see the
7 cultural effects of a more diverse campus and
8 looking to those populations to serve that
10 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Has there been
11 any forecasting in terms of a roundabout
12 number you think the SUNY system might --
13 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: I don't think off
14 the top, but we -- if we have forecasting.
15 We're doing much more in strategic enrollment
16 management. I know that my good friend the
17 chancellor of CUNY is in the house, and we're
18 also recruiting in New York City. We know
19 that diversity -- Kristin's student
20 population this fall was 42 percent diverse,
21 and she was recruiting from New York City.
22 In my view, there are plenty of
23 students and adults to go around. It is not
24 competitive in the sense that we're actually
1 taking away from each other; we're actually
2 better serving the State of New York.
3 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Excellent.
4 Thank you very much.
5 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
7 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you. I'd
8 like to introduce Senator Stavisky, who is
9 ranking member on Higher Ed.
10 SENATOR STAVISKY: Thank you,
11 Chancellor. And I particularly appreciated
12 your comment that the state is not doing
13 enough in terms of its support for SUNY. And
14 as a result, the burden is falling on SUNY
15 but the burden is falling even more
16 significantly on the students.
17 I have a number of questions. Based
18 upon your testimony, on page 2 you talk about
19 you had 1.3 million last year, and now
20 there's been a decline in enrollment. Have
21 you found any kind of correlation between the
22 decline in enrollment and the increase in the
23 tuition costs brought about by SUNY 2020?
24 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: So I'm going to
1 ask if any of our state-operated presidents
2 have seen that.
3 I think we've answered in the sense
4 that we have as many low-income students as
5 ever before. You know that we pay the gap
6 between TAP, which is $5,000 -- and I just
7 want to make sure everybody knows -- and the
8 6570, which is the annual tuition, and we pay
9 that gap and we're proud of it. We wouldn't
10 mind a little help from the state in buying
11 down the cost of that gap, because that's a
12 third of the rational tuition that goes
13 directly to close that gap.
14 But any remarkable shift in --
15 PRESIDENT ESTERBERG: Our proportion
16 of Pell-eligible students, which is around
17 40 percent, has remained pretty stable over
18 the last five years, as is the population of
19 our students receiving TAP.
20 I think what we're finding is that
21 we're, over the last five years, recruiting
22 more economically vulnerable students or
23 students who may not have the same level of
24 preparation, even though their entering
1 grades are as good or better than previous.
2 So we're finding that in order to
3 increase our retention rates and our
4 graduation rates, we're needing to expend
5 much, much more on academic and student
6 support than previously, so that the students
7 that we bring in experience success and
9 SENATOR STAVISKY: So you're
10 suggesting that the students are not going to
12 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: I'm sorry?
13 SENATOR STAVISKY: The reduction in
14 the student enrollment, I suspect -- what is
15 happening to those students?
16 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Oh. Well, if you
17 look at our entire enrollment picture for the
18 last 15 years, it's essentially flat. The
19 shift came from our community colleges, who
20 experienced a peak in enrollment during a
21 recession. And again --
22 SENATOR STAVISKY: Happens all the
24 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: So I think that's
1 really the issue here.
2 And I guess it needs to be said,
3 SUNY's tuition is very competitive, the
4 lowest in the Northeast and in the lowest
5 quartile around the country. The debate here
6 is who is going to bear the cost of college
7 in New York? What part of the cost of
8 college must come from the state to reduce
9 the burden on our students?
10 But we all ought to be proud of the
11 effort to keep tuition affordable, given our
13 SENATOR STAVISKY: I asked in the past
14 questions about the costs of remediation.
15 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Yes?
16 SENATOR STAVISKY: Particularly at --
17 obviously the community colleges are bearing
18 the brunt. What has been your trend in terms
19 of the numbers, the cost and so on?
20 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Let me reiterate
21 that I think now three years ago we told
22 everybody, publicly, that we were bearing an
23 exorbitant cost for remediation, $70 million,
24 it was costing our students something like
1 $94 million to pay for courses that did not
2 accrue to degree.
3 Since that time, we have implemented
4 myriad programs. First, we worked more
5 closely with our K-12 colleagues. We now
6 have 57 early college high schools, which get
7 students ready and they even allow them to
8 enroll in college courses.
9 We are now adopting an intervention in
10 math called Quantway-Statway, working with
11 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement
12 of Teaching, to see this intervention --
13 which I think, Anne, gets students --
14 PRESIDENT KRESS: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
15 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: -- out of
16 remediation twice as fast and three times
17 better prepared. We know it works; we're
18 taking it to scale.
19 So we've been very busy since we went
20 public, and we need Eileen to figure out just
21 exactly how the costs are decreasing. But I
22 think, as we would say, we're on it. We have
23 multiple pathways. We're using what works
24 effectively. And of course it's a pipeline
1 issue, and that's why we're working closely
2 with our K-12 colleagues to nip remediation
3 in the bud where it occurs and to helpful --
4 not point the finger, but to be helpful to
5 our peers.
6 SENATOR STAVISKY: I don't personally
7 think that's the purpose, remediation is not
8 the purpose of a community college, it's the
9 purpose of the pre-K through 12. So I'm not
10 being critical, I'm just asking you -- so
11 you're suggesting that the percentage is
12 going down.
13 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Yes. And I think
14 we ought to be able to prove that over time.
15 So we'll work on that for you.
16 But I do want to say, as I say every
17 year, we prepare the teachers who teach the
18 students who come to college, ready or not.
19 We can never not own the challenge of getting
20 kids college- and career-ready through their
21 K-12 experience.
22 SENATOR STAVISKY: With regard -- on
23 page 4 of your testimony you speak about the
24 Budget Investment and Performance Fund. From
1 what I understand, the larger campuses do
2 fairly well. How are the smaller campuses
3 affected? Are they competitive? Do they
4 have a better chance?
5 CFO McLOUGHLIN: The process was
6 actually -- the reviews were done by external
7 reviews, external to SUNY and the chancellor.
8 It was equal amongst all sizes. And we can
9 get you the data, but the spread amongst our
10 universities and comps and techs and
11 community colleges were -- all received
13 SENATOR STAVISKY: So there is a level
14 playing field?
15 CFO McLOUGHLIN: Yes.
16 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: And what's really
17 exciting about this Investment Fund is that
18 it really reinforced collaboration.
19 And so in many ways the request to
20 renew that $18 million is to persist in
21 funding programs that were darn good but we
22 didn't have the money to fund them, and to
23 encourage more Calendar Number contribution
24 collaboration across our campuses. That, to
1 me, is how we take what works to scale.
2 SENATOR STAVISKY: Going back to 2020,
3 your prepared statement talks about 919 new
4 faculty. That is a direct result of SUNY
6 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Yes.
7 SENATOR STAVISKY: Are these full-time
8 or adjuncts?
9 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: They're mostly --
10 they're full-time, mostly. I don't know the
11 ratio. Full-time. We have consensus,
13 SENATOR STAVISKY: So I assume that
14 the ratio of full-time faculty is improving?
15 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: We have in our
16 testimony the -- or we can provide for you
17 exactly the ratio of full-time to part-time,
18 because I think you should know that. But
19 yes, we're trying keep the balance of
20 full-time to part-time faculty intact.
21 SENATOR STAVISKY: Let me just -- one
22 last question. You spoke about student debt,
23 and yet nationally there's a trend of
24 something like 60 percent of the students
1 graduate with debt, which averages a little
2 under $30,000 a year.
3 Can you be a little more specific
4 about the student debt that the SUNY
5 students -- do you track the students? How
6 do you handle that?
7 CFO McLOUGHLIN: So I'll give you just
8 some facts, and if you need more than that --
9 40 percent of SUNY students have no loan debt
10 when they graduate. The average is $26,000.
11 And basically our focus on completion is the
12 key. If they can graduate faster, then
13 they're going to have less debt.
14 And also, just as part of the
15 Performance and Investment Fund, 29 campuses
16 collaborated and asked for Smart Track
17 funding, and they got it. So Smart Track
18 funding, which also helps students reduce
19 debt, has got to be systemwide.
20 SENATOR STAVISKY: I understand it's a
21 very successful program too.
22 CFO McLOUGHLIN: Yes.
23 SENATOR STAVISKY: All right, good.
24 Thank you.
1 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
2 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
3 Assemblyman Weprin.
4 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN: Thank you,
5 Mr. Chairman.
6 Welcome, Chancellor. And I'm glad to
7 see President Jones as well, of my alma mater
8 SUNY Albany many, many years ago. I
9 graduated in the '70s, and I was actually
10 active in student government at the time. I
11 was on the Student Senate and the Central
12 Council, and I don't ever remember the
13 student representation working so closely
14 with the administration, as demonstrated by
15 Mr. Mastro's appearance here today.
16 I think that's a positive thing, by
17 the way. I don't think that's a negative
19 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: It was the '70s.
21 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN: That's true.
22 But I'm glad to see you're working
23 closely together.
24 In the Assembly I chair a task force
1 on people with disabilities, and I work very
2 closely with the CUNY LEADS program, which we
3 provided some additional funding last year,
4 which provides extra services for those
5 students with disabilities. And we actually
6 changed the TAP rules last year to extend the
7 time for students to graduate to receive TAP
8 because a lot of students with disabilities
9 take longer to graduate.
10 My question for you is, do you have a
11 similar program dealing with students with
12 disabilities? It may not be as formalized,
13 but I'd like to know what you've been doing
14 as far as accommodating the special needs of
15 some of these students with disabilities and
16 to give them that extra assistance that they
17 may need.
18 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: We'll start with
19 our community colleges.
20 PRESIDENT KRESS: Yes, absolutely. At
21 the college level I can tell you the
22 community colleges do work actively with
23 students who present with a need with
24 accommodation, whether it's a physical
1 disability or a learning disability. I will
2 also say some of those numbers are rising,
3 especially with returning veteran students,
4 who mainly find their first college
5 experience at our community colleges.
6 We also engage -- I will speak
7 specifically about MCC -- with some
8 interesting collaborations in our community
9 around students with intellectual
10 disabilities and providing them with
11 workforce-readiness training so that they can
12 see a future for themselves. It's an
13 incredibly popular program -- not a huge
14 program, but I can tell you it's
15 life-changing, not just for those students
16 but for their families who now know that
17 their son or daughter can have a brighter
19 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN: Well, this is at
20 the community college, though. You're with
21 Monroe Community College?
22 PRESIDENT KRESS: I'm with Monroe
23 Community College.
24 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN: What about with
1 the major universities?
2 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: I don't know --
3 Eileen, maybe President Jones or Esterberg
4 would answer -- but whether any of our
5 investment funds went to extend services,
6 disability services. But every campus has
8 And I would say that our decision to
9 have a chief diversity officer on every
10 campus includes our services to students with
11 disabilities, to returning veterans, as well
12 as to cultural diversities as well.
13 So maybe we can give you a
14 comprehensive report on our disability
16 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN: If you could.
17 And if you could also look into a similar
18 program to CUNY LEADS, because that's been
19 very successful. And I know it's been
20 expanding --
21 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: We'll do that.
22 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN: -- and I think
23 that's something that might fit the SUNY
24 model as well, and it might be something you
1 should be looking at.
2 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: What usually
3 happens to us is that we find 10 of them that
4 we might not have known we had at this
5 moment. But we will do that research for
6 you. Thank you.
7 ASSEMBLYMAN WEPRIN: Okay, thank you.
8 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
9 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
11 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you very
13 Senator Krueger, and then me.
14 SENATOR KRUEGER: Good morning.
15 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Good morning. Or
16 afternoon. We're not used to this.
17 SENATOR KRUEGER: Oh, you're right.
18 I'm sorry. I forgot we started in the
19 afternoon. Excuse me.
20 So following up on several of the
21 different questions that were asked about the
22 expenditures of SUNY, there was a letter from
23 the director of state operations, and he
24 cited an article claiming that the
1 administrative overhead costs at SUNY were
2 $3800 per student.
3 So I'm curious, one, do you agree with
4 that analysis? Two, where does that fall in
5 relationship to perhaps five years ago or
6 10 years ago? And, three, if $3800 per
7 student is for administration costs, how much
8 per student per year is spent on faculty and
9 teaching staff?
10 CFO McLOUGHLIN: The data that was
11 used was NCES IPEDS data, and they compared
12 SUNY, which is a comprehensive system which
13 has 30 community colleges, 29 state-operated
14 colleges, five statutory and three teaching
15 hospitals, against systems that are not that
16 comprehensive. So I think that's a starting
18 In addition to that, if you look at
19 some other data that's provided from that
20 same source, we spend more, we spend
21 $10,000-plus per FTE on instruction than
22 those other systems we are compared to.
23 So we can give you that comprehensive
24 data. And, I'm sorry, the jumping up and
1 down has caused me to --
2 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Take a breath.
3 CFO McLOUGHLIN: -- not get my air.
4 SENATOR KRUEGER: No problem.
5 CFO McLOUGHLIN: But -- and under the
6 period of SUNY 2020, that five-year period,
7 we have managed -- academic instruction
8 costs, along with academic support and
9 student services, grew at a higher rate than
10 our administrative costs.
11 And in more recent years, the last two
12 years, that span was a 5 percent -- slightly
13 over 5 percent growth on the student support
14 and academic support, versus a 2.5 percent on
15 administrative. So as our shared services
16 and our collaborations have kind of taken
17 hold, we're growing more on the academic side
18 than the administrative side.
19 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: I think, in
20 short, we would welcome the opportunity to
21 give you the data that Eileen just reported.
22 SENATOR KRUEGER: I'd appreciate it.
23 And can you just repeat that number
24 that you said for faculty costs, 10,000
1 something --
2 CFO McLOUGHLIN: On instructional
3 costs we had $10,300 per FTE, and we actually
4 had the data for every other institution we
5 were compared to, and it's higher.
6 SENATOR KRUEGER: And then following
7 up on an additional question, just so I make
8 sure I did understand the answer correctly,
9 it is SUNY's position that when your tuition
10 goes up above TAP levels and we don't
11 increase the TAP maximum, you are continuing
12 to meet the earlier commitment to students
13 that you pick up that cost?
14 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Absolutely.
15 CFO McLOUGHLIN: And collectively,
16 that's about $60 million at this point.
17 SENATOR KRUEGER: Six million dollars?
18 CFO McLOUGHLIN: Sixty.
19 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Sixty million.
20 SENATOR KRUEGER: Sixty, excuse me.
21 Thank you.
22 The chancellor mentioned that she's
23 been here seven years, and you've actually
24 had to do a search for 47 college presidents.
1 So how many of your total SUNY system college
2 presidents have turned over in seven years?
3 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, we have 59
4 campuses -- I'm doing this out loud, this
5 will be embarrassing -- not counting the
6 statutory campuses. And of those 59, we have
7 replaced 47.
8 Now, I can even remember Cliff Wharton
9 saying to me in his tenure he hired 54
10 presidents. He was chancellor for nine
11 years. I couldn't believe this. But six
12 times nine -- in other words, we have a
13 turnover rate of about six presidents a year,
14 for retirement, for some, change of position.
15 But I would say more retirement than change
16 of position. We've had some long-standing
17 tenured presidents.
18 But we've been busy, yes.
19 SENATOR KRUEGER: For some reason that
20 number sort of stood out to me. It was like,
21 oh, that's a lot of turnover.
22 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well,
23 considering -- no, it really isn't. I don't
24 view it at all as that. There might be some
1 instances where there's been more rapid
2 turnover. But by and large, our tenure of
3 our presidents is probably somewhere between
4 six and eight years, which is about the
5 national average. Don't ask me about the
6 tenure of chancellors of systems, because
7 it's frightening.
9 SENATOR KRUEGER: Then I won't ask you
10 that question.
11 So there's a SUNY Central Board. Then
12 do each of your colleges or community
13 colleges have their own boards?
14 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Our community
15 colleges have their own local boards. And in
16 fact the Environmental Science and Forestry
17 campus for some reason has a board, but our
18 state-operated campuses have college
19 councils. College councils are appointed by
20 the governor, and community college
21 boards are appointed by governors and local
23 PRESIDENT KRESS: Local sponsors.
24 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Local sponsors.
1 PRESIDENT KRESS: And with an elected
2 student -- our boards are appointed by the
3 governor, also by our local sponsors, and
4 then there is an elected voting student
5 trustee who serves on the board as well.
6 SENATOR KRUEGER: And what percentage
7 are appointed by your local governments, your
8 local sponsors, as you put it?
9 PRESIDENT KRESS: Sure. There are
10 five local appointees, there are four
11 gubernatorial -- I may have that reversed,
12 though. Wait. No, there are four -- four --
13 yeah, that's right. Four by the governor,
14 four gubernatorial appointees; five local
15 sponsor appointees; and then the elected
16 student trustee, who serves a year term. Can
17 run for reelection, but serves a term of a
19 SENATOR KRUEGER: So it's really not
20 unusual in your system to have appointees at
21 the local government level?
22 PRESIDENT KRESS: No.
23 SENATOR KRUEGER: It's a norm.
24 PRESIDENT KRESS: It's typical.
1 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: It's the law.
2 SENATOR KRUEGER: I just wanted to
4 And I'm out of time. Thank you very
6 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you.
7 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
8 Assemblywoman Malliotakis.
9 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS: Thank you.
10 Welcome, Chancellor --
11 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you.
12 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS: --
13 Presidents. It's great to have you here.
14 I just had two quick questions. I
15 think it's a great discussion today, and I
16 appreciate the questions my colleagues
17 already asked.
18 I just wanted to talk a little about
19 the Tuition Assistance Program. In 2010 --
20 well, first we talked about the issue of
21 debt, and we recognize that there's an
22 average debt of about $26,000 or $27,000 per
23 student, on average. But that doesn't
24 include graduate school, that' just sort of
1 includes undergrad. And so, you know, my
2 concern has been in 2010 the state eliminated
3 the Tuition Assistance Program for graduate
4 students. So if you're a graduate student
5 here in the State of New York, you get
6 absolutely no assistance. And I haven't yet
7 seen the Governor put in his proposal the
8 restoration of the Tuition Assistance Program
9 for graduate students. And it costs about
10 $3 million a year, so it's certainly
11 affordable, especially when we're proposing
12 something like the DREAM Act that costs
13 $27 million.
14 So I just wanted to get your opinion
15 on how important it is that we do restore the
16 graduate tuition assistance, because I feel
17 that, you know, our students are graduating
18 with $26,000 debt, we have so many citizens
19 that are taking on multiple jobs to pay for
20 graduate school. And so I think it is an
21 issue that needs to be addressed, and I'd
22 like to hear your view as professionals in
23 the higher education field.
24 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: We would take all
1 of the tuition assistance funding this state
2 can garner. We have demands for tuition
3 relief of students in high school who are
4 taking college-level courses; so that exists.
5 We have demand for increase in existing TAP
6 awards. And yes, of course, we would support
7 the reinstatement of graduate TAP.
8 The state has some big decisions to
9 make relative to the investment in talent
10 development, which is -- I know seven years
11 ago when I came, we began to talk very
12 directly about our role in economic
13 development. And I think it hinges almost
14 exclusively on the number of talented
15 New Yorkers whom we can educate and educate
17 So I can't answer it any more
18 affirmatively than to say yes, and I think
19 the challenge for all of us is to prioritize
20 where is the greatest need. Is it increasing
21 the TAP figure? Is it starting to fund
22 part-time TAP? Is it starting to fund high
23 school TAP and graduate TAP?
24 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS: Okay.
1 Well, I appreciate that.
2 And additionally, I just want to also
3 point out -- I'd like to hear your opinion as
4 well -- on the issue that the Tuition
5 Assistance Program, the income eligibility
6 threshold hasn't been increased in this state
7 since the year 2000. It's been 16 years.
8 And the last time they increased it, it was
9 from $50,000 to $80,000 household income. If
10 you're a family of six -- let's say you have
11 three or four children, right, you have to
12 put through college and you have to do so on
13 a salary of $80,000, with the additional
14 rising costs of living in New York State, I
15 think it's very difficult to do.
16 And so again, I see the DREAM Act for
17 $27 million -- and I'm not putting you on the
18 spot to say which one is more important than
19 the other. I will say, in my opinion, that
20 we should be taking care of the citizens and
21 legal residents of the state first.
22 However, I will say that it is, I
23 think, important that we should be looking to
24 increase the income eligibility threshold for
1 this state, because everything else is
2 increasing in the state but we're not seeing
3 the TAP awards doing so. And I think our
4 priorities are misplaced in this budget.
5 And I would just like to know your
6 opinion, if you agree that we should be
7 looking at that income eligibility threshold
8 and perhaps bringing it more up to date.
9 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: I think we would
10 participate and contribute in the biggest
11 possible way to additional conversations
12 around tuition assistance. I can't say that
13 strongly enough. I have to express a great
14 deal of gratitude that we have what we have,
15 but it can always can be expanded and
16 extended, and we would support that
18 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS: We would
19 love to have the SUNY Board of Trustees pass
20 a resolution supporting these two proposals.
21 And I look forward to working with you on
22 that in the future.
23 Thank you.
24 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you.
1 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you. I think
2 I'm up.
3 So again, we appreciate all of you
4 being here today to give testimony.
5 As you know, Chancellor, I am very
6 blessed in my region to have several
7 institutions of higher learning, whether it's
8 SUNY Fredonia, Alfred State College, the
9 Ceramics College at Alfred University -- I'm
10 very much on the cusp of SUNY Geneseo, so
11 Senator Gallivan and I work together on those
12 issues. As far as community colleges go, I
13 have JCC in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus
14 Counties. And in Livingston I have Genesee
15 Community College.
16 So you would think with a rural area
17 like mine we may have a deficit of higher
18 learning, but that absolutely is not the
19 case. And I truly appreciate your attention
20 to all of our SUNY system and our community
22 I just wanted to ask a couple of
23 things. I was wondering about how things are
24 going with START-UP NY and SUNY. And as you
1 may know -- I'm sure you know -- at Alfred
2 State College, for example, we have a great
3 opportunity with the new forest economy to
4 actually transform Alfred State into an
5 international center of research, and it has
6 to do with biorefineries and wood products.
7 And it's a clean green but also a very
8 exciting opportunity. So I didn't know if
9 you had any kind of update for us on some of
10 the different projects that are moving
12 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Want to do that,
13 Alex? Alex Cartwright, he's --
14 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Hi.
15 PROVOST CARTWRIGHT: Hi, Alex
16 Cartwright. I'm provost and executive vice
17 chancellor for SUNY.
18 Right now actually we do have 58 of
19 our campuses that have already submitted
20 plans for START-UP NY. We have 157 approved
21 businesses with a projected about $29 million
22 of investment from those companies. And that
23 will ultimately create about 4,000 jobs.
24 Many of these companies are at the early
1 stages, so the job numbers aren't there yet,
2 but they are growing.
3 Alfred State happens to be one of
4 those that is very aggressive in looking at
5 how to use all of their expertise in ceramics
6 to actually grow into the areas that you're
7 talking about. And we've been --
8 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Right. And that
9 would be Alfred University, not Alfred State?
10 PROVOST CARTWRIGHT: Alfred State --
11 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Alfred State is
12 different than Alfred University. So Alfred
13 University has the Ceramics College. So --
14 but they're both --
15 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: He knows the
16 difference. He said it differently.
17 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Right.
18 PROVOST CARTWRIGHT: And the Ceramics
19 School, I mean, yes. I know --
20 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Which is
21 internationally known also, and they have
22 done -- and so we just had, for example, a
23 huge announcement with the Governor and
24 Lieutenant Governor in investing in some
1 things there. So that's phenomenal.
2 And then I know in SUNY Fredonia we
3 worked very hard to establish an incubator
4 program. So it's great to hear that there's
5 that much progress across the state. So
6 that's good news.
7 I wanted to also ask -- you know, we
8 talked a little bit about decreased
9 enrollment, both in community colleges -- and
10 that might be economic, to a certain extent,
11 because when the economy is not doing as
12 well, people are going back to school to
13 learn new skills and that sort of thing. But
14 also we have seen a declined enrollment at
15 some of the SUNY schools. For example,
16 Fredonia and Alfred and up in Potsdam, for
17 example, we see an increased competitive
18 effort from other states to attract our
19 students away. And it's really a major
20 problem. You can drive through my district
21 and it is filled with advertising billboards,
22 all kinds of different mechanisms that other
23 colleges are reaching out to people to
24 attract them away.
1 And so, as you know, I had put in a
2 bill to try to address that to give a
3 somewhat lower tuition rate to people from
4 out of state, but it has to be within a
5 geographic distance. And I just was
6 wondering if you could give us an update,
7 Chancellor, on how those colleges are doing.
8 And I know you're aware of the competition
9 that we are now facing that is
10 extraordinarily heavy that is taking away
11 local students who may typically have gone to
12 SUNY Fredonia or gone to Alfred.
13 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, we are very
14 pleased that you are interested and
15 supportive of sort of the border-state
16 tuition mechanism that would help us be
17 competitive across our borders.
18 I did want to say, we have this very
19 ambitious degree-completion commitment, from
20 93,000 degrees issued a year, which is a big
21 number, to 150,000 degrees issued a year by
22 2020. And I think maybe because Alex is an
23 engineer, he has determined that we can't get
24 more degree completions if we don't increase
1 access and enrollment.
2 So you've begun to break down our
3 enrollment strategies to help the Fredonias,
4 to help the campuses that have experienced
5 some loss. And there are three or four ways
6 we're going to do that that you might tell
8 PROVOST CARTWRIGHT: Yes. So what
9 we're trying to do is look at, holistically,
10 the entire enrollment across the whole system
11 and to think about where we would target for
12 increases in enrollment -- nearby states,
13 increasing -- you know, attracting students
14 there, making our campuses more competitive.
15 Looking also at the existing 6.9 million
16 people in New York that are uncredentialed
17 right now, can we grow that population.
18 So we really are taking that approach
19 of how can we move enrollment at all of our
20 campuses. And particularly with Fredonia,
21 we've been talking with Fredonia, they are
22 transforming their first-year program,
23 they're thinking about how they can add the
24 things that they're doing in the -- great
1 things that they're doing in the arts and
2 humanities, along with some of the efforts
3 that they have in STEM to think about
4 capturing those students who might be
5 interested in the STEM fields, which we've
6 seen at least, you know, some amount of
7 people more interested in the STEM recently,
8 that then couples that with the arts and
9 humanities that are terrific at Fredonia, and
10 put those together and really make programs
11 that are much more compelling.
12 So it is this idea of how do you
13 transform the institution so that they're
14 more compelling.
15 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: That's great.
16 That's great news.
17 I did have another question, and so
18 switching gears just a bit. Recently SUNY
19 adopted a resolution to install a $15 minimum
20 wage. So my question is, what will be the
21 cost to the system once that is fully phased
23 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: So I always begin
24 with our support for the concept. I have to
1 say that we supported the concept ahead of
2 how we're going to pay for it. That's
3 typically not the way you do things. But
4 it's important that we make a statement in
5 support of a living wage for our employees.
6 We have calculated the cost by 2018,
7 which is full implementation and then the
8 immediate annual cost.
10 CFO McLOUGHLIN: So immediately this
11 year, because we're implementing it at SUNY
12 starting in January, it's going to be $2
13 million. By the end of the next academic
14 year, it's going to be $6 million. By the
15 end of the full phase-in period, it will
16 $29.7 million.
17 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: And we would
18 welcome state support in that regard.
19 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Well, we've had a
20 lot of discussions today about tuition costs
21 and, you know, the different pressures that
22 are on the system currently.
23 When you look at those figures, does
24 that include factors for compression so that
1 -- or is it just the $15 --
2 CFO McLOUGHLIN: It's state workers,
3 so it does not -- on the SUNY campuses, it's
4 not looking at compression with collective
5 bargaining units, nor is it looking at
6 compression amongst other employment on those
8 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Okay, thank you.
9 There is included in the budget a new SUNY
10 Apprenticeship Program. And could you just
11 give us a little bit more information about
12 that effort?
13 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, several
14 years ago we made a public commitment to
15 ensure that every student at SUNY had some
16 form of applied learning, learning by doing.
17 That was a big umbrella. We know that even
18 our work-study students are having a work
19 experience. And by the way, someone who's
20 flipping hamburgers at McDonald's is having a
21 work experience.
22 So how do we capture all of that and
23 make sure that we can afford it -- because
24 our faculty have to be retrained in some
1 instances to make sure they help students
2 find those applied learning opportunities.
3 We've been partnering with the
4 New York State Business Council to create,
5 thanks to Accenture, an online matching
6 system for students as interns with business
7 and industry that can accommodate a paid
8 internship. And we have a newly endowed
9 Center for Applied Learning at Potsdam that
10 we hope will serve -- you don't mind, do
11 you -- the entire SUNY system.
12 PRESIDENT ESTERBERG: Not at all. I'm
13 pleased to.
14 At our Center for Applied Learning,
15 the aim is to look at those kinds of programs
16 that can be scalable, and to look at best
17 practices for documenting student learning
18 outcomes through their applied learning,
19 looking at a variety of models for
20 compensation of faculty who engage in that,
21 and then export those out through the SUNY
23 We're working with Oneonta on several
24 different methods to try and document student
1 learning. And the aim is really to ensure
2 that every campus has the ability to figure
3 out how to do it in a way that makes sense
4 for their campus, their students, and their
6 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
7 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Yeah, thank you.
8 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: And I just want to
9 add my voice in support of the critical
10 maintenance funding. That is absolutely
11 crucial. And also we do need more capital
12 somehow for the SUNY system to really
13 continue to bring it forward. So thank you
14 very much.
15 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
17 Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton.
18 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: Hello.
19 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Hello.
20 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: Welcome.
21 I want to ask a question of
22 Mr. Mastro. I'm sure he's feeling quite
23 neglected here. And I will get to you in a
24 moment, actually; I'm just giving you a
1 little warning. And I'm sure that Chancellor
2 Zimpher has warned you perhaps that I'm a
3 little skeptical on the tuition issue and
4 that I'd much rather see the state -- I'm
5 sure you probably would too --
6 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Mm-hmm.
7 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: -- step up to
8 the plate and do much more than we're doing.
9 So I want to ask you about your role as
10 president of the student body -- the Student
11 Assembly -- and a little about how those
12 elections happen at the campus level and so
13 on. So I'm just giving you a little bit of a
14 warning there on the topic.
15 But Chancellor, I think I'll start
16 with you on the edTPA. I've talked about
17 this before, I've asked questions about it
18 before, and I'm very concerned that I'm still
19 hearing the same sort of litany of problems
20 about the teacher certification process at
21 the SUNY campuses, the edTPA, the other
22 assessments and exams.
23 I'm told that across SUNY, teacher
24 education programs have -- enrollment has
1 dropped by about 40 percent, same as at my
2 SUNY campus, SUNY Cortland, that does so
3 much -- the number-one teacher preparation
4 campus in the state. A very serious concern
5 about that. I'm told there are serious
6 teacher shortages already across the state in
7 areas such as special ed, technology
8 education, early childhood education, and in
9 STEM fields as well.
10 There's a concern about diversity,
11 that students of color, students from
12 minority districts are not enrolling in these
13 teacher ed programs or enrolling and then not
14 going through and finishing to the edTPA --
15 which they have to do before they graduate,
16 yes? -- and even begin to go out and teach.
17 And that maybe they finish the program but
18 like 50 percent are not signing up for that
19 final piece of the assessments in edTPA.
20 Very concerned about this. It's --
21 you know, I'm not hearing any positive news
22 about this from a year ago and maybe two
23 years ago, when some of these issues were
24 first raised.
1 My last question on this -- and I'd
2 just like to have you speak to these
3 issues -- is the issue of Pearson. They're
4 not in P-12 anymore, but they're still in
5 higher ed testing. Is it true that the state
6 does not pay Pearson for their creating and
7 administering of the exams, of the four exams
8 and assessments, that all new teachers must
9 take, that they make all their profits from
10 the students' taking of tests and their
11 retaking of tests in many cases? I'm told
12 many students are spending a thousand dollars
13 on the first exam and then retakes of these
14 exams, and they're not getting much feedback
15 about why they're not doing well. There's
16 just a litany -- I could take more time, but
17 I think I'll let you speak. I could go
18 through a longer list of the details of
20 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Well, I would say
21 I appreciate your list. It is exactly every
22 question plus 50 more that we put on the
23 table a year ago when we formed a panel
24 called Teach NY. We prepare 5,000 teachers a
1 year across 17 comprehensive campuses, and I
2 daresay most of our community colleges give
3 the preliminary introduction to teaching as a
4 profession, and 40 percent of our teacher
5 candidates come from our community colleges.
6 So we are shortly to publicly present
7 the findings of TeachNY. We've spent a year
8 trying to unravel every one of the problems
9 that you've cited. And they are respected
10 and appreciated issues, and we really value
11 teacher education at SUNY. So when you see
12 our recommendations, I think they will solve
13 or are intended to solve many of the problems
14 you've presented and many more that you
15 didn't list but you know, I know you know
17 So it's called TeachNY. We had every
18 important educator in the State of New York
19 at that table, including representation from
20 our CUNY system, our colleagues at CUNY, and
21 our independent colleges. And we hope that
22 this will be a breakthrough for teacher
23 education in New York.
24 So at this point I think, to give Tom
1 time, I just want to say to you we're on it,
2 we know these are issues, we want to change
3 our enrollment strategy. We're overproducing
4 teachers in some areas and underproducing in
5 others. So I just want to compliment you on
6 the litany of things that are problematic and
7 to tell you that I think TeachNY will address
9 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: Thank you. I
10 look forward to seeing that report.
11 Mr. Mastro, quickly in my last few
12 seconds here, so you compared your role to
13 our role as elected representatives. And,
14 you know, many of us are very concerned about
15 low voter turnout. You may know that -- I
16 don't know what your major is, Tom. What's
17 your major?
18 MR. MASTRO: I'm human development and
19 education at Binghamton University.
20 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: Education and
21 human development.
22 MR. MASTRO: Yeah.
23 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: So you probably
24 follow politics a little bit, you're a leader
1 in the political world.
2 So we're very concerned about voter
3 turnout in our world, and one of the things
4 that I and no doubt many of my colleagues
5 have done is that we poll our constituents to
6 get a very accurate -- you know, we think
7 sometimes when 20 or 30 percent of the people
8 turn out to vote, maybe we're not getting an
9 accurate view of how people really feel about
10 things. It's important to do a valid
11 scientific poll to find out how people feel.
12 You probably don't have the ability to do
13 that -- although it might be a great thing
14 for SUNY to think about doing, Chancellor, to
15 get a really accurate picture.
16 But if you haven't -- maybe you've
17 done that, maybe I'm wrong about that. But
18 are there ways that you've tried to reach out
19 to what we might call disenfranchised voters,
20 kids on campuses that are so busy and
21 commuting and they don't even know what day
22 the election -- I mean, I don't know --
23 MR. MASTRO: No.
24 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: -- what your
1 process looks like, but -- and I'd like to
2 know what that process looks like, actually.
3 I'd love some information. What percentage
4 of the students are voting in elections, and
5 what do you do to make sure you're hearing
6 voices that may not otherwise be heard?
7 MR. MASTRO: Okay, yeah. So like I
8 said, each campus, based on the total
9 enrollment student population, sends
10 delegates to the SUNY Student Assembly
11 conferences. And those representatives that
12 are sent to us, depending on the campus and
13 how their student government is structured,
14 the campus itself either elects the delegates
15 or the student government itself elects the
16 delegates that are then sent to SUNY Student
18 Throughout the past two years -- I've
19 been going to the conferences for -- now this
20 is going to be my fourth year, and our
21 enrollment of -- the number of delegates that
22 have been sent, the campus's representative,
23 the campuses that have been represented at
24 our conference actually has gone up within
1 the last three years from when I started
2 coming to our conferences.
3 For example, our community colleges,
4 the majority of them, as they are smaller,
5 send one or two or three delegates. While
6 our larger institutions, such as University
7 at Buffalo, Albany, Binghamton, send four to
8 five delegates.
9 And prior to those meetings the
10 student governments are given the documents
11 that they'll be voted on at our conference.
12 So from there, they'll bring those documents
13 to their campus student government and
14 senate, to look at these types of
15 resolutions. And then from there the
16 delegates come to our conference and vote on
17 behalf of the entire campus.
18 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: I'm not sure
19 you quite spoke to the question about -- on
20 each individual campus, how does that
21 election of their representatives or
22 delegates happen?
23 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Do you know the
24 percentage of students who --
1 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: What kind of
2 turnout is there at SUNY Geneseo, for
3 instance, or SUNY Binghamton or SUNY Potsdam?
4 Do you have those numbers? Do you have any
5 sense of how many students actually
7 MR. MASTRO: We've been actually been
8 looking at that -- yeah, we've actually been
9 looking at that, for the same reason that
10 you've brought up, ensuring that what's
11 actually coming forth is accurate. I know
12 specifically at our bigger institutions the
13 student governments are pretty prominent and
14 known on campus, while some of our smaller
15 institutions -- I could speak to the
16 community college sector pretty well; I was
17 the president of the student government at
18 SUNY Broome Community College two years ago.
19 And with that, the turnover rate of the
20 student government officials is pretty rapid,
21 within one year. With that, the student
22 population as well.
23 So ensuring that the student
24 government has a good footing on the campus
1 is something that our student governments are
2 looking at to ensure that when students turn
3 over, that the student government president
5 ASSEMBLYWOMAN LIFTON: Thank you.
6 Anecdotally, I'm concerned about the
7 number of students I hear from that are very
8 concerned about tuition increases. And I'm
9 sure you represent a certain portion of SUNY
10 students, and who knows how many really don't
11 even have the time to weigh in and tell us
12 about their debt and how concerned they are.
13 But thank you very much. I appreciate
14 your responses.
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
17 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: I think the
18 Senators are done.
19 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: All right. We can
20 close with Mr. Ra, to close.
21 ASSEMBLYMAN RA: Thank you, Chairman.
22 Good afternoon. I just wanted to see
23 if we could further address an issue that
24 Chancellor Zimpher mentioned -- it might be
1 something that's of interest to President
2 Kress also -- and that's the community
3 college childcare program.
4 I know that obviously this is a budget
5 that hits on a lot of great types of issues
6 like family leave and minimum wage, and we
7 always talk about, when it comes to higher
8 education, you know, the funding side of
9 things in terms of access of all different
10 types of students. But I think
11 obviously this is a very key area as well for
12 students. And you mentioned, you know, 100
13 coming in the door, 40 going out, and I'm
14 sure this is one of the areas that's been
16 So I'm wondering if you can elaborate
17 what the impact of a cut like this would be.
18 Because I'm certainly hearing from, you
19 know -- I'm in Nassau County. Our community
20 college tells us that this program is very
21 well utilized. And I think that, you know,
22 the impact of a cut like this is going to
23 remove opportunities for people to go and get
24 a higher education.
1 Are the other campuses seeing this
2 program at capacity, or is there something
3 I'm missing in terms of why this is being
4 targeted for a cut by the Executive?
5 PRESIDENT KRESS: I'm happy to respond
6 on behalf of the community colleges.
7 I can say that we view this as vital
8 funding for our students. Many of our
9 students simply cannot go to college if they
10 cannot be assured that someone is there, a
11 high-quality setting, to take care of their
12 own children. I'll just take -- we have
13 multiple campuses and centers within MCC --
14 let me take our downtown campus.
15 Seventy-five percent of the students at our
16 downtown campus qualify for Pell. Sixty-six
17 percent of those students are female. The
18 vast majority of them are first-generation
19 college. They're also -- they're not just
20 going to college for themselves, they're
21 setting a precedent for their whole family.
22 The reality is without childcare subsidies,
23 most of them cannot go to school.
24 So what does that mean in a community
1 like Rochester where child poverty is among
2 the nation's highest? It means those
3 families really will see no pathway out of
4 poverty. So these are essential dollars to
5 our campus.
6 I want to thank the Legislature for
7 restoring and adding funding over time, but
8 to see it cut year after year I have to say
9 is a bit dispiriting.
10 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: It's also part of
11 the legislative agenda of the Student
13 MR. MASTRO: Yeah. Yeah, this is an
14 item that has been on our legislative affairs
15 agenda for quite a few years now. And
16 looking at our student populations,
17 especially at some of our community colleges,
18 the nontraditional student rate has been
19 going up. With that, our childcare centers
20 are in need of additional funding for proper
21 staffing and the facilities themselves.
22 In addition to that, at a great number
23 of our campuses our students that are in our
24 early childhood education programs often go
1 in and they do the applied learning
2 experience within those facilities as well.
3 So this item specifically we've been
4 pushing for, I know last year and then also
5 this year, for increased funding.
6 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: It's interesting
7 how this links to teacher preparation,
8 because our early childhood programs really
9 do need to be expanded. And it's all related
10 to serving this high-need population.
11 ASSEMBLYMAN RA: Well, thank you. And
12 I think I'm confident that there's going to
13 be a lot of support in the Legislature for
14 the restoration of this, and hopefully the
15 expansion of it, as it should be. But thank
16 you all.
17 And I want to thank Mr. Mastro, who I
18 had the opportunity of meeting at a reception
19 a few weeks ago. As I told him, my earliest
20 government experience was student government
21 in college, and I met my wife through student
22 government in college.
23 So it's an important thing you're
24 doing, and I'm glad to see you sitting up
1 there with these distinguished people in
2 higher education advocating for your fellow
4 Thank you.
5 MR. MASTRO: Glad to be here.
6 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you.
7 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Chancellor, thank
8 you very much.
9 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Thank you. It
10 was a good session. We appreciate the
12 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: It's hard to
13 believe seven years went so quickly.
14 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER: Time flew by.
15 Thank you.
16 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you,
19 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Good afternoon.
20 We continue, City University of
21 New York, James Milliken, chancellor.
22 Good afternoon, and welcome.
23 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Good afternoon.
24 Thank you.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: I messed that name
3 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I commit to you
4 that by myself, I will take less time than
5 Chancellor Zimpher and her team did.
6 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: I'm not going to
7 say a common word, but thank you.
8 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Welcome.
9 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Good afternoon,
10 Chairs Young, Farrell, LaValle and Glick, and
11 members of the Finance and Ways and Means
13 I'm James B. Milliken, the chancellor
14 of the City University of New York. And I
15 want to thank you for providing what is my
16 second opportunity to meet and share with you
17 why it's such an honor to lead this unique
18 and vital institution.
19 A number of my colleagues, although
20 not sitting with me, are seated behind me,
21 ready to throw me a lifeline if needed.
22 I want to begin with a thank you to
23 all of you for your continued substantial
24 support for CUNY and for its students,
1 attending in record numbers again this year
2 and graduating in record numbers. This would
3 not be possible if it were not for the
4 investment that the state makes, and we will
5 do everything we can to ensure that we
6 continue to earn your trust and confidence
7 and your support.
8 For over 150 years, CUNY has been the
9 gateway to progress and fulfillment for many
10 New Yorkers who do not begin life with great
11 advantages, particularly those from
12 low-income families, underrepresented groups,
13 and immigrants. The promise this state makes
14 to these talented young New Yorkers is at the
15 heart of CUNY's and, I believe, New York's
17 We're actively strengthening CUNY to
18 ensure that the university and our graduates
19 continue to play a leading role for the
20 benefit of this state. We're doing that by
21 vigorously executing CUNY's historic mission
22 through increasingly evidence-based
23 strategies and innovations.
24 Affordability and access will always
1 be fundamental to CUNY and its irreplaceable
2 role in the life of our city and state, but
3 we are focused more than ever on our
4 obligation to ensure that when our students
5 leave our colleges, they do so in much
6 greater numbers with diplomas that will
7 change their lives and the competitiveness of
8 New York. We're hard at work now on a new
9 university-wide strategic plan and a master
10 plan with this in mind.
11 Every day we're guided by the unique
12 mandate established when this body passed the
13 historic legislation creating the City
14 University of New York, and later when it
15 doubled down, establishing the current
16 governance and structure. The New York State
17 Legislature designated the City University of
18 New York as an institution with a distinctive
19 mission -- that we'll be an independent
20 system of higher education that must be
21 responsive to the needs of its urban setting,
22 and we'll operate as an integrated system
23 with close collaboration between the
24 community colleges and the senior colleges.
1 That's critical in helping make possible the
2 transfer of so many students from community
3 to senior colleges, a number that doubled in
4 the last decade.
5 The Legislature also declared that
6 "The City University is of vital importance
7 as a vehicle for the upward mobility of the
8 disadvantaged in the City of New York." Like
9 you, we are committed to not just carrying
10 out that mandate, but to constantly finding
11 new ways to strengthen it.
12 About 75 percent of the graduates of
13 New York City's high schools who attend
14 college come to CUNY. CUNY is home to
15 three-quarters of all Pell grant recipients
16 in New York City, a critical form of aid to
17 our neediest and, I can attest, many of our
18 most dedicated students.
19 Similarly, New York's remarkable
20 investment in the Tuition Assistance Program
21 is key to our students' ability to attend
22 college. We're very grateful for TAP, but we
23 also believe with some changes it could be
24 even more effective and the result would be
1 even more college graduates in New York.
2 Now, the emphasis on access and
3 affordability should in no way be seen as
4 overshadowing CUNY's outstanding academic
5 credentials. CUNY graduates have won 13
6 Nobel prizes. They have won more MacArthur
7 Genius Awards than any other public
8 university in America other than Berkeley.
9 But I'll note we just passed Berkeley as
10 having the highest-ranked public interest law
11 program in the nation.
12 Our students won 39 Fulbrights in the
13 last two years alone. I recently met with a
14 Brooklyn College graduate, a young woman who
15 emigrated from Pakistan as a child. After
16 graduating from CUNY she became a Rhodes
17 Scholar. She's now in her second year at the
18 Harvard Medical School. This is an example
19 of so many of our students who, when given
20 the opportunity, excel beyond our
22 And our faculty are as impressive as
23 our students. And we're grateful for your
24 support which has allowed us to hire so many
1 more needed full-time faculty in the past
2 four years. They earn Fulbrights,
3 MacArthurs, and competitive grants in record
4 numbers. They're recognized for their
5 excellent teaching as well as their research
6 and creative activity. They are the reason
7 our colleges are consistently ranked as the
8 best values in the nation. And this
9 recognition isn't simply a statement about
10 cost -- it's a recognition of CUNY's high
11 quality at a reasonable price. And the
12 faculty are, of course, responsible for that
13 outstanding quality.
14 This talented faculty has been working
15 without a contract -- and at salaries
16 significantly lower than their peers -- for
17 more than five years now, and thus far we've
18 been unable to reach an agreement with them.
19 Last year when I appeared before you, I said
20 we were seeking support from the state and
21 the city for an agreement in line with other
22 state unions. We are unfortunately in that
23 position again a year later.
24 I can say without equivocation that my
1 highest priority, as well as that of the
2 Board of Trustees and the college presidents
3 of CUNY, is to get this contract settled and
4 pay the increases to which our 45,000 faculty
5 and staff are entitled.
6 You know that the knowledge economy
7 increasingly offers its most attractive
8 opportunities to those who attain degrees
9 beyond high school. The share of jobs that
10 require postsecondary education has doubled
11 since I, and perhaps some of you, went to
12 college. Bachelor's degree graduates earn
13 annually, on average, more than $20,000 more
14 than high school graduates, and their
15 unemployment rate is about half of those
16 without college degrees.
17 And here's why this is so important to
18 CUNY. Nationally, half of all people from
19 high-income families have a bachelor's degree
20 by age 25; just one in 10 people from the
21 lowest quintile of families in the economic
22 strata earn a degree by 25. But here's the
23 good news: When children born into the
24 bottom fifth of income distribution -- many
1 of CUNY's students -- get a college degree,
2 their chances of making it to the top fifth
3 nearly quadruple. Their chances of making it
4 out of the bottom increase by more than
5 50 percent.
6 Intel's Andy Grove called CUNY, where
7 he received his engineering degree, the
8 American Dream Machine. I might also call it
9 the best prescription available to reduce
10 income inequality through opportunity.
11 A great many of our 275,000
12 degree-seeking students face more challenges
13 than most in making it to graduation. But we
14 are tackling this head on. We have put in
15 place and are expanding a number of programs
16 to provide the support that helps thousands
17 more achieve that goal every year. In some
18 instances the results are encouraging; in
19 others, revolutionary.
20 Nationwide, the three-year graduation
21 rate at urban community colleges is
22 15 percent. That is simply unacceptable. To
23 address this daunting challenge, CUNY
24 designed and rolled out a program called
1 ASAP, which is considered one of the most
2 significant outcome improvement initiatives
3 in higher education in the country.
4 Three-year graduation rates among ASAP
5 students have soared to 55 percent in the
6 most recent class, and we feel we may be able
7 to reach and exceed 60 percent, more than
8 triple the old graduation rate.
9 And with generous support from the
10 city and the state, we're scaling up ASAP
11 from 4,000 students last year to 25,000
12 students in three years, including the first
13 full implementation at one of our community
14 colleges and a pilot program at a senior
15 college. Eighty-seven percent of these
16 students are African-American, Latino or
17 Asian. ASAP's great success and our rapid
18 expansion is why we would like to ask that
19 you restore $2.5 million in our budget for
21 Another item I would like to ask you
22 to consider including in your budget is
23 funding for the newly accredited CUNY School
24 of Medicine at City College, which opens its
1 doors next fall. This new college will build
2 on 40 years of success of the Sophie Davis
3 School of Social Medicine and is uniquely
4 designed to serve the important mission of
5 CUNY. Almost half of our students will be
6 from underrepresented groups -- many times
7 the national rate -- and most of our
8 graduates will continue to practice in
9 federally designated underserved areas.
10 It's a natural for CUNY and New York,
11 and we're asking only that the school
12 receives the same per student funding now
13 provided for SUNY medical schools.
14 I turn now to the items included in
15 the Governor's Executive Budget. The
16 eye-catcher, of course, was a suggested shift
17 in CUNY's funding, proposing that New York
18 City assume responsibility for 30 percent, or
19 $485 million, of operating costs and debt
20 service. The proposal was accompanied by an
21 investment of $240 million to help settle our
22 bargaining agreements, which was a most
23 welcome recognition of the importance of this
1 Determining the appropriate level of
2 state and city support for CUNY is an
3 important responsibility of our elected
4 leaders, especially in this body. My
5 obligation, I believe, is to convince you
6 that a strong CUNY is vital to the future of
7 the state and that those New Yorkers who need
8 opportunity the most benefit from the
9 investment in CUNY.
10 I would argue that there is a need for
11 greater overall investment in an institution
12 which is responsible for 275,000 degree-
13 seeking students and an equal number of adult
14 and continuing education students every day.
15 To serve them and the state well, it is
16 essential that the investment in CUNY be
17 stable, secure and adequate. That, in my
18 mind, should be the discussion we have.
19 Of the many investments the state is
20 asked to make, I am convinced that higher
21 education produces one of the highest returns
22 on investment, and it's the one that changes
23 the trajectory of generations.
24 The Governor recently expressed
1 concern -- and it was mentioned earlier, so I
2 will mention it now -- about costs in higher
3 education at both SUNY and CUNY. Just this
4 year we cut $50 million in costs through a
5 series of steps including hiring freezes,
6 purchasing reductions, reductions in
7 temporary employees, and more. And CUNY has
8 been a national leader in consolidating
9 back-office functions and implementing shared
10 services in many areas such as information
11 technology, human resources, admissions,
12 financial aid, security and more. But we
13 embrace our role as stewards of public funds;
14 we know we can always improve. We will
15 continue to look at ways to shift
16 expenditures to those areas directly
17 affecting the outcomes of our students.
18 In his budget, Governor Cuomo provided
19 support for a number of important programs,
20 and we very much appreciate his recognition
21 of the importance of those investments. The
22 Governor proposed a renewal of the
23 predictable tuition policy in his budget,
24 which has for the last five years provided an
1 important opportunity for the university to
2 make thoughtful investments and has allowed
3 students to be in a position to plan ahead
4 for moderate increases, avoiding the kinds of
5 spikes we saw before 2011.
6 No one likes to increase tuition, and
7 especially at CUNY. I am sympathetic to our
8 student leaders who oppose tuition increases,
9 but in truth we have one of the lowest
10 tuition levels in the country, and today
11 approximately 80 percent of our associate and
12 bachelor's degree graduates leave with zero
13 federal debt. I want to emphasize that in
14 the context of the last discussion, where
15 national numbers in the mid-20,000s, on
16 average, for undergraduate debt were
17 mentioned. At CUNY, only 20 percent have
18 federal debt when they leave, of any size,
19 and it's considerably lower than the national
21 But we must be in a position to invest
22 in new faculty and academic advisors, to
23 support our current faculty, and to offer our
24 students a high-quality education and the
1 opportunity to graduate on time. Because of
2 our policy, during the last four years we
3 were able to add about 996 new full-time
4 faculty and, at the same time, to increase
5 student success significantly.
6 Access does not seem to have been
7 restricted; our enrollment grew during this
8 same period by 5 percent, or 13,000
9 students -- essentially the size of a new
10 college -- and this year we have the largest
11 enrollment in history. During this same
12 period, graduation rates went up at both
13 senior and community colleges, and 20 percent
14 more degrees were awarded annually. And more
15 credits were earned and skills proficiency
16 achieved during the freshman year than ever
18 We've committed to freezing community
19 college tuition this year. So of CUNY's
20 275,000 degree-seeking students, 100,000 of
21 them would see no change. To help us make
22 good on that commitment to our students who
23 need it most, we're seeking an increase in
24 base aid for our community colleges of $250
1 per student. And for the senior college
2 students, we commit to carefully reviewing
3 our needs each year and proposing to our
4 board thoughtful, required increases, not
5 automatically charging the maximum rate
7 The continuation of the Governor's
8 performance funding program is a welcome
9 investment in innovative programs to support
10 our students. Each of our colleges received
11 funding to support new initiatives related to
12 performance measures and student success.
13 And the continuation of funding will position
14 us to make sustainable investments that can
15 lead to improved outcomes over time.
16 The Governor's support for the DREAM
17 Act is a priority that CUNY's Board of
18 Trustees endorses. We have been more
19 successful than any university in the country
20 in attracting private funds to support
21 scholarships for these students, going from
22 about 30 to over 360 students supported by
23 private scholarships in one year, working
24 closely with the TheDream.US Foundation.
1 Moving to capital, we have a number of
2 important requests, beginning with the need
3 for adequate investment in our critical
4 maintenance. We're grateful for the
5 $103 million in the Executive Budget, but our
6 needs are significantly greater. The average
7 CUNY building is more than 50 years old, and
8 some are more than 100 years old. Our aging
9 building stock and a history of deferred
10 maintenance are among the most critical
11 issues facing CUNY. Many of our labs are
12 dated and need to be modernized with the
13 latest teaching tools our students deserve.
14 In 2007, together with SUNY, we
15 conducted a study to see what it would take
16 to bring our campus facilities to a good
17 state of repair. The need was $3.2 billion
18 for CUNY then. We have made progress, but
19 when the study was updated in 2012, we found
20 that the backlog was still at $2.4 billion.
21 Our campuses are open seven days a
22 week, with classes scheduled throughout the
23 day and most evenings. We have 28 million
24 square feet of space, but we need
1 considerably more. There are 55,000 more
2 CUNY students using our buildings today than
3 there were one decade ago. In other words,
4 we have added an equivalent about 15 percent
5 larger than University of Michigan to CUNY
6 during that time, using those same buildings
7 that were overstressed at the time.
8 Our request includes important
9 priorities at Baruch, York, Hunter, Medgar
10 Evers, Brooklyn College, Staten Island,
11 Lehman and more. Many of these are science
12 and health professions buildings that are
13 necessary not only to provide opportunities
14 to our students but to meet the medical,
15 science, technology and health needs in
16 New York.
17 I look forward to discussing CUNY's
18 budget request and any other issues, and I
19 once again offer my thanks for your continued
20 support for public higher education and for
21 the City University of New York in
22 particular. The Legislature has given CUNY a
23 challenging and critical mandate. In
24 embracing this role, the university has
1 responded with outcomes that have served this
2 state well. We will continue to do all we
3 can to see that the mission we all share,
4 which means so much to so many, is
6 Thank you very much.
7 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
9 Deborah Glick, chair.
10 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you.
11 Good afternoon, Chancellor. Good to
12 see you.
13 You mentioned the cost shift from the
14 state to the city for 30 percent of the CUNY
15 budget. What do you think would be the
16 impact if that was to go forward?
17 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I'm not quite
18 sure what you mean. You mean if, as written
19 in the Executive Budget, there was a shift of
20 cost from the state to the city?
21 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Right. And the
22 city is currently approaching its own budget
23 negotiations. This wasn't something that I
24 think was necessarily on their to-do list
1 until the middle of January.
2 Has there been any conversation about
3 whether the city could in fact absorb that,
4 or have they told you to start scaling back
6 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: So I'm probably
7 less equipped to discuss the impact on the
8 city's budget than some other people would be
9 that you could have before you. My
10 impression was, from both public statements
11 and conversations, that it was not an
12 enthusiastically received recommendation at
13 the city. And my understanding was there
14 were going to be additional conversations
15 about cost-effectiveness and efficiencies,
16 which at the time, as well as today, we
17 welcome that discussion.
18 Obviously, as I mentioned in my
19 testimony, the big benefit to CUNY from that
20 transfer would have been the $240 million in
21 investment in our collective bargaining. But
22 it remains to be seen whether that would
23 still be available.
24 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: And that's a
2 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I'm sorry?
3 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: And that's a
4 one-shot. That would cover the past, nothing
5 anticipated in the future.
6 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Oh, yes. Yeah,
7 that's absolutely true. You know, that
8 $240 million, coincidentally or not, was a
9 figure that I think represented an estimate
10 that -- retroactive funding for our largest
12 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: You talked a bit
13 about the demographics of the average CUNY
14 student and that students graduate with
15 substantially less debt than other students
16 in similarly situated urban campuses in other
17 parts of the county.
18 Over the last five years, with an
19 increase of $1500 in tuition and now this
20 proposal for another, that would represent a
21 fairly significant increase. Has CUNY seen
22 any shift in the demographics of the student
23 body? Are there students who are, at the
24 lower economic scale, either taking longer to
1 graduate because they have to take time off
2 to work to make up that difference or -- what
3 has been the experience of CUNY regarding the
4 impact on student demographics?
5 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: During the
6 period of predictable tuition, the
7 demographics of CUNY have changed. The
8 percentage of our students who are from
9 households with household income of $20,000
10 or less has gone up. Without adjusting for
11 inflation, it's gone from 35 percent to
12 38 percent of that lowest group in the
13 economic strata.
14 Our student body has also become more
15 diverse during that period. And as I
16 mentioned, it has grown significantly, 5
17 percent, during the same time, and graduation
18 rates are up at both community colleges and
19 senior colleges.
20 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: The ASAP
21 program, which you rightly say has been an
22 enormously successful program -- and has been
23 recognized, certainly by the President, as
24 well as many of us -- right now you're
1 serving -- you're currently serving 4,000
3 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I think that was
4 last year's number. It may be written
5 inartfully, but --
6 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Right. And
7 you're asking for $2.5 million, which is a
8 restoration. Does that just keep you at
9 serving the students you have in the past, or
10 is there growth anticipated in that? And how
11 many more students would you actually be able
12 to serve?
13 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: So this is a
14 program that has been shared by the city and
15 the state, and by far the largest investment
16 is coming from the city -- by far. About
17 $80 million is what it will grow to. And
18 that will support us expanding from the 4,000
19 last year to, by 2018, 25,000 students in
20 ASAP, including all of the full-time students
21 at Bronx Community College.
22 This will be our opportunity to prove
23 wrong what some people have said, that this
24 program is expensive and you can't scale it.
1 For one thing, the costs keep coming down as
2 we grow the program, because there are
3 economies of scale.
4 And for the second -- and these are
5 not our numbers. They come from MDRC, they
6 come from Columbia and other independent
7 groups that have looked at this -- the cost
8 per degree in ASAP is considerably less than
9 the cost per degree otherwise, because
10 students graduate at two to three times the
12 So for the investment we're making, to
13 get degree production at that level is a
14 remarkably good investment, I think.
15 Now, I want the state to continue to
16 participate in this because what has worked
17 at the community colleges I believe will also
18 work at the senior colleges. And we have a
19 program we're piloting at John Jay now. I
20 mean, the ASAP is not rocket science. There
21 are a number of critical components that
22 intuitively would contribute to graduation in
23 a timely manner. And we believe that the
24 same kinds of programs and supports for our
1 students can be put in at the senior
2 colleges, and we're going to test that at the
3 first one now.
4 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Currently the
5 part-time TAP program is available only to
6 students who have already for a year attended
7 full-time. And of course the reason that
8 people attend part-time perhaps are work
9 requirements, family needs.
10 Do you think that there could be a
11 change in the way we administer part-time TAP
12 that would perhaps be more useful to the
13 student body at CUNY?
14 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Yes. Many CUNY
15 students attend part-time. And particularly
16 there was a discussion earlier about graduate
17 TAP. Most of our graduate students attend
18 part-time, so when that was eliminated, the
19 impact on CUNY students was far less than on
20 students throughout the state.
21 So there's no question that any
22 program which benefits working students who
23 are attending part-time is a benefit to CUNY.
24 I would suggest, to follow up on the
1 discussion earlier, since there was some
2 back-and-forth about the commitment of CUNY
3 and SUNY to pay the -- or credit the
4 differential cost of higher education after
5 tuition increases, so that above the TAP
6 maximum we would provide that credit -- that
7 accounts for about $49 million in our budget
9 It's quite a significant investment.
10 I think I heard Chancellor Zimpher say it was
11 about $70 million at SUNY. And I think this
12 represents a disproportionately high
13 percentage of TAP-eligible students at CUNY.
14 But it's about a $50 million hit for us,
15 money that we would not be needing to ask you
16 for to make investments in other programs.
17 But if TAP fully covered the
18 undergraduate tuition at our colleges, we
19 would have that money available to do things
20 like hire more advisors, hire more faculty,
21 pay our faculty and staff, et cetera. So I
22 think it's a significant issue that I hope
23 will get some attention at some point.
24 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Obviously you
1 mentioned the extreme need for capital for
2 the City University. Many of your buildings
3 are quite old. There are new facilities that
4 are planned and hopefully will see continued
5 work. What do you think you could spend in a
6 year? How much more money could you use in
7 the next year's budget that you could put
8 into the pipeline?
9 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: (to staff) How
10 much in a year? Half a billion? Thank you.
11 I thought she said, the second time,
12 half a million, and then I thought you would
13 give it to me on the spot.
15 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: I'd get out my
17 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Five hundred
19 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you. My
20 time is out. I'm going to look over -- I may
21 have one follow-up question.
22 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
1 SENATOR LaVALLE: Chancellor, thank
2 you for being here. I think you really
3 represented what City University is all
5 And then on page 5, the first full
6 paragraph, it starts off -- that's all right,
7 I'm going to --
8 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Okay. I don't
9 have that testimony, so if you'd tell me.
10 SENATOR LaVALLE: You go: "I want to
11 now turn to the items included in the
12 Governor's Executive Budget. The eye-catcher
13 was," and then you go on to talk about these
14 numbers of 485 -- both the Assembly chair and
15 I, that number is embossed in our brains,
16 485 -- and then also 240, followed by
18 What I thought you should have put in
19 there is "Oh, Lord, why me?"
21 SENATOR LaVALLE: And I thought that
22 the Assembly chair wanted to show certainly
23 her interest in this, and that this is
24 important to her, and I want to show you it's
1 critically important to us. Because you
2 can't make things go away.
3 Because then you went -- and this is
4 really not your style -- you did a dodge,
5 beautifully, and you said "My obligation, I
6 believe, is to convince you that a strong
7 CUNY is vital" -- bup, bup, bup, bup. No,
8 that's not your obligation.
9 Your obligation is to tell us how are
10 we going to deal with this problem. Four
11 hundred eighty-five million at our table,
12 when we're dealing with the budget, is not
13 nickels and dimes. This is a very, very
14 serious problem. It's a life-changer for
15 your institution.
16 And so I don't know if I need an
17 answer today, but what I am saying to you,
18 this is critically important and it is your
19 obligation in some way to protect your
20 institution. Because this, this is a
22 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: You -- do you
23 want --
24 SENATOR LaVALLE: Yes.
1 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I couldn't agree
2 with you more that it is my obligation to
3 protect my institution.
4 What is proposed in this Executive
5 Budget is a shift in funding that is
6 revenue-neutral for CUNY. Now, what the
7 outcome will be after discussion,
8 negotiation, et cetera, I don't know. My
9 point to you, Senator, respectfully, was that
10 I believe we should -- the conversation
11 should be about what additional investments
12 need to be made in CUNY beyond the baseline
13 of today because of all the students it's
14 serving, and whether it's in operating or
15 capital, without sufficient support. So
16 whether it comes from the state or the city,
17 which both now contribute to the budget of
18 CUNY, I believe the question is what can be
19 done to make sure that CUNY has adequate
20 funding and has a secure base of funding so
21 that our students can continue to depend on
22 that and we can continue to serve them and
23 New York.
24 SENATOR LaVALLE: I know you're not
1 going to answer the question, but let me go
2 now -- does the 240 million get us a
3 bargaining deal?
4 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Maybe you could
5 get a few of us in a room here --
6 SENATOR LaVALLE: I'm sorry?
7 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: No, I'm sorry,
8 that was humor. I was looking over my
9 shoulder at the representatives of the --
10 SENATOR LaVALLE: Yes.
11 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: -- of the
12 Bargaining unit who are here.
13 SENATOR LaVALLE: So it's certainly
15 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: It absolutely
16 would be helpful. Right now, as I've made
17 clear before publicly and in every other way,
18 is that without additional investment, we are
19 trying to, through reallocating, through use
20 of tuition, through use of any resources
21 available to us, try to resolve a contract
22 with our unions representing our 45,000
23 employees. Which would be a significant
24 addition to what we are able to do.
1 SENATOR LaVALLE: I'm going to ask you
2 the same question I asked Chancellor Zimpher.
3 Can you comment on balancing the need to
4 maintain competitive salary levels to retain
5 valued faculty and administrators with
6 reducing overall costs to keep college
7 affordable for students?
8 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Right. Well,
9 you know, I think there's pretty good
10 evidence that CUNY is affordable. It has
11 among the lowest tuitions in the country, has
12 the lowest debt rate that I have heard of for
13 graduates. I guess the Empire Center
14 produced a report, just based on the state
15 payroll, that indicated that three out of the
16 50 top highest-paid public employees in the
17 State of New York were from CUNY, three out
18 of 50.
19 Interestingly, if you went across the
20 country -- and I think, Senator, you know
21 this well -- if you went across the country
22 to every other state, the most highly paid
23 public employees would be university
24 employees. I happened to look at California,
1 Illinois, Florida, Texas, and that is the
2 case with the top 50 there. The only
3 difference that I can see in New York is that
4 in each of those other states, the
5 highest-paid employee is a coach. That's
6 not the case in New York State.
7 So it's a competitive market, a
8 national and in some cases international
9 market for the most talented faculty -- and
10 in many cases, the most talented
11 administrative leadership, whether it's our
12 colleges, as presidents or other senior
13 leaders, or throughout the university. We
14 compete in that market, and in my view,
15 leadership matters. And the investment that
16 we make there, I hope it is always wise -- I
17 will do everything I can to make sure that it
18 is -- but I think it's worthwhile.
19 If you look at our costs across --
20 compared across the country to other
21 similarly large university systems -- this
22 was a discussion that you had earlier with
23 the SUNY representatives, so I will follow up
24 on that -- you can compare in lots of
1 different ways and you can use lots of data
2 sources. One that's used frequently is based
3 on IPEDS data, which is, as you know,
4 self-reported from institutions. So at CUNY
5 it's reported by 24 colleges and then it's
6 reported by CUNY central. And there are a
7 lot of things in that data that if we had
8 better control over, it wouldn't be included,
9 and they tend to skew the results.
10 So I suggest we look at something like
11 independently audited financial statements of
12 universities, whether it's CUNY and others,
13 and look at a commonly defined institutional
14 overhead that is used the same way
15 everyplace: CUNY compares quite favorably in
16 terms of its administrative costs.
17 SENATOR LaVALLE: Assemblymember Glick
18 asked you a great question in terms of the
19 capital dollars, half a billion. Is that
20 critical maintenance or critical maintenance
21 plus new endeavors?
22 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: It's plus. It's
23 the combination. A critical maintenance in
24 the Executive Budget of $103 million, as I
1 mentioned, I think our ask for senior
2 colleges was 284 million. There are some
3 large projects and some small ones across
4 CUNY, and critical maintenance is at the top
5 of the list.
6 SENATOR LaVALLE: Okay.
7 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: But those are
8 also some of the new facilities, some that
9 are underway, where design is underway, or
10 planning -- or even, in one case,
11 construction, where we still need funding to
12 be able to complete it.
13 SENATOR LaVALLE: Okay. Thank you.
14 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Thank you.
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you, Senator.
16 Assemblywoman Malliotakis.
17 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS: Thank you,
18 Chancellor, for being here.
19 I just wanted to ask you the same
20 questions that I've asked the SUNY chancellor
21 earlier, and that is what is your opinion on
22 -- or do you think it should be a priority,
23 rather, of the state to restore the Tuition
24 Assistance Program for graduate students that
1 was eliminated back in 2010 when there was a
2 $13 billion deficit? Since then, I have not
3 seen it being proposed in any of the
4 Governor's budgets. I think it should be a
5 priority. And I was wondering what your
6 opinion is as the chancellor of CUNY.
7 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: So if I have --
8 so yes, I'm in favor of more support for
9 students, number one. But if I had to
10 prioritize where that support would come,
11 graduate TAP would not be at the top of my
12 list. As I mentioned before, only 8 percent
13 of -- CUNY represented only 8 percent of the
14 graduate TAP funds expended before, because
15 many of our students didn't qualify for it.
16 At the top of our list I would put
17 extending the number of semesters for which
18 TAP is available. Right now, less than Pell.
19 And students tend to burn through their TAP
20 funds. So that would be high on my list.
21 Another item high on my list which is
22 not a direct but I believe it's an important
23 indirect support of students is the problem I
24 mentioned before, of a $50 million cost that
1 we are incurring because TAP does not cover
2 the full cost of tuition. That would be
3 money we could invest in services and
4 programs to support students.
5 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS: So perhaps
6 increasing the awards for TAP, so that way
7 the CUNY system wouldn't have to absorb that
8 credit you mentioned earlier, would be a
10 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Right, that
11 would be -- that's high on my list.
12 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS: And what
13 about expanding the income eligibility
14 threshold so more of the middle-class
15 families can qualify? Because right now --
16 well, it hasn't been increased since the year
17 2000, and that's 16 years ago.
18 I mean, it really, I think, should be
19 modernized, that schedule. And right now the
20 cap is at $80,000 household income, which
21 when you take the other costs of living in
22 the State of New York that are continuing to
23 rise, you know, I think that perhaps we
24 should be modernizing that number. My
1 proposal would be $100,000. But, you know,
2 if you're a family of four children to put
3 through college, you can't do so on $80,000
4 household income, in addition to a mortgage
5 and other expenses.
6 So I just want to know what your
7 opinion would be and if we would see more
8 CUNY students be eligible if that threshold
9 was increased.
10 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: You know, I'd
11 have to look at the data to see where that
12 would fall on my list of priorities, but I
13 think it's worth looking at if it hasn't been
14 changed in 16 years.
15 But I think the first two that I
16 mentioned, increasing the level to pay the
17 full cost of tuition and expanding the number
18 of semesters of TAP availability, would still
19 be first and second on my list.
20 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS: Okay,
21 great. Thank you for sharing your opinion.
22 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Thank you.
23 SENATOR LaVALLE: Senator Stavisky.
24 SENATOR STAVISKY: Thank you,
2 I think I heard you say, in response
3 to the question about whether the
4 $240 million would be sufficient to cover the
5 collective bargaining requirements, you said
6 that would be sufficient.
7 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: You can check
8 the record, of course, but I don't think
9 that's what I said.
10 SENATOR STAVISKY: That's why I'm
11 asking the question.
12 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I think I said
13 it would certainly be a help.
14 SENATOR STAVISKY: It would be
16 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Yeah.
17 SENATOR STAVISKY: But that
18 $240 million is contingent upon the city
19 assuming the 30 percent of the cost of the
20 college -- of CUNY, which initially,
21 obviously, the state took over during the
22 fiscal crises earlier -- 10, 12 years ago,
24 Would the current downturn in the
1 economy -- we see the stock market not being
2 as vigorous as we would perhaps like -- how
3 is any economic difficulty going to affect
4 this entire program? Is this going to
5 present additional problems in terms of
6 providing the services that we want to see?
7 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Any reduction in
8 CUNY's budget would certainly affect the
9 programs that we offer today. And in fact,
10 as I hope I have argued, and even more so
11 hope it's convincing, that an additional
12 investment in CUNY is necessary to provide
13 the kinds of services that our students
14 need -- who often face greater challenges
15 than the population of college students at
16 large -- to succeed.
17 And so we need to do more things like
18 ASAP, we need to do more things like
19 effective remediation programs like CUNY
20 Start and Summer Start. We need to hire
21 many, many more academic advisors -- which
22 is, by the way, one of the, I think, most
23 important elements of success of ASAP, is the
24 fact that those students, there are far fewer
1 students per advisor in that program.
2 So we need to make more investments to
3 do that kind of thing, I think. Certainly
4 not less.
5 SENATOR STAVISKY: And I'm delighted
6 that you spoke about ASAP, because I've asked
7 that question to your predecessors, and I'm
8 absolutely convinced it's something that
9 needs to be replicated, not eliminated.
10 Two quick questions. You mentioned
11 nearly a thousand new faculty. Are they
12 full-time or adjuncts?
13 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Full-time.
14 SENATOR STAVISKY: Full-time.
15 And lastly, the critical maintenance
16 issue. I represent two of your facilities,
17 Queens College and Queensborough. They're
18 both in my Senate district. But I'm very
19 familiar with the entire CUNY -- all of the
20 CUNY campuses, and many of them are crumbling
21 because they were built so many years ago.
22 And critical maintenance is not sufficient to
23 put them into the position where students are
24 going to be safe in these buildings.
1 So how do you see the capital money --
2 how essential or how critical is the capital
3 money versus the critical maintenance?
4 Because critical maintenance obviously cannot
5 be used for new construction.
6 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Yeah, it -- this
7 would be a very difficult choice to make on
8 choosing one above the other. I think the
9 critical maintenance money gets a little bit
10 of an edge because these are facilities that
11 we already own, that we need to make
12 improvements in to keep them functioning. So
13 that is absolutely essential.
14 And as you know, if you don't make
15 progress on a backlog of deferred
16 maintenance, it only gets worse.
17 SENATOR STAVISKY: Exactly.
18 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: And so we've
19 been making progress, and I certainly hope
20 that we can continue to.
21 But for our students to be graduating
22 in health professions and STEM disciplines
23 and in other areas where some of the best
24 opportunities are for them, they have to have
1 the same kinds of facilities, the same kinds
2 of lab space, the same kinds of tools that
3 students at competing universities do. And
4 this can't be done by retrofitting a
5 hundred-year-old building, in many cases.
6 And so the kinds of buildings that we've been
7 building are often science and technology
8 buildings, and that has to be new
10 If I could follow up quickly on two
11 things. One, the full-time faculty. These
12 996 were full-time, and that's a huge, hugely
13 important investment.
14 But if you look over time at the ratio
15 of full-time and adjunct faculty, we're still
16 way below where we were earlier in terms of
17 (A) the absolute number of full-time faculty,
18 but certainly the percentage of full-time
19 faculty to the total professoriate. So 996
20 is a good start, but we need to continue
21 doing that, especially when, as I mentioned
22 earlier, we added 55,000 students over the
23 last decade to CUNY.
24 The second thing I would say is that
1 since you mentioned one of the campuses you
2 represent, that I neglected to mention that
3 my colleague, President FÈlix Matos
4 RodrÌguez, is here, in case there's a special
5 question for Queens College. But he's here
6 to support me, because he knows I need it.
7 SENATOR STAVISKY: Having gone to
8 graduate school there, I appreciate Queens
10 Last question. Of the 996 new
11 faculty, presumably none of them have a
12 contract. Do they have a contract?
13 Let me rephrase the question. Has it
14 been difficult to recruit faculty because of
15 the collective bargaining issues that have
16 not been resolved in the last five or six
18 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: So I'm not
19 directly involved in recruiting faculty; I've
20 hired six presidents, I'm going to hire four
21 more this year. Both CUNY's budget situation
22 and particularly some of the issues discussed
23 with Chair Glick and Chair LaValle earlier
24 are certainly -- they are extremely important
1 issues in any discussion.
2 And I would say that equally important
3 is our failure to reach an agreement with our
4 faculty, and certainly something that the
5 people that I'm recruiting are concerned
7 SENATOR STAVISKY: Thank you.
8 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
10 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
11 Mr. Lupinacci.
12 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Good
13 afternoon, Chancellor.
14 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Hi.
15 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: I know we've
16 mentioned about the thousand new full-time
17 faculty. Could you just give us a little
18 overview in terms of what were the major
19 areas CUNY hired in the past several years?
20 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: You mean the
21 disciplines for the thousand?
22 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Yes.
23 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I can't. I'd be
24 happy to get it to you, but I can't tell you
1 what it is.
2 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Okay. And I
3 guess this was just leading into some
4 programs you guys see in your upcoming budget
5 and how successful some of the remedial
6 programs have been. I don't know if you
7 could just speak a little bit about that,
8 because I just wanted to see if some of the
9 thousand that were hired went to remediation,
10 whether it was in mathematics or writing.
11 And, you know, just see how successful
12 programs have been in that.
13 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Again, I'll have
14 to get you the information on where they
15 went, because I can't comment. I don't know
16 if any of my colleagues behind me have that
17 handy, but I'd be happy to get that to you.
18 We have continued to make investments
19 in the programs that address remediation. We
20 are doubling the number of students who
21 participate in CUNY Start, which is a
22 specific program which costs $75 but in most
23 cases we remit that cost, so it costs the
24 students very little, and try to get their
1 remedial needs out of the way.
2 I can tell you that 408 of those are
3 at community colleges, but I still can't tell
4 you what disciplines.
5 So that's an area where we've been
6 making additional investments. Chancellor
7 Zimpher mentioned earlier different
8 strategies on trying to overcome what is the
9 most significant challenge that we have with
10 developmental needs, and that's in
11 mathematics. And we are similarly
12 experimenting, piloting programs from the
13 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
14 Teaching, and Quantways and Statways, to try
15 to find other ways to help our students get
16 the math that they will need in their degree
17 program and to be successful later, but that
18 have higher success rates.
19 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: And just in
20 terms of -- I know you've seen a significant
21 increase, about 5 percent or about, you said,
22 13,000 students, in terms of the past several
23 years, in terms of an increase. Do you think
24 the students are better prepared coming into
1 CUNY or less prepared or the same as they've
2 been the past few years?
3 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Over the last
4 few years I would probably say we haven't
5 seen much difference. If you look at the
6 percentage of students who present with
7 remedial education needs, the percentage has
8 not changed that much.
9 So given that we've grown, the
10 absolute number has probably gone up, but the
11 percentage seems to be about the same. It's
12 about 80 percent of our community colleges.
13 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Thank you very
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
17 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you very
19 Senator Diane Savino.
20 SENATOR SAVINO: Thank you, Senator
22 Good afternoon, Chancellor.
23 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Good afternoon.
24 SENATOR SAVINO: Not to belabor the
1 point, I want to go back to the outstanding
2 contracts, just so I understand.
3 In your testimony you said that
4 they've been working without a contract for
5 more than five years and thus far you have
6 been -- the university has been unable to
7 reach an agreement. Can you shed some light
8 on why? What is getting in the way of
9 settling these contracts?
10 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I'm not sure how
11 much I can go into this in this setting --
12 SENATOR SAVINO: Without revealing
13 trade secrets, of course.
14 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I'm sorry?
15 SENATOR SAVINO: Without revealing
16 trade secrets, of course.
17 Well, what seems -- is it there's not
18 enough money to settle it? I'm assuming the
19 CUNY unions are likely going to achieve
20 something with respect to the citywide
21 pattern. You know, there's -- generally,
22 pattern bargaining kind of stretches across
23 all the municipal unions, so I'm assuming
24 that would be somewhere around that.
1 So there's two questions I have. One,
2 what seems to getting in the way of settling
3 a contract? And two, is the $240 million
4 that's referenced in your testimony, would
5 that be sufficient to cover the pattern
6 that's already been established, or is that
8 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: You know, my
9 recollection is that the 240 represents a
10 number that is very close what would be --
11 I'm just going to lay this out. My
12 understanding of this, if you took a
13 4 percent increase in 2010 and moved it
14 forward, the total commitment for the
15 retroactive component would be about
16 240 million for the PSC. It wouldn't be for
17 the total faculty -- or total staff at CUNY.
18 SENATOR SAVINO: Right, because you
19 also have DC 37 outstanding.
20 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: So I think
21 that's a pretty close approximation of that
23 SENATOR SAVINO: But do you have a
24 sense of what all of the outstanding
1 contracts could potentially cost?
2 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Well, again, if
3 you --
4 SENATOR SAVINO: If we adhere to the
5 pattern, the existing pattern that's been
6 established by the other municipal unions.
7 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Well, which
8 pattern, the state or the city pattern?
9 SENATOR SAVINO: City. Assuming, if
10 it was the city pattern.
11 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I don't think we
12 follow the city pattern. But, I mean, we
13 have in the past followed, I am told --
14 obviously I've been here a little over a
15 year, and we haven't had a contract in over
16 five years --
17 SENATOR SAVINO: Somebody's coming.
18 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: -- but we have
19 followed a sort of a combination between the
20 city and the state in the past.
21 And this gentleman who has showed up
22 to my left is the vice chancellor for budget
23 and finance at CUNY.
24 SENATOR SAVINO: So I guess I should
1 ask him.
2 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I'm not sure if
3 he's going to further my goal of not
4 completely answering your question or whether
5 he's going to answer it.
7 SENATOR SAVINO: By the way, if you
8 don't know the answer, that's fine. I mean,
9 it's just -- you're trying to figure out like
10 is the amount of money that you're claiming
11 is sufficient, or even that the Governor is
12 proposing, or CUNY is proposing, is it
13 sufficient to cover retroactivity of all of
14 these bargaining units, assuming you have a
15 ballpark figure that you think it is?
16 VICE CHANCELLOR SAPIENZA: Yeah.
17 During last year's legislative session, our
18 faculty and Professional Staff Congress had
19 quoted a number of $240 million was needed
20 for retroactive increases. But since then,
21 now a whole year has gone by, so the
22 retroactive increases are actually more,
23 because we have to cover another year.
24 So following that pattern, following
1 that number that was put out there last year
2 by the union, the retroactive costs for all
3 of our unions will now be well over
4 $300 million.
5 SENATOR SAVINO: That's important for
6 us to know.
7 And finally, I would be remiss if I
8 did not bring up my favorite subject with
9 you, and that's of course the Murphy
10 Institute. As you know, the Governor's
11 budget includes $500,000 for the maintenance
12 of the Murphy Institute. The Legislature put
13 up a million and a half last year; we are
14 advocating to do the same thing this year.
15 But, you know, I continue to push,
16 along with other members of the
17 Legislature -- I know Assemblywoman Glick is
18 a big supporter of this -- for making the
19 Murphy Institute a separate school inside
20 CUNY. You know, it's growing, it is the
21 institution where working people are able to
22 come later on in life, achieve a degree,
23 elevate their education, improve their
24 economic standards. And I really think it's
1 something we need to continue this discussion
2 to make it a free-standing school inside of
3 CUNY, because every year they shouldn't have
4 to come, hat in hand, to the Legislature to,
5 you know, demand money. We need to find a
6 way to provide stable, secure funding for the
7 Murphy Institute.
8 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I -- thank you,
9 Senator. I think our schools would tell you
10 that their budgets are probably no more
12 I welcome the investment that the
13 Legislature has made, and thank you. As you
14 know from our conversations, I support the
15 work of the Murphy Institute. We're making
16 additional investments in hires this year.
17 And we will continue to support and look for
18 ways for it continue to do an even better job
19 of what it does. So I welcome the
20 investment, and I thank you for your --
21 SENATOR SAVINO: You're welcome.
22 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: -- support, and
23 we'll consider to take that under advisement.
24 SENATOR SAVINO: And hopefully
1 post-budget we can have that meeting of all
2 the stakeholders to figure out what we can do
3 to support the Murphy Institute.
4 Thank you.
5 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Thank you.
6 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
7 Assemblywoman Glick.
8 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: I wanted to ask
9 a follow-up.
10 In the last budget there was an
11 inclusion of a STEM scholarship for the
12 students who were in the top 10 percent of
13 their high schools who wanted to pursue a
14 STEM discipline. And I'm wondering whether
15 CUNY has had a substantial increase, some
16 interest, are people coming to you and saying
17 "We had no idea"?
18 I'm just trying to gauge how effective
19 that program is, whether it has driven more
20 of the top 10 percent students to the City
21 University or not.
22 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: The timing last
23 year made recruitment difficult for the
24 following academic year. I'm told that we
1 were able to get about 80 students last year
2 in the STEM scholarship program, and an
3 additional 30 this year, I think. So I think
4 there's obviously room to grow as it becomes
5 better known.
6 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you.
7 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
8 Senator Krueger.
9 SENATOR KRUEGER: Hi.
10 I know many of us have asked
11 variations on the question, but I'll just try
12 to be as direct as I can. CUNY has what
13 percentage low-income students of color?
14 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I may have to
15 unpack this a little bit. Our numbers show
16 that it's about 38 percent of our students
17 report households of less than $20,000.
18 Students of color, I think there are
19 about -- just less than 22 white --
20 22 percent white students at CUNY today. And
21 I could give you a breakdown on demographics,
22 but --
23 SENATOR KRUEGER: That's okay.
24 So if the Governor's proposal to cut
1 $485 million out of your budget became real,
2 then we would be taking 30 percent of the
3 funding out of the higher education
4 university that's serving disproportionately
5 the lowest income, largest population of
6 students of color in the state. Would that
7 be correct to say?
8 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Well, I have
9 not -- let me just say I have not heard a
10 representation that the 485 million would be
11 a cut. The original proposal was a shift in
12 the funding source.
13 But just hypothetically, if you were
14 to say a $485 million cut, it would be an
15 existential threat to CUNY. That is such an
16 enormous figure that it would represent many
17 of our colleges. And you couldn't possibly,
18 in any rational way, approach a reduction at
19 that level. It would affect so many of our
21 And so I don't think that has been
22 proposed, and so I'm hesitant to even react
23 to it. But hypothetically, yes, that would
24 be -- it would have a huge impact on CUNY and
1 on the students we serve.
2 SENATOR KRUEGER: Well, the state
3 hasn't proposed an equivalent cut for the
4 SUNY system, right? Only for CUNY. Correct?
5 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: The proposal to
6 shift support from the state to the city is
7 only, to my understanding, for CUNY.
8 SENATOR KRUEGER: Does the state have
9 the power to tell the City of New York where
10 it should increase its budget allocation to
12 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: It's not the
13 area of law I practice. I suspect there are
14 people who could answer that question. I
15 think there may be some disagreement about
17 SENATOR KRUEGER: My current reading
18 is that the state doesn't have the power to
19 tell the City of New York to shift
20 $485 million of its budget money to CUNY, so
21 I do interpret this as a proposed cut to
23 Let's say I'm right. What do you do
24 on Day 1 of the new budget year when you
1 don't have that $485 million?
2 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: That is -- I
3 haven't laid out what the scenario would be
4 yet, because I can't imagine that that is a
5 possibility. I can't imagine that -- I don't
6 think that was the proposal, and I can't
7 imagine it is a possibility. It would be --
8 it would represent an enormous reduction in
9 the capacity of CUNY.
10 As I said, you could -- numerous
11 colleges, depending on how you did this,
12 would have to be closed, or you'd take a 30
13 percent decrease across the entire system,
14 which would -- I can't even imagine how
15 devastating that kind of a reduction would be
16 and how many of our students it would affect
17 adversely. So -- but again, I don't -- I
18 don't think that was the proposal, and so
19 I'm -- I'm certainly not planning for that.
20 SENATOR KRUEGER: And you have 275,000
21 students in the CUNY system?
22 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Do we have
23 275,000? Yes, we --
24 SENATOR KRUEGER: Is that the right
2 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: -- have 275,000
3 degree-seeking students this year, and about
4 an equal number of adult and continuing ed
6 SENATOR KRUEGER: So I just did a
7 little math. If you did have to take the
8 $485 million cut over 275,000 students, you
9 would have to potentially raise each of their
10 tuition by $1800 a year. You think they
11 could do that?
12 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: I haven't done
13 the math, so I'll have to take your word for
15 SENATOR KRUEGER: Can you imagine
16 telling everybody it's $1800 more per year?
17 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: No, I don't
18 think with our student body, that would be
19 feasible. And it would have to start by you
20 approving it.
21 SENATOR KRUEGER: And there's been
22 back-and-forth around whether $240 million
23 gets you how far towards your contract
24 negotiations. Is it your understanding that
1 this was resolved for SUNY with state money
2 in previous years?
3 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: It is my
4 understanding that in 2010 there was a
5 4 percent increase provided to SUNY faculty
6 and staff supported by the state, yes. That
7 is my understanding.
8 SENATOR KRUEGER: There was a
9 reference to that there was, once upon a
10 time, that the city did pay more towards
11 CUNY, and that was -- I think my colleague
12 misspoke, that was more like 40 years ago to
13 45 years ago now.
14 Do you think there's a justification
15 for the state government to have a different
16 set of policies for students going to higher
17 ed that live in five counties of New York
18 versus the other 57 counties of New York?
19 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: You know, I
20 tried to make clear in my testimony, I don't
21 think that this is an issue that I will get
22 to resolve. And so I'm not sure that I'm
23 going to weigh in with an opinion about
24 the -- whether the state can have two sets of
1 policies for CUNY and SUNY financing.
2 They have two different makeups now.
3 You were inquiring earlier about governance.
4 SUNY has institutional boards for its
5 community college boards, which the majority
6 of the appointees are from local sponsors.
7 CUNY has no such provisions, they have no
8 local boards. The majority of the governance
9 of CUNY is from the CUNY Board of Trustees.
10 Whether it's the community colleges or the
11 senior colleges, the majority of those
12 appointments are made by the governor --
13 10 -- and five by the mayor, with also an
14 elected voting student member and a nonvoting
15 faculty member.
16 So there are significant differences
17 already. As you know better than I, there
18 are differences dating from '79 and earlier
19 in the ways that the funding is distributed
20 for CUNY. But I think the legislation is
21 instructive, and I think on its face the
22 legislation recognizes the obligation of the
23 state to support public higher education,
24 whether it's upstate New York or whether it's
1 in New York City. And of course the state
2 has done that for many years.
3 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you.
4 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Any more from the
6 Okay. So, Chancellor, I appreciate
7 the opportunity to spend some time with you
8 earlier today. I really enjoyed it.
9 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Thank you.
10 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: I'm glad to hear
11 that you have a farming background and know
12 how to milk a cow, being from Nebraska
13 originally. And so I did have a couple of
15 You talk about the community colleges
16 and the abysmal graduation rate of as low as
17 20 percent. And I'm very happy to see in
18 your testimony that you have undertaken a
19 major initiative to address that fact, called
20 the ASAP program, which provides, from what I
21 can tell, as you outlined, very intensive
22 care and attention to the students that seem
23 to be failing right now. Because as you
24 point out, they're investing in higher
1 education, they have the debt, they have the
2 bills, and then they don't get the education,
3 and so it's a double whammy.
4 I was wondering what the graduation
5 rate overall for the 275,000 CUNY students
6 is, because I didn't see it in the testimony.
7 So if you could explain to us what that
8 actually is.
9 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: So on average,
10 we typically measure in four- and six-year
11 graduation rates for senior colleges
12 nationally, and two- and three-year
13 graduation rates for community colleges.
14 The four-year graduation rate
15 overall -- and I'll get you these numbers
16 specifically in case my memory is a little
17 off -- is about 45 percent; for community
18 colleges, it's around 20, a little less.
19 Important to note, though, I think,
20 that the urban community colleges across the
21 country's average graduation rate is about
22 15 percent. So this is a challenge that is
23 not unique to New York, certainly not unique
24 to CUNY, and we must find a way to address
1 the needs of those students. Right now,
2 unfortunately, too many of them come with
3 developmental education needs. We need to
4 continue to try to figure out how to address
5 that, both at the middle school and high
6 school level, at the transition, and once
7 they get to college. And we have a lot of
8 successful programs in place, and we're
10 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: So how does the
11 45 percent compare nationally?
12 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Well, I don't
13 know what the -- first of all, you can't
14 compare it -- you have to compare these
15 figures to like places. I suspect Harvard's
16 graduation rate in four years is over
17 90 percent, but they start with a student
18 profile that is very different than the
19 profile of students who come to CUNY.
20 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: So --
21 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: So we compare to
22 similar public institutions. I'd be happy to
23 get you the comparisons that give you a peer
24 comparison, to show how we do.
1 But as I acknowledge in my testimony,
2 this is an area that we see as one of the
3 most important challenges we face. We're in
4 no way alone on this, if you look at public
5 higher education across the country, with its
6 urban community college or the large state
7 universities all over. They all have
8 graduation rates that are not what you would
9 hope they would be and what I would hope they
10 would be.
11 For many years, public higher
12 education in this country focused on
13 affordability and access, I would suggest
14 almost to the exclusion of success. It was
15 all about providing affordable access. And
16 more recently we have, at CUNY and everywhere
17 else, I think put considerably more attention
18 on timely degree completion and what kinds of
19 things we can do to support that.
20 So if you said to me what could we do
21 that would help you improve your graduation
22 rates more than anything, well, one is the
23 adequate financial support for students -- I
24 mean, these are all components of ASAP --
1 that will allow them to attend full-time,
2 because it just -- you know, it makes sense
3 that if you are in a senior college and
4 you're taking 15 credits a semester, your
5 chances of graduating in a timely way are
6 much better than if you're going part-time
7 because you can't afford it.
8 But then there are investments in
9 full-time faculty, which I think are
10 incredibly important and we've just made.
11 And another would be academic advising and
12 the other kinds of support. The best funded
13 universities, certainly all elite
14 universities, have considerably more
15 resources invested in the support of their
16 students. It's ironic that at CUNY we
17 probably need that investment more than at
18 most colleges and universities, but we don't
19 have resources to do it.
20 So I think those are the kinds of
21 things that could make the greatest
22 difference for us.
23 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you. I was
24 interested to hear you mention middle- and
1 high school students, and I was wondering
2 what your relationship is with the city
3 school system and how does that work, and are
4 there ways that that could be improved?
5 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: First of all, we
6 have a deep and long-standing relationship
7 with the city schools, the DOE. We have
8 about 25,000 students in Early College and
9 College Now programs, where either on
10 weekends or during the class day we're
11 providing an opportunity to take college
13 We have programs throughout the city
14 where we offer college courses and in fact
15 allow an associate degree at the same time
16 you can get a high school degree. So there
17 are many, many programs, it's an impressive
18 array of programs and partnerships with the
19 city. And we are working with them all the
20 time to see how we can better address their
21 issues with preparation and proficiency of
23 Ours -- Chancellor Zimpher said this
24 is a challenge that all of us own. There is
1 no throwing anything over the wall. We
2 produce 30 percent of the teachers for
3 New York City. Six of our colleges are in
4 the top colleges in terms of the number of
5 teachers hired each year in New York. So we
6 have a role in both making sure that students
7 are prepared through sending great teachers
8 to the high schools and the middle schools,
9 and then also addressing remediation needs
10 once they arrive.
11 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you for that.
12 You've made it abundantly clear you
13 don't like the Governor's funding proposal as
14 far as, you know, the structure that he's set
15 up. But I also wanted to ask about the
16 tuition increase, because you're in favor of
17 the tuition increase. And as you know, it
18 would be annually for the next four years.
19 So what assurance could the State
20 legislature have that that tuition increase
21 would be used on enhancing student outcomes?
22 What are the plans for that funding if it
23 were to occur?
24 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Well, I can tell
1 you -- maybe the best predictor of future
2 behavior is past performance. And with the
3 last four years, the first four years of
4 investment in this, the program -- most of
5 the money went to either hiring faculty -- as
6 I mentioned, almost a thousand new full-time
7 faculty -- and investing in student support
8 programs, advising and others.
9 We would continue to do the same; in
10 fact, we would welcome language that is
11 suggested now that focuses the investment on
12 those needs. As I mentioned, we are not
13 planning to raise tuition for community
14 colleges, which is 100,000 of our 275,000
15 students. But the funding that we need going
16 forward is to invest in our students'
18 And by the way, I think probably the
19 single most important element of student
20 success is having highly qualified faculty
21 who are working with those students. And so
22 not only do we need to be in a position to
23 hire new faculty, as we have, we need to be
24 in a position to support those faculty we
1 already have.
2 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
3 And you looked a little puzzled, but I
4 meant the Governor's plan that would have --
5 because the CUNY Board of Trustees is
6 appointed by the city and they're one-third,
7 they should pay 30 percent of the cost, and
8 that's what I was referencing. And that's
9 something that you said that would be
10 problematic for you. Correct?
11 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: The -- I'm
12 sorry, what would be problematic?
13 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: The $485 million.
14 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: It would be
15 devastating if it were a reduction in CUNY's
16 budget, I think is what I said.
17 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Right. And so
18 the -- you know, and so just --
19 the Governor's rationale is that because a
20 third of the CUNY Board of Trustees is
21 appointed by the city, the city should take
22 on some financial responsibility for the CUNY
24 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Yes, I
1 understand that position.
2 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Yup. So thank you.
3 Thank you very much.
4 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Thank you.
5 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
6 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you. I think
7 we're done. So we appreciate your being
9 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Okay, thank you
10 very much.
11 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
12 much, Chancellor.
13 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN: Thank you.
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: New York State
16 Education Department, Commissioner MaryEllen
18 Good afternoon.
19 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Good afternoon.
20 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: I'm glad; I thought
21 we'd have gotten to night by now.
22 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Hello. It's a
23 pleasure to be here with you all again.
24 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Again.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Again.
2 COMMISSIONER ELIA: So good afternoon,
3 Chairs Young, Farrell, and Glick, and members
4 of the Senate and Assembly that are here
5 today. As was just pointed out, I'm
6 MaryEllen Elia, the commissioner of
8 I am joined by Executive Deputy
9 Commissioner Beth Berlin, Senior Deputy
10 Commissioner Jhone Ebert, Deputy Commissioner
11 for the Office of Higher Education John
12 D'Agati, Deputy Commissioner for the Office
13 of the Professions Doug Lentivech, and we
14 have with us Kevin Smith, who is deputy
15 commissioner for access.
16 You have my full testimony before you.
17 I know you have many people in the room to
18 hear from, I'm sure, so I'll try to be brief
19 so we leave time for any questions you may
21 As you can see on Slides 2 through 4,
22 we know from multiple indicators that college
23 access and completion matters. Higher
24 college attainment translates to higher
1 earnings and lower unemployment rates. And
2 we know that jobs that require post-secondary
3 education will grow faster than occupations
4 that require a high school diploma or less.
5 That is why a major priority of the Regents'
6 agenda relates to increasing access to higher
7 education, particularly for the
8 underrepresented students, and seeing these
9 students through to completion of their
11 As you can see on Slides 5 through 9,
12 the Regents request an increase of
13 $9.75 million for the Higher Education
14 Opportunity Programs. These programs serve
15 students that are at the highest risk of
16 either not attending college or not
17 completing a degree. And they all have a
18 demonstrated record of success, including a
19 92 percent graduation rate for Liberty
20 Partnerships seniors in 2015, 81 percent of
21 whom went on to college.
22 Our focus on access and completion
23 extended to the Workgroup to Improve Outcomes
24 for Boys and Young Men of Color led by Regent
1 Lester Young. Among the group's
2 recommendations, highlighted on Slides 10 and
3 11, was a request for $8 million to support
4 expansion of the Teacher Opportunity Corps,
5 which is focused on recruitment and
6 preparation of teachers of color.
7 I want to thank you for your
8 investments in early college high schools and
9 P-TECH schools. As you can see on Slides 12
10 through 15, these programs have been
11 extremely successful. We urge you, however,
12 to make these programs permanent in state law
13 rather than forcing them to rely on
14 year-to-year funding decisions in the
15 State Budget.
16 The districts, BOCES, colleges, and
17 business partners involved in the
18 partnerships make multiyear commitments to
19 the success of the students, and the state
20 should too. As you know, the Regents have
21 been advocates of the New York State DREAM
22 Act, highlighted on Slide 16. It's time for
23 New York to stop punishing students for
24 decisions that they had no control over, and
1 give them the opportunities to succeed that
2 they have earned.
3 As you can see on Slide 17, the
4 Regents are also requesting that you make a
5 $10 million investment in Bridge programs to
6 enable out-of-school youth to obtain
7 essential basic skills.
8 On Slide 18, we highlight the resource
9 needs of the department. We're urgently
10 seeking your support to ensure that the
11 department is funded at a level that allows
12 us to implement the critical laws that you
14 For example, last year a new law was
15 passed to address the troubling incidents of
16 sexual assaults on college campuses. SED was
17 charged with conducting a new audit process
18 which we had no experience with or capacity,
19 really, to implement -- with no new
20 resources. At the same time, the other
21 agencies charged with implementing other
22 provisions of the law were provided
23 $10 million for implementation. This is not
24 a sustainable model.
1 On Slides 19 to 23, we provide you
2 with updates on the work of the Office of
3 Professions. And I want to bring particular
4 attention to the issue of e-licensing on
5 Slide 23. This is an issue of great
6 importance to the department. In 2009, the
7 Legislature approved a 15 percent
8 registration fee increase so that we could
9 replace a 35-year-old COBOL-based licensing
10 system and enhance our customer experience.
11 And we again thank you for your bipartisan
12 efforts to make these resources available to
13 the department.
14 However, there was an effort to create
15 a statewide licensing solution, and
16 unfortunately those efforts have resulted in
17 a product that cannot meet the needs of our
18 complex processes. The department requested
19 authority to spend $4.3 million in existing
20 funds we have on hand in the professions
21 account to develop our own system, but
22 unfortunately that authority was not provided
23 in the proposed budget.
24 If this is not addressed in the 30-day
1 budget amendments, we request that your
2 one-house budgets provide this authority to
3 allow us to build a system to better serve
4 our constituents.
5 Before I take your questions, I want
6 to again thank you for the opportunity to
7 discuss our priorities with you. As I
8 mentioned at the Education budget hearing,
9 there has been a significant focus on
10 economic development and infrastructure in
11 the proposed budget. However, if you do not
12 invest in our education and our workforce
13 pipeline, from pre-K through post-secondary
14 education and the professions, then the
15 investments in economic development and
16 infrastructure will have a limited impact.
17 We need to both maintain and further
18 strengthen our system of higher education,
19 including the City and State University
20 systems in New York, as we strive to assure
21 broad access to affordable and high-quality
22 opportunities for educational advancement.
23 Thank you, and I look forward to our
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
3 Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, chair.
4 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Good afternoon.
5 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Good afternoon.
6 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Last year we --
7 over the last couple of years we've actually
8 added to the Opportunity Programs. A few
9 years ago it was 3 percent, last year it was
10 20 percent -- I see that you've asked for
11 additional resources for these very important
12 and very supportive programs for students.
13 I'm wondering, has all of the money
14 gone out? Is there a lag time? And if we
15 were to add additional resources, would that
16 be to expand existing programs or would it be
17 to add new programs at different
19 COMMISSIONER ELIA: So right now our
20 requests are specific to the programs. For
21 the Liberty Partnership program, which I
22 pointed out has a very high percentage of
23 students who have been successful --
24 92 percent have graduated from high school,
1 and then of those 92 percent a very high
2 percentage go right into college -- there
3 specifically is a $750,000 increase, or
4 2.5 percent, to the existing programs.
5 So from the perspective of are we
6 expanding to new programs, we really feel
7 like there's much opportunity, in programs
8 where we really see performance is occurring,
9 to expand those programs and open them up to
10 more students.
11 In the Science and Technology Entry
12 Program, or the STEP program, we're asking
13 for a $2.5 million increase to fully fund
14 what is one currently partially funded -- to
15 fund an additional five programs. So those
16 programs that are in place, we're asking to
17 be able to expand those. This would serve an
18 additional 2,500 students in that program.
19 And by the way, both of those programs
20 address the issues of middle- and high-school
21 students. So I know that that had come up,
22 Senator Young, on the issue -- the questions
23 that you asked Chancellor Milliken. And we
24 do believe that that is extremely important.
1 We have great success with those programs and
2 want to expand them.
3 The Collegiate Science and Technology
4 Entry Program, or CSTEP, that's -- we're
5 requesting a $4 million increase to fully
6 fund the current partially funded programs,
7 and to fund an additional 17 programs. And
8 again, that would expand it to 1,900
9 additional students.
10 The Higher Education Opportunity
11 Program, which is a $2.5 million increase to
12 raise support to $6,500 per student. For
13 current programs -- but for every dollar
14 New York spends on the HEOP program,
15 independent colleges have a $6 or often a
16 higher match. So when we put money into
17 those programs, we're getting more out of
18 that. It serves over 4,600 students in
19 53 programs.
20 And just for your information, in that
21 program, 81 percent of the HEOP students
22 graduate college.
23 Now you heard some of the difficulties
24 that both SUNY and CUNY had in raising the
1 number of students that are graduating in
2 either a four-year graduation or a six-year
3 graduation rate. But when you have programs
4 like this, what it's doing is it's actually
5 addressing the issues that Chancellor
6 Milliken talked about, which is providing
7 supports for students so that they can be
9 And then the Teacher Opportunity Corps
10 is the last one that's included there. It's
11 an $8 million increase to support new and
12 expand current programs, enhancing curriculum
13 and recruitment and retention of teachers of
15 This is a huge issue for us. We are
16 going to face in New York severe shortages --
17 in some areas we do now -- but it is going to
18 continue to get worse, and particularly for
19 students of color. This particular program,
20 it's serving -- now, in six programs, we're
21 serving 87 students, but 95 percent of those
22 students are retained in the high-needs
23 districts after five years of teaching there.
24 So programs that have been successful
1 where we haven't expanded, we feel that the
2 best use of the funding, the additional
3 funding, is to take something that's been
4 already successful and expand it.
5 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: In the past
6 there have been some lags in getting dollars
7 out the door prior to your arrival. So what
8 I would ask now is, do we think we've reached
9 a point where whether it's an RFP or
10 whatever, that the timing has now been
11 adjusted so that the programs can retain the
12 talented staff that they have when there's a
14 The programs that are on the ground
15 run out of money in order to retain staff,
16 and then there's this gap, and they are
17 frustrated and upset and they lose people and
18 then -- so this fit-and-start, if you will.
19 There was some understanding that years ago,
20 when our budgets would -- we'd never know
21 when they would actually be passed. We're
22 now on a trajectory where there's a lot of
23 certainty about when the budget will pass,
24 and I'm just wondering whether the agency has
1 been able to adjust to that so that there is
2 in fact no longer going to be -- have the
3 dollars gone out the door?
4 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Well, I'm going to
5 ask John D'Agati to give you some specific
6 information, but I can tell you the
7 fit-and-start deal is a major problem.
8 And I think one of the things -- we've
9 got a couple of other programs we can also
10 mention that relate to our students that are
11 in high school still, and both the P-TECH
12 program, the Early College High School, where
13 I mentioned in my comments that if we don't
14 let them know that that funding is coming
15 every year, they have to wait for the budgets
16 to pass. And that's a major problem when so
17 many people are investing as partners in
18 these students, and they're never sure if
19 they're going to be able to finish out the
20 cohorts and make sure that the programs are
22 So John, if you could address the
23 issue of where we are in terms of getting the
24 money out.
1 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER D'AGATI: I think
2 all of the Opportunity Programs are now --
3 the funding is all flowing properly.
4 I know that we've had delays when
5 there's a new RFP and then we're getting all
6 the approvals and getting it all cycled
7 through. We are going to try to start
8 earlier in the process so that we have more
9 time allowed on the back end to have the RFP
10 process, you know, go through -- have it go
11 through the proper process but still get the
12 money out on time.
13 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Okay. Last year
14 we instituted a new program, the Foster Youth
15 Initiative, and I'm wondering if that is
16 again something that you have participated in
17 and if there -- if money is going out.
18 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER D'AGATI: Yeah,
19 it's in process. I believe the money is
20 starting to flow. We're waiting for certain
21 documents -- I think we're waiting for some
22 documentation from SUNY, but the money that
23 was allocated -- there was a specific amount
24 of money, and it was a specific percentage of
1 money that would go to SUNY, a percentage to
2 CUNY, and a percentage to the independent
3 sector. And the process is moving forward.
4 And the last I checked, we're just waiting
5 for certain documentation to come back and
6 the money would flow.
7 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Okay. As we're
8 looking at the potential for expanding that
9 program, are there particular pitfalls that
10 we should be aware of in that it is new, and
11 everything that's new takes some time to work
12 out the kinks, as it were. If we were to add
13 to that initiative, for a new cohort of young
14 people, could that be accommodated?
15 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER D'AGATI: Yes, but
16 I would have to get back to you if there were
17 specific pitfalls or things that we found
18 along the way, which I can certainly look at.
19 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: I would very
20 much like to know that, because we think it's
21 an important arena and we want to be sure
22 that -- these are young people who age out of
23 foster care. They sort of go off a cliff.
24 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER D'AGATI: Yeah.
1 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: They had
2 housing, and they no longer have housing.
3 They, you know, were -- perhaps had some
4 supports to go to school, now they don't. So
5 the whole point of this is to not pull the
6 rug out from under them when every other rug
7 has turned into a banana peel. So this is
8 something that's of personal interest and
10 I know you're asking for more money
11 for HEOP. But in view of the fact that it is
12 so successful as a program -- and I know you
13 want to be reasonable, but what would you
14 view as an outer limit of what could be
15 scaled up in order -- so that if -- right
16 now, I think you're seeking an additional
17 2.5 million --
18 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Right.
19 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: And I'm
20 wondering if, from your conversations with
21 different schools that are looking to add
22 programs, in a perfect world where we're
23 trying to address the supports in each of the
24 different public systems and here in the
1 private institutions, could the agency handle
2 not a $2.5 million increase but a $5 million
4 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Yes.
5 And let me say, both of the
6 chancellors mentioned the issue of support
7 for people who are in their program,
8 guidance, and giving them supports as they're
9 going through the program. And the HEOP
10 program is one of those that we've seen a lot
11 of support. I've had the opportunity to talk
12 to both of the chancellors as well as the
13 independents, the deans and presidents, and
14 all of them have said that as we can get the
15 funding to them, then they're in a position
16 to really get and push the agenda for more
17 successful students graduating on time.
18 I think it's a huge issue for us. We
19 can handle getting that out. We had, as you
20 pointed out -- it is trying to create a
21 balance of what the Regents are asking for.
22 And we have other successful programs we also
23 think should be advanced.
24 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
3 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
4 And it's always good to see you,
6 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Thank you.
7 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: And we really
8 appreciate you being here today.
9 It's interesting to hear you talk
10 about college and career readiness and the
11 different efforts underway to enhance those
12 programs, which I fully support.
13 I do want to draw to your attention,
14 however -- and you -- originally being in
15 Western New York, you understand upstate
16 very, very well. And we certainly appreciate
17 your commitment to the entire state in
18 immersing yourself in so many critical
20 I would still say to you, though, that
21 we have a fundamental problem in New York
22 State and especially in upstate areas, and
23 maybe particularly in rural areas such as the
24 ones that I represent, where there seems to
1 be a disconnect between what's being taught
2 in the public schools and what the local
3 job-market needs are.
4 And there's almost been this cultural
5 evolvement over the past several years where
6 now parents believe that in order for their
7 children to succeed, they have to leave
8 New York State. And we've seen our young
9 people leaving New York State, but also I
10 think that that attitude unfortunately
11 sometimes is in our school districts where
12 our educators, teachers, and administrators
13 almost encourage that.
14 And I teach a lot of "participation in
15 government" classes, and so I go in and I'll
16 always ask the kids, you know, how many of
17 you plan on staying after you graduate. And
18 it's very alarming to see so many hands that
19 don't go up, and there's just a few that say
20 they want to stay in their communities. And
21 so I think we've got to turn that whole thing
23 I have manufacturers in my district
24 that say, We are hungry for welders and
1 manufacturing technicians, and other
2 vocational careers and trades careers. We
3 have a tremendous shortage of healthcare
4 professionals across the entire state. And
5 those are all great careers that young people
6 can have. And so how do we get over that
7 disconnect, that lack of communication,
8 between the business community locally and
9 getting that connection, finally, between the
10 school districts and the jobs that are
11 actually existing right now in New York
12 State, and encouraging young people to say,
13 Hey, I can stay here with my family, I can
14 have a successful career, I can be here right
15 in my community and make a difference? How
16 do we change that around?
17 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Well, I think
18 there's several factors that are really
19 critical for us.
20 One of the things that I brought up in
21 my testimony when I was here last week was
22 the issue of expansion of career and
23 technical programming to not just a few high
24 schools or a few of our BOCES programs. One
1 of the most successful programs that we have
2 in the state that actually is becoming a
3 national model is the P-TECH program, which
4 takes students and really connects them not
5 only with training in a particular career but
6 with partners from the business community,
7 the manufacturing community, or whatever -- a
8 number of different job opportunities.
9 And those businesses are part of the
10 development of the curriculum, the
11 programming that's done there, and then
12 ultimately opportunities for students to go
13 in and be in those business settings. And
14 whether that's training with welders, whether
15 that's going into a manufacturing center and
16 working with people on the floor, all of that
17 is part of the P-TECH program.
18 We have 26 right now; we have seven
19 that will be starting. And that's one of the
20 things that we've requested additional
21 funding for.
22 Now, I also think that it's extremely
23 important that our local high schools connect
24 either with BOCES beyond P-TECH, but provide
1 career and technical programs there that
2 connect to their own communities.
3 Right now the City of Buffalo is
4 putting in a number of programs that are
5 partnerships with companies who have those
6 jobs, and they're working with the school
7 district to develop those programs.
8 That's a big issue. When I've talked
9 to superintendents in the state, they are not
10 as aware of what they could use as a means of
11 communicating with parents about these
12 opportunities. So part of it is a
13 communication struggle, if you will.
14 Many parents believe that they don't
15 want their child in a vocational program.
16 However, a vocational program is going to
17 give them a job that has, in many cases, a
18 much higher salary than they would receive
19 for some job that they might come out of a
20 four-year college with a degree and get --
21 because as you're aware, as you pointed out,
22 the infrastructure needs are so great that
23 the hourly rates for some of these jobs are
24 very high.
1 So I think it's a matter of focusing
2 our schools and our communities, expanding
3 the P-TECH-like programs to more
4 opportunities in schools that are not as
5 formalized as the P-TECH but also offer those
6 opportunities, and making sure that across
7 the board we're communicating with the
8 business communities and our school districts
9 to bring in partnerships and to make sure
10 that those work.
11 We're going to be applying for a
12 national grant that's been made available by
13 JPMorgan Chase through the National
14 Opportunities Group in Washington, and
15 hopefully we'll have some opportunities with
16 that, if we receive it, to spread out the
17 word on what we can do across the state to
18 expand those programs and establish those
20 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: That's great to
21 hear. And it is, however, an urgent issue,
22 because every single day we're losing people
23 who move to other states --
24 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Yeah.
1 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: -- when we want to
2 keep them home so that they can be successful
3 here in New York. And you touch on a very
4 important thing.
5 I visited my P-TECH program, for
6 example, in Chautauqua County. It's
7 extraordinarily impressive, and the students
8 are so jazzed up about it and their parents
9 are thrilled about it and, you know,
10 everything is really great as far as that
11 program goes, and they're actually developing
12 it even more.
13 But the problem, I think -- and I love
14 my BOCES programs, don't get me wrong -- is
15 over the years there's been a stigma attached
16 to BOCES. So how do you overcome that? How
17 do we make BOCES really cool and like a great
18 career opportunity and get over that stigma?
19 And I think it's better than it used to be
20 when I was in high school a million years
21 ago, but it's still there. And I talk to
22 people about it, and they'll say, Well, I
23 don't want my kids to go to a BOCES program
24 because that's where all the kids go that
1 can't do anything else.
2 So how do we overcome those hurdles?
3 How do we get there in a very short period of
4 time? And I know we've got P-TECH, we've got
5 other initiatives, I'm glad to hear about
6 this grant, but I would say to you there's
7 some marketing or branding thing that we need
8 to do with BOCES to make it really cool and
9 connect kids with jobs in the community. And
10 if we can do that, I think we'd just be
11 light-years ahead.
12 COMMISSIONER ELIA: It's one of the
13 agendas that we have in that whole concept of
14 what can we do to expand current technical
15 programs across the state.
16 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
18 Assemblyman Oaks.
19 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: Thank you,
21 Before I begin, we've also been joined
22 by Assemblyman Saladino.
23 Actually, to follow up on Senator
24 Young's comments, I do see in your
1 presentation the focus on P-TECH and a
2 request to expand that from $11 million to
3 $18 million so that we have a greater amount
4 of money going there. I know you also just
5 talked about a grant program that you're
6 looking at to try to push careers and sort of
7 the mid-skills, technical-skills types of
9 I know that, for instance, in the
10 Rochester area they've developed what they
11 call the SAME program, Summer Advanced
12 Manufacturing Enterprise. It's done with
13 local manufacturers, MCC, the county. And
14 actually Monroe County at this point is
15 funding that. I'm in the rural county next
16 door, and individuals are interested there.
17 I guess my question is, is that money
18 you're asking for in the P-TECH area just
19 going to be focused on the P-TECH schools,
20 specifically those programs, or are there
21 some opportunities for demonstration projects
22 that might be duplicated in other areas, some
23 opportunities for state funding to help,
24 again, in the summer program?
1 It's a program where you're taking
2 kids who maybe might be in other tracks and
3 putting them into the advanced manufacturing,
4 give them the experience, 10th and 11th
5 graders, and then giving them course credit
6 for what they're doing and maybe changing
7 their idea from, oh, I don't want to be an
8 engineer, I want to be a -- you know,
9 something else -- that there are jobs
10 available for me in this community -- again,
11 if I take that.
12 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Well, specifically
13 the issue of career and technical programs,
14 we asked for funding through the Regents'
15 request to expand career and technical
16 programs across the state. And the P-TECH
17 program is, as you pointed out, one way to do
18 that. It's a model that has been used, and
19 we've seen a lot of success. So the
20 opportunity to expand that beyond where we
21 are now and give it stable funding is, I
22 think, extremely important.
23 But as I said, our proposal also
24 talks, in the P-12 arena, for programming
1 that will expand career and technical
2 programs for students in regular high schools
3 and make available the opportunity for
4 certified teachers to get into that program.
5 That's also another issue. You have people
6 in the community that could come in as
7 experts and be teaching in our schools, but
8 we'd have to review all of the requirements
9 to make sure that that's an available pattern
10 or track for them to get in and be employed,
11 working with the students.
12 So we haven't any plan at this point
13 to expand the summer program, but all of the
14 work that's done at P-TECH is in fact an
15 extension all year, so we have programs
16 running all summer with those programs.
17 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: My hope would just
18 be that, you know, we have such a vast
19 state --
20 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Yes.
21 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: -- in many
22 different areas, that allowing and focusing
23 on -- and maybe we should be budgeting for
24 some additional demonstration ones, to help
1 show the way to try to, you know, help as
2 many people as we can with that.
3 I would agree also with the Senator on
4 the rebranding issue. I think it's -- and
5 hopefully -- you've said that's on the table
6 for you, looking at that. It's interesting
7 just for us locally, one of the things is
8 people are trying to do this. We actually
9 have a Career Carnival this summer --
10 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Yes.
11 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: -- that we're
12 looking at doing for eighth graders to bring
13 them together, bring local manufacturers and
14 businesses and try to, at that point, expose
15 them before they enter their eighth grade
16 year to say, I'm getting ready for high
17 school, what are the things out there
18 available for me.
19 That's just one idea of local areas to
20 do -- but I would hope that as we as a state
21 do that, that we share -- if that's a
22 success, maybe we share that, duplicate that,
23 or get ideas from around the state because we
24 have to make some progress in this area.
1 It's a shame if we have jobs that could be
2 filled but we don't have people choosing to
3 go in those areas.
4 COMMISSIONER ELIA: I recently had the
5 opportunity to speak to a group of
6 businessmen that were here representing
7 chambers of commerce around the state, and
8 they got to that very issue of we have jobs
9 that can be filled if we could let parents
10 and students know these jobs are something
11 that you can plan for, and when you walk out
12 of high school you may do some postsecondary
13 work but you'll be much quicker in a job,
14 earning a salary.
15 And a number of them have models that
16 they are doing in their own communities to
17 support high schools and letting students
18 know that this is something that is available
19 to them.
20 But I think your point about using
21 models that are successful and getting the
22 word out so that others can use that same
23 plan certainly would help.
24 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: Well, you're
1 certainly welcome on August 23rd to come out
2 to Palmyra for the Career Carnival.
3 COMMISSIONER ELIA: I know Palmyra
5 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: Thank you.
6 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Senator?
7 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
8 Senator Toby Stavisky.
9 SENATOR STAVISKY: Thank you.
10 Thank you for your comments about
11 vocational education. I spent two years
12 teaching at Thomas Edison Vocational and
13 Technical High School in Queens, and I
14 couldn't agree with you more.
15 And also I appreciate the
16 responsiveness of your office on a number of
17 issues that I brought to their attention.
18 They've been very forthright and responsive,
19 and I do appreciate it.
20 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Thank you.
21 SENATOR STAVISKY: Let me ask you just
22 a couple of questions.
23 You had this Accela, I believe it was
24 called, the program that was going to handle
1 licensure statewide. And it just wasn't
2 going to work for your department, which is
3 understandable since you have something like
4 53 or so professions to license. However, I
5 was the sponsor of the legislation in 2009
6 increasing the fees, and I took considerable
7 heat for doing that.
8 What has happened -- and I've asked
9 this question in the past of your
10 predecessors, and I never once got a
11 response. They promised to get back to me
12 and did not. What happened to the money,
13 what happened to the increased fee money that
14 was generated by the licensure?
15 COMMISSIONER ELIA: It's still there.
16 What we need is the approval so that we can
17 use that money and develop our own system for
19 So the money that we are requesting is
20 $4.3 million that is currently in our budget,
21 and I think that is reflected on page 23.
22 SENATOR STAVISKY: I have a copy.
23 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Right. So that
24 money is there.
1 SENATOR STAVISKY: It has not been
3 COMMISSIONER ELIA: No.
4 SENATOR STAVISKY: And it's been
5 reallocated every year, presumably?
6 COMMISSIONER ELIA: So this year --
7 this is a request for this year's funding,
8 but it would be over a five-year period.
9 But that funding is in the account,
10 and we specifically want to spend it so that
11 we can do the e-licensing.
12 And I want to thank you, to take the
13 opportunity to thank you publicly for that
14 work, because we have almost a million people
15 who receive their licensing through New York.
16 And I think it's a really critical thing for
17 us to be able to make that as
18 customer-friendly as possible, and one of the
19 ways to do that is to put a system in place
20 that allows for that to happen. So your
21 foresight in thinking about making sure that
22 that was available for us is really critical.
23 We tried to work with, of course, the
24 efficiency of a state single system. It
1 isn't going to work for us because of some of
2 the more specifics of this. So we need the
3 approval to move forward on that $4.3 million
4 and then in subsequent years.
5 SENATOR STAVISKY: You mentioned
6 page 23. On page 22, under Enhanced
7 Community Service, you say that in 2015,
8 processing time to issue a license was less
9 than two weeks -- on the -- toward the top.
10 First or second bullet, the first bullet
12 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Yes.
13 SENATOR STAVISKY: Now, the reason
14 I -- and I let your office know ahead of time
15 that I would be asking this question -- a
16 constituent of mine is an immigrant, a nurse
17 from another country with a green card,
18 married to an American citizen. Applied in
19 October of 2013. She did everything she was
20 supposed to do on-line, she paid the $390.
21 Let me just condense what happened to
22 her. There were a series of follow-ups, and
23 it took 11 months for that license to be
24 issued because it had to go through a group
1 called CGFNS. They're the ones who verify
2 the credentialing accuracy of the foreign
3 professional school.
4 COMMISSIONER ELIA: That's right.
5 SENATOR STAVISKY: It's called
6 Credential Verification Service for New York
7 State. Is there any other place they can
8 use -- any other website or organization they
9 can use to verify the credentials?
10 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Well, I'm going to
11 have Doug answer that specific question.
12 DEP. COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH: Sure.
13 They don't have to use CGFNS at all. They
14 can just go directly to us. CGFNS is the
15 only verification service in nursing that I'm
16 aware of that does what they do, and they are
17 usually a manner of expediting the license
18 because they have relationships with all the
19 states and with numerous foreign countries,
20 so they allow us to capitalize on a large
21 degree of experience. Typically, going the
22 CGFNS route will make their license
23 application process quicker.
24 The problem with foreign applicants
1 for licensing is twofold. One is the
2 verification that the license materials we
3 received are accurate, that they have come
4 from the actual school that they're saying
5 they came from. Does the school really
6 exist, do the grades really exist -- the
7 verification process. That's true in all
8 foreign license applications, and CGFNS is
9 very good at doing that. And it enables us
10 to get that part of the question answered
11 without a lot of back-and-forth,
12 international mailing and emailing.
13 The other part of the process is
14 ensuring that the actual courses they took,
15 the substance of those courses actually
16 equals the qualitative needs we have in
17 New York -- so their nursing course in
18 Clinical Practice 1 and 2 equals what we
19 expect them to have here. And that can take
20 some going back and forth between our office
21 and the foreign institution as well, to get
22 the information we need to say did they
23 receive all these things so that they're a
24 competent practitioner in New York.
1 I know it's kind of a long question,
2 but there's a lot of complexity into
3 licensing a person that doesn't go to one of
4 the New York registered programs.
5 SENATOR STAVISKY: Well, as you know,
6 I represent a large immigrant population.
7 DEP. COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH: I do
9 SENATOR STAVISKY: You've been to my
10 office --
11 DEP. COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH: Yes.
12 SENATOR STAVISKY: -- and it's become
13 more so since you visited.
14 That's not what happened. What
15 happened was in June after -- you know, eight
16 months after the application, she called to
17 see if they had the information from the
18 college, and they had not. She asked if she
19 should call the school in the Philippines,
20 and they informed her not to and that based
21 upon SED rules, if she does, her application
22 could be canceled.
23 Now, it goes on and on, and she
24 finally got it a month before the expiration
1 period where she would have to start it all
2 over again.
3 I happen to know the individual, I
4 know her well, and I was very troubled. She
5 didn't come to me for help but tried to
6 attempt to do this on her own, and it was a
8 How can we delay everything with the
9 so-called nursing shortage? We're not
10 credentialing people who are qualified for
11 licensure because this group, CGFNS, is so
12 slow in responding.
13 My question is this. They are the
14 ones that they had to use. Was this a
15 sole -- was there an RFP offered to select
16 the college or the organization to do the
18 DEP. COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH: No,
19 because they don't have to use CGFNS --
20 SENATOR STAVISKY: She was told
22 DEP. COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH: -- they
23 can just send their stuff directly to us.
24 And perhaps this individual should have
1 communicated directly to us.
2 I'd love to hear the specifics so we
3 can do some things about it.
4 SENATOR STAVISKY: I know. I will get
5 you -- our commissioner the specifics,
6 because I suspect that this is not an
7 isolated situation.
8 DEP. COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH: Yeah.
9 SENATOR STAVISKY: And we certainly
10 have to do everything we can to make it
11 easier for the legitimate people to succeed.
12 DEP. COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH: Agreed.
13 SENATOR STAVISKY: Thank you.
14 COMMISSIONER ELIA: We'd be happy,
15 though, to follow up on that, if you get
16 the --
17 SENATOR STAVISKY: Oh, I'll get you
18 the material.
19 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Thank you.
20 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Mr. Saladino.
21 ASSEMBLYMAN SALADINO: Thank you,
23 Appreciate your time with us today. I
24 came in a little late because we had session.
1 But one of the questions I had -- and
2 perhaps you could shed some light on this --
3 on Long Island I represent many of the
4 professors in the CUNY and the SUNY system.
5 In CUNY specifically, they've gone some five
6 years-plus without a contract, without
7 raises -- many of us in the room understand
8 that pain.
9 The question I have is, what are we
10 doing to get that resolved from the
11 standpoint of State Education? We understand
12 the importance of keeping our top-flight
13 educators working with us, we understand
14 they're the best of the best in the country.
15 What are we doing to get that situation
17 COMMISSIONER ELIA: So just for
18 clarification, you're talking about the
19 contracts that SUNY professors --
20 ASSEMBLYMAN SALADINO: CUNY.
21 COMMISSIONER ELIA: -- or CUNY
22 professors have? So that doesn't fall under
23 the State Ed Department. And I know
24 specifically it was mentioned with Chancellor
1 Milliken, who was here from CUNY, and I'd
2 have to defer to him to respond to you on
3 where he is with his negotiations on
4 budget -- on salary, rather.
5 ASSEMBLYMAN SALADINO: Okay. And the
6 second part was --
7 COMMISSIONER ELIA: We can make sure
8 that he gets that question. I don't know if
9 he's got anybody here.
10 ASSEMBLYMAN SALADINO: Yeah, I missed
11 him. We had session earlier today.
12 The other question, there was a
13 discussion going on about BOCES earlier. And
14 are we also pushing to keep these entities
15 alive when so many of them are lacking
16 financial oxygen?
17 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Yes, and so in our
18 budget request there is a specific item that
19 mentions the salaries for BOCES teachers, so
20 that we can raise those salaries and keep the
21 staff members that are there that are so
23 ASSEMBLYMAN SALADINO: We have one
24 particular entity on Long Island, LISA -- the
1 Long Island High School of Performing Arts.
2 Today Billy Joel was speaking at a forum to
3 try to keep that facility open.
4 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Is he associated
5 with that school in any way? I know he's had
6 a lot of interest in the school -- I was
7 talking to Regent Tilles about it.
8 ASSEMBLYMAN SALADINO: Yes,
9 Regent Tilles has been absolutely wonderful
10 on this issue. We couldn't ask for a better
11 person in terms of his motivation and his
13 But we need more help from the state.
14 And while our educators certainly deserve to
15 be paid a wage in relationship to their
16 education, their experience, and the
17 importance that they bring to our state,
18 making the system more affordable seems to be
19 one of the big problems. As we travel all
20 over and I speak to -- and listen, more
21 importantly -- to those with BOCES on
22 Long Island and other places in the state,
23 home schools have found this too expensive.
24 And as we try to wrestle with a tax cap that
1 we know the residents want, it makes it very,
2 very difficult for those home schools to
3 incur those costs.
4 So one of the issues is cooperation
5 with Albany to get the funding that they need
6 to stay open. Another issue is providing
7 perhaps a line in the budget for extended
8 assistance to those school districts so it is
9 more attractive to send students there.
10 And third, one thing that came up in
11 our meetings is a partnership with the
12 private sector so they would inject financial
13 resources into the BOCES programs, which
14 really dovetails what we've heard from some
15 of the members of the Legislature just
17 Are you looking at these things? Are
18 we getting closer before we lose these
19 important components of our community?
20 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Absolutely. I
21 mean, it's definitely something that I think
22 really would revitalize a number of different
23 areas within the state, in our schools, in
24 our K-12 settings, and then provide more
1 opportunities for our students.
2 So it is a major focus for us, career
3 and technical programs. But some of the
4 specific programs -- particularly the arts
5 program you're talking about that
6 Regent Tilles is an excellent ambassador for
7 that program, particularly -- he in fact
8 chairs a Regents subgroup on the arts. And
9 we're working to make sure that students can
10 get a special designation as students that
11 have gone through longer periods of intense
12 art instruction.
13 So all those things are on our page,
14 and BOCES is one of the programs that can
15 support that. It's also an important factor
16 in the work that we want to do in the future.
17 ASSEMBLYMAN SALADINO: Thank you.
18 We appreciate that.
19 Just to get a little bit more
20 specifics from you, does that mean you're
21 working on that and we'll see components of
22 this through this budget process? Or is this
23 something that has a target further down the
1 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Well, we've
2 actually -- we have a state aid proposal that
3 actually gets to the issue of the BOCES
4 increase in funding. So we'll make sure that
5 gets over to you so you know the specifics of
7 ASSEMBLYMAN SALADINO: Thank you.
8 COMMISSIONER ELIA: You're welcome.
9 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
11 SENATOR KRUEGER: Hi. Just a couple
12 of questions, thank you. And I tend to ask
13 these questions every year, but you're new
14 for this.
15 How are we doing on closing down or
16 stopping the higher ed institutions that
17 don't really educate young people, just take
18 their money? So there have been any number
19 of national scandals, state scandals -- we
20 moved some legislation I guess two years ago,
21 I think it was implemented two years ago.
22 And I'm just curious whether we are finding
23 that we are actually preventing these
24 institutions from continuing to suck money
1 out of our student population and veterans,
2 who seem to disproportionately also get hit
3 by these programs.
4 COMMISSIONER ELIA: So it was in 2012,
5 so that legislation holds those schools more
6 accountable. We're speaking particularly of
7 proprietary schools?
8 SENATOR KRUEGER: Yes, but I've gotten
9 in trouble when I've used the term
10 "proprietary schools," because some of them
11 are perfectly fine programs.
12 But many of them are not. So yes.
13 COMMISSIONER ELIA: So I want to say I
14 appreciate you telling me, I probably just
15 got in trouble.
17 COMMISSIONER ELIA: But I think it's
18 important for us to know that we should have
19 accountability for all of the schools. And
20 the creation -- a school is able to continue
21 if they have some issues that they're trying
22 to perfect and get better. But we have
23 certainly strong fiscal reporting
24 requirements and improved SED follow-up to
1 help minimize sudden school closings to help
2 students who are in those schools.
3 The whole issue really is how does SED
4 review and streamline the approval process
5 for the renewal of these licensed schools and
6 make sure that they're doing everything
7 they're supposed to. So from a perspective
8 of where we are now, we have 399 schools that
9 are licensed. There are 76 that are awaiting
10 licensure, 55 are pending new, and 21 are
11 candidates for it.
12 We have no way of knowing if there are
13 unlicensed schools, but we believe there are
14 fewer unlicensed schools, based on the
15 operation that we've had in decreasing the
16 number of complaints that are coming in.
17 Because we used to receive more complaints,
18 and I have had this conversation with
19 Dr. D'Agati about that.
20 The tuition that's collected, it's
21 about $600 million annually for those
22 schools. And it affects about 157,000
23 students. So the tuition reimbursement
24 account balance is $3.6 million, and that is
1 used to protect students by providing refunds
2 for those students who attended licensed
3 schools and filled out the substantiated
4 complaints that we found to be real, that
5 then they were given their refunds on
7 And to protect students attending
8 schools which have subsequently closed during
9 their attendance, they get full tuition fees
10 and book refunds that are made from that
11 account should the school not be able to
12 handle those refunds.
13 It's within different areas of the
14 department, so Kevin Smith, with Access, has
15 been working very closely with them. And I
16 pointed out earlier that Dr. D'Agati and I
17 had conversations with some of the deans
18 about those schools as well, because they
19 were getting students who were transferring
21 And so it is on our page to address
22 the issue. And as I said, there's fewer
23 complaints coming in. We anticipate,
24 therefore, that there's fewer schools running
1 without certifications.
2 SENATOR KRUEGER: And do you ever have
3 any specific recommendations to the
4 Legislature about what kinds of tools we
5 could assist you with with further
7 I mean, you don't right now have any
8 authority to follow up with unlicensed
9 schools; is that correct?
10 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Kevin?
11 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SMITH: Thank you,
13 Yes, that's correct. We have a very
14 limited resource. We're on a special revenue
15 account. All of the resource that supports
16 our work as the regulatory agency comes from
17 the tuition assessment that we levy upon
18 schools based on their gross tuition income,
19 and that is a limited amount of money.
20 The law is pretty specific, in my
21 mind, that it does not direct us to oversee
22 unlicensed institutions. Clearly, where
23 there are health and safety issues and
24 complaints coming from unlicensed
1 institutions through whatever source, we do
2 all that we can to follow up on those
3 schools. We want to better engage other law
4 enforcement and regulatory agencies from the
5 Consumer Protection Agency, Attorney General,
6 et cetera -- ICE, where illegal immigration
7 is concerned or Homeland Security is
8 concerned -- to make sure that those
9 unlicensed institutions or licensed
10 institutions that might be breaking the law
11 are dealt with strongly.
12 But since the law was passed in late
13 2012, I've tried to institute, in the Bureau
14 of Proprietary School Supervision, stronger
15 technical assistance in support, as the
16 commissioner said; better work in bringing
17 new schools on through candidacy or directly,
18 to make sure that they're a viable business
19 and educational institution from the get-go,
20 and prove at the coming in rather than
21 afterwards. We have reduced the number of
22 schools significantly in that way and the
23 number of applications in that way.
24 SENATOR KRUEGER: And do you think
1 that there has been -- so I'm glad to hear
2 there's reduced complaints. So potentially
3 the work you're doing has resolved some of
4 the problems for, quote, unquote,
5 institutions attempting to get licenses or
6 having licenses.
7 But do you think there's a growth or a
8 shrinkage in the sort of just -- the black
9 market school model, where they're not even
10 trying to go for licensing?
11 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER SMITH: We believe
12 they still exist. We believe the bad actors
13 are still out there. We are as vigilant as
14 we can be. And again, engaging all aspects
15 of state and city -- as most schools are in
16 the city -- law enforcement and other
17 agencies that have responsibility in this
18 area is an important piece of it; in
19 particular, I think, the Consumer Protection
20 Agency. These are un -- they're illegal
21 businesses operating in their space. So
22 spread the responsibility, spread the
23 oversight as best we can.
24 I'm not resting on the reduced numbers
1 of complaints. I think that students in our
2 non-degree post-secondary sector -- that's
3 the preferred language -- are vulnerable.
4 They have been historically vulnerable. We
5 want to make sure that the schools are giving
6 them everything that those students paid for.
7 Three hundred ninety-nine schools
8 offering an array of allied health,
9 cosmetology, all the way to dog grooming --
10 which are very, very viable professions in
11 our community -- 177,000 students in the last
12 fiscal year. So there's a lot of folks out
13 there benefiting by these programs, and we
14 want to make sure they have integrity.
15 SENATOR KRUEGER: And on a variation
16 on the theme, so New York State has always
17 been more restrictive than many states about
18 these online universities that don't have a
19 physical entity either in New York State or
20 sometimes not anywhere.
21 What's the research showing us now?
22 Because certainly we live in a world where
23 more and more online everything takes place.
24 I see the TV commercials for these online
1 universities. I'm wondering what's your
2 experience about the patterns of -- I wish it
3 wasn't just exploitation for young people's
4 money, but I fear it is exploitation of young
5 people's money.
6 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Well, one of the
7 things that we have really pushed for, as
8 have the chancellors of both SUNY and CUNY,
9 is the State Authorization Reciprocity
10 Agreement, SARA, which will allow us to have
11 the opportunities for our programs to work as
12 an online institution in other places, but
13 also those institutions outside of New York
14 that want to come and be here to be part of
15 the registration of that.
16 And it's really an important thing, we
17 believe, to have the ability to know who is
18 out there in the online world and offering
19 programs here, and that we can make sure that
20 we have that involvement with licenses for
21 them to work in New York.
22 SENATOR KRUEGER: So without the SARA
23 legislation, you don't have the ability to
24 say you're bad, you're maybe, you're okay?
1 How does that work?
2 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Well, that's what
3 it really is. That we need that legislation,
4 and that's been proposed by both -- as I
5 said, both SUNY and CUNY and the
7 But, you know, let's face it, if you
8 look and you watch, there are settings for
9 K-12 students that are online, and you also
10 see many opportunities online for
11 post-secondary work. So it's important for
12 us to have the ability to be part of this
13 organization nationally.
14 SENATOR KRUEGER: Yes, as the internet
15 expands and the opportunities to do different
16 things on the internet expand, there's -- I
17 won't disagree you, there may be
18 opportunities for quality education combined
19 with actual classrooms and teachers to be a
20 blended model. I've had lots of
21 conversations about that.
22 But it seems that disproportionately
23 you see young people thinking -- or not even
24 young people, older people who've never had
1 the opportunity to get that college degree,
2 don't see themselves going back into an
3 institutional setting now, and watching the
4 commercials and saying, Gee, that sounds like
5 a good way to get licensed for A, B, C -- and
6 they get ripped off for huge amounts of
8 So how will we ensure -- if we go
9 further down this road, how will we ensure
10 that we are not somehow just falling into
11 appearing to endorse these models?
12 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Well, I think at
13 least through this project we would have the
14 ability to know who it is that is approved
15 through the SARA project, and then we could
16 work with them.
17 But you're right. I mean, as the
18 internet expands and people go on there
19 without checks on what in fact is a great
20 opportunity or not, it opens up. I mean, we
21 have -- much of what we have to do is train
22 our students to be very critical as they're
23 going on the internet and think about what it
24 is they're saying they're going to produce
1 for them, and is that where we want to be.
2 SENATOR KRUEGER: I think these are
3 tough issues ahead of us as well.
4 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Mm-hmm.
5 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you.
6 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
7 SENATOR YOUNG: Thank you.
8 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Senator?
9 SENATOR YOUNG: I think we're done.
10 So thank you so much.
11 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
13 COMMISSIONER ELIA: Thank you. It was
14 a pleasure. Appreciate your support.
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Elsa Magee,
16 executive vice president, New York State
17 Higher Education Services Corporation.
18 Good afternoon.
19 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Good afternoon.
20 Chairwoman Young, Chairman Farrell,
21 Chairwoman Glick, and members of the Senate
22 and Assembly, thank you for the opportunity
23 to speak this afternoon about the Governorís
24 2016-2017 Executive Budget recommendations
1 that impact the New York State Higher
2 Education Services Corporation. I'm Elsa
3 Magee, executive vice president and acting
4 president of HESC.
5 HESC administers the New York State
6 Tuition Assistance Program and more than 20
7 other student financial aid and college
8 access programs that help students obtain and
9 afford a college education. Collectively,
10 these programs provide over $1 billion in
11 awards to support the college costs of more
12 than 360,000 students.
13 Governor Cuomo's 2016-2017 Executive
14 Budget continues full support for all
15 existing state grant and scholarship programs
16 and proposes the DREAM Act. In addition, the
17 Executive Budget reflects increased
18 efficiencies and reduced administrative costs
19 at HESC. The recommendations also reflect
20 the Governorís ongoing commitment to
21 addressing the financial burden of college
22 faced by todayís students when entering and
23 upon graduating from college.
24 The Executive Budget continues funding
1 for the innovative Get on Your Feet Loan
2 Forgiveness Program to assist struggling new
3 college graduates by providing federal
4 student loan relief to cover their monthly
5 student loan debt for up to two years.
6 Launched on December 31, 2015, over 6500
7 New Yorkers have submitted applications in
8 the programís first five weeks, making it one
9 of the strongest new program launches.
10 In implementing the program, HESC has
11 partnered with the U.S. Department of
12 Education and the National Student Loan Data
13 System to streamline the application process.
14 It is expected that more than 7,000 students
15 will apply for awards during state fiscal
16 year 2015-2016 and that nearly 16,000
17 students will receive awards during state
18 fiscal year 2016-2017.
19 Recognizing that the rising cost of
20 college makes college choice more critical
21 than ever, New York created a standard
22 financial aid award letter for colleges and
23 universities to provide prospective and
24 first-time enrolling students and their
1 families with uniform financial aid award
2 information on the total costs of education,
3 how much aid they will receive, how much aid
4 they must repay, and the success of other
5 students after graduation.
6 In December 2015, the Department of
7 Financial Services released the New York
8 State Financial Aid Award Information Sheet
9 for schools responding to prospective
10 students looking to enroll in the 2016-2017
11 academic year or thereafter. The New York
12 State Financial Aid Award Information Sheet
13 incorporates the federal model along with
14 some additional information that is unique to
15 the state.
16 To aid in the implementation of the
17 award letter, schools that are unable to make
18 the full sheet available have been provided
19 with an Interim Period Financial Aid Award
20 Information Sheet for responding to
21 prospective applicants.
22 The 2016-2017 Executive Budget enables
23 HESC to continue administering an array of
24 programs and services that support the
1 attainment of a college degree for all
2 New York State students. On behalf of
3 Governor Cuomo, HESC is pleased to play a
4 vital role in providing New York Stateís
5 students with a gateway to a successful
6 college career.
7 Thank you, and I would be glad to
8 answer any questions you may have.
9 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
12 Assemblywoman Glick.
13 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you.
14 In HESC's experience, what's the most
15 effective way to inform the most vulnerable
16 students -- whether it's foster care kids or
17 students who are immigrants -- about
18 financial aid opportunities? And are there
19 things that we could or should be doing to
20 increase the awareness of TAP, the various
21 the scholarship programs, that would help
22 them pay for school as they're trying to
23 figure out if that's something they can do?
24 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: The most
1 effective way that we found to reach the
2 students is through the groups and
3 individuals who have direct contact with them
4 on a daily basis. So generally speaking, for
5 students who are in high school, we reach out
6 primarily through guidance counselors who
7 work with those students and assist them with
8 their financial aid application, and
9 information for programs such as STEM. We've
10 reached out to the STEP program, where those
11 students are participating in programs
12 already, leading to science, technology,
13 engineering, and math. Or the Math and
14 Science Master Teachers Program through SUNY,
15 we've also worked there. And then, again,
16 through the counselors and the teachers.
17 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: It's good to
18 hear that there's some way that you're trying
19 to reach students on the STEM scholarships.
20 I wonder if there is some thought on the part
21 of the agency to try to reach students at an
22 earlier age. I think when you're 13 or 14,
23 school might not be the first thing -- you
24 might be a decent student, but there are
1 other things happening in your life. And one
2 doesn't necessarily realize early enough the
3 importance of doing well.
4 So if students were to know that --
5 and their parents, who would be in a position
6 to urge them in the right direction -- that
7 some of these scholarships like the STEM
8 scholarship in particular -- because you have
9 to graduate in the top 10 percent of your
10 class. In the junior year, that's already
11 half your opportunity to do better is gone.
12 And if you knew you had a goal, and so many
13 young people are interested in technology and
14 so forth, if we could reach them earlier, it
15 might give them the motivation and incentive.
16 Has the agency thought about that,
17 what vehicles you might have to do that at an
18 earlier age?
19 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: We have a --
20 administer the federal GEAR UP grant, which
21 touches -- right now we have a cohort of
22 6,000 students that we work with, beginning
23 in the seventh grade, who will be receiving
24 that kind of information right through their
1 first year of college.
2 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: That's good to
4 It looked as if there was a
5 significant jump up in the allocation for
6 STEM. Is that because you are having success
7 in reaching students, and will that be
9 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: We are seeing a
10 year-to-year increase from the first year of
11 the program to the second year of the
12 program. Primarily students are pursuing
13 largely the science and technology fields,
14 more so than the engineering and the math
15 fields in the program. But we are seeing
16 growth year to year.
17 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: We've had a lot
18 of conversations about the difficulty people
19 have in accessing the part-time TAP. They
20 have to go to school full-time for a year in
21 order to qualify. And obviously if your
22 issue is that you have to work or you have
23 family concerns, your ability to access
24 part-time TAP is almost obviated.
1 So do you have any recommendations
2 about what we might do to change that, or
3 just change the structure of TAP so that
4 it's -- we've heard many instances of
5 youngsters -- the eight semesters don't
6 necessarily fit neatly into people's lives.
7 So has the agency had any conversations about
8 what changes they might recommend?
9 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: We are -- as you
10 know, we're not a policy-making agency, so as
11 to the policy of the program, we don't take a
13 But we do know that the numbers of
14 part-time TAP recipients are relatively low.
15 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Does anybody
16 call and say "Is there some other way I can
17 get access to this?" I mean, you're not
18 policymakers, but you're interacting with the
19 public. So what do you tell them, "We're not
21 What recommendations, suggestions, or
22 otherwise does HESC ever provide?
23 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Again, we
24 administer the program as it's enacted into
1 law. So if we -- we recommend that people do
2 speak with their local legislators if they're
3 looking to have a change in the law.
4 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: You're not a
5 policymaking operation, but you do -- you are
6 an Executive agency. So have there been any
7 instances where someone from the second floor
8 might ask an opinion versus a recommendation?
9 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: We have not been
10 asked for our opinion, no. But we provide
11 the information, factual information again
12 and demographics of the programs.
13 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you very
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
17 SENATOR YOUNG: Thank you.
18 Welcome, Acting President Magee. It's
19 great to see you.
20 I wanted to touch on something.
21 Several schools have expressed concern
22 regarding the implementation of the
23 standardized financial aid award letter that
24 was included in the budget last year. Do you
1 feel that this issue will be addressed, and
3 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: This is an open,
4 ongoing process right now. So we are in the
5 public comment period. We have met with
6 schools, questions that they have raised. We
7 have worked with the Department of Financial
8 Services to provide FAQs to address any
9 concerns and minimize confusion.
10 But right now, the comments that are
11 going into the Department of Financial
12 Services, they will at the end of that review
13 period look to address any of the concerns
14 that have been raised by the schools.
15 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you. When is
16 the review period expected to be completed?
17 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: I believe the
18 open comment period expires in early March,
19 around March 5th.
20 SENATOR YOUNG: Early March. Okay.
21 And then do you think that the agencies can
22 move swiftly to address the situation after
24 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Yes. I know in
1 working with DFS, they have heard what the
2 schools -- issues that have been raised that
3 they would seek to address.
4 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Great. Because as
5 you know, I mean with the calendar and the
6 timeline for students, that's critically
7 important to get resolved. So thank you very
9 I think the Senate is complete.
10 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Assemblyman
12 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Good
14 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Good afternoon.
15 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: I'm just --
16 several questions I have.
17 The first one, I know that in your
18 testimony you did mention in terms of the
19 proposed DREAM Act. And basically how is
20 your organization going to be prepared to
21 make sure that if it goes into a policy that
22 these students are eligible for TAP? Is
23 there a system in place in terms of looking
24 at eligibility requirements? Will it be
1 harder to verify? If you could just explain
2 that a little bit.
3 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Well, if it were
4 implemented, we would be working with the --
5 in concert with the administration. And
6 we've had conversations with the Department
7 of State, Office of New American Citizens, to
8 identify the best means of verifying
9 eligibility for students.
10 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Do you have
11 any specifics yet in terms of how they would
12 do it?
13 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: We have not at
14 this time, no.
15 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Okay. And
16 we've obviously heard a lot about trying to
17 reduce the debt of recent college graduates,
18 and basically the federal government has
19 provided limited resources in this area in
20 terms of refinancing options, in terms of
21 trying to lower the overall student debt.
22 Are there any recommendations that you
23 think that we could help do or make it a
24 little bit easier for students in terms of
1 reducing the debt burden that they have when
2 they graduate?
3 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: On the debt that
4 they have, we have right now the Get on Your
5 Feet Loan Forgiveness program that has
6 been -- again, it's a very popular program,
7 and we see that there's a need. We have
8 roughly 1,000 applications a week that have
9 been coming in to help students reduce the
10 debt if they take advantage of programs
11 that -- income-driven repayment plans that
12 are offered at the federal level.
13 Right now there are three programs
14 that the federal government offers -- the
15 income-based repayment, the pay-as-you-earn,
16 and a new revised pay-as-you-earn which
17 captures more students in that program. And
18 then the state will step in and assist even
19 further by reducing that amount to zero for
20 two years out of college and for up to two
21 years' worth of payments.
22 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Now, you said
23 that I think about 6500 people have taken
24 advantage so far?
1 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Have applied --
2 they have submitted applications to date.
3 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: How many are
4 you expecting over the next several weeks?
5 Or by the time, you know, the next several
6 months go on, how many people do you think --
7 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Well, we're
8 expecting, again, that the applications will
9 decline. We haven't seen it at this point,
10 but we're assuming that by March/April that
11 we'll see fewer coming in, again, as those
12 who have the ability to apply have already
14 But then it will spike again in June
15 when December grads go into repayment, then
16 spike again next November when May graduates
17 go into repayment. So we see the cycle of
18 spikes in the applications.
19 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: I just had one
20 more question, and it looks like -- I think
21 beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year,
22 FAFSA, which is the Free Application for
23 Federal Student Aid, is going to have to be
24 completed utilizing I think the tax data from
1 the year prior to the previous tax year, so
2 it's going to be changing a little bit. But
3 New York, as it stands right now in terms of
4 TAP, is based on only the prior year.
5 Do you think, in terms of your
6 opinion, or would you suggest to us, do you
7 think New York law should be changed to
8 comply with FAFSA? Or do you think we
9 should keep it separate at this point?
10 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: At this point we
11 are working with the administration and the
12 Division of the Budget, who is looking at the
13 impact of a change to prior prior year.
14 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Okay. Thank
15 you very much.
16 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
19 SENATOR YOUNG: I think we're
20 complete. So thank you very much.
21 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Thank you.
22 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Oh, no, we have one
24 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Okay. On the
1 Senate side, anyway.
2 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Assemblywoman
4 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON: Yes, thank you.
5 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: I'm sorry. Simon.
6 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON: Simon.
7 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: I can't read my own
8 writing. I didn't go to the right schools.
9 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON: Ms. Magee, I
10 have a couple of questions with regard to
11 communications about the availability of
12 tuition assistance programs and other
13 financial aid programs.
14 I notice that your website has
15 undergone some change recently, which I think
16 is great. It's much more user-friendly, so I
17 just wanted to thank you for that. It's
18 much, much better than it was, so thank you.
19 But I wanted to ask a question about
20 the availability of that information in other
21 languages. It wasn't clear to me whether
22 that was -- that there was a toggle for that,
23 if you needed to have the information on the
24 website in Spanish, for example, or Chinese
1 or another commonly spoken other language.
2 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: What we have done
3 is we have a form that an individual will
4 fill out if they need to receive the personal
5 information in another language. And when
6 they contact us, we will work with
7 whatever -- we will identify someone who can
8 interpret in the language that they need, and
9 we will have the conversations with them.
10 So to date we've only had several --
11 maybe two or three individuals who have
12 contacted us that way. But we do work with
13 the Statewide Language Access Program on how
14 we make that information known and available.
15 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON: So the Statewide
16 Language Access Program is the mechanism by
17 which students would find out about the fact
18 that they could avail themselves of this
19 service? I'm curious how a student would
20 know --
21 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: From our website,
22 when they go to our website, it should be --
23 at the bottom of each of our websites should
24 be information on if you need to receive
1 information in another language, to contact
3 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON: Okay. And there
4 are a number of students with disabilities,
5 as you know, who have different and more
6 enhanced needs for financial aid. Is this
7 new website now accessible to adaptive
8 technology that a lot of these students use?
9 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Our website has
10 always been available for those with adaptive
11 technology who need it.
12 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON: It works with
13 screen readers and other software?
14 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Yes.
15 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON: Okay. And you
16 also told us about the Get On Your Feet Loan
17 Forgiveness program and the number of
18 applications you've had. Who makes the
19 decision as to whether or not a loan is
20 forgiven? And do you have any idea what the
21 time frame is for the granting of those loan
22 forgiveness decisions?
23 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Everyone who
24 meets the program's eligibility requirements,
1 which would be they graduated from a New York
2 State high school, a New York State college,
3 and continue to reside in New York State, if
4 they're working they must be working in New
5 York State and making less than $50,000. If
6 they meet all of those eligibility
7 requirements and are in one of the three
8 eligible federal programs, they will be
9 eligible. No one would be denied if they
10 meet those eligibility requirements.
11 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON: Okay. Thank
13 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
14 Thank you very much.
15 EXECUTIVE VP MAGEE: Thank you.
16 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Andrew Pallotta,
18 NYSUT, executive vice president; Barbara
19 Bowen, president of Professional Staff
20 Congress; and Jamie Dangler, vice president.
21 I think that's what it is.
22 EXEC. VP PALLOTTA: Senator Young,
23 Assemblyman Farrell --
24 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Excuse me, this
1 ends up in the records (indicating written
2 testimony). And you should talk to the
3 smallest part of it.
4 EXEC. VP PALLOTTA: Oh, yes.
5 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: And you, you've
6 been here so much, you know the long part.
7 EXEC. VP PALLOTTA: You will get the
8 abbreviated version.
9 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
11 EXEC. VP PALLOTTA: That's my
12 solemn --
13 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: I know you do.
14 EXEC. VP PALLOTTA: Okay. So thank
15 you again for having us here today and the
16 opportunity to testify.
17 I sit here today with Dr. Jamie
18 Dangler from UUP and President Barbara
19 Bowen from PSC, also Vice President
20 Michael Fabricant from PSC and Chris
21 Black, the director of legislation for
23 You have my written testimony,
24 I'll give you a quick summary.
1 There is no denying the fact that
2 in order to be career-ready today, we
3 have to be educated and well-educated,
4 and kids need a good college education
5 for that. It's abundantly clear from
6 what we've heard today throughout the
7 many hours of testimony that each and
8 every one of the families in New York
9 State needs the State University and the
10 City University system, and that for
11 most families this is the only
12 affordable option that they have.
13 Therefore, as a state we have a moral
14 obligation and an economic incentive to
15 ensure that as many of our of residents are
16 afforded an opportunity to go to college.
17 And it requires a real financial investment
18 into SUNY and CUNY.
19 The Executive Budget provides
20 flat funding for core instruction to
21 both CUNY and -- I will also talk about,
22 and Dr. Bowen will also talk about, the
23 situation with CUNY. With respect to
24 CUNY, the Executive Budget proposes a
1 shift -- that's one way of putting it --
2 of 30 percent of operating costs to New
3 York City.
4 I want to make three points with
5 respect to funding for SUNY and CUNY
6 four-year campuses. SUNY and CUNY need a
7 significant increase in funding this year
8 to enable them to fully carry out their
9 public mission in educating our students
10 and our future. Number two, providing the
11 funding is the state's responsibility. And
12 number three, a big part of that
13 responsibility is that the state pays its
14 fair share in operating costs and expenses.
15 To ensure this, we urge that a real
16 maintenance of effort be enacted in this
17 year's budget. I want to thank all of you
18 for passing the MOE for SUNY and CUNY last
19 year, and I especially want to thank
20 Assemblymember Glick and also Senator
21 LaValle for sponsoring the bill and all
22 the work that they did in continued
23 advocacy that we saw today at the press
1 While last year's MOE was vetoed,
2 the Governor indicated in his veto
3 message that it should be dealt with in
4 the context of this year's budget. The
5 time is now, and we hope that you can
6 work this through with the Governor to
7 address this important issue in this
8 year's budget.
9 With respect to our community
10 colleges, I want to thank the members of
11 the Assembly and the Senate for all the
12 work that you did in supporting these
13 campuses last year, and thank you for the
14 school aid increase that was provided.
15 Obviously you know the importance of these
16 campuses to our state's higher public
17 education systems. Over 1 million degrees
18 have been awarded from community colleges
19 in this state.
20 This year the Executive Budget
21 proposes flat funding for community
22 colleges. I can draw your attention to
23 the charts on page 7, which shows that
24 both SUNY and CUNY community college
1 students are paying the lion's share of
2 operating costs in these campuses. In
3 fact, from 2005-2006 to 2015-2016, SUNY
4 community college students went from
5 paying 39 percent to 43 percent. And at
6 the same time, the state's contribution
7 for these costs went from 29 percent to
8 26 percent, with the local sponsor's
9 share remaining fairly the same.
10 There's also a similar situation
11 for CUNY. The student share went from
12 about 37 percent to almost 42 percent,
13 while the state share went from 31 to 26
14 percent. And again, the local share
15 remains constant at about 32 percent.
16 Notwithstanding your efforts over
17 the past few years, we are still below the
18 2008-2009 state funding levels, and we
19 request that you increase this to $250 per
20 FTE student in base aid this year and that
21 the state develop a multiyear plan to
22 honor the statutory requirement and
23 commitment to fund 40 percent. This is
24 the year that we say that the state has
1 the resources available to do this.
2 On performance-based funding, the
3 Executive Budget again provides $30 million
4 for performance-based funding: $18 million
5 for SUNY and $12 million for CUNY.
6 Performance-based funding is not a new
7 idea, and it does not address the SUNY or
8 CUNY funding problems. Other states have
9 tried this and had little success. In
10 fact, the results on this show that it is
11 ineffective at best.
12 We also disagree with SUNY's
13 initiative to create a $100 million
14 performance-based funding program. The
15 vast majority of the funding for this comes
16 from the SUNY system programs and campus
17 funds. NYSUT urges the Legislature to
18 reallocate the $30 million for a full-time
19 faculty initiative to enhance quality and
20 provide students with the advisement and
21 counseling they most desperately need.
22 Full-time faculty endowment.
23 Speaking of this, we must be able to
24 create a state endowment, which we've
1 talked about for the last couple of
2 years, and be able to fund this. On
3 SUNY hospitals, with respect to what we
4 have been up against for the past couple
5 of years, I want to thank you for coming
6 to their rescue last year, again, and
7 providing the funding that was needed.
8 Unfortunately, the State Budget this
9 year cuts the SUNY hospitals by
10 $19 million, the same exact restoration
11 that you made last year. So we ask that
12 you restore this funding and increase
13 funding to the 2011 level of $128 million.
14 Dr. Dangler will also speak about
15 the SUNY Downstate situation in a moment.
16 NYSUT urges the Legislature to
17 continue to invest in the Student
18 Opportunity Programs that provide greater
19 access and remediation. We've heard much
20 about this today and the support that this
21 has. We support updating the TAP program,
22 making it more workable for today's
23 students, and also the passage of the
24 DREAM Act.
1 In conclusion, I want to point out
2 that the final level of funding for public
3 higher education in this year's enacted
4 budget all depends upon the higher
5 education table target. In recent years,
6 the table target amount for higher ed has
7 not afforded you the opportunity to fund
8 SUNY and CUNY at the level these
9 institutions deserve. This year presents a
10 real opportunity to change the funding
11 situation at these campuses. NYSUT urges
12 you to set a higher table target that will
13 enable you to make a real and meaningful
14 investment in public higher education.
15 Thank you again for all of the work
16 that you've done, and I now turn it over to
17 Dr. Dangler from UUP.
18 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: Thank
19 you, Andy.
20 Chairwoman Young, Chairman
21 Farrell, distinguished members of the
22 Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and
23 Means Committee, thank you for providing
24 United University Professions with the
1 opportunity to testify today. My name
2 is Jamie Dangler, and I'm UUP's vice
3 president for academics. I'm here today
4 on behalf of UUP President Fred Kowal,
5 who could not join us.
6 UUP represents more than 35,000
7 academic and professional faculty and staff
8 at SUNY state-operated academic
9 institutions, health science centers, and
10 teaching hospitals.
11 First I'd like to echo Andy's thanks
12 for your strong bipartisan support for a
13 policy that commits to fully funding base
14 budget needs for our public universities,
15 including our teaching hospitals. And we
16 are especially grateful to the leadership
17 of Higher Ed Committee chairs
18 Assemblymember Glick and Senator LaValle.
19 We hope, as Andy stated, that a
20 maintenance of effort can be negotiated as
21 part of the coming budget. We also
22 appreciate your steadfast support for
23 SUNY's highly successful opportunity
24 programs, EOP and the EOCs, and we urge
1 you to expand their funding by adding
2 $50 million. UUP also proposes
3 $47.3 million in additional base funding
4 for SUNY state-operated campuses to cover
5 collective bargaining obligations,
6 repayment of deficit reduction monies
7 withheld from employee paychecks over a
8 two-year period, and contractual salary
9 increases for 2016 and 2017.
10 An additional $8.2 million is
11 necessary to cover mandatory costs for
12 utilities and building maintenance. We
13 heard this morning that SUNY has requested
14 a higher maintenance of effort figure, and
15 that is probably because they added the
16 cost of implementing their new minimum wage
17 provision, which we did not add into our
18 proposal. We ask that you restore the SUNY
19 hospital subsidy to its 2010 level of
20 $128 million, and we support SUNY's budget
21 request to forgive $40 million in debt
23 As you know, the three teaching
24 hospitals -- Upstate, Downstate, and
1 Stony Brook -- are economic engines in
2 their communities. They provide
3 essential healthcare services,
4 especially to low-income and underserved
5 residents. They supply the current and
6 future workforce for this critical
7 industry. In addition, SUNY's four
8 academic medical centers generate
9 approximately $700 million of the
10 state's $2 billion in federal graduate
11 medical education funding, and that
12 represents 10 percent of the entire federal
14 We thank you, as Andy has said, for
15 protecting Downstate's public mission from
16 misguided privatization schemes.
17 We continue to advocate for a
18 Brooklyn healthcare plan that would
19 dedicate a portion of the $1.2 billion
20 Healthcare Refinancing Program to develop
21 four SUNY Downstate owned and operated
22 ambulatory care centers. This would
23 support medical education and the provision
24 of vital health care to thousands of
1 underserved and underinsured patients in
2 the Brooklyn area. In collaboration with
3 other Brooklyn safety net hospitals, our
4 plan calls for comprehensive ambulatory
5 care throughout the borough.
6 We also urge you to create a public
7 higher education quality endowment
8 initiative to rebuild academic departments
9 depleted by historic underfunding and to
10 transition highly qualified part-time
11 faculty and staff to full-time positions.
12 Currently, more than 6,000 faculty are
13 part-time teaching faculty at SUNY's
14 state-operated campuses, and more than
15 4,000 are full-time faculty who are not on
16 the tenure track.
17 A little while ago we heard SUNY
18 report that more than 900 new faculty were
19 hired since 2011, but the part-time/
20 full-time ratio has not changed much, if at
21 all, since then. Currently, 22 percent of
22 SUNY's faculty are full-time but not
23 eligible for tenure; therefore, they are
24 not doing the full complement of research
1 service, teaching work, accreditation
2 work, et cetera, that is required at our
3 institutions. And 34 percent are
4 part-time adjuncts, a significant
6 It's also not clear to us how many
7 of the new hires are research faculty as
8 opposed to teaching faculty. So the
9 questions of services to our students are
10 certainly very significant.
11 The Executive Budget continues to
12 set aside $18 million of state Operating
13 Aid for performance-based funding, which
14 would continue this year's level. But what
15 the Executive Budget does not acknowledge
16 is that in addition to the original
17 $18 million, SUNY diverted an additional
18 $82 million from other funding sources to
19 support performance-based funding this
21 Performance-based funding is a
22 market-based accountability scheme that
23 serves to further avoid adequately funding
24 public higher ed, and there's a disconnect
1 between New York State's chronic
2 underfunding of our public education system
3 and its expectations of high performance.
4 Performance-based funding is not the way to
5 undo years of disinvestment that continues
6 to undermine the ability of SUNY campuses
7 to achieve the very goals that
8 performance-based funding aims to achieve.
9 In addition, public medical
10 education, as you know, is so critical for
11 our state, and SUNY Buffalo's Health
12 Science Center has the difficult challenge
13 of providing high-quality medical training
14 for its residents without having its own
15 clinical hospital. UUP is proposing a
16 brand new program, the Buffalo Healthcare
17 Teaching Fellows Program, that would
18 provide the focused and time-intensive
19 teaching and guidance that residents need
20 in order to receive the breadth and depth
21 of experience that residencies should
22 provide. And it also provides
23 accountability needed to ensure a
24 high-quality medical education.
1 Now, a while ago you heard the SUNY
2 chancellor say that SUNY's TeachNY Advisory
3 Council's recommendations would address the
4 immediate teacher certification problems
5 that an Assemblymember asked her to
6 address. But that group has not been
7 focused on the pressing crisis we are
8 currently facing. While enrollments in our
9 state's P-12 schools are actually
10 increasing, especially in high-needs and
11 diverse urban and suburban areas, there are
12 multiple indicators that teacher shortages
13 are worsening, with particular implications
14 for the creation of a diverse teaching
16 Enrollment in the state's teacher
17 education programs at public and private
18 institutions is plummeting. It was down
19 40 percent between 2008 and 2013, and we've
20 certainly seen dramatic decreases at SUNY's
21 17 campuses that have teacher education
22 programs, including Fredonia and many
24 The misguided implementation in 2014
1 of inappropriate and costly high-stakes
2 certification requirements, combined with
3 punitive and unfair teacher evaluations and
4 receivership mandates, is discouraging
5 young adults from pursuing teaching careers
6 and creating barriers for adult learners to
7 enter the field.
8 To meet the challenge, UUP proposes
9 that the state provide $15 million to
10 support a new SUNY Recruiting and Educating
11 Teachers For All program, modeled after the
12 highly successful EOP program. This would
13 help address the worsening crisis of
14 recruiting and retaining teachers in
15 high-needs districts, and it would increase
16 the participation rate of underrepresented
17 and economically disadvantaged individuals
18 in teaching careers, which is sorely
20 We also call for the state to stop
21 outsourcing the quality control and
22 accountability for teacher certification
23 tests to for-profit vendors. The state
24 currently, without cost, can contract with
1 educational vendors to develop and
2 administer tests. The vendor profits
3 directly from students who pay to take and
4 retake tests. The vendor is paid
5 regardless of whether the tests are
6 accurate, valid, or fair. And they
7 actually profit from faulty exams that
8 students may have to take and retake.
9 This is currently the situation with
10 all four of the state's teacher
11 certification exams and assessments. All
12 are administered by Pearson. Students are
13 paying up to $1,000 to take and retake
14 faulty exams.
15 We propose that SED take back
16 responsibility for exam administration and
17 fee collection. We also propose that there
18 be an immediate and thorough evaluation of
19 the new certification package, since there
20 are so many problems -- content problems,
21 computer test format problems -- and the
22 edTPA, which is really taking over the
23 student teaching experience, is not working
24 well in many specialty areas.
1 Finally, we urge you to reject the
2 Executive Budget proposals to reduce the
3 state support for its retirees. That is,
4 please reject tiering of state
5 contributions to retiree health insurance
6 premiums based on years of service, capping
7 the state's reimbursement of Medicare
8 Part B premiums, and ending state
9 reimbursement of increased Medicare Part B
10 costs for higher-income retirees under
12 We also urge you to support the
13 maintenance of a strong economic foundation
14 for a high quality and productive life for
15 the state's retirees by raising the maximum
16 earning allowance from $30,000 to $35,000.
17 Thank you.
18 EXEC. VP PALLOTTA: Now we'll hear
19 from Dr. Bowen.
20 PRESIDENT BOWEN: Good afternoon,
21 and thank you so much, Chairs. Thank you
22 Chairpersons Young and Farrell, and also
23 Chairperson LaValle -- who's not here, but
24 Chairperson Glick is here, ably
1 representing the Higher Ed wing -- and
2 thank you members. I especially want to
3 thank you for staying through this long day
4 and for continuing to ask such powerful
6 I'm very proud to be joined by
7 Dr. Mike Fabricant, who is a professor at
8 CUNY, and also by my colleagues here from
9 NYSUT and UUP.
10 Thank you very much for giving me
11 the opportunity to speak on behalf of the
12 27,000 members of the Professional Staff
13 Congress, CUNY. We've heard a lot about
14 CUNY today, and I hope to be able to answer
15 some of the questions that came up and
16 didn't seem to be fully answered earlier.
17 I want to first thank you,
18 legislators, for the exceptional work you
19 did in the last round of budget
20 negotiations, especially for your work that
21 others have mentioned on gaining the near
22 unanimous support for the maintenance of
23 effort bill which was sponsored by
24 Chairpersons Glick and LaValle. You really
1 did a splendid job on that, and we are
2 hoping, with your support and your help, to
3 have a structure-maintaining effort, which
4 is really just maintaining the commitment
5 to have that built into the budget in
6 future years.
7 I have longer testimony; I'm not
8 going to read it all. There are many other
9 things to thank you for, and there are many
10 points that we want to make, some you've
11 heard by my colleagues already. But I want
12 to concentrate on two things.
13 I really have two messages. One is
14 that the $240 million that was line-itemed
15 by the Governor for the first time, with
16 the specific narrative of being used for
17 retroactive raises for fair and affordable
18 contracts for the CUNY employees, that that
19 item must stay in the budget and, in fact,
20 if it is to cover the need for retroactive
21 raises to keep us merely on a par with
22 other public employees, that that amount in
23 fact even needs to be raised. Because time
24 has progressed since we first named that,
1 there's another year of retroactive money
2 needed, and the Governor makes it clear
3 that that amount is for the unions, plural,
4 not just for our union.
5 So I want to start by saying that
6 that item -- whatever other negotiations
7 you undertake, and however you are able to
8 finish the negotiating -- I certainly
9 support Vice President Pallotta's very
10 strong -- very strong call to increase the
11 table target.
12 But one thing, we rarely get a line
13 item for $240 million. The Governor
14 recognizes the need to settle those
15 contracts. Many of you have asked today,
16 Would that settle the contract? No, that
17 amount isn't sufficient. But it would go a
18 long way toward making that possible, and
19 we certainly can talk about that in more
21 So that's the first thing that I
22 would like to make sure remains.
23 Second, and a larger issue, is that
24 the sweeping and unprecedented so-called
1 cost-sharing proposal by the Governor to,
2 quote, require New York City to cover
3 $485 million of the -- that's about a
4 third, almost a third of the state
5 contribution to the senior colleges at
6 CUNY, that that proposal must not stand.
7 And also that it can mask the real issue
8 that I think should be before us, and the
9 real issue is that, under Governor Cuomo,
10 there has been a steady decrease in the
11 state's contribution to CUNY.
12 So while many of us are talking
13 about this unique and troubling proposal
14 for so-called cost sharing, which if it
15 were truly a cut -- I'll answer, I know the
16 chancellor earlier didn't answer -- maybe,
17 you know, I will say more boldly, then,
18 that it would be absolutely devastating if
19 that were applied as a cut.
20 But I don't want us to focus so much
21 on the politics and the complexity of that
22 proposal that we miss something very, very
23 important, which is that under Governor
24 Cuomo the contribution to CUNY from state
1 funding has in fact decreased. And I'd
2 like to talk a little bit about that.
3 Our new analysis -- which again is
4 given in more detail and with a graph in
5 the supporting material -- our new analysis
6 shows that Governor Cuomo's budgets have
7 led to a 3 percent decline in state funding
8 for CUNY's four-year colleges. That's
9 between the beginning of Governor Cuomo's
10 period in office until 2015-2016.
11 The Governor's press statements and
12 his budget books proclaim big aggregate
13 investment increases, they cite increases
14 in nominal dollars, but once you factor in
15 rising enrollment and you factor in
16 inflation, you will see that the funds for
17 CUNY for the four-year colleges have
18 actually been cut during the Governor's
19 term of office.
20 The truth is that after five years
21 of tuition increases, five years of SUNY
22 2020, Governor Cuomo's signature public
23 higher education policy, the result is that
24 the state's investment in each CUNY senior
1 college student is, in real dollars, less
2 than it was before the Governor took
4 And really that's the only way to
5 measure investment. You can't leave out
6 the fact that enrollment has grown by
7 20 percent in some areas. You can't leave
8 out inflation. If you just look at the
9 nominal dollars, you might see an increase.
10 But when we look at where the money counts,
11 which is how much is spent on each student,
12 how much does New York State believe in
13 investing in each student, you will see a
14 drop in investment.
15 Since the 2008 recession, which is a
16 benchmark for many of the things that the
17 Legislature is rightly committed to
18 restoring, since the 2008 recession per-FTE
19 state funding for CUNY's senior colleges
20 has decreased by a full 17 percent. So we
21 are down 3 percent during the Governor's
22 term, and still 17 percent behind where the
23 state was at the recession, pre-recession.
24 And that again includes an adjustment for
2 The state's economy and budget have
3 rebounded dramatically since the recession,
4 but CUNY has been largely ignored -- until
5 this year, when the news was not good. In
6 fact, an analysis by New York City
7 Comptroller Scott Stringer that he recently
8 delivered when he testified revealed that
9 if the state contributions to CUNY had
10 grown at the same rate as the state's
11 operating budget over the last seven years,
12 the system would have received an
13 additional $637 million.
14 So as the budget grew in the state,
15 the proportion of the budget that was
16 dedicated to CUNY senior colleges has
17 actually shrunk. It has not kept up. It's
18 a fairly small proportion, but it has not
19 kept up.
20 So that's why our proposal today
21 will sound a little different, and here we
22 do support absolutely what the chancellor
23 said. The real issue is that there should
24 be more investment in CUNY. I know many of
1 us are preoccupied with how we going to get
2 out from under the proposal of cost-sharing
3 $485 million and how we must, absolutely
4 must hold on to the $240 million initiative
5 by the Governor to settle these contracts.
6 But I also want to call your
7 attention to the fact that what is really
8 needed, if New York State wants to make a
9 serious investment in the students who
10 attend CUNY, is the beginning of a recovery
11 from that loss of money that has occurred
12 during Governor Cuomo's term of office.
13 I was reminded, in thinking about
14 this, of Cornel West, the philosopher
15 Cornel West, who was asked a question in
16 response to another budgetary decision. He
17 asked legislators, "Just what kind of
18 culture do you really want?"
19 And I would ask New York State, Just
20 what kind of university do you really want?
21 If New York wants anything other than a
22 university that is constrained to offer
23 students less than the education they
24 deserve, then it's time for a change in
1 budgetary policy, and I think we should
2 look at who attends CUNY.
3 This has been mentioned earlier.
4 The students at CUNY are 75 -- the
5 undergraduates are 75 percent people of
6 color: Latino, black, and Asian. More
7 than half of our students have incomes
8 under $30,000 a year for the family. Forty
9 percent are new immigrants. More than
10 40 percent work. This is a population that
11 has been radically underserved by much of
12 the rest of the culture and society and
14 CUNY does something astonishing with
15 these students -- not for, but with these
16 students -- and that's what's at risk
17 through the steady, steady drip, drip, drip
18 of underfunding.
19 So that's why our proposal to you
20 is -- not only -- these two things. Right?
21 One is to hold on very tight to the fact
22 that the Governor acknowledged there needs
23 to be money for retroactive pay if our
24 contracts are going to be settled. And two
1 is to look beyond the false, diversionary
2 narrative about cost sharing to the city
3 and look at what's really happening to
4 state funding -- which is that it has
5 diminished under Governor Cuomo.
6 That is ironic, to say the least,
7 because we have a surplus in the state and
8 also because the Governor has made us his
9 hallmark, really, in trying to address
10 inequality. He has named that as something
11 that's essential to him. He has named
12 progressive values as essential, and he has
13 named economic development as essential.
14 No institution does more for
15 economic development than the City
16 University of New York. Of course joined
17 by SUNY, and I feel very strongly that SUNY
18 also plays a central role there, but I'm
19 focused just for a moment on the city. I
20 mean, higher education plays that central
21 role. And for our Governor to stand for
22 progressive values and not see the
23 importance of investing in CUNY, a central
24 historical progressive institution, I think
1 is shortsighted. And we're calling on you
2 to make sure that does not stand in the
3 final budget.
4 I want to say one thing about the
5 history that leads to this idea of cost
6 sharing, just say a couple of things and
7 then quickly wrap up. It's pure
8 revisionist history that it's time for the
9 city to take over a share of the cost for
10 the four-year colleges of CUNY. The
11 four-year colleges of CUNY are funded on
12 exactly the same basis as the four-year
13 colleges of SUNY in terms of state funding.
14 The community colleges of CUNY are funded
15 on the same basis as the community colleges
16 of SUNY.
17 Moreover, the idea that this shift
18 in responsibility took place just at the
19 fiscal crisis is not correct. It was
20 really under Governor Rockefeller -- who is
21 such a supporter and expander of the State
22 University -- Governor Rockefeller, seeing
23 the increase in enrollments after the
24 G.I. Bill, invested very strongly in both
1 the State and the City University and
2 invested in the City University so that the
3 state, by 1974, before the fiscal crisis
4 move, the state was already covering
5 45 percent of the costs of the CUNY
6 four-year colleges.
7 And in fact it's the norm elsewhere
8 across the country for four-year colleges
9 to be the responsibility for funding by the
10 states, not the localities.
11 So let me just say, in closing, that
12 yes, in answer to Senator Stavisky's
13 question, Does the lack of a contract hurt
14 recruitment? Absolutely. I can tell you
15 right now about department chairs who say
16 they cannot recruit the faculty and staff
17 they need because of the lack of a raise.
18 And we ask you to look at the other
19 proposals we've made throughout our
20 testimony. We join our colleagues in
21 calling for an increase of $250 in
22 FTE funding for the community colleges. We
23 strongly support a maintenance of effort
24 renewal, and we do not believe tuition
1 increases are the way to fund CUNY. That's
2 not a stable basis, it's strategically not
3 the right way to fund CUNY.
4 So I'll just end by saying we urge
5 you to look at our testimony and to say
6 that CUNY needs more state funding, not
7 less. CUNY's half-million students deserve
8 a strong, well-funded university. Anything
9 short of a renewal of investment represents
10 a political decision to make sure that our
11 students fail. I know that's not the
12 decision you want to make, so I ask you to
13 join us in finding an alternative course
14 and funding CUNY.
15 Thank you very much.
16 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
17 Deborah Glick.
18 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Well, let me
19 start with the UUP comments.
20 Do you have any idea of the
21 breakdown in SUNY regarding new faculty?
22 Is that something that you are dependent on
23 the systems for or through the union? Do
24 you have a sense of the breakdown between
1 full-time in the classroom and full-time
3 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: It's
4 actually difficult for us to discern the
5 difference between in-the-classroom
6 faculty and researchers based on the
7 data that we get from SUNY. We
8 certainly can differentiate
9 part-time/full-time, those on the tenure
10 track, those not on the tenure track. But
11 we don't know exactly what their
12 professional obligation is based on the
13 data that we get.
14 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: On the issue
15 of the edTPA, my friend Assemblymember
16 Lifton has been very vigorous on this
17 particular issue. In the teaching programs
18 they have seen, apparently, reductions in
19 the number of students that are
21 Do you think that that is in part
22 because of what students are hearing about
23 the methodology that's being used for the
24 certification? Or are there other factors?
1 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: I think
2 it's really a perfect storm of a number
3 of things coming together. So as I
4 indicated, I think the declines started
5 even before the new certification exams
6 were instituted. And I think that had
7 more to do with what was going on in the
8 K-12 world and kind of the more general
9 denigration and deprofessionalization of
11 We hear from a lot of our students,
12 even those who are committed to entering
13 and finishing teacher education programs,
14 "My parents are telling me not to do this,
15 my neighbors" -- I mean, so that's part of
16 what we're fighting against.
17 But the other thing is that the new
18 certification package has just exacerbated
19 that pretty significantly. And in addition
20 to declining enrollments, students going
21 into teacher education programs, the other
22 thing we're seeing is the brain drain. The
23 students who are in those programs and will
24 finish those programs, a growing proportion
1 of them are not completing certification in
2 New York State.
3 And so one indicator is registration
4 for the edTPA. We were at a meeting last
5 week and one of our campus program
6 directors said 50 percent of the students
7 who graduated from our teacher education
8 program last year did not register to
9 complete the edTPA, meaning they have
10 decided, because probably they feel they
11 cannot complete it for a variety of
12 reasons, they've just written off the
13 possibility of getting certified in
14 New York State.
15 And on top of that, the recruitment
16 from out-of-state school districts has
17 really been increasing. We have some
18 figures in our report about that.
19 So the teacher certification debacle
20 in New York State is becoming widely known
21 across the country, and recruiters are
22 coming to recruit our students away. So
23 it's both declining enrollments but, among
24 those who are in our programs -- and again,
1 public and private programs -- a subset of
2 those students deciding, I can't afford to
3 try to get certified, or they're having
4 problems with particular exams, whether
5 it's the edTPA or one of the other three,
6 and they're not planning to stay in
7 New York State to teach.
8 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: If they want
9 to stay in New York and they don't want to
10 be certified, they could teach in private
11 schools, correct?
12 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: Well, I
13 don't -- they could, potentially, at
14 least in the short term. I think
15 certainly the requirements for
16 completion of the edTPA are much less
17 rigorous. I'm not really sure how good a
18 possibility there is that they could stay
19 in teaching without getting certified in
20 New York State. But certainly that is an
21 initial pathway that some students are
22 likely to try.
23 And we do have a significant number
24 of teachers who are not certified in some
1 of those schools.
2 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Maybe I can
3 just ask you to sort of opine on the
4 general condition of the facilities that
5 are around the state. We have a rather
6 small amount of capital allocated in this
7 budget, and we've heard from the systems
8 that there are substantially more needs.
9 What are you hearing? And are there
10 areas, for example, if you're teaching in
11 one of the STEM disciplines, then maybe the
12 lab's facilities are antiquated and are not
13 up to -- if you're trying to do work on
14 your own with your students in engineering,
15 the types of equipment might not be -- so
16 can you --
17 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: Yeah, we
18 are certainly hearing some of that. And
19 I think that there's a lot of variation
20 across the campuses. But I think one
21 pattern that needs to be explored is
22 this: That we have seen some
23 significant improvements in capital --
24 for example, new science buildings to
1 address the declining infrastructure for
2 labs and those things. So that is
3 happening and has happened under
4 previous capital allocations. There are
5 still many that are not up to speed.
6 But I think what we're also hearing
7 is the less, you know, focused-on
8 disciplines and areas are likely to be
9 neglected. So you can sometimes have
10 outstanding facilities in some areas,
11 literally in some buildings, but then the
12 more basic arts and sciences, humanities,
13 those buildings are often less likely to
14 get to the top of the list. So I think
15 it's a mixed bag.
16 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you very
18 Professor Bowen, if you could talk a
19 little bit about the issue of recruiting
20 new professors and how the uncertainty
21 around having a -- solving the collective
22 bargaining agreement, what impact has that
23 had at the City University?
24 PRESIDENT BOWEN: A tremendous
1 impact, and maybe Mike Fabricant will also
2 say a word about it. But as you know, it's
3 a long process to recruit a full-time
4 faculty member. It takes several months,
5 sometimes six months, because it's a
6 national competition.
7 So people are looking -- they're in
8 California or they're based in Ohio,
9 wherever else, and they're considering a
10 job. I myself have heard from department
11 chairs that they will go to their top
12 candidate on the list, and the person will
13 say, I really want to teach at CUNY because
14 I believe in the mission -- and this is why
15 I came to CUNY. I know exactly why people
16 come to CUNY, because it's why I came to
17 CUNY, you believe in the mission, you
18 believe in the great intellectually
19 explosive possibility of a really varied
20 student body with a tremendous range of
21 experience that they bring to the
22 classroom, and then you also are reaching
23 students who otherwise wouldn't have the
24 chance for college.
1 That's why people want to come to
2 CUNY. Then they hear what the salaries are
3 and then they look at where they might
4 possibly live, and it's those two things
5 that make them say, I'm sorry, I'm going to
6 turn down the job.
7 We have heard from department chairs
8 who will go through several of their top
9 candidates. They'll work very hard to
10 recruit people, they'll work very hard to
11 recruit candidates of color in higher ed,
12 and those candidates will say -- I mean,
13 I've heard from somebody with tears in her
14 eyes say "I'm turning it down because I
15 can't honestly and responsibly bring my own
16 family into a city where I'm going to have
17 to live literally two hours away in order
18 to afford anything."
19 And the salary is $40,000 below
20 Rutgers or University of Connecticut.
21 People are willing to make some sacrifice
22 to come to CUNY, but not to give up their
23 entire career prospects because there's so
24 little for research, and also to put their
1 own families in jeopardy. So we are
2 hearing it every day. Every day.
3 I don't know if, Mike, you wanted to
4 say something.
5 DR. FABRICANT: The only thing I
6 would add is that it takes a couple of
7 things. It takes a long, long time to
8 build a department. A very long time, for
9 a quality department. It takes a very,
10 very short time to destroy it.
11 And so some part of what we're also
12 beginning to see is the out-migration of
13 some of our best faculty who have other
14 choices in other parts of the country and
15 other parts of the region. I mean, it's
16 not an accident that when we did our own
17 little survey about five, six years ago --
18 not every university, but most of the major
19 universities in the region were included --
20 we were third from the bottom. That was
21 five years ago, before this -- basically
22 impasse regarding contract and
24 So we're clearly somewhere near or
1 at the bottom in terms of salaries of
2 faculty in the region. And that puts us in
3 an essentially increasingly uncompetitive
4 situation with other folks.
5 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you. My
6 time has expired.
7 PRESIDENT BOWEN: Thank you.
8 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
9 SENATOR KRUEGER: Senator Toby
11 SENATOR STAVISKY: Ladies and
12 gentlemen, you've heard the testimony from
13 the two chancellors. Is there anything you
14 wish to comment on or agree with or
15 disagree with?
16 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: Well, if
17 I may --
18 PRESIDENT BOWEN: Sure.
19 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: --
20 again, I think that the chancellor, the
21 SUNY chancellor's emphasis on all of the
22 new initiatives is very encouraging on
23 the one hand, but I think that what we
24 are seeing is increasing concern that
1 the basic activities that our
2 institutions need to fulfill, their
3 basic missions, are being put on the
4 back burner.
5 So we are concerned -- the
6 projections for the increased number of
7 students in SUNY, when we hear that, that
8 immediately raises questions across our
9 campuses: How are we going to do that?
10 And certainly how are we going to do that
11 in a high-quality way, particularly when we
12 know that our existing students need more
13 services, more attention, more mentoring,
14 more clinical experiences? So that's one
15 important situation.
16 I think the other thing I would also
17 be concerned about has to do with the
18 tuition situation. And aside from what we
19 learned from our members and our -- I'm the
20 parent of a SUNY student, so I can tell you
21 that it isn't just the tuition increases.
22 What has also been happening are increases
23 in fees. And when you mention, for
24 example, the STEM fields, my son is in the
1 sciences. Books, supplies -- he can easily
2 spend a $100 to $150 for one lab manual.
3 So you know, when we want to recruit
4 students from a variety of backgrounds into
5 these kinds of fields, we have to recognize
6 that in addition to the tuition, many of
7 the things that the universities can't fund
8 anymore is being funded by the students
9 through increased fees. So I was concerned
10 about the lack of attention to that.
11 PRESIDENT BOWEN: Thank you, Senator
12 Stavisky. If I could add in, we certainly
13 agree with the chancellor of CUNY and his
14 statement that CUNY needs more funding. He
15 added that to his statement. I don't think
16 he put a specific number on that, but I
17 think that was an important recognition.
18 Obviously we agree strongly that the
19 contract must be settled. He said that
20 that was a top priority for him. I did
21 not, however, hear him insist that the
22 $240 million must remain in an enacted
23 budget. I hope that that is the position
24 that he has taken. And also that
1 $240 million needs to be supplemented if we
2 are actually going to get to a contract
3 deal. So we feel that very strongly.
4 And also I know that the legislators
5 asked him several times about the proposal
6 to do "cost sharing," and certainly one
7 doesn't want to step in between discussions
8 that are already ongoing with the city and
9 the state. I understand that. But let me
10 just be frank. What's in the budget is a
11 cut. It's a proposed cut. It appears in
12 parentheses on the page. And it's page 100
13 in the state budget document.
14 And so until that is filled in, that
15 is a cut, and that is a 30 percent cut in
16 the state's allocation to the four-year
17 colleges at CUNY with the, I would say
18 respectfully, thin justification that this
19 would align the funding with the governance
20 structure. In fact, it would misalign CUNY
21 funding with SUNY funding, and it's based
22 on a fiction about what city and state
23 shares of the funding for four-year
24 colleges should be.
1 In fact, the city does contribute to
2 the four-year colleges in a way that's
3 anomalous around the state. Most cities do
4 not contribute anything to four-year
5 colleges. Because there are some
6 associate's programs in our four-year
7 schools, the city contributes because the
8 city is responsible for contributions on
9 the associate degrees. That's why that
10 small amount is there.
11 So I would make -- I would have a
12 different emphasis, let me put it that way,
13 than the emphasis I heard from the
14 chancellor about the urgency of that
15 amount. But I would also say let's not be
16 so caught up in trying to think through a
17 complicated political proposal about city
18 and state and lose sight of the fact that
19 what we really should concentrate on is
20 that funding for CUNY has gone down, and
21 despite this Governor's presentation of
22 this state as interested in economic
23 development and public higher education and
24 having a signature proposal like SUNY 2020,
1 the result has actually been defunding
3 And we just have to face, as a
4 state, whether that's our political
5 decision, to defund the college that
6 educates working-class people, people of
7 color, moderate-income people in the city,
8 or do we want to fund that adequately.
9 And that's why I am very happy to
10 have you to work in partnership with.
11 SENATOR STAVISKY: Thank you.
12 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you.
14 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
15 Further questions?
16 Good. Any further -- you?
17 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you. Hi.
18 Thank you. This is not a question,
19 just a closing comment. I thank you all
20 for testifying. I really appreciate
21 Barbara Bowen's testimony about the true
22 reality of the history of funding for CUNY
23 and the difference between rhetoric and
24 reality, about whether we treat CUNY or
1 SUNY differently.
2 And I feel quite strongly that it is
3 not acceptable for the state to start down
4 the road of treating CUNY as the, I don't
5 know, the orphan child. Not to imply that
6 SUNY is getting too much, just the
7 opposite. But this is truly a disturbing
8 proposal this year in the budget.
9 I also appreciate all of you
10 highlighting that not investing in our
11 higher education programs is the equivalent
12 of not investing in our infrastructure.
13 And the correlation -- and your chancellors
14 made the points earlier -- that it's
15 economic development to invest in quality
17 And then the commissioner of the
18 State Education Department was here going
19 into detail about the necessity of ensuring
20 we have an educated workforce. And so the
21 fact that we are spending an enormous
22 amount of money in programs we call
23 economic development -- we had a hearing
24 last week where I couldn't get any answers
1 on how much of a return we're getting on
2 those -- and yet there's plenty of research
3 on the return you get from investing in
4 higher education, particularly for
5 low-income students, and how much that
6 turns around the amount of earnings they
7 have and what they can invest back in their
8 communities. So I appreciate your all
9 bringing us back to that reality.
10 And because I'm the wife of a
11 pissed-off CUNY professor, I will not
12 comment on the fact that you don't have a
15 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you.
16 PRESIDENT BOWEN: Thank you. That's
17 a technical term.
18 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: Thank
20 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
22 PRESIDENT BOWEN: Thank you.
23 VICE PRESIDENT DANGLER: Thank
24 you, Chairman.
1 DR. FABRICANT: Thank you.
2 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Laura Anglin,
3 president, Commission on Independent
4 Colleges and Universities, CICU.
5 MS. ANGLIN: Good afternoon.
6 SENATOR KRUEGER: Good afternoon.
7 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Good afternoon.
8 MS. ANGLIN: Or evening. Almost
10 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Oh, it is
12 MS. ANGLIN: Oh, I guess it is
14 I want to thank all of you for a
15 very long day, and I appreciate the fact
16 that there's so many of you still here.
17 I am Laura Anglin, the president of
18 the Commission on Independent Colleges and
19 Universities, and thank you for allowing me
20 to testify today on behalf of the
21 independent sector of higher education here
22 in New York State.
23 With me today is my colleague Terri
24 Standish-Kuon, who is my vice president for
1 public affairs.
2 You have my testimony before you,
3 and I do not plan to read it, it is quite
4 lengthy. I'd rather just highlight a few
5 key points and then take any comments or
6 questions that you might have.
7 But first of all, there really are
8 too few opportunities to publicly express
9 the appreciation -- so first and foremost,
10 on behalf of our students, I thank you for
11 everything you do and I thank you for
12 supporting over 270 colleges and
13 universities in the State of New York and
14 over 1.2 million students. Without the
15 work you have done, our students would not
16 be as strong as they are and our higher
17 education system would not be as strong.
18 The independent sector is deeply
19 grateful for the state's investment in the
20 TAP program, and I know that's been talked
21 about a lot today as well as other
22 opportunity programs such as HEOP, STEP,
23 CSTEP, and LPP. We are especially grateful
24 for the 15 percent funding increase for
1 each of our opportunity programs that we
2 saw in last year's budget, and we're quite
3 pleased that that increase was carried over
4 into the base this year.
5 One of our proposals this year, to
6 ensure that student aid can continue to
7 serve its purpose, would be to increase the
8 TAP maximum to $6,500. And I talked about
9 this last year. TAP was last increased in
10 2014 by $165, but prior to that it was more
11 than a decade ago when that program was
13 More than 5 million New Yorkers have
14 used TAP to meet their college expenses
15 since its creation more than 45 years ago,
16 and I'm proud to say that I am one of that
17 5 million who was a TAP student as I went
18 through college.
19 In addition to increasing the
20 maximum award, you want to ensure that
21 applying for TAP continues to be easy for
22 students and families, and I know that this
23 was talked about earlier today. But recent
24 actions by the federal government will now
1 allow New York families applying for TAP to
2 use prior-prior tax year returns. Using
3 two-year-prior tax information for the free
4 application for federal student aid, or
5 FAFSA as we know it, as opposed to one
6 prior year as we have right now, will
7 increase the form's accuracy and give
8 families an earlier and better idea of
9 their anticipated financial aid and college
11 We are doing a little research now
12 as to what the rest of the states are doing
13 with regards to the prior-prior, but it
14 appears now that New York may be the only
15 state that actually requires a statutory
16 amendment to conform. And unfortunately we
17 feel that if we do not conform, families
18 will be confused and some may not even
19 realize the difference between the two. So
20 we are working -- we have talked with the
21 Governor's office about that and asked for
22 that to be a 30-day amendment. But we
23 would like to see that definitely be part
24 of the final enacted budget.
1 And finally, with respect to tuition
2 assistance -- and I know this has been
3 raised a couple of times today -- that I
4 would like to start the conversation of
5 reimagining graduate tuition assistance, or
6 TAP. We know that it was eliminated in
7 2010 and 2011, and we also know that in the
8 next six years, jobs requiring a master's
9 degree will grow by more than 18 percent,
10 and by 16 percent for doctoral professional
11 degrees. Let us help our young
12 professionals or adults looking to change
13 career paths to prepare for occupations
14 such as accounting, teaching, physical
15 therapy, and many others.
16 Also, as we see the traditional
17 student as being redefined, the independent
18 sector is adapting to provide greater
19 opportunities that meet the personal
20 realities for all those seeking a higher
21 education. Whether it is adult learners
22 or veterans or part-time students, many of
23 these students seeking out higher education
24 require some special help in programs such
1 as HEOP, CSTEP, STEP and LPP, which have
2 all proven to effectively serve these
3 changing student populations.
4 Therefore, we would love to see
5 New York actually double funding for these
6 opportunities by 2020. And if we continue
7 with the 15 percent increase to the base
8 that we saw last year, we believe we would
9 be able to do that. So that is something
10 that we would love to talk and work with
11 you on.
12 We also talked a little bit earlier
13 about the uniform financial aid award
14 letter, so I would like to talk just a
15 minute about that because it's quite
16 timely, in that I received an email from
17 one of my schools today and the email was
18 just to let us know that their software
19 provider has no plans on providing an
20 electronic solution to produce New York's
21 financial aid award letters.
22 So my fear is that as we go through
23 this and its implementation, that many of
24 the schools -- or most of the schools -- do
1 use software providers to prepare these
2 financial aid award letters, and I'm not
3 sure that we're going to have the resources
4 to be able to do that.
5 So that's something that we'd like
6 to continue to work with the Governor's
7 office, DFS, HESC, as well as you on, to
8 figure out if there's perhaps some changes
9 that we can make to the statute that was
10 adopted last year, so that we can implement
11 it and provide good and important
12 information to our students or our
14 With regards to the STEM Incentive
15 scholarship program, once again we would
16 ask to be included within that program.
17 Our state is projected to have nearly a
18 half-million STEM jobs by 2018, and our
19 sector does produce about 56 percent of the
20 bachelor's degrees in the STEM fields and
21 72 percent in the graduate degrees.
22 Therefore, I do urge the state to
23 expand that program to include our students
24 in the independent sector. Let us tap into
1 the built-in strength of all our sectors of
2 higher education so that talented students
3 can take their scholarship dollars to any
4 college or university where they might want
5 to attend so that we can continue to make
6 sure that we're a leader in these fields.
7 In addition, another scholarship
8 program that I'd just like to mention is
9 our Master's in Teaching Education Program.
10 In addition to STEM fields, we are leaders
11 in conferring Master of Education degrees.
12 In New York State, about 67 percent of the
13 degrees are conferred by independent-sector
15 And I think the state has been
16 talked about earlier -- according to the
17 Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of
18 kindergarten and elementary school teachers
19 is expected to grow by 6 percent by 2024.
20 So we feel like there will be a shortage in
21 this area to have teachers, so we should
22 all work together to make sure that the
23 decline we're seeing in the number of
24 adults seeking higher education and
1 teaching degrees is reversed.
2 And I'd also like to talk just
3 briefly about another proposal that was
4 adopted last year, and this was the
5 graduate-level teacher education
6 regulations and requirements that were
7 adopted last year. And part of this
8 proposal was to try to attract highly
9 competent teachers into our schools and
10 into the workforce.
11 Therefore, last year new admission
12 requirements were crafted and adopted for
13 teacher education, specifically a new
14 requirement held that institutions with
15 graduate-level teacher education and school
16 leadership programs must adopt rigorous
17 standards which included a GPA of 3.0 or
18 higher in the candidate's undergraduate
19 program and a minimum score on the GRE or
20 equivalent test.
21 As we were walking through and going
22 through the implementation and talking with
23 our members about the implementation, we
24 were receiving a lot of feedback from
1 faculty and admissions experts. We would
2 like to talk to you about making some
3 changes to these requirements in order to
4 ensure that our future teacher workforce
5 represents the diversity that makes up our
6 classrooms and that those individuals,
7 especially those changing careers who might
8 not have had an undergraduate degree for
9 many years, that we don't require them to
10 now go back and take the GRE. We have a
11 lot of adult learners that I think --
12 veterans and other people -- that would be
13 wonderful teachers, and we should encourage
14 those to attend our programs.
15 And finally, let me just talk to --
16 a lot was talked about in previous
17 testimony about the impact of higher
18 education on our economy. New York is very
19 fortunate to have a very strong sector of
20 higher education and a very wonderful
21 asset. Our sector alone contributes more
22 than $74 billion annually to the state's
23 economy, and we generate over 394,000 jobs
24 annually, with taxes paid of about
1 $1.9 billion.
2 There are some wonderful programs
3 that are included within the budget that we
4 would like to continue to see included in
5 the final enacted budget, including our
6 HECap, our matching-grant program. We'd
7 love to see the Faculty Development Program
8 and the Technology Transfer Incentive
9 Program, which last received funding two
10 years ago, to see some funding again.
11 We're supportive of another round of
12 REDC funding, and we've been working to try
13 to enhance participation in the START-UP NY
14 program. We also have wonderful colleges
15 and universities that participate in the
16 Centers of Excellence, in our CATs, in our
17 Hot Spots and Incubators, and of course the
18 Stem Cell Innovation Fund has been a
19 program for many, many years of funding.
20 And finally, the last program that
21 you'll see as one of our priorities is
22 called the Community Solutions Matching
23 Grant Program. Colleges and universities
24 have long been great community partners,
1 and we propose a new matching grant program
2 whereby the state can further leverage the
3 terrific work that higher education is
4 doing to improve the lives of all
5 New Yorkers. So we'll have some more
6 details of that program as we put out our
8 In closing, I would like to thank
9 the Legislature for its support of students
10 and key programs that allow them to have
11 access to higher education. Let us build
12 on the momentum that we've seen last year
13 and over the last few years as we continue
14 to invest in our students.
15 I look forward to working with you
16 this year, and I am happy to take any
17 questions or hear any comments. Thank you.
18 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
19 Deborah Glick.
20 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you.
21 Do you have any idea -- you have a
22 lot of member colleges and universities.
23 MS. ANGLIN: I do.
24 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Do they have a
1 rough idea of how many teaching students
2 they produce each year?
3 MS. ANGLIN: We have 74 -- about
4 70 -- a little over 70 schools, and I can
5 get you the exact number of how many
6 degrees are conferred.
7 Terri, do you know that number?
8 MS. STANDISH-KUON: It's about --
9 well, 67 percent of the master's degrees,
10 about 43 percent overall. But
11 Assemblymember, we will get you the
13 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Yeah, yeah,
14 that's -- I didn't expect you to have
15 the -- I would have been amazed.
16 But in that same vein, the issue
17 that you raise about the threshold that was
18 inserted in last year's negotiations that
19 created a little bit of a, in my view, a
20 very arbitrary and perhaps inappropriate
22 I've heard from other people that
23 there are folks whose ability to
24 communicate -- you have some people who
1 could have a 3.5, very intellectual, very
2 cerebral, and have no ability to actually
3 connect and communicate. So this is a
4 broader discussion that we're having around
5 how do you determine who are the best
6 teachers, who are the best candidates, who
7 do you suggest might want to shift gears.
8 I think that's an ongoing
9 discussion, and I'm wondering whether any
10 of your schools are participating in
11 thinking about figuring it out sooner than
12 at the end of the track, whether there are
13 things they're instituting to determine the
14 suitability of somebody to be a teacher.
15 MS. ANGLIN: I think there's many
16 different -- as you said, there's many
17 different ways that you could look at that,
18 and that a test score is one way. But I
19 think looking at their performance as an
20 undergraduate, working with them as they go
21 through -- these are things that even if --
22 perhaps if someone enters a program and is
23 not strong in what you're suggesting,
24 mentoring and other things can be helpful.
1 And I think that's one of the
2 concerns about these standards that are
3 set, because a lot of students who could
4 wind up being a wonderful teacher and could
5 make a difference in someone's world may
6 actually be shut out of these programs
7 because they don't meet these requirements.
8 And I know that there is a
9 15 percent exception in last year's
10 legislation, so perhaps if we can start
11 even by looking at increasing that, or
12 phasing that in, that may be one option.
13 And I know that the concern is okay,
14 it's the GRE or an equivalent test, we
15 don't really know what that means. So a
16 lot of folks don't like the GRE because
17 they think that it is too narrow, and some
18 of the students that are taking it and some
19 of the results have been that it's probably
20 not the best indicator. So I think there's
21 concern about, well, then what is the right
22 indicator? But we'd love to continue that
24 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: There's been
1 some discussion about alternative pathways
2 for reaching a master's, or ways in which
3 you can determine if somebody should be
4 eligible for teaching. (Coughing.) Excuse
5 me, the cold resurges.
6 MS. ANGLIN: Yeah, I understand
8 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: But there are
9 people who are not certified as teachers in
10 the State of New York who teach at a
11 college level and yet are barred from
12 teaching high school English, but could be
14 MS. ANGLIN: Sure.
15 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: And has there
16 been any discussion about -- because most
17 of it is about not having the existing
18 programs be the pathway, but some other
19 entity somewhere just being able to, you
20 know, certify. And I'm wondering what your
21 thoughts are about that.
22 MS. ANGLIN: You know, I'd like to
23 come back to you on that. We do have
24 schools that have some creative alternative
1 programs, and I would love to reach out to
2 them and get their thoughts on really the
3 strength of what they see works in these
4 programs, but really also about -- maybe
5 there's other changes that we can make to
6 address what you're talking about. So I'd
7 like to go back to them and come back and
8 talk to you about some options.
9 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: You've made a
10 recommendation for increasing TAP to $6500.
11 Do you know what that would cost in the
13 MS. ANGLIN: You know, we asked HESC
14 for an estimate a couple of years ago, and
15 back then it was $180 million. So it may
16 be a little more than that. We have not
17 requested -- we obviously don't have the
18 capability of doing the estimate, so we can
19 request that from HESC.
20 Where that is a lot of money, we
21 understand. But remember last time when
22 the maximum was increased, it was done over
23 a multiyear period, it wasn't done in one
24 year. So we would love to continue to see
1 progress and something that we can work
2 over a multiyear period.
3 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK: Thank you.
4 MS. ANGLIN: Thank you.
5 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
7 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you very
8 much, and thank you for your comments and
9 thank you for the fine work that you do.
10 I did want to follow up regarding
11 the issue that we had spoken about
12 regarding the implementation of the
13 standardized financial aid award letter.
14 You mentioned that there may be some fixes
15 that you would suggest, and I would look
16 for your input regarding that issue to see
17 if there's something that we can do
18 legislatively to help address the
19 situation. That would be most helpful.
20 MS. ANGLIN: Sure. And I'd love to
21 follow up more formally, but one thing --
22 and we have been talking with DFS and HESC
23 and the Governor's office on this. One
24 thing perhaps we might look to do is just
1 to require schools to use the federal
2 shopping sheet, which is available on line,
3 I think. One hundred thirty schools in
4 New York currently use it.
5 We know that these providers, these
6 software providers, have that and are
7 willing to work with us to provide that.
8 And that -- and we can get you an example
9 of that shopping sheet, but literally I
10 think that would provide a lot of
11 information to students and families and it
12 would perhaps be less confusing too.
13 So right now, they make out the
14 federal shopping sheet, they make out a
15 standardized sheet that a college or
16 university does -- because they want to
17 provide more information than the federal
18 shopping sheet -- and now they may also now
19 get a third sheet, which is the state
20 shopping sheet, I'll call it, which is
21 basically the first page is the federal
22 shopping sheet and then some additional
24 So families now are going to get a
1 lot of information, so the question being,
2 really, is there a way to consolidate this
3 so that families can get the information
4 but not be overwhelmed with information.
5 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: And they are
6 right now. I can vouch for that --
7 MS. ANGLIN: They are. Absolutely.
8 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: -- personally
9 because of the calls that we receive in my
10 district office. It's really amazing, the
11 numbers, because people are confused, they
12 call us for help. And we're always happy
13 to help, but it would be nice if we could
14 simplify and streamline the information to
15 help be more user-friendly and meet their
17 So thank you for that. I look
18 forward to working with you.
19 MS. ANGLIN: Thank you. Absolutely.
20 Appreciate it.
21 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Okay. Senator
22 Krueger -- no, wait, we have the Assembly.
23 More Assemblymembers, I'm sure. Anyone
24 else? No?
1 Okay. So Senator Stavisky also had
2 a question.
3 SENATOR STAVISKY: We've discussed
4 this before. How do you see the HECap
5 program as progressing?
6 MS. ANGLIN: As the HECap program --
7 SENATOR STAVISKY: How is it
9 MS. ANGLIN: Well, we just had a
10 HECap board meeting -- and Assemblymember
11 Glick, you can testify to that -- last
12 week. So we're pleased, and I think an
13 announcement went out today -- we're
14 pleased that the first round of awards were
16 We have asked the Dormitory
17 Authority -- and I was actually going to
18 talk to the board members too, the HECap
19 board -- that perhaps if they could provide
20 some feedback to the schools as to, as they
21 looked at the applications, what was the
22 strengths, what helped, what perhaps made
23 one application -- I don't want to say
24 better than the other, but applications had
1 to receive a stronger -- maybe that's a
2 better word -- they had to receive a score
3 of 70 out of 100 to receive funding. And I
4 think 29 of the proposals achieved that,
5 and there were over 30 that did not.
6 So I think the schools would love to
7 get some feedback. But we're pleased and
8 we'd like to work now to perhaps do a
9 webinar or do something with the schools
10 and then have our next round of funding.
11 So once I get that feedback, I might be
12 able to provide you with some better
14 But we're extremely pleased at the
15 thoughtfulness that went into the process,
16 and that announcement was made last week.
17 SENATOR STAVISKY: And none of the
18 institutions are going to have a problem
19 with the matching grant? You know, the
20 match requirement?
21 MS. ANGLIN: You know, Senator,
22 the --
23 SENATOR STAVISKY: We've discussed
24 this before.
1 MS. ANGLIN: We did. And the one
2 thing that -- that's why I need some
4 The one thing that we tried to make
5 sure as we went through this new
6 competitive process -- because, if you
7 remember, the last time it was kind of as
8 of right, based on a formula -- is that we
9 wanted to make sure that the funding was
10 available to any size institution.
11 So we kind of did tranches or
12 buckets so that you could apply
13 competitively for, let's say, a $150,000
14 grant within that, or you could apply for a
15 $2.5 million grant. So the schools could
16 look at the project that best fit what they
17 could financially afford to match --
18 because it is, as you said, a three-to-one
19 match -- but really so that they weren't
20 competing, a small nursing school was not
21 competing with a large research university,
22 which probably would have been very
24 So you'll see, if you look at the
1 awards, you'll see awards from roughly
2 $140,000 up to $2.5. So it was nice to see
3 a mix of schools in different sizes and
4 geographical locations to be able to
5 benefit from the program.
6 SENATOR STAVISKY: That's why I
7 asked. That was the -- as you know, we've
8 discussed --
9 MS. ANGLIN: We have.
10 SENATOR STAVISKY: -- perhaps basing
11 the match requirement upon their endowment
12 or some other method.
13 But thank you.
14 MS. ANGLIN: Thank you.
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
16 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
17 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
19 SENATOR KRUEGER: No, one more,
21 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:
22 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Senator Krueger
23 had a question.
24 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Rushing, rushing.
2 SENATOR KRUEGER: I know. It'll be
3 a short question.
4 So it's been a few years, I think,
5 since I asked this question. Of the TAP
6 students that go to your members' colleges,
7 what are they leaving college with as far
8 as student debt?
9 MS. ANGLIN: You have a -- we
10 brought the average debt numbers, so --
11 MS. STANDISH-KUON: But I do not
12 have it, Senator, by TAP recipients.
13 SENATOR KRUEGER: Do you have it by
14 all --
15 MS. STANDISH-KUON: So I have
16 average --
17 MS. ANGLIN: Average -- statewide
19 SENATOR KRUEGER: Correct. What's
20 the statewide average?
21 MS. STANDISH-KUON: So New York
22 State's independent-sector average,
24 SENATOR KRUEGER: Okay, thanks. So
1 just -- that's not significantly higher
2 than the public colleges.
3 MS. STANDISH-KUON: It is not
4 significantly different.
5 SENATOR KRUEGER: Okay. So if at
6 some other time, if you could just -- if
7 you can get me the number for TAP students.
8 MS. ANGLIN: Let's see if we have
9 access to that information.
10 SENATOR KRUEGER: No problem.
11 MS. ANGLIN: And we'd love to
12 provide that to you.
13 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you very
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
16 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you,
18 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: NYPIRG. Tiffany
19 Brown, higher education coordinator.
20 And we'll do the move-down.
21 Michael Molina, president, next. If you
22 come down and sit lower, you can get
23 there quicker. Okay? Dr. Jason Brown
24 after that, and Virginia Donohue.
1 MS. BROWN: Good evening. My
2 name is Tiffany Brown, and I am the
3 higher education coordinator for the
4 New York Public Interest Research Group,
6 Due to scheduling conflicts, I am
7 testifying on behalf of our board chair and
8 submitting his written testimony.
9 As you know, NYPIRG is a statewide,
10 not-for-profit, nonpartisan research and
11 advocacy organization. Its board of
12 directors are college and university
13 students. NYPIRG works on a wide range of
14 issues, including affordability of higher
15 education. I have submitted a copy of our
16 testimony, but given the lateness of the
17 hour I would like to summarize our views on
18 the Executive Budget.
19 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you, thank
20 you, thank you.
21 MS. BROWN: No problem.
22 Five years ago, Governor Cuomo and
23 the State Legislature approved an annual
24 tuition hike for public colleges and
1 universities. At that time, the argument
2 had two central rationales to support the
3 plan. First, it was argued that college
4 students and their families wanted
5 predictability in tuition costs so that
6 annual increases could ensure them that
7 hikes would never exceed a predictable
8 annual amount.
9 In our opinion, that argument was
10 weak. After all, what could be more
11 predictable than having no increases at
13 The second and more compelling
14 argument was that the state was facing
15 massive deficits and that it had no money
16 to bolster public colleges. The students
17 would just have to pay more.
18 Fast-forward five years, the state
19 has jacked up the cost of attending public
20 colleges by a whopping 30 percent. At the
21 same time, the state has frozen its support
22 for State and City University systems. In
23 short, the students are paying a lot more
24 and the state is not.
1 Yet the Governor has once again
2 proposed hiking tuition. He offers no new
3 state support and wants students to pay a
4 lot more. The argument is the same, the
5 far less compelling argument that students
6 want predictability of annual tuition
7 hikes, which is simply not true. In fact,
8 it is the opposite that is true. Students
9 want predictability all right, but they
10 want the predictability of no tuition.
11 They want the predictability of a state
12 flush with cash adding revenues to enhance
13 higher education.
14 The second argument used five years
15 ago is that the state is facing deficits.
16 It's simply not true any more. In fact,
17 according to the State Comptroller, the
18 state has a $1 billion surplus this year.
19 While $650 million of that surplus is
20 coming from state settlements, $350 million
21 is coming from enhanced tax revenues.
22 Given that the state is flush with
23 money, why should public higher education
24 cost more? Recognizing this last year, the
1 Legislature, with overwhelming bipartisan
2 support, approved the bill making the state
3 increase its support for higher education.
4 Not only was there near unanimous support
5 in the Legislature, but there was support
6 from public universities, the faculties,
7 and the students. Yet the Governor vetoed
8 that legislation.
9 We urge you to replace the
10 Governor's proposed tuition hikes with an
11 enhanced maintenance of effort plan.
12 What's more, the Executive Budget
13 seems to cut state funding to CUNY with the
14 expectation that the city will fill the
15 gap. The state already misses the
16 obligations to fund higher education, and
17 they are headed in the wrong direction.
18 The Governor took a positive step
19 towards fixing an outdated financial aid
20 program by including $27 million for the
21 DREAM Act. We urge its support. However,
22 this year's Executive Budget plan does not
23 include broad-based increases in state
24 financial aid programs, leaving either the
1 student or the college short.
2 TAP should cover more of the costs
3 of tuition for those who qualify and should
4 be flexible enough to meet the needs of all
5 types of New Yorkers, not just the
6 traditional straight-from-high-school-to-
7 college full-time student that it was
8 initially designed to serve.
9 Unfortunately, the Executive Budget does
10 not propose these changes to TAP.
11 NYPIRG urges you to freeze tuition
12 rates and institute last year's maintenance
13 of effort legislation in the place of
14 tuition hikes. In addition, we urge you to
15 include the DREAM Act and increase the TAP
16 awards so that the state covers the cost of
17 public tuition for eligible students
18 instead of SUNY and CUNY.
19 Lastly, we urge you to support SUNY
20 and CUNY's budget requests to increase
21 state-based aid to community colleges by
22 $250 per FTE and strengthen support to
23 opportunity programs that work.
24 Thank you.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Questions?
2 Thank you very much.
3 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS: Thank you.
4 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you.
5 MS. BROWN: Thank you.
6 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you for
7 your patience.
8 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Michael Molina,
9 president, Association of Program
10 Administrators of CSTEP and STEP, or APACS.
11 After him will be Jason Brown, then
12 Virginia Donohue. Then Wanda Williams.
13 Good evening.
14 MR. MOLINA: Good evening, everyone.
15 And I shall be brief --
16 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Hurray.
17 MR. MOLINA: -- and try to get this
18 done before my five minutes are out.
19 First, I want to thank you all for
20 still being here at 6:40 p.m. I will make
21 my comments brief in the interests of time.
22 First, I just want to say thank you
23 very much to all of you for the 15 percent
24 increase that you gave our programs last
1 year. It was the first increase we had had
2 in over 11 years, and it was extremely
3 helpful in helping our programs to grow and
5 Today I ask for your continued
6 support in the form of two specific
7 requests. One is for a 30 percent increase
8 in funding so that we can continue to grow
9 and develop the current STEP and CSTEP
11 So funding right now for STEP and
12 CSTEP is $23 million, rounded, and we're
13 asking for the programs to be funded at a
14 level of at least $29 million. And mind
15 you, I'm asking for an increase in funding
16 for the current programs, as opposed to the
17 15 programs or so that were mentioned
18 earlier that were not funded.
19 But that is our second request. We
20 would like to see the STEP and CSTEP
21 programs that were not funded in the last
22 funding cycle -- because of what our
23 association believes to be a flawed
24 proposal process -- to be funded.
1 So we had about 14 programs that
2 were highly effective, highly efficient
3 programs that were denied funding -- mind
4 you, they had successful proposal
5 submittals, but were denied funding because
6 of what we considered to be a flawed
7 proposal process. So I know that earlier
8 today that was the request that was made,
9 for funding to restore those programs, but
10 that will be done, you know, at the cost of
11 level-funding the current programs, which
12 we think is counterproductive. We think
13 that for programs to continue to grow and
14 develop, you don't level-fund them, you
15 give them a modest increase. And that's
16 what we're asking for.
17 So last but not least, mention was
18 given just by the previous speaker about
19 the plausibility of doubling the
20 Opportunity Programs, all of the
21 Opportunity Programs in the State of
22 New York, and I just want to say that we
23 support that request. We think it's a good
1 The size of the Opportunity Programs
2 has been very consistent. It's been about
3 the same level across the board for a long,
4 long time, and it is time to increase the
5 enrollments of all of these programs so
6 that we can provide opportunities to the
7 young men and women of New York State who
8 want to get ahead, who want to make a
9 career and a life for themselves in the
10 State of New York.
11 And then finally, I would like to
12 ask again, as I do every year, that we
13 receive your support in the form of some
14 kind of a legislative mandate for our
15 programs to receive their funding in a
16 timely manner. Every year for the last
17 several years this group has managed to get
18 its budget done by April. As of this
19 December, about four of my colleagues had
20 received their actual funding from the
21 State of New York. And there were close to
22 a hundred programs.
23 So there are many programs that
24 still have not received direct funding from
1 the state, and we ask for your support and
2 assistance in helping this to occur in a
3 much more timely manner.
4 Thank you very much. That's my
5 testimony, and I'll take any questions if I
7 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: And you'll stand
8 by it.
9 MR. MOLINA: I'll stand by it, sir.
10 Yes, sir.
11 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Questions?
12 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you.
13 MR. MOLINA: Thank you very much.
14 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
16 Jason Brown, New York State
17 Chiropractors Association.
18 My neck is hurting me.
19 Next will be Virginia Donohue, and
20 Thomas Mastro after that.
21 DR. BROWN: Chair --
22 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Good evening.
23 DR. BROWN: Chairpersons and
24 committee members, I thank you for the
1 opportunity to testify today. I appreciate
2 your presence in this marathon hearing --
3 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Oh, excuse me.
4 DR. BROWN: Sorry, sir?
5 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: This is paper
7 DR. BROWN: Yes.
8 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: You're doing the
9 first three pages, right?
10 Dr. BROWN: I promise, despite the
11 lengthy written testimony, I'll try to keep
12 the verbal portion very brief.
13 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
14 DR. BROWN: My name is Dr. Jason
15 Brown. I'm the vice president of the
16 New York State Chiropractic Association.
17 I'm here today to ask for your inclusion in
18 the one-house budget proposal that was
19 included in the Senate one-house budget
20 last year, S215A from Senator Jack Martins
21 and A4391 by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell.
22 In short, what this legislation
23 allows is a partnership to be formed
24 between a chiropractor and a medical
1 doctor. Again, you have extensive written
2 testimony in front of you, so I'll do my
3 best to keep our comments brief and to the
4 main points.
5 The historic challenge here stems
6 from the corporate practice of medicine
7 doctoring. That's what prohibited
8 partnerships in the past from doctors of
9 chiropractic and medical doctors. As we
10 look at the current healthcare environment,
11 it doesn't seem to have the same place
12 today that it did at one point. What we
13 see is vertical integration within hospital
14 systems, we see businesspeople,
15 administrators, et cetera, creating
16 policies and enacting procedures that
17 dictate the way medical care is driven.
18 As we look at this trend, it's
19 difficult to see how a business partnership
20 between two doctor-level healthcare
21 partners does anything different than that.
22 The other broad trend in healthcare
23 is for integration and collaboration. As
24 healthcare has become more and more
1 specialized with more and more
2 specialities, the need to communicate,
3 coordinate, and collaborate in care has
4 become essential. Not only does this
5 integration allow better quality care, it
6 allows streamlining, reduction in
7 redundancy, and eventually saves costs.
8 While New York was on the leading
9 edge of implementing the Affordable Care
10 Act and creating the healthcare exchange
11 and modernizing healthcare in New York,
12 what we're asking you to do with this
13 legislation is to make sure the rest of our
14 policies match, to allow us to participate
15 in and keep pace with these other efforts.
16 The contemporary healthcare models
17 of patient-centered medical homes and
18 accountable care organizations -- and what
19 these are are simply pay-for-performance
20 models. What we're finally trying to do in
21 healthcare is reward quality of care rather
22 than quantity. It's a community-based
23 model that pays providers and pays
24 businesses for getting people well and
1 keeping them well, rather than just paying
2 them for quantity of service delivered.
3 As chiropractors have forever been
4 providing cost-effective quality care,
5 we're very well-positioned to be part of
6 this modern healthcare system, with the
7 exception that some of our state laws
8 currently prevent us from being equitable
9 partners in these arrangements. We're
10 looking for the ability to do so.
11 Obviously when we try and change
12 historic policy like the Corporate Practice
13 of Medicine Act, there are some concerns
14 raised. I want to assure you that the
15 legislation and the written testimony
16 includes plenty of safeguards -- the first
17 being that these arrangements and
18 partnerships are 100 percent voluntary, the
19 second being that there is zero impact on
20 scope of practice. The ethical standards,
21 the patient safety standards, the standards
22 of practice that are currently upheld by
23 our respective state boards will obviously
24 carry forward.
1 These arrangements are already being
2 done in other states: To name a few,
3 Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida,
4 California, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky,
5 Minnesota, Arizona, North Carolina,
6 Virginia, and Alabama. This model works,
7 it's working in other places, we just need
8 to find a way to bring it here so our
9 healthcare system can become modern as
11 Within New York, the Medicare Design
12 Team has a regulatory impact subcommittee
13 who we believe will be coming out with a
14 recommendation to allow these types of
15 partnerships so they can serve their
16 broader mission. So for these reasons and
17 the extensive reasons outlined in our
18 written testimony, on behalf of the
19 New York State Chiropractic Association and
20 the chiropractic profession, and the
21 patients of New York, I strongly urge you
22 to consider inclusion of S215A and A4391 in
23 your one-house budgets.
24 Thank you.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you very
3 Any questions? Yes, Mr. Lupinacci.
4 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Good
6 I just had one question. What is
7 the largest argument against the formation?
8 How do you guys overcome it when you speak
9 with groups? Because obviously this bill's
10 been around at least 15, 20 years, correct,
11 for this formation?
12 DR. BROWN: Sure.
13 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: If you could
14 just explain the largest argument against
15 it and, you know, what you usually do to
16 defend it, to make sure that there would be
17 a smooth transition if this was
19 DR. BROWN: Yeah, thank you.
20 The largest argument to date
21 actually has been one of scope of practice,
22 which we don't feel has a whole lot of
23 merit. As you review the legislation,
24 you'll see that in response to this concern
1 we went back and added language to the
2 legislation several years ago to ensure
3 that a doctor of chiropractic operates
4 within their scope of practice and a
5 medical doctor operates within their scope
6 of practice, and nothing allows them to
7 leave that.
8 Short of that, there really haven't
9 been any substantive arguments against it.
10 So I hope we can find a way to move this
12 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI: Thank you.
13 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
14 DR. BROWN: Thank you.
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Virginia Donohue,
16 executive director, One Point for College.
17 On Point for College.
19 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: "One" -- I put an
20 E in there.
21 SENATOR KRUEGER: You only get one
24 MS. DONOHUE: Thank you.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: You're right.
2 MS. DONOHUE: Thank you very much
3 for the opportunity to speak here. And I
4 will summarize what it is we've come to ask
5 of you.
6 I'm Ginny Donohue. I'm the founder
7 of On Point for College. I started out as
8 a volunteer helping young people from a
9 homeless shelter to get into college for
10 eight years. Now, in 1999 it stole my
11 heart and I left my corporate job and
12 started On Point for College.
13 It's been 16 years. We've now
14 placed 5,800 people in over 200 colleges
15 and universities. Our biggest bump in size
16 came in 2012, when HESC gave us funding.
17 It was College Access Challenge Grants,
18 federal funding, that moved through HESC.
19 And because we were a single-source
20 provider and we became a HESC partner, we
21 were able to double in size in Syracuse,
22 open an operation in Utica, and partner in
23 New York City with Goddard Riverside
24 Community Center in Manhattan and
1 New Settlement Apartments in the Bronx, to
2 get them both funding and guidance on how
3 to do a retention program.
4 I just want to explain how we're
5 different. There's a lot of college access
6 programs in the state. We work with people
7 17 to 29. We receive a lot of referrals
8 from the high schools, but we don't work in
9 the high schools, we only work in
10 community centers. We work in 27 community
11 centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, settlement
12 houses, homeless shelters, refugee centers,
13 libraries, municipal housing.
14 Sixty percent of the students that
15 we meet are not in high school. Most of
16 them are high school graduates or they got
17 an education somewhere else, so they don't
18 have a guidance counselor available to them
19 anywhere else. Thirty percent of them have
20 no parent in their life and so they're
21 very, very vulnerable.
22 But despite all of these obstacles
23 that they're facing, 70 percent of them --
24 and most of them are community college
1 students -- return for their sophomore
2 year, which is clearly 10 percent above the
3 average community college student, despite
4 all the obstacles that they're facing.
5 I just want to tell you a couple
6 things we do that most programs don't. We
7 have an orientation that teaches them the
8 ropes before they go to college, because
9 most of them are the first one in their
10 family to go. We give them some college
11 supplies. We provide them transportation
12 in New York State all the way through
13 college, either with a bus ticket or
14 180 mentors, including ex-Mayor Tom Young,
15 who drove 190,000 miles last year to take
16 inner city kids to and from college.
17 At the beginning of every semester
18 we go to 78 different colleges and we sit
19 across from them in the cafeteria, we make
20 sure they've gotten their books and their
21 food, and we introduce them to the Campus
22 Angel, a volunteer that helps them on
23 campus. We've done root canals, winter
24 coats, eyeglasses, and we had so many
1 students that were homeless that I went to
2 my alma mater of Le Moyne College that
3 allows them for the last 15 years -- not
4 just kids from Le Moyne, and even kids from
5 New York City -- to live there for free for
6 the summer if they have nowhere else to
8 We do job placement, we help people
9 with certificate programs, and Police Chief
10 Frank Fowler said that there is no
11 organization in the City of Syracuse that
12 has decreased the violence like On Point
13 for College.
14 I want you to know that we've been
15 good stewards of the money that was given
16 to us through HESC. We brought more than a
17 million dollars from national foundations.
18 We were instrumental in teaming up with
19 three community colleges and SUNY Oswego to
20 bring a $2.8 million First in the World
21 Grant. We're the only community-based
22 organization in the country that got
23 funding for that.
24 Since we got the funding from HESC,
1 we placed over 3,000 students in -- we
2 enrolled them in college, which brought
3 $13 million of tuition to SUNY and CUNY --
4 remember, most of these students weren't in
5 high school, so they couldn't have gotten
6 there any other way -- and $17 million
7 worth of Pell.
8 Over their lifetime, if they get an
9 associate's degree, it will bring in
10 $1.2 billion of taxable income, or with a
11 bachelor's, $1.6 billion.
12 The funding for this grant ends in
13 August of '16, and we are asking for your
14 support to help us to replace this
15 $1.2 million, part of which is for Utica --
16 for Syracuse, Utica, and for New York
17 City -- so that we can continue on to do
18 this fine work.
19 We also know that we do know how to
20 replicate -- we're reaching people that no
21 one else is reaching, and we are open,
22 given additional funding, to be able to
23 share this with other locations.
24 Thank you.
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
2 Questions? Yes.
3 ASSEMBLYMAN STIRPE: Hi, Ginny.
4 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Mr. Stirpe.
5 ASSEMBLYMAN STIRPE: I know that in
6 addition to the places that you work right
7 now, you've been called by people all over
8 the country to come and teach them what it
9 is you do, taking dislocated students and
10 addressing that population.
11 Can you talk a little bit about
12 where you've gone and who you've worked
14 MS. DONOHUE: Yes, thank you.
15 The Department of Ed has an affinity
16 group run by Greg Darnieder, and I was
17 asked to do the presentation with one other
18 person for disconnected youth for the
19 country, to talk about how to help
20 refugees, court-involved youth, homeless
21 youth to be able to not only get into
22 college, but how you can help them to make
23 it through college.
24 Also helping to develop materials
1 for 14 states through the Southern Regional
2 Education Board -- right now I'm helping to
3 develop materials for guidance counselors
4 in 14 states on how to work with
5 disconnected or opportunity youth. And
6 there was an article in the Chronicle of
7 Higher Ed this year, and it talked about --
8 the only CBO it talked about in the article
9 was On Point for College, as setting the
10 standard for trying to help homeless
11 students be able to make it through
13 ASSEMBLYMAN STIRPE: Wow. Amazing.
14 One of the other things I know you
15 do is that once someone has gotten in
16 college, you're getting them through and
17 then there's a next step, is finding a job.
18 Can you talk a little bit about what you do
19 in that regard?
20 MS. DONOHUE: I'm going to ask Sam
21 Rowser, the deputy executive director, to
22 answer that.
23 MR. ROWSER: Good evening. The
24 program that you speak about, the On Point
1 for Jobs program that we have at On Point,
2 was developed in the last about seven
3 years. And what we've done is we look at
4 our students that have graduated from
5 college and looked at how can we help them
6 find employment.
7 Being first-generation college
8 students, they haven't in the past had
9 access or anyone in the family that was
10 connected and knew how to do resume
11 writing, knew how to do interview skills.
12 So we work with them to help them develop
13 their resume writing, their interview
15 We have over 250 companies -- I
16 think you guys have a list in your
17 packet -- of companies that we've been
18 working with, and we were able to place
19 over 300 students in summer jobs and
20 internships in Syracuse alone.
21 So using our development board for
22 On Point for Jobs, using the companies in
23 the community, we've been able to
24 successfully help these students transition
1 not just into college, not just through
2 college, but to employment and finding
3 permanent employment, internships, and
4 summer jobs.
5 ASSEMBLYMAN STIRPE: As you expanded
6 from upstate to New York City, did you find
7 any differences? Are there additional
8 challenges, or is it really the same?
9 MS. DONOHUE: Well, Sam took
10 New York City and I was in Utica most of
11 the time, so I'll let him take that answer.
12 MR. ROWSER: You know, the
13 transportation is different in New York
14 City, and that was one of the things
15 that -- you know, one of the services that
16 we provide for students in Syracuse is we
17 have about 160 volunteers that help us
18 transport students to and from college.
19 Because we found that some of our students
20 would come home for Thanksgiving and they
21 had no ride to get back to school, so we
22 had volunteers that would drive them.
23 So when we went to New York City, we
24 thought we'd have somebody drive, but no
1 one had a license.
3 MR. ROWSER: So we decided that we'd
4 better get train tickets and bus tickets,
5 and we used that.
6 So that was one of the big
7 differences that we found in helping the
8 students. But the population and the need
9 was the same.
10 And we found, you know, good friends
11 in Goddard Riverside and in New Settlement
12 Apartments that had the same heart, that
13 had the same drive and were willing to help
14 the students in the same way. And it's
15 been a tremendous working relationship,
16 where part of what we do is we visit our
17 students while they're on campus to develop
18 that relationship. And for our partners in
19 New York City, they visit all of our
20 students from upstate, and for when their
21 students come upstate, we visit all of
22 their students upstate. And so that way,
23 you know, it saves on us having to drive to
24 New York City and them having to drive up.
1 If I have a student in New York City
2 that needs a book, I can call our friends
3 in New York City and they'll take care of
4 it. If they have a student at Ithaca
5 College, they can call us and we'll help
6 them out. The partnership is working
7 really, really well.
8 MS. DONOHUE: And Utica's different,
9 in that 61 percent are refugees in the City
10 of Utica, and 90 percent are commuters.
11 Whereas in Syracuse, only 40 percent --
12 about 50 -- it's about 50/50 between
13 commuters and resident students. But the
14 refugees particularly do not want to leave,
15 so we have -- you know, it's always a
16 little bit tougher, I think.
17 We find the students have a
18 20 percent increased chance of staying in
19 college if we can get them out of town,
20 usually. Because of the transportation
21 issues, because the families are so
22 vulnerable, that if they're not in town,
23 they're not constantly being asked to stay
24 away from school to take care of family
1 issues for families that are very
3 ASSEMBLYMAN STIRPE: Well, I just
4 want to congratulate you on the success you
5 have had at this point. And I really
6 support all the Opportunity Programs, but I
7 have never found one that was quite as
8 comprehensive, as complete as what you do.
9 And it just proves that students can
10 succeed, no matter what their background or
11 anything else is, as long as they have the
12 right supports behind them.
13 Thank you.
14 MS. DONOHUE: Thank you so much.
15 SENATOR KRUEGER: Just one quick
17 Thank you, very detailed analysis in
18 here. Separating out the cost of tuition
19 for going to school, what is your estimated
20 cost for serving a student from your
22 MS. DONOHUE: It tends to be about
23 $1,250 from the first day we meet them in a
24 community center until we get them to the
1 end of their freshman year. And about $350
2 for each year after that.
3 SENATOR KRUEGER: And how many of
4 your students get beyond Year 1 with you?
5 MS. DONOHUE: What I can tell you is
6 we've put 5,800 in the pipeline. Most of
7 them are still in there; 1100 have come out
8 the other end and are graduates already.
9 There's about 30 percent that
10 stop-out. But because we have the jobs
11 program, what we find is when they stop-out
12 it's not usually about the academics, it's
13 because of life -- on life's terms.
14 Somebody in the family loses a job or gets
15 sick or has a baby.
16 But because we have the jobs
17 portion, we're able to get them into like
18 certificate programs for like
19 manufacturing, which is all about
20 computers, where you can make $16 an hour.
21 Or we can get them into a CNA program where
22 within a year -- the nursing home has
23 teachers on campus for them to get their
24 LPN. Because we continue on with them, we
1 can find other ways for them to get a
2 family-supporting job.
3 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you very
4 much for your work.
5 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
6 MS. DONOHUE: Thank you so much.
7 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Questions? Any
9 Thank you very much.
10 MS. DONOHUE: Thank you very much.
11 We appreciate it.
12 MR. ROWSER: Thank you.
13 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Wanda Williams,
14 DC 37, director of legislation.
15 MS. WILLIAMS: Good evening.
16 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Good evening.
17 MS. WILLIAMS: My name is Wanda
18 Williams. I am testifying on behalf of my
19 executive director, who unfortunately, with
20 the time, had to head back to the city --
21 Henry Garrido, executive director of DC 37.
22 You have our testimony, and so I
23 won't spend very much time elaborating on
24 its contents but wanted to highlight a
1 couple of things.
2 First and foremost, I wanted to
3 thank the chairmen and the members of the
4 committee for your stamina, most of all,
5 being here at this late hour.
6 Appreciate -- I've been here all day with
7 you, and most of you have been here for
8 that time, so I want to say thank you.
9 I also want to say that as it
10 relates to the Governor's proposal to shift
11 the cost of the state's share of funding
12 for the CUNY system, we are opposed to
13 that. We believe that the state should
14 keep its commitment. We also think that
15 there should be a delinkage as it relates
16 to tying the collective bargaining
17 agreement to that.
18 You heard CUNY's fiscal person talk
19 about 300 being the number to settle those
20 contracts. You heard from PSC, their 240
21 is last year's number for them. Our number
22 as DC 37 is 149, so we think it's over
23 that, given their lag of one year, and we
24 think that that should be segregated out
1 and monies appropriated not conditional on
2 receiving those dollars.
3 Also -- that was mentioned earlier
4 today by some -- the Fight for 15 exclusion
5 for CUNY employees. We represent 122,000
6 members, 10,000 of which are in CUNY, 7,000
7 of whom don't make $15 an hour. And so it
8 is important for our members -- who are
9 college assistants, office assistants,
10 custodial aides, accountants, architects
11 and engineers, asbestos handlers, data
12 processing personnel, and supervisors and
13 engineers -- it's important for them, many
14 of whom are single females, heads of
15 household. You heard $30,000 on average
16 for a family. Even as union households,
17 some of these people are working part-time
18 and make less than that in terms of their
19 median income, 17 to 23.
20 So we think it's important that they
21 be included. It included SUNY, and I think
22 you mentioned, Senator, being a stepchild.
23 We feel the same, and we think that we
24 should all be treated the same. And we ask
1 if SUNY is getting the 15, we should get
2 the same.
3 Maintenance of effort, the bill that
4 was vetoed last year, the Governor
5 mentioned that he wanted to deal with that
6 issue in the budget. We advocate that, and
7 we think that the time is now. And we ask
8 each the Senate and the Assembly to put
9 that in their one-house bill. It would be
10 nice if we could get in a 21-day amendment,
11 but we leave that to you. And we're
12 hopeful that our commitment together will
13 get us where we need to be.
14 Lastly, I just wanted to mention the
15 five-year tuition increase that ends this
16 year. We think that that should be it for
17 a while. And we don't think that we should
18 extend it, as the Governor has said he
19 wanted to do. We don't think that that
20 should happen.
21 And so with that, I'll end my
22 testimony. If there's any questions, I'm
23 willing to take them. And thank you very
1 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
3 SENATOR KRUEGER: Thank you for the
5 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you, as
7 MS. WILLIAMS: No problem. Thank
8 all of you. Appreciate it.
9 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: SUNY Student
10 Assembly: Thomas Mastro, president;
11 Melissa Kathan, vice president; Nicholas
12 Simons, director, legislative affairs; Marc
13 Cohen, chief of staff.
14 All five of you in three minutes?
15 MR. MASTRO: Good evening. My name
16 is Tom Mastro, and I'm a senior at
17 Binghamton University studying human
18 development and education. I have the
19 distinct pleasure of serving as the
20 president of the Student Assembly and as
21 student trustee for the SUNY Board.
22 Along with my colleagues today, we
23 will talk about five key issues which have
24 a significant impact on students across our
1 system: The absolute need for a fair,
2 equitable, and predictable tuition plan; an
3 increase in base aid for community
4 colleges; more attention paid to disability
5 accommodations; an increase in funding for
6 childcare centers; and the reinstatement of
7 tuition assistance for graduate students.
8 As you heard this morning from
9 Chancellor Zimpher and myself, a renewal of
10 NYSUNY 2020 is absolutely vital. We need
11 to ensure that our students can plan ahead
12 with their families. We need to ensure
13 that their tuition dollars are staying on
14 their respective campuses. We need to
15 ensure that tuition is not consistently
16 raised to the maximum threshold. And we
17 need to ensure that students are consulted
18 on tuition decisions.
19 Perhaps most significantly, we need
20 to ensure that the state is paying its fair
21 share, such that the burden of higher
22 education does not fall solely on the
23 shoulders of students.
24 Since the enactment of NYSUNY 2020,
1 SUNY campuses have been able to hire
2 919 new faculty members and approve over
3 350 new academic programs. It is because
4 of this incredible advancements that the
5 students voted 59-4-1 in favor of renewing
6 NYSUNY 2020.
7 I yield now to Nicholas Simons, our
8 director of legislative affairs, to discuss
9 the importance of increased funding for our
10 childcare centers throughout the state.
11 MR. SIMONS: Thank you, President
13 Good evening, everyone. My name is
14 Nicholas Simons, and I am a junior at the
15 University at Albany and I study American
16 politics and Spanish.
17 I would like to begin by saying that
18 on-campus childcare and the funding of such
19 services could be the most important issue
20 to a single parent who's attending one of
21 our SUNY campuses.
22 One of the most significant issues
23 facing our nontraditional students is the
24 inadequacies surrounding that childcare
1 funding. And these SUNY childcare centers
2 provide not only an important resource for
3 our students, faculty, staff, and members
4 of the community, they also give our
5 students applied-learning experiences.
6 One quarter of undergraduates in the
7 SUNY system are raising children, and of
8 those, 43 percent are single mothers and
9 11 percent are single fathers. This
10 growing demographic of parents exemplifies
11 the diversity in our system. And with the
12 Governor cutting community college
13 childcare again this year, to the tune of
14 $1.1 million, the Legislature needs to not
15 only reinstate these funds but transcend
16 them as well.
17 With 28 centers at community
18 colleges and 22 centers at state-operated
19 campuses, SUNY has done the work to
20 accommodate these nontraditional students.
21 And we ask that the Legislature follow suit
22 and show these parents that the issue is
23 important to the state as well. These
24 students who take time to go back to school
1 deserve a well-funded and well-staffed
2 location to leave their children while they
3 work to better themselves and provide for
4 their family.
5 The state would be doing a great
6 disservice to our colleagues if they did
7 not seriously examine the restoration and
8 the reinvigoration of these underfunded
9 institutions. I myself attended daycare at
10 Broome Community College in my infancy, and
11 my sister attended daycare at Binghamton
12 University. Our parents, both SUNY
13 students and members of the community,
14 utilized these institutions' services.
15 As I stated, this could be the
16 make-or-break issue for some parents who
17 are debating whether or not to go back to
18 school. And with that, the Legislature
19 should recognize the importance of this
20 issue to our students.
21 And I'll yield to our vice
22 president, Melissa Kathan from the
23 University of Buffalo.
24 MS. KATHAN: Thank you, Nicholas.
1 Good evening.
2 As stated, my name is Melissa
3 Kathan, and I am studying political science
4 and management at the University of
6 Newly accepted to SUNY Buffalo Law
7 School, I would have appreciated the
8 opportunity to apply for tuition assistance
9 as a graduate student. Unfortunately, as
10 Assemblywoman Malliotakis pointed out this
11 morning, the program has been inactive
12 since 2010.
13 Graduate students are often
14 overlooked, but we are making as strong an
15 effort as possible to ensure that their
16 voices are heard. Our nearly 41,000
17 graduate students should have the same
18 access to aid that any student pursuing his
19 or her education has, whether they be
20 undergraduate or graduate.
21 During the life of graduate TAP,
22 7,000 SUNY students took advantage of this
23 program. Restoring the Tuition Assistance
24 Program for graduate students will
1 incentivize more students to pursue a
2 graduate degree and mitigate the burdens of
4 Speaking of underrepresented student
5 populations, we recognize the gravity of
6 disability accommodations. A studentís
7 opportunity to obtain an education must not
8 be impeded by a campus's physical or
9 structural insufficiencies. There are
10 currently 23,000 students with disabilities
11 enrolled across the SUNY system --
12 6.2 percent of community college students,
13 and 4.4 of state-operated students -- and
14 these numbers are increasing annually.
15 Our students with physical
16 disabilities, invisible disabilities, and
17 learning disabilities should have the
18 resources they need on campus to ensure
19 their success. Burdandi, a Fredonia
20 student and advocate for students with
21 disabilities, is able to seamlessly pursue
22 her education at Fredonia because the
23 school has accommodated her needs regarding
24 accessible dorms, accessible classrooms,
1 and snow removal, among others.
2 This should be the norm on all
3 campuses, and we hope that the Legislature
4 will partner with SUNY in bringing
5 additional resources to bear in support of
6 this movement.
7 I now yield to the Student
8 Assemblyís Chief of Staff Marc Cohen, from
9 the University at Albany.
10 MR. COHEN: Thank you, Vice
11 President Kathan, and good evening. My
12 name is Marc Cohen, and I am a senior in
13 the BA/MPA program at UAlbany's Rockefeller
14 College studying higher education policy
15 and policy analytics.
16 An issue which both we and SUNY
17 administration have discussed here in the
18 past is that of community college base aid.
19 Be it a nontraditional student looking to
20 continue their education or a new high
21 school graduate looking to ease into the
22 transition to college, community colleges
23 provide endless opportunities for our
24 students from all walks of life.
1 It is also important to realize the
2 significant economic impact community
3 colleges have on surrounding counties. A
4 recent NYCCAP study shows that community
5 colleges contribute nearly $15 billion a
6 year to their communities. For all the
7 good that our community colleges do, all of
8 the ways the students contribute back to
9 their communities, they are grossly
11 The most updated information has
12 only one of our 30 community colleges being
13 funded at 33 percent. While the law holds
14 that the state contributes up to
15 40 percent, the average contribution is far
16 less. The proposal in the Executive Budget
17 of a flat Base Operating Aid per FTE of
18 $2,597 would mean a year-to-year decrease
19 in direct state tax support of nearly
20 $21 million.
21 Attending community colleges is
22 becoming increasingly difficult for our
23 students. The past budgets that have
24 allocated $75 or $100 in raises have still
1 left schools with deficit funding. This
2 applies to most of the community colleges
3 in our system. The days of students paying
4 upwards of 40 percent cannot continue.
5 Restoring sufficient funding to all
6 campuses is not something we expect to be
7 achieve in just one session. However, this
8 year needs to be the beginning of a new
9 trend toward less of a burden on our
11 Thank you.
12 MR. MASTRO: We thank you for your
13 time and attention this evening.
14 At this time we would look forward
15 to answering your questions about these
16 issues and others affecting the students of
18 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
20 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Just a comment.
21 I actually started out -- my first
22 elected position was that I served in the
23 Student Assembly at SUNY Fredonia. So
24 it's really great to see the students
1 here today.
2 And I think the fact that you ran
3 for student government says a lot about
4 you as individuals, about future
5 leaders. You were very well-prepared
6 today, you were very articulate, very
7 well-spoken and thorough. And so we
8 appreciate that you took the time.
9 And I would just say to you, keep
10 up the great work and I know that you'll
11 be successful when you begin your
12 careers. We're very, very proud of you.
13 MR. MASTRO: Thank you.
14 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG: Thank you.
15 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: Thank you.
16 Now, to close, CUNY Student Senate,
17 the vice chair of legislative affairs --
18 I'm not even trying to pronounce his name.
19 I can't do it.
20 Well, are we there? I think we have
21 it. By George, I think it's over. Did we
22 get their paper?
23 UNIDENTIFIED STAFF: No, that's it.
24 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: We never got
1 their paper?
2 Thank you very much. We will
3 adjourn until tomorrow at 9:30, to finish
4 it all.
5 (Whereupon, the budget hearing
6 concluded at 7:11 p.m.)