Joint Legislative Public Hearing on 2017-2018 Executive Budget Proposal: Topic "Higher Education" - Testimonies

Hearing Notice Event:
https://www.nysenate.gov/calendar/public-hearings/january-24-2017/joint-legislative-public-hearing-2017-2018-executive-budget

Archived Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTqrMgH7fuA

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TRANSCRIPT

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                                                                 1

    BEFORE THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE FINANCE
    AND ASSEMBLY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEES
    ----------------------------------------------------

            JOINT LEGISLATIVE HEARING

               In the Matter of the
          2017-2018 EXECUTIVE BUDGET ON
                 HIGHER EDUCATION
    
    ----------------------------------------------------

                             Hearing Room B
                             Legislative Office Building
                             Albany, New York
    
                             January 24, 2017
                             9:39 a.m.
    

    PRESIDING:

             Senator Catharine M. Young 
             Chair, Senate Finance Committee
    
             Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr.
             Chair, Assembly Ways & Means Committee
    
    PRESENT:

             Senator Liz Krueger 
             Senate Finance Committee (RM)
    
             Assemblyman Robert Oaks
             Assembly Ways & Means Committee (RM)
    
             Senator Diane Savino
             Vice Chair, Senate Finance Committee
    
             Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick
             Chair, Assembly Higher Education Committee
    
             Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
             Chair, Senate Higher Education Committee
    
             Senator Toby Ann Stavisky
    
    

                                                                2

    2017-2018 Executive Budget
    Higher Education 
    1-24-17
    
    PRESENT:  (Continued)
    
             Assemblyman Marc Butler
    
             Senator James L. Seward
    
             Assemblyman Steven F. McLaughlin
    
             Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis
    
             Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon 
    
             Senator Rich Funke
    
             Assemblyman John T. McDonald III
    
             Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci
    
             Senator Gustavo Rivera
    
             Assemblyman Jeffrion L. Aubry
    
             Assemblywoman Barbara S. Lifton
    
             Assemblyman Luis Sep˙lveda
    
             Senator Todd Kaminsky
    
             Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy
    
             Senator Leroy Comrie
    
             Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright
    
             Senator John Bonacic
    
             Assemblyman Al Stirpe
    
             Senator Marisol Alcantara
    
             Assemblywoman Pamela Harris
    
    

                                                                3

    2017-2018 Executive Budget
    Higher Education 
    1-24-17
    
    PRESENT:  (Continued)
    
             Senator Velmanette Montgomery
    
             Assemblyman Charles Barron
    
             Senator Robert G. Ortt 
    
             Assemblyman Victor M. Pichardo
    
             Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine
    
             Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper
    
             Assemblyman FÈlix W. Ortiz
    
             Senator Phil Boyle
    
             Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright
    
             Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman
    
             Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte
    
    
    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                4

    2017-2018 Executive Budget
    Higher Education
    1-24-17
    
                     LIST OF SPEAKERS
    
                                      STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
    
    Nancy L. Zimpher 
    Chancellor 
    State University of New York           8       25
    Marc Cohen
    SUNY Student Assembly                 21
    
    James Milliken 
    Chancellor 
    City University of New York          145      156
    
    MaryEllen Elia 
    Commissioner
    NYS Education Department             216      223
                  
    Elsa M. Magee
    Executive Vice President 
    NYS Higher Education
     Services Corporation                261      265
    Dr. Jim Malatras                          281-323
    
    Andrew Pallotta
    Executive Vice President 
    NYSUT                                
          -and-
    Frederick Kowal 
    President
    United University Professions        
          -and-
    Barbara Bowen
    President
    PSC/CUNY                             326      346
    
    Mary Beth Labate
    President
    Commission on Independent 
     Colleges and Universities 
     (CICU)                              357      370
    
    

                                                                5

    2017-2018 Executive Budget
    Higher Education
    1-24-17
    
                     LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
    
                                      STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
    
    Dennis Dontsov 
    Hunter University
    Blair Horner
    Executive Director 
    NYPIRG                               382      388
    
    Donna Gurnett
    President and CEO
    Association of Proprietary 
     Colleges (APC)                      394      403
    
    Jessica Maxwell
    Director, Children's Aid Society
    Fostering Youth Success Alliance     407      414
    
    Gregg Beratan
    Policy Analyst
    Center for Disability Rights         415
    
    Chika Onyejiukwa
    Chair
    Hercules E. Reid
    Vice Chair, Legislative Affairs
    Jona Kerluku
    Vice Chair, Fiscal Affairs
    CUNY Student Senate                  419      434
    
    Kevin Stump
    Northeast Director
    Young Invincibles                    435
    
    Dr. W. Hubert Keen
    President
    Nassau Community College             443      446
    
    
    

 

                                                                  6

 1                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Good morning.  

 2          (Louder)  Good morning.

 3                 AUDIENCE:  Good morning.

 4                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

 5                 Today we begin the first in a series 

 6          of hearings conducted by the joint fiscal 

 7          committees of the Legislature regarding the 

 8          Governor's proposed budget for fiscal years 

 9          2017 and 2018.  

10                 The hearings are conducted pursuant to 

11          Article 7, Section 3 of the Constitution, and 

12          Article 2, Section 31 and 32A of the 

13          Legislative Law.  

14                 Today the Assembly Ways and Means 

15          Committee and the Senate Finance Committee 

16          will hear testimony concerning the budget 

17          proposal for higher education.  

18                 I note that I have been joined by 

19          Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, chair of the 

20          committee, and I have Mr. Oaks, who has with 

21          him?  

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Yes, thank you, 

23          Chairman.  We also have Assemblyman 

24          Lupinacci, who's the ranking member on 

                                                                  7

 1          Higher Ed, along with Assemblyman Butler and 

 2          Assemblyman McLaughlin.

 3                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  And Senator Young?  

 4          Senator Young.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  My timing is bad.  

 6                 Good morning, everyone.  Welcome to 

 7          the hearing today.  I'm a bit under the 

 8          weather, but I'm going to soldier through 

 9          this.  And I too would like to say that we're 

10          so pleased to have with us today Chancellor 

11          Dr. Nancy Zimpher, and we'll have CUNY and 

12          other special guests later on.  

13                 I am joined by our ranking member, Liz 

14          Krueger; our vice chair, Diane Savino -- and 

15          these are all Senators, obviously -- Senator 

16          Toby Stavisky, Senator Rich Funke, and 

17          Senator Jim Seward.

18                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

19                 But before we introduce the first 

20          witness, I would like to remind all of the 

21          witnesses testifying today to keep your 

22          statements within your allotted time limit so 

23          that everyone can be afforded the opportunity 

24          to speak.

                                                                  8

 1                 We are now to begin.  State University 

 2          of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.  I 

 3          did it correctly?  

 4                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  That's perfect.  

 5          That's perfect, Mr. Chair.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Good morning.

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Good morning to 

 8          you.  My name is Nancy Zimpher, and I am the 

 9          chancellor of the State University of 

10          New York.  I want to thank Chairpersons 

11          Young, Farrell, LaValle and Glick, members of 

12          the Senate and Assembly and legislative 

13          staff, for allowing us this opportunity to 

14          share our perspective on the Executive 

15          Budget.  

16                 With me today is Marc Cohen.  He is 

17          president of our statewide Student Assembly 

18          and a SUNY trustee.  Last year we initiated 

19          the idea that our students would testify 

20          during budget hearings, and later on in this 

21          process you will hear more from our Student 

22          Assembly.  

23                 I would also like to take this 

24          opportunity to acknowledge the SUNY campus 

                                                                  9

 1          presidents and stakeholders, some of whom are 

 2          with us today, to thank them for their 

 3          continued devotion to the SUNY system.  And 

 4          of course I want to thank Chairman H. Carl 

 5          McCall and our entire Board of Trustees for 

 6          their leadership and support.  

 7                 Chairman McCall is in the house today.  

 8          He's two places at once this morning, because 

 9          our Board of Trustees is in its January 

10          meeting, so he will stay as long as he can.  

11          But it gives me a great opportunity to thank 

12          Carl McCall for his vision and leadership for 

13          SUNY and for higher education.

14                 We're thrilled to see higher education 

15          is at the forefront of the Governor's 

16          Executive Budget proposal.  But before we 

17          talk about the specifics, I want to provide 

18          some context to make the value proposition of 

19          SUNY crystal-clear -- to tell you about the 

20          performance and accountability we are 

21          committed to on behalf of our students, and 

22          to demonstrate what we could do for our 

23          students and the state with even more 

24          support.

                                                                  10

 1                 As you know, a high school degree 

 2          isn't enough to succeed in today's workforce.  

 3          We've moved the finish line.  Less than half 

 4          of all adults in New York hold a 

 5          postsecondary degree of some kind, but 

 6          70 percent of the jobs here require one.  

 7          That's an astonishing gap, one public higher 

 8          education is best equipped to address.  

 9                 So we approach this through a simple 

10          formula:  Access plus completion equals 

11          success.  It sounds simple, but it's a lot of 

12          hard work to deliver on this formula.  Access 

13          and affordability are not just important to 

14          the 600,000 students we serve each year, they 

15          are critical to our state's future.  

16                 Beyond access, the future of our 

17          state's competitiveness depends on us being 

18          laser-focused on driving completion for every 

19          student and getting them ready for a career.  

20          Our commitment to student completion and 

21          long-term success is what guarantees a return 

22          on educational investment for them as 

23          individuals and for the State of New York.

24                 Yesterday I delivered my final State 

                                                                  11

 1          of the University address as chancellor.  It 

 2          gave me a chance to reflect on what it has 

 3          meant to be chancellor of the largest 

 4          comprehensive system of postsecondary 

 5          education in the country, including our 30 

 6          community colleges, 29 state-operated 

 7          institutions, five statutory campuses, three 

 8          teaching hospitals, and many university-wide 

 9          programs and activities.

10                 All of these together, supported by 

11          our Construction Fund and our Research 

12          Foundation, comprise 41 percent of the 

13          state's physical assets, employ nearly a 

14          quarter of the state government workforce, 

15          and is the destination of choice for nearly 

16          40 percent of the state's Tuition Assistance 

17          Program recipients.  

18                 I'm proud of the work we've done to 

19          update our practices in important areas such 

20          as seamless transfer, a uniform approach to 

21          sexual assault prevention and response, and 

22          of course our policies on diversity, equity, 

23          and inclusion.

24                 Now, however, on to the business at 

                                                                  12

 1          hand, the Executive Budget.  

 2                 Let me say again how thrilled we are 

 3          to see public higher education in the 

 4          forefront of the Governor's Executive Budget 

 5          proposal.  We're excited about the potential 

 6          of the Excelsior Scholarship Program.  I know 

 7          there are a lot of questions on this, and 

 8          we'll answer what we can.  But I'd like us to 

 9          pause for a moment and think about what it 

10          means to have a big, bold idea like 

11          "tuition-free" in the conversation.  

12                 Just putting the term "tuition-free" 

13          out there, that act alone, will move the dial 

14          on access.  For young people who have written 

15          college off because they assume they can't 

16          afford it, they'll hear about this and think, 

17          Maybe college isn't out of reach for me.  

18                 We're happy that the Governor's 

19          proposal emphasizes completion, because 

20          research shows that students enrolled 

21          full-time are more likely to graduate.  And 

22          perhaps most importantly, the less time 

23          students spend in college, the less money 

24          they have to spend on college.

                                                                  13

 1                 In addition, we are pleased to see 

 2          that the Executive Budget includes a tuition 

 3          plan once again.  This is a concept we 

 4          believe strongly in because it is imperative 

 5          for our students and their families to be 

 6          able to plan for the full cost of their SUNY 

 7          education.

 8                 In capital, the multiyear plan -- 

 9          $550 million per year over five years -- 

10          included in the Governor's proposal will 

11          provide much-needed funding for our critical 

12          infrastructure.  We appreciate the 

13          Legislature's help in advocating on behalf of 

14          our campuses' capital needs.

15                 I urge you to continue to support us 

16          in this area.  And of course, capital 

17          projects are expensive and SUNY's needs are 

18          significant.  Your leadership could make an 

19          even greater difference in this area.  You 

20          could take our allocation beyond existing 

21          facilities and champion a major renovation or 

22          new project on each of our campuses.  

23          Additional funding would truly be 

24          transformative, enabling us to maintain safe 

                                                                  14

 1          campus environments while opening the door to 

 2          new projects that keep SUNY competitive.  

 3                 We were pleased to see the 

 4          continuation of the $18 million SUNY 

 5          Performance Investment Fund.  Since 2015, 

 6          this funding has been the engine behind our 

 7          efforts to increase completion across the 

 8          system.

 9                 As you may recall, when this started 

10          we pooled $100 million from state funding 

11          streams and invited our campuses to apply for 

12          funding to support programs proven to help 

13          students succeed.  They so embraced the 

14          challenge that they submitted over 

15          $500 million worth of ideas to move the 

16          completion dial.  

17                 So because of this demand, this 

18          enthusiasm for innovation amongst our 

19          campuses, we've created a system-wide 

20          foundation to actively seek private-sector 

21          investment.  Yesterday I announced the 

22          formation of the SUNY Impact Foundation, 

23          which will allow SUNY for the first time ever 

24          to attract outside investment in SUNY-wide 

                                                                  15

 1          programs proven to expand access, promote 

 2          completion, and prepare students for success.

 3                 The point is to work with investors 

 4          who want to have an impact at scale, not only 

 5          funding successful programs at a single 

 6          campus, but taking what works across the 

 7          entire system.  Importantly, this new 

 8          foundation will drive investment directly 

 9          back to our campuses.

10                 As with every year, we know you can 

11          help us build on the promising start provided 

12          by the Executive Budget.  One key area for 

13          improvement is in the support for our 

14          30 community colleges.

15                 Each year we talk about the need for 

16          increased base aid for these institutions, 

17          and we're always thankful for the 

18          Legislature's support.  What we've come to 

19          realize is that the existing per-student 

20          funding model does not work for our 

21          institutions, our state, our students.  Based 

22          on current enrollment levels, 27 of our 

23          30 community colleges would receive less 

24          money than last year.  We cannot afford to 

                                                                  16

 1          continue on this path, as it will leave our 

 2          colleges without the essential resources 

 3          needed to retain and support students, 

 4          enabling them to complete their educational 

 5          plans.  

 6                 That's why our budget request included 

 7          a new approach to community college funding, 

 8          that -- like the tuition plan for 

 9          state-operated campuses -- would provide 

10          predictability to our community colleges, as 

11          well as the opportunity for the purpose of 

12          investment.

13                 Our recommended approach would require 

14          an additional $30 million for academic year 

15          2017-2018, $15 million for "hold harmless" 

16          funding to keep funding equal from year to 

17          year, and $15 million in investment in the 

18          invaluable services these institutions 

19          provide.

20                 Our community colleges are pathways to 

21          prosperity, preparing students to transfer to 

22          four-year institutions and launching them 

23          into well-paying careers.  I ask you to 

24          revisit this request when you address the 

                                                                  17

 1          needs of this sector.

 2                 Like the hold-harmless proposal for 

 3          community colleges, we are requesting a 

 4          maintenance-of-effort provision by adding to 

 5          the proposed tuition plan for state-operated 

 6          campuses.  We're grateful that the 

 7          Executive Budget did not cut funding for the 

 8          25 campuses and provided for the cost of 

 9          employee benefits.  All we ask is that this 

10          approach be continued and the MOE be 

11          reinstated to provide much-needed stability 

12          for our institutions.  

13                 We must also address the issues being 

14          faced by our three teaching hospitals at 

15          Downstate, Upstate and Stony Brook.  

16          Throughout my tenure at SUNY, I think it's 

17          fair to say that funding for our hospitals 

18          has been a struggle for all of us.  At the 

19          risk of sounding like a broken record, 

20          predictability of funding is needed to shore 

21          up these institutions once and for all.

22                 One area that we all need to focus on 

23          in this area is Disproportionate Share 

24          Hospital payments, better known as DSH.  The 

                                                                  18

 1          DSH program is a long-standing federal/state 

 2          partnership that addresses the financial 

 3          stress on hospitals that serve a 

 4          disproportionate share of indigent Medicaid 

 5          and uninsured patients by repaying these 

 6          institutions for their losses on a two-year 

 7          lagged basis, usually in a fall and spring 

 8          payment.  

 9                 Our SUNY hospitals traditionally 

10          receive a fall payment of around 

11          $180 million.  However, SUNY's most recent 

12          fall payment was approximately 60 percent 

13          less than in prior years.  While we 

14          understand that there are pressures on the 

15          state to meet the financial needs of all of 

16          New York's public hospitals, all we ask is to 

17          be a partner in these discussions so that we 

18          can ensure that our hospitals are fully 

19          reimbursed for the lifesaving care they 

20          provide to vulnerable populations.  

21                 We also ask you for your help in 

22          addressing the costs of the collectively 

23          bargained salary contracts.  As we have 

24          discussed in the past, after new agreements 

                                                                  19

 1          are finalized, too often it is students who 

 2          bear the burden of unanticipated costs.  We 

 3          want the investment of our students and the 

 4          state to fund programs and activities that 

 5          drive completion and success.

 6                 Finally, as with every year, we ask 

 7          that you restore the legislatively added 

 8          funding for programs reduced or eliminated in 

 9          the Executive Budget, such as the Educational 

10          Opportunity Program, celebrating its 50th 

11          anniversary this year.  As you know, 10,000 

12          students are benefiting from this incredible 

13          program, proven to help at-risk students 

14          complete college at rates higher than their 

15          peers across the nation.  

16                 Each year, EOP has more than 15,000 

17          qualified applicants for only 2900 seats.  

18          Over time, more than 60,000 students have 

19          graduated, thanks to a history of legislative 

20          support for this life-changing program.  We 

21          must keep the momentum going.

22                 In addition, we request your continued 

23          support for our Educational Opportunity 

24          Centers; for the Graduation, Achievement, and 

                                                                  20

 1          Placement Program; vital additions to 

 2          childcare; and support for the Small Business 

 3          Development Centers.  Together, these 

 4          programs represent an $18.2 million reduction 

 5          from last year's enacted budget.  The 

 6          Legislature has been a true champion for our 

 7          students through these programs, and we hope 

 8          that that will continue.  We cannot afford to 

 9          go backwards.  

10                 That's why you will consider the new 

11          investment we included in our budget request:  

12          Expanded funding for EOP and EOC, an 

13          additional $1 million for our childcare 

14          centers, and an additional $15.5 million for 

15          the Empire Innovation Program, which helps 

16          our campuses attract additional world-class 

17          faculty.

18                 So before I take your questions, I 

19          want to invite Marc Cohen to provide some 

20          additional remarks from the student 

21          perspective, which will be a preview of the 

22          SUNY Student Assembly's testimony later this 

23          afternoon.  My good friend and colleague, 

24          Marc Cohen.  

                                                                  21

 1                 Marc?

 2                 MR. COHEN:  Thank you, Chancellor.  An 

 3          excellent speech yesterday.

 4                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

 5                 MR. COHEN:  I first want to thank the 

 6          Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly 

 7          Ways and Means Committee for giving me the 

 8          opportunity to speak here today on behalf of 

 9          my 600,000 SUNY student colleagues across the 

10          State of New York.  

11                 I'd also like to thank, of course, 

12          Chancellor Zimpher for her unwavering 

13          commitment to improving the educational 

14          experience for SUNY students during her term, 

15          and I am honored to be with her here today.  

16          SUNY is better positioned in countless 

17          aspects as a result of your passionate and 

18          progressive leadership.  And of course 

19          Chairman Carl McCall, who works tirelessly to 

20          incorporate students in everything that he 

21          does, most recently by establishing the 

22          Student Life Committee.

23                 We must strive to make the public 

24          higher education system in the State of 

                                                                  22

 1          New York the very best that we can.  We must 

 2          strive for greater accessibility, increased 

 3          affordability, and increasingly enriching 

 4          educational experiences for our students, who 

 5          are our greatest assets and the most 

 6          worthwhile investment that can be made by 

 7          New York State.  Any investment in our 

 8          students is a direct investment in New York's 

 9          workforce.  It is an investment in our tax 

10          base, it is an investment in our 

11          productivity.  

12                 The ability to accomplish all that I 

13          just mentioned is heavily influenced by the 

14          funding priorities laid out in the New York 

15          State budget.  SUNY students have been 

16          overwhelmingly supportive of an agenda to 

17          increase affordability and decrease the debt 

18          burden of attending college.  We are 

19          encouraged by the Governor's Excelsior 

20          Scholarship Program, which brings the 

21          critical issue of affordability into the 

22          spotlight and takes a much-needed step toward 

23          reducing student debt and alleviating the 

24          financial strain on middle-income families 

                                                                  23

 1          seeking a quality education.

 2                 SUNY students support proposals that 

 3          aim to reverse the most concerning trend of 

 4          the last few decades in higher education:  

 5          forcing students to pay ever-increasing 

 6          portions of the cost of that education and 

 7          being compelled to take on more and more 

 8          debt.  This has occurred simultaneously with 

 9          the ever-increasing requirement of a college 

10          degree to be a competitive candidate for jobs 

11          in the modern economy.  

12                 We hope that in the coming years we 

13          can continue to make progress on higher 

14          education affordability with a renewed 

15          commitment from the state to increase base 

16          funding to SUNY, to ensure that tuition rates 

17          are stabilized for those who have to pay 

18          them, and that the overall cost of attendance 

19          for students at all income levels is reduced.  

20                 SUNY students are a good investment.  

21          Please be reminded and continue to recognize 

22          the importance of need-based programs such as 

23          the Tuition Assistance Program and the 

24          Educational Opportunity Program, both of 

                                                                  24

 1          which we hope to strengthen in the coming 

 2          years so that low-income students receive 

 3          debt relief for the increasingly burdensome 

 4          cost of room and board.  

 5                 Community colleges also cannot be 

 6          overlooked as an integral part of our higher 

 7          education system in SUNY.  They provide a 

 8          level of accessibility and connectedness to 

 9          the local workforce that needs to be 

10          continually strengthened in the coming years.  

11                 SUNY community college students are a 

12          critical investment.  The hundreds of 

13          thousands of community college students in 

14          the SUNY system understand the need for state 

15          investment, and I am hopeful that you key 

16          legislators will continue to champion their 

17          interests and work to raise the level of base 

18          aid to community colleges in this budget.  

19                 In the coming months, I ask all the 

20          members of the New York State Legislature, 

21          and your committees in particular, to be 

22          cognizant of and sensitive to the importance 

23          of strong state investment in higher 

24          education for the future of our state.

                                                                  25

 1                 TAP and EOP, the investment fund in 

 2          childcare, that goes far beyond tuition.  And 

 3          it is vital that we work to promote the 

 4          mission of SUNY -- accessible, affordable, 

 5          high-quality education.  

 6                 Thank you for your time and thank you, 

 7          Chancellor, for sharing it with me.

 8                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you, 

 9          President Cohen.  

10                 I will now be joined by our Vice 

11          Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Eileen 

12          McLoughlin and Chief of Staff Stacey 

13          Hengsterman.  It's a privilege to testify 

14          before you, and we welcome your questions and 

15          comments.  Thank you.

16                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

17                 We've been joined by members 

18          Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, Assemblyman John 

19          McDonald, Assemblyman Al Stirpe, 

20          Assemblywoman Seawright, and Assemblyman Jeff 

21          Aubry.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  We've also been 

23          joined by Assemblywoman Malliotakis.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  And we've been 

                                                                  26

 1          joined by Senator Ken LaValle, who is chair 

 2          of the Senate Standing Committee on Higher 

 3          Education.  Also Senator Marisol Alcantara 

 4          and Senator Pam Helming.

 5                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Deborah Glick, 

 6          chair.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you, 

 8          Mr. Chairman.

 9                 First of all, let me thank you, 

10          Chancellor, for your years of service.  This 

11          will be the last budget grilling, and we are 

12          lucky to have had you and sorry to see you 

13          go.

14                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I appreciate the 

16          notion that we should do more to make college 

17          affordable.  The free-tuition plan, the 

18          Excelsior plan, is rather complicated in its 

19          requirements and the way in which it will be 

20          applied, so I have a few questions about 

21          that.

22                 Prior to this, we instituted a couple 

23          of years ago a free-tuition plan for any 

24          students who pursued STEM and were in the top 

                                                                  27

 1          10 percent of their class in high school.  

 2          Have you seen any number of students?  What 

 3          has that meant to the system?  And if you 

 4          don't have that directly, you can give us 

 5          some of those numbers later.  But it would be 

 6          important to us to know how successful that 

 7          free-tuition plan was and what that has meant 

 8          for students across the state, and whether or 

 9          not you feel that enough has been done to 

10          make students aware of that availability.

11                 This new program, what do you think 

12          that will do to your enrollment?  And are you 

13          equipped to absorb that without any 

14          additional state support?  Because it appears 

15          that we have not added to the Operating Aid 

16          for SUNY.  And if you are going to have some 

17          additional influx of students, how are you 

18          going to accommodate that?

19                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, first, 

20          Assemblymember, I think we can give you some 

21          data on the STEM tuition proposal, and we'll 

22          do that shortly.

23                 We have taken a cursory look at where 

24          we think we have capacity, because we know 

                                                                  28

 1          from at least one other state's experience -- 

 2          only in a tuition boost for community 

 3          colleges -- and of course the Excelsior 

 4          program adds the four-year institutions, 

 5          which is its uniqueness, by the way, on the 

 6          one hand.  And so I think what we've looked 

 7          at so far is our community colleges, because 

 8          we think that's where the most demand will 

 9          occur.  

10                 We're not changing our admissions 

11          requirements for our four-year comprehensive 

12          colleges.  So if students who have the 

13          Excelsior program can meet the grade on our 

14          four-year, they will be admitted.  Otherwise, 

15          they will be in our community colleges.  

16                 And if you recall, we had a boost 

17          during the recession.  People tend to go back 

18          to college when jobs are scarce.  Then we had 

19          a drop, because the recovery allowed them to 

20          go back to work.  So we had that gap that -- 

21          frankly, I wish it were exact, but it might 

22          be 3 to 5, it could be even a 10 percent 

23          gap -- room, I would say capacity, for some 

24          of these newly attracted students.  

                                                                  29

 1                 I think that's less so in our 

 2          comprehensive colleges.  But I think before 

 3          you get to the end of the budget, we have to 

 4          be able to show you how we can accommodate 

 5          more students.

 6                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  The Excelsior 

 7          program envisions paying for tuition at the 

 8          current rate, even as there is a proposal to 

 9          raise tuition over a five-year period, at 

10          $250 per year.  So what does that do to your 

11          ability to provide services if you get an 

12          influx of students for whom the state will 

13          pay a fixed rate at the current rate and not 

14          add to it over the period that you hope to be 

15          receiving an increase in tuition from other 

16          students?

17                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, my response 

18          is twofold.  And my colleagues may have 

19          something to add to this.  

20                 But on the one hand, I want to remind 

21          you that the predictable tuition policy of 

22          the past really gave us an opportunity to add 

23          faculty.  You may recall we added over 

24          900 full-time faculty during the rational 

                                                                  30

 1          tuition period, over five years.  That really 

 2          helped us and helps us now provide services 

 3          to more students.  

 4                 That said, recall that the second part 

 5          of the rational tuition program was gap 

 6          funding, that we would pay the difference 

 7          between what TAP offered and what our new 

 8          tuition was as a result of rational tuition.  

 9          That's about a $60 million commitment, off 

10          the top, of any gains we would get in this 

11          new tuition plan.  

12                 So I think there are two stresses that 

13          we have to work through.  One is, do we need 

14          more services, or do we have the capacity 

15          right now?  We're trying to find a way to 

16          have the capacity right now.  But secondly, 

17          it does increase our -- what we call our TAP 

18          gap obligation.

19                 Any adds?  You okay?  Okay.

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  On the SUNY 

21          hospitals, you've had substantial reductions 

22          over the last several years.  And I'm 

23          wondering whether you've seen a reduction in 

24          the demand for your services and whether that 

                                                                  31

 1          gap may only increase as we see changes on a 

 2          federal level regarding healthcare.  What are 

 3          you preparing for, or what's your 

 4          anticipation in that area?

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So the summary 

 6          response is yes and yes.  

 7                 There is more -- constantly, 

 8          increasingly more -- demand on the kinds of 

 9          services that Downstate Medical, for 

10          instance, Upstate for sure, provides to 

11          underserved populations.  And the costs are 

12          going to go up.  So we can unpack that a 

13          little bit for you.

14                 Eileen?

15                 SUNY VICE CHANCELLOR MCLOUGHLIN:  So 

16          with our hospitals, as the chancellor was 

17          saying, the volume, the patient demand does 

18          keep going up.  There was a point in time 

19          back in 2006 where the hospitals were funded 

20          based on the increased costs of employee 

21          compensation for a state hospital as opposed 

22          to a private.  And at the time, for that 

23          funding back in 2006, that was $160 million.  

24                 I think what would be helpful for our 

                                                                  32

 1          hospitals is that you support us in our DSH 

 2          efforts to get that funding as well as, you 

 3          know, in our budget request we asked for a 

 4          cost avoidance of our debt service.  That 

 5          would be $3 million for critical maintenance 

 6          and $40 million, all in, for critical 

 7          maintenance and capital investment.  

 8                 So I think all those things that 

 9          you're saying, yes, those are stresses on a 

10          hospital.  So any support you can get for us 

11          in terms of that would be great.

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Chancellor, you 

13          made mention of the need for various services 

14          for students, broadly.  Unfortunately, while 

15          we have increased, over the last couple of 

16          years, support for the Opportunity Programs, 

17          we do not see that increase maintained in 

18          this budget.

19                 And so I'm wondering how many fewer 

20          students you'll be able to serve if there 

21          isn't a change in the Executive Budget.

22                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So we started out 

23          a few years ago thinking that we had 30,000 

24          requests for seats in our Opportunity 

                                                                  33

 1          Programs.  Turns out that it's an easy thing 

 2          to check the box.  And we really boiled that 

 3          down to about 15,000 students who really met 

 4          the eligibility requirements -- for 2,900 

 5          seats.  

 6                 It's the most remarkable investment, 

 7          because we have the data, we know that our 

 8          students perform even better than students 

 9          who do not receive this aid.  This is a 

10          winner.  This works.  

11                 And I would say we're counting on you 

12          to retain that investment and increase it.  

13          And I don't think it's not -- this is my 

14          speculation -- I don't think it's not in the 

15          Executive Budget because it's not critically 

16          important; I think it's sort of sharing the 

17          responsibility for this really important and 

18          workable program.

19                 So we're really short on seats.  

20          That's it.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  You said earlier 

22          that -- and I've heard you say today and 

23          indicated yesterday -- that completion is 

24          crucial and if you are in school, you're most 

                                                                  34

 1          likely to stay in school.  

 2                 One of the problems that I perceive 

 3          with the Excelsior program is that many 

 4          students who are first adjusting to college, 

 5          they think they can carry 15 credits, they 

 6          may find that a course is -- that it's not 

 7          what they thought it was.  It may be that 

 8          they are taking a series of very rigorous 

 9          classes and are a little overwhelmed with 

10          adjusting to college, and they may drop a 

11          course, for any number of reasons.  That 

12          drops them below the 15 credits.  And they 

13          not only lose that eligibility that semester, 

14          they lose that eligibility for the rest of 

15          their college career.

16                 How many students do you think 

17          generally wind up dropping a course?

18                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, we have 

19          data.  We can tell you what our dropouts are.  

20          And I think if you know that from a hundred 

21          percent freshman class, only 60 percent will 

22          make it to the finish line in six years, we 

23          as a nation have a problem.  

24                 So people drop out.  And we know that 

                                                                  35

 1          that creates expense for them and they don't 

 2          have a degree to show for it.

 3                 So I want to say, Assemblymember, I 

 4          have held to that litany for decades, that 

 5          there are reasons why a student can't take 

 6          the full 15 hours.  And then, as higher 

 7          education begins to look more carefully at 

 8          the data, actually looking at the truth of 

 9          that assumption, what we're finding out is 

10          exactly the opposite.  The more you take, the 

11          more disciplined you are to carry on, the 

12          better you do.  So there are several studies 

13          recently released that look at the 12-hour 

14          student and the 15-hour student, and the 

15          15-hour student stays.

16                 So I think we're going to have to 

17          think about early warning signals, which we 

18          have at SUNY.  We have a thing called Smart 

19          Track.  It tells you how to invest.  We have 

20          another thing that, online, tells you which 

21          courses to enroll in.  We're paying a lot 

22          more attention to advising.  I kind of want 

23          to say it's on us to help our students keep 

24          that 15-hour load, just because we're 

                                                                  36

 1          learning that their chances of staying for a 

 2          lesser load are in danger.  

 3                 So I have to -- either we pilot it or 

 4          we find a way, which I think would be 

 5          friendly to this program, to reenroll later 

 6          if we can't stop the hemorrhaging in that 

 7          first semester.  But I think we have to try 

 8          to get our students more engaged.  And we 

 9          have about 15 other strategies to support 

10          that 15-hour.  

11                 So when you look at 15 hours, the only 

12          proposal in the Excelsior program, remember 

13          that we have a dozen more strategies for 

14          keeping that student enrolled.

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Well, I would 

16          just say that there are a number of studies 

17          that indicate that the one reason that 

18          students do drop out, even though they may 

19          come back later, is because they don't have 

20          the resources.

21                 And while this would pay for the 

22          tuition, it does not cover books, it doesn't 

23          cover a variety of expenses.  And the 

24          students who can carry 15 credits without 

                                                                  37

 1          having a problem tend to be students who have 

 2          family support networks that provide for 

 3          these other expenses without students having 

 4          to work extensively.  

 5                 And so it seems to me that the target 

 6          of this is not -- you know, is at a higher 

 7          economic level where there is more support.  

 8          And certainly my own experience and the 

 9          experience of people around me is that people 

10          may decide to come back or carry 12 credits 

11          the first year because they were making -- 

12          you know, they just were making adjustments, 

13          and then maybe make it up, that three 

14          credits, over a summer after they've made an 

15          adjustment.  

16                 Don't you think it's a little bit -- I 

17          hear what you're saying, that 15 credits 

18          generally do well.  But I also think that 

19          there are students who could benefit greatly 

20          from this who may have other reasons.  They 

21          may be very smart, they may be a little 

22          emotionally young, and their adjustment in 

23          their first year may not be the reason why 

24          they should have the rug pulled out from 

                                                                  38

 1          under them, especially when they may not 

 2          realize that there's a trapdoor for them.

 3                 So with all of the supports that you 

 4          have and all of the thoughts that you have, 

 5          are you thinking that you would give extra 

 6          attention to students who were there on the 

 7          Excelsior program to ensure that they didn't 

 8          fall through the trapdoor?  And are those the 

 9          students in that $100,000 income bracket, are 

10          those the students who are most in need of 

11          having support, or is it students who are 

12          actually struggling to pay for their books?

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I like 

14          where you've landed, because I do think it is 

15          on us to provide more services for students 

16          at risk.  That's what we've learned from EOP.  

17          We have a regimen of support systems that we 

18          know work.  

19                 The other dilemma:  If you don't take 

20          a full load, you're going to be there longer.  

21          If you're there longer, you're going to be 

22          paying another semester.  So what we're 

23          learning is the time and the speed with which 

24          you get to the finish line is ultimately the 

                                                                  39

 1          cost saver.  So we're a little bit in a 

 2          tension between helping the student on the 

 3          first hand, but costing them money on the 

 4          other.  

 5                 I want to say to you SUNY is 

 6          absolutely committed to support students at 

 7          risk.  That has been our charge from the 

 8          beginning.  And if supporting students to get 

 9          to that 15-credit-hour bar -- which is a high 

10          bar -- is part of this equation, that's what 

11          we're going to try to do.

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Just to close, I 

13          would just suggest that there are many 

14          students who may view the four-year as the 

15          target and may achieve that by picking up 

16          courses in the summer, including online 

17          courses, so when they're back home and 

18          they're working.  Because they just may have 

19          to work while they're in school.  

20                 And so the end result is to try to get 

21          kids graduating in the four years.  It seems 

22          to me that this construct is perhaps too 

23          inflexible for the reality of the majority of 

24          students who we want to help in the public 

                                                                  40

 1          systems.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  We've 

 3          been joined by Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, 

 4          Assemblyman Charles Barron, and Assemblyman 

 5          Victor Pichardo.

 6                 Senator?  

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  We've 

 8          been joined by Senator Gustavo Rivera.  

 9          Welcome.

10                 I'll go next, Mr. Chairman.

11                 First of all, I'd like to thank you 

12          for your service to the people of New York 

13          State.  You've always been so enthusiastic, 

14          provided great leadership to the SUNY system.  

15          And I want to personally wish you well in all 

16          of our future endeavors, and you will be 

17          missed.  So thank you for that.

18                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I think 

20          Assemblywoman Glick actually asked several 

21          very pertinent questions.  I wanted to follow 

22          up on the TAP gap, because that seems to be a 

23          real problem for our campuses, where they get 

24          money but then it's taken away, they have to 

                                                                  41

 1          make up the difference.  

 2                 And can you tell us what impact that 

 3          has had on student programming?  Because it 

 4          seems to me that if SUNY is underfunded, they 

 5          can't always provide the quality programs 

 6          that we expect them to give to the students.

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I think, 

 8          Senator, the first thing I'd like to say is 

 9          that the principle of covering this gap is a 

10          very worthy one.  

11                 I'm very proud that SUNY and CUNY 

12          stepped up during the period of rational 

13          tuition to close that gap.  I think that was 

14          the right thing to do.  I think it was a 

15          really hard thing to do.  Because the whole 

16          principle was that we would have more support 

17          to serve our students.  And we've been very 

18          faithful to that, adding faculty, adding 

19          services.  We have the book on every dime 

20          we've spent in the growth through that 

21          tuition program, and it has and is serving 

22          our students.  

23                 But right off the top, you can't avoid 

24          it, is $60 million.  And it's an expensive 

                                                                  42

 1          way to get to the end goal.  It's a dilemma 

 2          for us.  But, you know, it's the battle of 

 3          what's right to do with the struggle with 

 4          resources.  So I think it does affect our 

 5          campuses, but I'm also proud to say that the 

 6          rational tuition program brought us 900 

 7          full-time faculty.  I know you're concerned 

 8          about the ratio of full-time faculty to 

 9          part-time faculty.  It allowed us to create 

10          these support systems that we didn't have in 

11          place, to expand our online offerings, 

12          because students do finish their degrees 

13          often with a course or two that's online.  

14                 So yes and yes, but it's the rightness 

15          of it.  And of course we would love relief.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.  So common 

17          sense would tell us that if you offer 

18          something for free, of course more people are 

19          going to take advantage of it.  So my concern 

20          is the TAP gap will only increase.  You 

21          referenced that a little bit, but you expect 

22          it to increase if there's an influx of new 

23          students, which could really be a problem.

24                 I wanted to switch for a second to 

                                                                  43

 1          good governance and ethics.  And the 

 2          Executive Budget would institute reforms 

 3          governing procurement procedures and the 

 4          financial activities of SUNY and CUNY 

 5          foundations and nonprofit affiliations.  And 

 6          I had a question about what have you done to 

 7          increase transparency in your procurement 

 8          processes?  That's question number one.

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Eileen?

10                 SUNY VICE CHANCELLOR MCLOUGHLIN:  So 

11          for all of our other related entities -- 

12          foundations and auxiliary service 

13          corporations that support our campuses, this 

14          past May 2016 and June 2016, the Board of 

15          Trustees passed new guidelines that we are 

16          now in compliance, even a little bit better 

17          than New York State law.  

18                 We're now currently in the process of 

19          developing a model contract and working with 

20          OSC to improve our model contract.  And we're 

21          going to renew our contract with all of our 

22          entities across our system.  

23                 And those policies deal with 

24          procurement.  Procurement policies have to be 

                                                                  44

 1          defined.  It deals with conflict of interest 

 2          and all the concerns that have arisen.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  And do you 

 4          think that those measures are sufficient?  

 5          And what do you think needs to be done in the 

 6          future?

 7                 SUNY VICE CHANCELLOR MCLOUGHLIN:  I 

 8          think those measures are sufficient, and I 

 9          think, from my perspective, what SUNY just 

10          needs to do is to roll out those contracts 

11          with our entities and continue our oversight.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.

13                 As far as the capital funding goes, 

14          the Executive Budget provides $550 million 

15          for SUNY senior colleges and $284 million at 

16          CUNY senior colleges.  And as you pointed out 

17          so well, Chancellor, this falls far short of 

18          what the needs are on the campuses.  And I 

19          actually have seen photographs of some of our 

20          campuses having buildings literally 

21          crumbling.  

22                 I need to say thank you to my 

23          colleague, Senator LaValle, who has put 

24          forward a five-year capital plan that was 

                                                                  45

 1          passed in both houses in 2015.  And 

 2          unfortunately, that measure was vetoed by the 

 3          Governor.  

 4                 But under the Governor's current 

 5          construct, of that $550 million, $396,600 are 

 6          in a lump sum.  So it's undefined.  And I was 

 7          hoping you could shed some light on this lump 

 8          sum, because I think that the Legislature 

 9          feels very strongly -- at least I'll speak 

10          for myself -- that we need to know and we 

11          need to -- our responsibility is to know what 

12          we're actually approving in the State Budget.

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Happily, Bob 

14          Haelen is with us, president of our 

15          Construction Fund and vice chancellor for 

16          facilities at SUNY.  

17                 But I want to say to you, Senator, and 

18          to Senator LaValle, a five-year window is 

19          what has made our capital plan so successful 

20          in the past.  And for that part, a five-year 

21          window in the Executive Budget is a welcome 

22          relief from our inability to be more planful.  

23          So I think Bob can close the gap here.

24                 VICE CHANCELLOR HAELEN:  Yeah, thank 

                                                                  46

 1          you.  

 2                 As part of a capital planning 

 3          strategy, you always start projects under 

 4          design where you do not have construction 

 5          funding.  We call it "build the shelf," 

 6          because you would need to be prepared in the 

 7          event capital does come your way.

 8                 So right now we have 65 projects 

 9          totaling $440 million in design that does not 

10          have funding for construction.  So as far as 

11          the lump is concerned, that's the first 

12          priority.  They're ready to go; we have to 

13          execute.  And out of that 65, 50 of those 

14          projects are ready to bid this coming year, 

15          for a total of about $350 million.  

16                 So, you know -- and we will continue 

17          that endeavor to identify the highest, most 

18          critical projects for each of the campuses 

19          and start a project in design so we keep 

20          rolling through the capital plan.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Is there a list 

22          that's available to the Legislature?  

23                 VICE CHANCELLOR HAELEN:  Oh, 

24          absolutely.  We can provide that to you.

                                                                  47

 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  We would 

 2          appreciate it if you could get it to 

 3          everyone.  That would be great.  Thank you.  

 4                 I just wanted to go into the Excelsior 

 5          Scholarship, which is the free tuition.  And 

 6          we've talked about it a little bit, but 

 7          you're not really sure about the capacity 

 8          issue and whether the system can actually 

 9          absorb it.  We're talking about buildings 

10          that are falling down, the capital needs not 

11          being met, the TAP gap, community colleges' 

12          funding being cut this year -- which, as you 

13          noted, they would have to take the overflow 

14          if there's an influx of new students.  

15                 So from my perspective, things don't 

16          seem to be adding up very well right now, and 

17          I think we need to have a very serious 

18          discussion about that.

19                 The EOP program too, as you noted, is 

20          something that the Governor cut this year.  I 

21          can only imagine that if we're attracting a 

22          whole slew of new students, there may not 

23          be -- even if the Legislature restores 

24          EOP funding, which I'm sure we will, that 

                                                                  48

 1          there will be enough EOP money to meet the 

 2          students' needs.

 3                 So I had just a few questions.  First 

 4          of all, what are the residency requirements 

 5          for the Excelsior Program?

 6                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I don't think we 

 7          have that yet.

 8                 SUNY VICE CHANCELLOR MCLOUGHLIN:  I 

 9          don't think there was any detail on there 

10          being a residency requirement in the 

11          Excelsior Scholarship Program.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So basically what 

13          could happen is if New York passes this new 

14          program for free college tuition, 

15          theoretically we could have people moving 

16          here from other states to take advantage of 

17          the free tuition on the backs of the 

18          taxpayers of New York; is that correct?

19                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I think we need 

20          to validate our assumption that we're talking 

21          about resident undergraduate students.  It's 

22          easy enough for us to check that point.  That 

23          is our assumption.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So we would have 

                                                                  49

 1          people potentially moving here --

 2                 SUNY VICE CHANCELLOR MCLOUGHLIN:  It's 

 3          New York State.  

 4                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  No, no, no, it's 

 5          resident undergraduate students that get --

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Right.  But what is 

 7          the definition of residency?  Is it they move 

 8          here, you know --

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.  No, I 

10          understand.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  -- a week before, 

12          six months before, a year before?  What is 

13          the definition of residency?  Because I think 

14          the Legislature deserves to know what that 

15          definition is.

16                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I think we need 

17          to make the assumption that the same rule for 

18          residency, which is one year, will apply to 

19          the Excelsior.  But we'll check our work.

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So it's a good 

22          question.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Is there any 

24          requirement for students graduating to stay 

                                                                  50

 1          in New York to --

 2                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  No.

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  -- help build the 

 4          state or fulfill the workforce needs?

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  It's something we  

 6          could work on, but it's not there at the 

 7          moment, no.

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So no residency 

 9          requirement on the back end.  What about 

10          economic requirements?  Are there any 

11          academic requirements on the students that 

12          would take advantage of this program?

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  The only thing 

14          that has been mentioned or is in the proposal 

15          is this 15-hour credit.  I wanted to come 

16          back to it even for Assemblymember Glick.  

17          The fact that we have in this Excelsior plan 

18          a condition for the awardee that has to do 

19          with completion is the big win.  Whether it's 

20          15 hours or some other condition, just giving 

21          money without making the point that there's a 

22          responsibility of the student to do something 

23          during the time of that award is a huge step 

24          forward, and I don't believe exists in any 

                                                                  51

 1          other state tuition assistance policy.

 2                 So I just wanted to say what's novel 

 3          about Excelsior is that it introduces the 

 4          notion that the awardee has a particular 

 5          academic responsibility.  I know we're 

 6          debating whether it's the 15 credit hour.  

 7          But it's for students to be more planful.  

 8                 You know, we have one of these Finish 

 9          in Four programs, which is a guarantee 

10          program on six of our campuses and hopefully 

11          many more.  You are guaranteed completion in 

12          four years.  We'll make sure the courses are 

13          offered that you need, or else it's on us.  

14          And then you take a rigorous, disciplined 

15          curriculum plan and you don't veer from that.  

16          You don't drop one major and pick up another 

17          or try to take more electives.  It's a very 

18          rigorous exchange between the campus and the 

19          student.  

20                 So what the Excelsior signals to me is 

21          that in the process of trying to assist more 

22          students, we put a condition in there.  Let's 

23          get that condition right.  

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.  

                                                                  52

 1                 Like everything, there are loopholes.  

 2          And I'll give you a theoretical situation.  

 3          What if a family makes in excess of a 

 4          million dollars a year and they decide they 

 5          don't want to pay for their son to go to 

 6          college, they want their son to take 

 7          advantage of free college tuition, even 

 8          though they have a higher income.  Could they 

 9          not emancipate that child right away and then 

10          that child would qualify for free college 

11          tuition?

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  You know, today 

13          I'm just not sure we can answer the potential 

14          loopholes.  I think it's important to state 

15          what you think they might be, and I really do 

16          appreciate that.  But we're not in the 

17          if-come, we're trying to deal with the 

18          proposal as it stands.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay.  All right.  

20          I think that's all I have, so thank you very 

21          much.  I might come back.

22                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.  

23                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

24                 Assemblywoman Pat Fahy.

                                                                  53

 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Thank you, 

 2          Mr. Chairman.  

 3                 And welcome, Chancellor.  And I want 

 4          to share in the thank you for all you have 

 5          done.  You will certainly be missed.  

 6                 And I also want to give a shout-out to 

 7          Marc Cohen, one of our own at UAlbany.  

 8                 You're just doing great work, and did 

 9          a great job as well yesterday at the State of 

10          the University.  

11                 I'm going to be very brief, because 

12          I'm late for a Codes Committee meeting and 

13          I'll be hearing about it.

14                 Thank you for the support and the 

15          shout-out that you have given on EOP.  

16          Certainly it's one that gives me serious 

17          pause each year that we are not filling the 

18          slots that are needed.  And certainly even -- 

19          I've known plenty of students going through 

20          each year, and I always try to meet with the 

21          students, and it's just -- it is about 

22          shining a light on kids that need that light 

23          shone on them and about the bonding and the 

24          really trying to personalize each of our 

                                                                  54

 1          universities for them.  

 2                 I also want to give you a thanks on 

 3          the community college for your support there.  

 4          As you know, I'm first-generation American, 

 5          first-generation college.  And if I had not 

 6          had the access to community colleges -- not 

 7          here, but in Illinois -- I wouldn't be here 

 8          today.  So it's what made it affordable for 

 9          me, and I don't think we can do enough.

10                 A couple of questions.  The free 

11          tuition policy, or the Excelsior Scholarship 

12          Program.  While I think it is ambitious and 

13          I'm certainly following every bit of it, my 

14          biggest concern is what will this do to 

15          quality.  And while I know I heard the 

16          questions you just tried to answer about 

17          projections, I am concerned about what the 

18          numbers will be, particularly with freshmen 

19          classes.  

20                 And one of my biggest concerns across 

21          every college, public and private -- because 

22          I've learned the hard way from my own 

23          children and from classmates -- is that while 

24          we see a lot about the 20 to 1 or 15 to 1 

                                                                  55

 1          ratios, there seems to be a little bit of 

 2          gaming in the system.  And again, I mean this 

 3          in public and private schools.  It's those 

 4          freshman classes, those entry-level classes 

 5          that are the 200 to 400 to 500 students.  And 

 6          it's completely the opposite of what we've 

 7          done with the EOP programs, and that is try 

 8          to break down the universities, make sure we 

 9          are establishing bonds, make sure they are 

10          getting to know their professors, and really 

11          shining a light on those students.  

12                 And then it's the opposite for the 

13          regular freshmen.  The minute they walk in, 

14          they're in these very impersonal classes and 

15          these lecture halls that they've never 

16          experienced before.  And I'm convinced that 

17          that's what fuels the dropout rate at the 

18          freshman level in college, which by all 

19          accounts is certainly where we lose the most 

20          students.  

21                 So if you could address a little of 

22          that and how you plan to maintain quality 

23          while moving forward on any free tuition or 

24          the Excelsior Program.

                                                                  56

 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, 

 2          Assemblywoman, I really appreciate the whole 

 3          issue because I will tell you right now, the 

 4          State University of New York has no intention 

 5          of reducing the quality of the curriculum 

 6          delivered for our students.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Thank you.

 8                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So that is our 

 9          pledge.  

10                 That said, we're getting so much more 

11          data-oriented at SUNY.  Yesterday we 

12          announced a Center for Systems Change, which 

13          is all about testing the assumptions being 

14          made in this question.  

15                 So I can't tell you right now exactly 

16          how many of our classes are in the jumbo 

17          size.  I also don't think every big class is 

18          bad.  I don't know that every small class is 

19          good.

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Fair enough.

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So I want to test 

22          that one out.

23                 But we have known for decades that if 

24          you can't get that freshman student to the 

                                                                  57

 1          sophomore year, you've lost the battle.  

 2                 So we put so much of our resources 

 3          into bridging and supporting those first two 

 4          semesters.  And I think it would -- our goal 

 5          would be to take every one of your questions 

 6          today and put some data behind it.  Because 

 7          we our own selves in higher ed have lived on 

 8          a pool of assumptions that now are being 

 9          brought into question about the way we do our 

10          business.  

11                 And while we're not asking you for 

12          support for this center that we're creating, 

13          we are asking private investors.  We're going 

14          to find out if this is true and if there are 

15          any abuses in our class size.  

16                 And I think when we say to you what 

17          capacity do we have for Excelsior, we have to 

18          set a number, I would say somewhere between 

19          zero and 10 percent.  And then we have to 

20          really know that we have the services that we 

21          can deliver to these additional students.  

22                 That's on us.  I don't know if we can 

23          get there by the end of the session, but 

24          frankly I think we have to.  I don't think 

                                                                  58

 1          you can make a decision about Excelsior till 

 2          you know whether we have the capacity to 

 3          continue the quality.

 4                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  That would be 

 5          extremely helpful and something I look 

 6          forward to.  You're right, a small class can 

 7          be lousy, as can a big, but there are ways to 

 8          break down those big classes so that they are 

 9          not as impersonal.  

10                 But it is probably my single biggest 

11          concern, is maintaining quality, maintaining 

12          the levels of support, especially for those 

13          early entrants.  

14                 Last question, and I'll just look 

15          forward to getting some information on this.  

16          But the Clean Energy Workforce Opportunity 

17          Program that we supported last year to the 

18          tune of $15 million, if you have a quick 

19          update on it.  But I'd also welcome some more 

20          information to see if that's been implemented 

21          yet and where.

22                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  We'll do that.  

23          Thank you.  Not today.

24                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Thank you.  Thank 

                                                                  59

 1          you.  

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

 3                 Senator?  

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We've been joined 

 5          by Senator Leroy Comrie.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  I've been joined by 

 7          Assemblyman Luis Sep˙lveda.

 8                 Senator?

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.  At this time 

10          I'd like to introduce the chair of the Senate 

11          Committee on Higher Education, Senator Ken 

12          LaValle.

13                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  While we're trying 

14          to do that, we've been joined also by 

15          Assemblywoman Bichotte.

16                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Okay.  I think we 

17          have it.

18                 I want to thank you for your years of 

19          service, and I certainly will miss you not 

20          being the chancellor.

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.  I'll 

22          miss you too.

23                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  So good luck to you.

24                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Pardon me?

                                                                 60

 1                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Good luck to you.

 2                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

 3                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  But we do have some 

 4          work to do --

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yes, we do.

 6                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  -- between now and 

 7          June.  So I would like to start someplace 

 8          that no one has gone, and that is our 

 9          community colleges.

10                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

11                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  They -- we have a 

12          very interesting situation.  Some are losing 

13          students, some are flat -- you know, you just 

14          can't put your brakes on and stop everything.  

15          So what are you going to recommend to us for 

16          our community colleges?

17                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, thank you, 

18          Senator.  Did you hear me say I'll miss you 

19          too?  

20                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Ah.  Thank you.

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I think that 

22          we've tried to present a new approach to 

23          community college funding under the name of a 

24          hold harmless clause.  We know that in the 

                                                                 61

 1          old enrollment -- well, still, in the current 

 2          enrollment-driven formula, if the community 

 3          college has experienced a drop in enrollment, 

 4          it's a drop in their funding.  And they still 

 5          have faculty, they still have support 

 6          programs, and they still have high needs, 

 7          because these are students that need a lot of 

 8          support.

 9                 So we've proposed sort of a bundling 

10          effect, that we look at the kind of base aid 

11          that community colleges need to continue, 

12          that we separate it from the per-pupil or the 

13          enrollment-driven model, and we really 

14          thought that was a new way to think about our 

15          community colleges for exactly the reason you 

16          present in your question.

17                 In the adds here, at this point, I 

18          think you're on the right track.  I think 

19          we're on the right track, and I really would 

20          like this $30 million -- I would really like 

21          this $30 million.  

22                 What we try to do is to look at the 

23          $30 million and say, okay, half of it would 

24          be to fill the gap when the enrollments have 

                                                                 62

 1          dropped, and the other half would be to add 

 2          support systems.  We are dealing at our 

 3          community colleges with the students with the 

 4          highest needs.  We're an open door at our 

 5          community colleges, and we're proud of that, 

 6          but it takes a lot of work.  

 7                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  I'd like to next 

 8          go -- and I know Senator Young talked a 

 9          little about this -- to our foundations.  

10                 I kind of -- when I read the budget, I 

11          thought there were people probably jumping 

12          out of windows.  Because it's good if you're 

13          in a house of worship to do a tithing, but 

14          people are not necessarily good about that.  

15          So it's my understanding that they're 

16          supposed to give a 10 percent tithing?

17                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  SUNY 

18          foundations already have over $500 million in 

19          assets dedicated to scholarship, which throws 

20          off about $55 million a year in annual 

21          disbursements, which is actually 23 percent 

22          of the asset base.  And also 23 percent of 

23          the disbursements.  So we're there.

24                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  We're there.

                                                                 63

 1                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Okay.  I think the 

 2          Governor is on a good track there, because 

 3          there's a lot of money there and every once 

 4          in a while if you ask someone how much money 

 5          do you have in your foundation, they get very 

 6          nervous.  

 7                 I'd like to go to rational tuition.  

 8          So back in time -- and this was I think 

 9          before you arrived here, under Governor 

10          Spitzer -- we created a blue ribbon 

11          commission, and the idea of rational tuition 

12          was born out of that commission.  And as we 

13          moved forward, the discussion was that there 

14          would be a three-legged stool.  Students 

15          would make an investment, the state would 

16          make an investment, and the campuses would 

17          make an investment.  

18                 So history now shows us that the 

19          students have made a $1500 investment, 

20          $300 for five years.  What investment has the 

21          state made as part of their investment?

22                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So, Senator, as 

23          the ratios as well, even in our community 

24          colleges, have strayed away from a third, a 

                                                                 64

 1          third, a third -- I guess, over time, because 

 2          of financial concerns in state funding across 

 3          the board.  So I think the question best 

 4          answered is where are we with that ratio at 

 5          this point.

 6                 Eileen?

 7                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  It's not 

 8          that I don't -- I don't actually have it 

 9          right with me.  I know that behind me they 

10          have it.  But it's not a third, a third, a 

11          third anymore.

12                 CHIEF OF STAFF HENGSTERMAN:  Senator, 

13          the state investment mainly has been, in the 

14          past five years -- certainly while the 

15          chancellor has been here -- also in employee 

16          benefits and fringe debt service and then a 

17          little money that you've seen with the 

18          investment fund.

19                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Yeah.  I understand 

20          there have been some nickels and dimes that 

21          have been put in, but you know, when you have 

22          a contract, and that's what we had, we said 

23          to the students:  You make that investment; 

24          we, the state, will make that investment.  

                                                                 65

 1                 And I think, speaking for myself, I 

 2          think it's something we can't lose sight of, 

 3          that that is an important part and that we 

 4          need to fund -- you know, we're going to be 

 5          doing all sorts of things, and you're going 

 6          to need a commitment, a revenue stream that 

 7          you could depend on to deal with all of these 

 8          students and so forth.  

 9                 So I would like us to not lose sight 

10          of that and our commitment to the students 

11          that we made.  Can I ask you, Chancellor, if 

12          you don't have it now, at some point, room 

13          and board?

14                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Absolutely.

15                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  What those 

16          numbers --

17                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yeah, I think we 

18          have it in our fact sheet.

19                 May I say, Senator, that your 

20          commitment to the principle of a third, a 

21          third, a third is our commitment as well, in 

22          principle.  

23                 And I do think that one of the reasons 

24          we have championed maintenance of effort has 

                                                                 66

 1          been because it really holds us harmless in 

 2          situations where the budget shifts from year 

 3          to year at the state level.  

 4                 So I didn't want you to think that we 

 5          don't like the principle.  We do.  

 6                 CHIEF OF STAFF HENGSTERMAN:  Senator, 

 7          the average cost for fees and room and board 

 8          for a New York State resident is about 

 9          $15,000.

10                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  About 15,000.  Okay.  

11                 CHIEF OF STAFF HENGSTERMAN:  Fifteen.  

12          Fifteen.

13                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Yes.  Fifteen per 

14          year.  Yes.

15                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Fifteen.

16                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  So the tuition is 

17          $6,470 --

18                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Correct.

19                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  And so when we add 

20          that to the 15, we're talking about a sizable 

21          amount of money that the student has to come 

22          up with.

23                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  It is indeed.  

24          Money is money, and we have to pay attention 

                                                                 67

 1          to every dime.  

 2                 I don't think it's bragging rights, I 

 3          just would say that still, that cost is the 

 4          lowest in the Northeast.  It doesn't make it 

 5          right, I'm just saying that's where we stand 

 6          relative to our peers.

 7                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Yes.  You have been 

 8          consistent in that every time we've talked --

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I know.

10                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  -- you have talked 

11          about that.

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, if nothing 

13          else.

14                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  So one of the things 

15          that is critically important, and my dear 

16          friend and counterpart in the Assembly talked 

17          about this, is the 12 credit hours.

18                 Having been a former teacher, and 

19          there are a lot of students that I spent time 

20          with -- and for those students who for a 

21          whole variety of reasons that was mentioned, 

22          whether it be maturity, they're nervous about 

23          being away, whatever it is -- I always tell 

24          those students to take 12 credit hours.  Ease 

                                                                 68

 1          into your program.  And I know you have 

 2          talked about your research and so forth, but 

 3          the LaValle research for the students that he 

 4          has dealt with directly, I have a 100 percent 

 5          success rate to ease them into that program.  

 6                 So I would say to you, Chancellor, 

 7          please stay on this, because this is very 

 8          important.  This is about students.  It's 

 9          about students.  So we can't lose our way as 

10          we're traversing through the forest here.

11                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  You know, I just 

12          want you all to know that I think this is a 

13          question to which there is a discoverable 

14          answer.  And I really live for the day when 

15          we can come to these hearings and actually 

16          lay out a portfolio of what happened last 

17          fall to the 15-credit-hour student and the 

18          12-credit-hour student, that making policy in 

19          a vacuum, of lack of information about how it 

20          really is from our own personal experiences, 

21          is where we are right now.

22                 So we're going to work hard at it, 

23          because we don't know unequivocally the 

24          answer, and we should.  We should.

                                                                 69

 1                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  You know, some of 

 2          our campuses have put up their own money, a 

 3          million or more, to deal with mental health 

 4          issues.  

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

 6                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  And we see this 

 7          today.  You know, we're dealing with 

 8          students.  These are live people.  This is 

 9          our future.  And we just can't add to that 

10          angst, whether it be financial or pressure, 

11          where some students can't handle 15 credits, 

12          so -- the only thing I ask, Chancellor, is 

13          stay on this.  It's clearly very important to 

14          members of the Legislature, and we have to 

15          deal with this.

16                 Capital.

17                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.  We 

18          will.

19                 Capital.

20                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Capital.  You're 

21          going to give to us those 50 projects that 

22          you say are ready?  Because, quite honestly, 

23          I have some of my colleagues -- Senator 

24          Akshar is like waiting for his school of 

                                                                 70

 1          pharmacy.  What can I tell him?

 2                 VICE CHANCELLOR HAELEN:  Well, the way 

 3          the appropriation was written for capital, it 

 4          is for existing buildings and 

 5          critical-maintenance-type projects.  So 

 6          you're not seeing new facilities in there.

 7                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Right.

 8                 VICE CHANCELLOR HAELEN:  And the 

 9          strategy behind doing that lump was an 

10          analysis of the formula that was used to 

11          allocate monies to campuses, and there was a 

12          couple of instances where it didn't work.  So 

13          if you have a small campus that has an 

14          electrical distribution line or stormwater 

15          systems that are just as large and long as a 

16          large campus, then the formula was not 

17          working and we could not address those needs.  

18                 So it's to address those 

19          highest-priority needs.  And again, it is not 

20          for new facilities.  And that's not to say 

21          that there isn't a need for new facilities.

22                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Well, something that 

23          I'm close to and I know is that -- and this 

24          campus is not alone, because it was mentioned 

                                                                 71

 1          by one of the -- whether it was 

 2          Assemblymember Glick or Senator Young, that 

 3          there are buildings crumbling.  Crumbling.  

 4          So STEM and science is so high, so the 

 5          engineering building at Stony Brook is a 

 6          disgrace.  It's a disgrace.  

 7                 What do we tell Stony Brook?

 8                 VICE CHANCELLOR HAELEN:  Well, that's 

 9          where we need your support, Senator.

10                 (Laughter.)

11                 VICE CHANCELLOR HAELEN:  I mean, you 

12          know, it's got to be part of the legislative 

13          process.  And, you know, the campuses do need 

14          additional funding.  And we're going to do 

15          the best with what we can with the 550.  

16          We're very appreciative of it.  It will 

17          arrest our rate of decay.  But additional 

18          funding could be very helpful and 

19          transformative for SUNY.

20                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  And, Senator, you 

21          are in the best position to advocate for the 

22          campuses in your district.  And I think more 

23          recently, while we thought we could have a 

24          body approach, a full-on system approach, 

                                                                 72

 1          calling out the particular needs of a campus 

 2          in your district will be very effective.

 3                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  I have colleagues, 

 4          as chairman, who have given me a list of 

 5          projects that are critically important.  

 6          Those that have been here for a while have 

 7          given me that list for a while.  

 8                 Assemblymember Glick and I passed -- 

 9          and Senator Young talked about this -- 

10          five-year capital for both SUNY and CUNY.  

11          This is critical.  This is critically, 

12          critically important.  

13                 Yes, we've gotten -- you know, yahoo, 

14          we've gotten a block of money for critical 

15          maintenance.  That's great.  It's important.  

16          I laud that.  So -- but we do need some help.  

17                 Chancellor, I want to thank you for 

18          mentioning in your remarks about the DSH 

19          money -- 

20                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

21                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  -- to the hospitals.

22                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

23                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  But I cannot -- and 

24          the reason I bring it up and put an 

                                                                 73

 1          exclamation point on your remarks is this is 

 2          critically important.  Upstate and 

 3          Stony Brook, I mean -- critical.  Critical.  

 4          So that's something that must be fixed.

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  And Senator, just 

 6          to pile on, these are expenses we've already 

 7          incurred.  So this is not forward looking, 

 8          gee, you might need the money.  This is what 

 9          we have already delivered.  So we appreciate 

10          that.

11                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  And just 

12          also to add to that, one of the comments that 

13          we've received is that we have a lot of cash 

14          on hand in our hospitals.  We actually have 

15          less than 30 days' cash on hand, based on our 

16          expenses.  So that's something to keep in 

17          mind.

18                 I also got those ratios for you for 

19          the community colleges.  It's no longer a 

20          third, a third, a third.  It's 25 percent 

21          state support, 30 percent local, 45 percent 

22          tuition.

23                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Okay.  

24                 I guess my time is up.

                                                                 74

 1                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

 2          much, Senator.  

 3                 We've been joined by Assemblywoman 

 4          Tremaine Wright.  

 5                 Next to question, Mr. Lupinacci.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Good morning.

 7                 I just had a question.  Based on -- 

 8          {inaudible; mic turned off} -- 

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Assemblyman, we 

10          only have a state or two to generalize from.  

11          And these are states that have really only 

12          extended this kind of tuition support to the 

13          community colleges, not to the four-year 

14          campuses, so we're dealing with an unknown.

15                 But my recollection of the first two 

16          years at Tennessee is that the influx was 

17          something in the vicinity of 8,000 or 9,000 

18          students who had not previously availed 

19          themselves of a college experience in 

20          Tennessee.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Going back to 

22          the credit requirements -- now, just so I'm 

23          clear, so right now what it stands at is 

24          15 credits a semester for four years.  Now, 

                                                                 75

 1          if the student is coming in with AP credits, 

 2          are they still required, or once they 

 3          complete the bachelor's requirement, the 

 4          program stops?  Or how does it --

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Good question.  

 6          Don't know the answer.  But fair enough.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Okay.  And I 

 8          guess the other question -- I mean, I 

 9          understand what your research is showing, 

10          15 credits a semester.  Was there any thought 

11          of ever looking at maybe doing an average of 

12          30 credits over the years?  So if a student 

13          wants to take 12 one semester or during 

14          summer session or January session --

15                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Interesting.  

16          That's an interesting proposal.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Okay.  Just 

18          to -- and I understand, you know, echoing -- 

19          you know, my colleagues have already hit home 

20          on it in terms of, you know, obviously family 

21          life.  And of course, sometimes my students 

22          have one or two jobs on semesters too.

23                 And I guess the other thing is looking 

24          at the population, the nontraditional 

                                                                 76

 1          population now that goes back, when you have 

 2          a single parent that's back at school or, you 

 3          know, obviously a returning student that 

 4          hasn't gone to school in decades -- I mean, 

 5          the 15 credit requirement, I think, is going 

 6          to be problematic for them too.  And I don't 

 7          think it should be aimed towards any one 

 8          specific population but, you know, give 

 9          opportunity to, you know, all various 

10          learning styles and learning groups.  So --

11                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I want to 

12          say to all of you I am impressed with the 

13          interest in the 15-credit-hour issue.  And I 

14          think as soon as humanly possible, we need to 

15          give you some briefing on this issue 

16          particularly.  Because there's so much else 

17          to talk about in that scholarship that it, 

18          you know, could be problematic or it could be 

19          great.  

20                 And if we know some more about the 

21          15-hour and who succeeds and who doesn't in 

22          the SUNY system -- forget national studies, 

23          let's find out what we know about our 

24          students -- I think that would be very 

                                                                 77

 1          helpful in the debate.  

 2                 And it's early enough, I think -- 

 3          today being the first day -- of this 

 4          discussion that we can deliver some goods for 

 5          you that will be very helpful.  And we will 

 6          make that our highest priority.  I appreciate 

 7          that.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  No problem.

 9                 And I just had a question.  I know 

10          someone brought up the residency 

11          requirements, a Senator did earlier.  Is 

12          there a requirement in the scholarship that 

13          they graduate from a New York State high 

14          school?  Or is it just based on, you know, 

15          declaring --

16                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Again, not 

17          spelled out.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Okay.

19                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  But in our little 

20          briefing, we ought to remind everybody of the 

21          residency requirement that exists now and 

22          sort of confirm the intention that this 

23          Excelsior complies with that.  Thank you.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Now, on a 

                                                                 78

 1          totally different topic, I know in past years 

 2          we've spoken about remedial courses and money 

 3          being invested in such.  How is it going in 

 4          terms of the work and the progress we made 

 5          over the past few years and over your tenure 

 6          in terms of basic skills classes?  

 7                 And I know the articulation that the 

 8          State Education Department does with SUNY and 

 9          CUNY.  How are we progressing in that area?

10                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I think what 

11          we've done with our community colleges and 

12          remediation might be our greatest success to 

13          date.  We happened onto a program that we 

14          know works for students to get them moving 

15          into college-credit classes as soon as 

16          possible.  That's where the remediation 

17          really bogs down.  You as a student enter 

18          with a deficiency or two or three and then we 

19          put you in remedial classes that are supposed 

20          to upgrade your capacity so that you can go 

21          right into college classes.  The truth of the 

22          matter is, the more of those remedial courses 

23          you take, the less likely you are to 

24          graduate.  

                                                                 79

 1                 We needed to find an intervention that 

 2          got people out of this remedial work and into 

 3          college-level classes as soon as possible.  

 4          So we started with two community colleges, 

 5          Onondaga and Westchester Community Colleges.  

 6          We had about 100 students, we tested out the 

 7          principle that we could get you out of 

 8          remediation and into college-level classes 

 9          faster, and it turns out we're doing it two 

10          to three times faster and you're two to three 

11          times better prepared.  

12                 So now we're doing this at 20 

13          campuses.  A couple of them are our 

14          comprehensive campuses.  Our goal is to go to 

15          all 30.  This program works, and it is saving 

16          students time and money.

17                 Now, my question has been, okay, if it 

18          was costing us $70 million to offer 

19          remediation -- what, we're down to 

20          $20 million now?  Guess what, we have shifted 

21          our resources to make sure that every campus 

22          has this math pathway, it's called 

23          Quantway -- you may hear that, I know that we 

24          repeated that last year several times so that 

                                                                 80

 1          you can get that in your head -- but it's 

 2          really a math pathway that's working.  

 3                 That's the biggest stumbler for our 

 4          students, and I think I'm proudest of the 

 5          work we've done there.  Johanna 

 6          Duncan-Poitier is our senior vice chancellor 

 7          for community colleges, and she and her 

 8          colleagues have just done tremendous work.

 9                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Excellent.  

10                 Thank you very much.  And again, thank 

11          you for all your service. 

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

13                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

14                 Senator?  

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.  We've been 

16          joined by Senator Velmanette Montgomery, so 

17          welcome, Senator.

18                 And our next speaker is Senator Diane 

19          Savino, vice chair of the Finance Committee.

20                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Well, just one 

21          minute, I'll add to that.  We have, joined 

22          with us, Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, we have 

23          Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, and we have 

24          Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou.

                                                                 81

 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Very good.  

 2                 So, Senator Savino.

 3                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, 

 4          Senator Young.  

 5                 Thank you, Chancellor.  And I want to 

 6          echo the comments of my colleagues and thank 

 7          you for your service to SUNY and to the 

 8          people and the students of the State of 

 9          New York, and wish you well in your future.

10                 I'm going to return to probably the 

11          topic of the day, which is the Excelsior 

12          scholarship.  You may be aware that earlier 

13          this year Senator Klein, myself, and the 

14          members of the Independent Democratic 

15          Conference put out a report on college 

16          affordability, making some recommendations on 

17          how we can broaden affordability for more 

18          students and address some of the crushing 

19          student debt that many students are carrying.  

20                 And like you, we were thrilled when we 

21          saw that in the Executive Budget there was a 

22          proposal for closing the gap for many of 

23          these students.  So the program has been 

24          described by the administration as "the last 

                                                                 82

 1          mile."  And essentially that's really what it 

 2          is.  And so as we delve into it with greater 

 3          detail, I think it becomes critically 

 4          important that that last mile not really 

 5          become a road to nowhere.  

 6                 And so I think it's important that we 

 7          take into consideration the flexibility that 

 8          should be there and not be so rigid.  You've 

 9          heard from many of the members here today 

10          about the difficulty of carrying a full 

11          course load of 15 credits, sometimes because 

12          of personal circumstances with students who 

13          may not be college-ready yet, students who 

14          may be working, all of that -- but there's 

15          also the problems of sometimes the 

16          universities don't have courses that are 

17          available that meet your major at the time 

18          that you need them.

19                 I'm not that old that I don't remember 

20          registration days for college, and when you 

21          think you have your schedule ready and you 

22          find out you've been locked out of that 

23          course.  So sometimes, it's beyond that 

24          dedicated student's ability to get into those 

                                                                 83

 1          15 courses.  

 2                 So I would just suggest what you've 

 3          heard a lot today, perhaps that four-year 

 4          degree, the 120 credits in the four years is 

 5          a better gauge than 15 credits per semester.  

 6          I think that provides the right dedication on 

 7          the part of the student, and it also gives a 

 8          little bit more flexibility so that we don't 

 9          have students who fall out of the program, 

10          lose their eligibility, and are forced to pay 

11          the money back.  Because that really would be 

12          a road to nowhere.

13                 But I want to ask a couple of 

14          questions.  If the goal really is to increase 

15          affordability for students, why wouldn't we 

16          just simply increase TAP for all students and 

17          increase the eligibility level for the 

18          income -- the income eligibility levels so 

19          then we would really close that gap?  Would 

20          that not make more sense than creating a 

21          whole new program?

22                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I don't 

23          think I'm in a position to second-guess what 

24          the thinking was on the part of the Governor 

                                                                 84

 1          in plowing new territory.  

 2                 I will say that raising the 

 3          eligibility level was new for the entire 

 4          country, frankly.  I think attaching 

 5          conditions around student commitment was new.  

 6          And I will tell you, no one else, to my 

 7          knowledge, in the country offers this for the 

 8          baccalaureate four-year colleges.  So it's a 

 9          new level or new tier, and maybe all of that 

10          would have faded away if all he proposed was 

11          to increase TAP.  I don't know, I can't 

12          second-guess.  

13                 But I do know when people ask me 

14          what's distinctive about this, one, it's the 

15          threshold.  And probably Long Island or 

16          some -- we know there's an income 

17          distribution across the state that's 

18          variable, but many, many, many students are 

19          going to benefit from that, pushing it out to 

20          our four-year campuses.  It's novel, it's 

21          new, and finding some way -- this is where I 

22          land -- to underscore the importance of 

23          completion, that is new.  We have not had 

24          that discussion.  

                                                                 85

 1                 We've had a big remediation 

 2          discussion, it's gone on for years, now we're 

 3          into where it really matters:  Completion.  

 4          And so I think this new plan has fostered a 

 5          discussion we have not heretofore had.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  But I 

 8          understand -- I appreciate your question.

 9                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  

10                 In the limited time, because I know 

11          there are a lot of people with questions, 

12          there is one piece in the budget, though, 

13          that is a little confusing.  The Executive 

14          Budget limits annual tuition and fee 

15          increases for all New York State institutions 

16          of higher ed to either $500 or a three-year 

17          average of the Higher Ed Price Index, 

18          whichever is greater.  Currently it's 

19          2.4 percent.  Any new students at 

20          institutions of higher ed that increase over 

21          this threshold would not be eligible for TAP 

22          awards.  So if a public institution were to 

23          raise their tuition above that, none of the 

24          students there would be eligible for TAP.  

                                                                 86

 1          But then would all of those students be 

 2          eligible for the Excelsior award?

 3                   VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  Well, I 

 4          don't know that the latter part of your 

 5          question -- that they'd be eligible for 

 6          Excelsior if they weren't eligible for TAP.  

 7                 I will say that SUNY, the majority of 

 8          our campuses -- all of our campuses -- within 

 9          the past period of 2020 have been within the 

10          HEPI index of 500.  So they would not be 

11          impacted by that legislation.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, but if that 

13          were to happen, I think you need to take into 

14          consideration what would happen to all of 

15          those students who would no longer be 

16          eligible for TAP if for some reason you 

17          raised your tuition above the --

18                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  It's a 

19          good -- it's a good concern.

20                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So again, this is a 

21          wonderful concept.  I think we all agree, 

22          that last mile is critically important.  But 

23          we need to really put a lot of thought into 

24          making sure that we don't unintentionally 

                                                                 87

 1          pull the rug out from underneath students and 

 2          the institution itself.  Thank you.

 3                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

 4                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you, Senator.

 5                 Assemblyman Pichardo.

 6                 ASSEMBLYMAN PICHARDO:  Thank you, 

 7          Mr. Chair, 

 8                 Madam Chancellor, thank you so much 

 9          for the time and being with us this morning 

10          in answering some questions.

11                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN PICHARDO:  I know it's 

13          been a long morning, and I do apologize if 

14          I'm treading on some old ground here.  I came 

15          in a little late.  So just very quickly, I 

16          want to touch again on the Excelsior program 

17          and the Excelsior scholarship.  

18                 Speaking from my experience, I'm a 

19          product of SUNY --

20                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Good.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN PICHARDO:  -- graduated 

22          from the University of Buffalo 10 years ago.

23                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Congratulations.

24                 ASSEMBLYMAN PICHARDO:  Yeah, I feel 

                                                                 88

 1          old.

 2                 But anyway, so I was a student with an 

 3          expected family contribution of zero, so TAP 

 4          and Pell mostly financially covered my 

 5          tuition.  So if I were a college student now, 

 6          Excelsior wouldn't apply to me, because my 

 7          tuition would be effectively covered.  But at 

 8          the same time, when I would get to college, 

 9          my room and board fees, books, all this other 

10          stuff would cost me approximately, it was 

11          mentioned earlier, just for room and board, 

12          about 15 grand a year.  Right?  

13                 So to cover that $15,000, I would have 

14          to either get more loans or, in my case, I 

15          worked three jobs as a college student.  I 

16          was a facilities manager during games, I gave 

17          tours to incoming students, and I worked the 

18          dining hall just to make sure that I had 

19          enough money to pay the rent, to pay the rest 

20          of my costs for my education.  But at the 

21          same time, I would have to reduce the amount 

22          of classes that I would have to take.  And I 

23          think that my final semester I ended up 

24          taking about 18 credit hours.  But for most 

                                                                 89

 1          of my college career, I had to take 12, and 

 2          that's what maintained my financial aid, 

 3          because I understand that TAP needs to 

 4          maintain 12 credit hours, a 2.5 GPA -- at 

 5          least when I was there.  Maybe the standard's 

 6          gone up.  

 7                 So with that being said, if we're 

 8          trying to push for college success rates, 

 9          especially from constituents that I represent 

10          in the West Bronx, wouldn't it be easier to 

11          do two things?  First of all, help cover more 

12          of that cost or change the formula so it's 

13          not the last dollar, it's the first dollar, 

14          versus making sure that just that tuition 

15          aspect is covered.  

16                 So wouldn't it make more sense, if 

17          we're talking about college affordability, 

18          because this is what we're talking about, 

19          that the formula is changed where not only -- 

20          if your numbers are covered with your other 

21          financial aid, that the Excelsior covers some 

22          costs of living so that you don't have to 

23          take three jobs and cut the amount of classes 

24          that you have to take as a college student?

                                                                 90

 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, 

 2          Assemblymember, this is a lot to package into 

 3          a new idea.  

 4                 And on the one hand, it would be 

 5          wonderful if all of the costs of delivering a 

 6          college education were paid for by some 

 7          source, most notably the state -- that would 

 8          be wonderful.  Realistically, it's probably 

 9          not going to happen in my lifetime.  It would 

10          also be wonderful if we could put this 

11          support into first dollar, but I'll tell you, 

12          we'd be leaving a lot of federal money on the 

13          table.  

14                 So what we announced yesterday is our 

15          intent to make sure every student fills out 

16          that FAFSA form that gets you the federal 

17          money that you need and, for that matter, 

18          helps you qualify for TAP money, so I think 

19          last dollar is still reasonable.  

20                 Now, should we divert some of those 

21          funds to pay room and board?  Money is money.  

22          The cost of the total, which is hovering in 

23          the $20,000 range, it's where are you going 

24          to put it.  We could argue that.  

                                                                 91

 1                 Here's the real thing.  We've looked 

 2          at the whole situation, we're pretty sure 

 3          that this year the state's not going to fund 

 4          the full cost of college, we're pretty sure 

 5          that we can save students money by getting 

 6          them through earlier, and I just want us to 

 7          think about that.  

 8                 The federal government tracks 

 9          completion on a four- and six-year level.  

10          We've listened to so many students remark 

11          that -- some students really believe six 

12          years is the goal.  No, four years is the 

13          goal.  If you're a parent, it might even be 

14          less than four.  And now, you know, students 

15          are taking courses in high school, many of 

16          our students are graduating with 30 to 

17          60 credits, so they can graduate college in 

18          three years.  

19                 So what we are able to do at SUNY, to 

20          match what you are able to do at the state 

21          level, is to make sure students are on track, 

22          spending their money wisely, and getting them 

23          out sooner.  That's my answer to what I know 

24          we can contribute.  So in the model of a 

                                                                 92

 1          third, a third, a third, students have a 

 2          responsibility to stay on course, the state 

 3          has a responsibility to meet its investment, 

 4          and we have a responsibility to provide the 

 5          courses and the program that allow you to get 

 6          in and get out.

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN PICHARDO:  Thank you.  

 8                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  It's a big 

 9          question.  I appreciate your experience.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN PICHARDO:  No, I know -- 

11          and I believe I ran out of time, but I'll 

12          hopefully come back for a second round.  

13          Thank you.  

14                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.  

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

16                 Senator?  

17                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

18          much.  

19                 Next is Senator Toby Stavisky.

20                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

21                 There --

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  There you go.

23                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  There it is.  

24          That's why we need another engineering 

                                                                 93

 1          school. 

 2                 (Laughter.)

 3                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

 4                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  I too want to thank 

 5          you for your service to really the students 

 6          of the state and to the people of the state.

 7                 A couple of really quick questions.  

 8          We've been talking about Excelsior.  How many 

 9          students do you estimate would be eligible 

10          for the Excelsior program?

11                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  We 

12          estimate for the first year, based on the 

13          transition in, it'd be about 80,000 students 

14          right now at SUNY.

15                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Eighty thousand 

16          students.

17                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  Eighty 

18          thousand.

19                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  And that would 

20          include the four-year and two-year 

21          institutions?

22                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  Yes.

23                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  The reason I'm 

24          asking is that many of us have raised 

                                                                 94

 1          questions about the ultimate cost of the 

 2          program.

 3                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

 4                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Second, Marc, our 

 5          student representative, spoke about the 

 6          indebtedness of students.  

 7                 As I recall, last year I asked you 

 8          about tracking the -- helping the students 

 9          track the debt, and helping them repay some 

10          of the debt.  And you, I know, I believe, 

11          have a system in place to do this.  Can you 

12          tell us how successful it's been?

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, you're 

14          referring to Marc, and I just want to make 

15          sure that we get some data on the table.  

16          Forty-five percent of our students today 

17          graduate debt-free.  We are tracking it, 

18          absolutely.  And we track it through our 

19          online programs, and when we see people 

20          stacking up too much debt, we also have early 

21          alert systems.  

22                 But to think that nearly half of our 

23          population is debt-free is -- we're making 

24          progress in that regard.  

                                                                 95

 1                 CHIEF OF STAFF HENGSTERMAN:  Also, 

 2          with Smart Track, I think we mentioned 

 3          yesterday that since we've had that program 

 4          in place to make students more aware of what 

 5          they're borrowing, we've seen a reduction in 

 6          borrowing by 5 percent.

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  That's in one 

 8          year.

 9                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  That's the second 

10          part of my question.  

11                 How are you helping to educate 

12          students to try to (a) avoid it, and (b) keep 

13          the interest costs, et cetera, as low as 

14          possible?

15                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  We direct them to 

16          this online program.  We're looking at 

17          financial literacy, with many of our business 

18          partners.  This institution of this program 

19          called Smart Track is exactly targeted at 

20          knowledgeable information about the cost of 

21          college and how individual students and their 

22          families are spending their money.  And 

23          that's new.  We didn't have it, we have it 

24          now.

                                                                 96

 1                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

 2                 One other area which was mentioned by 

 3          one of the previous legislators was the 

 4          question of the Research Foundation and the 

 5          tithing.  What happens to the money?  

 6                 And I know this has been an issue -- I 

 7          think, if my memory is correct, your first 

 8          year at SUNY -- it was my first year, the one 

 9          year or two years that I chaired the Higher 

10          Ed Committee -- I asked you many questions 

11          about the SUNY Research Foundation.

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I think we 

13          bonded, Senator.

14                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah, I know.  I 

15          think so too.

16                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  It led to -- 

17          actually, I have to say, just to turn the 

18          clock -- when I arrived, I had already 

19          charged a committee to look at the entire 

20          operation in the Research Foundation.  

21                 There were many questions at that 

22          time, and you may recall that we found 50 -- 

23          5-0 -- gaps in the operation of the Research 

24          Foundation.  And I'm proud to say that in the 

                                                                 97

 1          next two years that followed, we closed every 

 2          one of those operational gaps.

 3                 And in Eileen's arrival, we have added 

 4          to the policies of the Research Foundation 

 5          for oversight and accountability.  We have a 

 6          new and incredibly strong board of the 

 7          Research Foundation.  We have a new president 

 8          of the Research Foundation who comes from 

 9          North Carolina State and the Research 

10          Triangle.  So I think we're in incredibly 

11          good hands.

12                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Without question, 

13          there has been a tremendous improvement from 

14          the time I asked you why you had bank 

15          accounts in the Middle East in the name of 

16          the Research Foundation, and tickets to the 

17          Moscow Circus charged to the Research 

18          Foundation.  There's been a tremendous, 

19          earthshaking change.  

20                 However, one last question.  What 

21          happens -- and I know that there's a tithe, a 

22          payment to the Research Foundation.  What 

23          happens to that money?

24                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  The money 

                                                                 98

 1          that goes to the Research Foundation that 

 2          you're referring to?

 3                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yes.

 4                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  The 

 5          Research Foundation does a lot of the 

 6          compliance and uniform systems to monitor 

 7          research programs for our state ops.  So 

 8          there's a service that they provide to the 

 9          campuses for that money.

10                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  And the campuses 

11          pay that money.

12                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  Yes.

13                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  And the campuses 

14          pay that money.

15                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  Yes.  

16          Yes.

17                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  How -- well, I know 

18          the Governor hasn't proposed the 10 percent 

19          charge to SUNY they have to CUNY, but what 

20          happens -- well, okay, we'll -- my time is 

21          up.  But I was concerned about the funding 

22          that comes in and the accountability.  And as 

23          I said, I commend you for tremendous strides 

24          in this area.

                                                                 99

 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.  

 2                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

 3                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you, Senator.

 4                 We've been joined by Assemblyman FÈlix 

 5          Ortiz.  

 6                 Next to question, Assemblyman Oaks.  

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you, 

 8          Chairman. 

 9                 Chancellor, thank you for being here 

10          today and for your service to the state over 

11          the years.

12                 I know you have -- we've spoken and 

13          some of the questions for remediation and 

14          completion, you've talked about a lot today.  

15          Kind of to honor the former Senate Finance 

16          chair, he talked a lot about college 

17          preparedness to us -- Senator DeFrancisco -- 

18          over the years, and just how we were doing.

19                 Do we have any stats on that end 

20          of are we getting -- making progress on 

21          preparedness of the students you're getting?  

22          And -- of course, we've been talking all 

23          about the Excelsior program today -- you 

24          know, would that be impacted should that 

                                                                 100

 1          happen?

 2                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, in honor of 

 3          Senator DeFrancisco, we talked for three 

 4          years about making sure we have a diagnostic 

 5          in high school that tells students and their 

 6          families early enough whether they are on 

 7          track to be college ready.  Regrettably, we 

 8          haven't found the magic bullet for that.  But 

 9          I do think we have to keep working.  

10                 I know that Commissioner MaryEllen 

11          Elia is in favor of an early diagnostic, but 

12          in the environment of sort of wrestling to 

13          the ground how we're dealing with testing -- 

14          anyway, it seems like a bridge too far at the 

15          moment.  But we have to find a mechanism to 

16          push our remedial work into the high school 

17          to deliver it when it's needed.  

18                 And I'm not saying push it off to 

19          K-12.  We are more than willing to be in the 

20          high schools more obviously, to help kids get 

21          ready.  That said, we're still struggling 

22          with a number -- somewhere around 40 percent 

23          of our students who come to our community 

24          colleges and they need remedial work -- 

                                                                 101

 1          that's unacceptable.  

 2                 But for any of you who are new to this 

 3          hearing, I always pause and say we prepare 

 4          the teachers who teach those students who 

 5          come to college ready or not.  So the one 

 6          thing that we're now doing very visibly is 

 7          working on teacher preparation.  This is a 

 8          partnership with the Commissioner and SED, 

 9          it's called Teach New York.  We also have 

10          CUNY and our independent colleges at the 

11          table, and we're not only working on supply 

12          and demand, but we're just working on the 

13          ground at what teachers can do to help us 

14          make sure that students arrive college-ready.

15                 So that 40 percent?  Too big.  Too 

16          much.  We need to remediate where the 

17          remediation needs to occur.  We need to make 

18          sure we're preparing teachers who know how to 

19          do that.

20                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you.  

21                 And the other one you talked about was 

22          completion.  I know over the last couple of 

23          years, you also talked about expanding 

24          somewhat the numbers that SUNY, by retaining 

                                                                 102

 1          a greater portion -- 

 2                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Exactly.

 3                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  -- that that's 

 4          where you can be successful.  

 5                 How about that?  Are we seeing a 

 6          retention level -- and I know the completion 

 7          is met in there if you -- you know, you'll 

 8          have a greater number finishing if you can 

 9          retain them.  But are we seeing static or 

10          progress on getting students, once they're in 

11          SUNY, to stay as students?

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I think we 

13          translate retention as degree completion.  I 

14          mean, that's our metric, that's our measure.  

15                 We started this campaign at 93,000 

16          degrees offered annually; we're now at 

17          96,000.  We're trying to get to 150,000 

18          degrees, which is to close that gap of only 

19          40 to 60 percent of our students getting a 

20          four-year degree in four to six years.  

21                 Why would we tolerate that as a 

22          country?  We need to close that gap.  So 

23          we're working on it.  We think even 

24          75 percent graduation rate is not exactly a 

                                                                 103

 1          victory.  It's growth, but we don't want to 

 2          lose any of those students.  So we have this 

 3          massive completion agenda.  And as we 

 4          graduate more students on time, then we have 

 5          an enrollment issue.  

 6                 So we're literally going to every 

 7          campus right now, we've sat down with 30 of 

 8          our 64 campuses to plan more strategic 

 9          enrollment so that when we do get better at 

10          degree completion, we still can fill our 

11          seats with students, young or adult, who need 

12          more education.  So it's probably the focus 

13          of SUNY right now, that retention issue.  

14                 And it's growing -- 93 to 96 to 

15          hopefully 100 to 125 to 150,000 degrees.  And 

16          boy, is that going to be an asset for the 

17          State of New York.  Because they're going to 

18          be job-ready, which is what the jobs require.  

19                 So I think I want to say, Assemblyman, 

20          we're on it.  It's big for us.  It's huge.  

21          And we have data, and we'd love to share it.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Appreciate that.  

23          Focus and the response -- I think -- just a 

24          final comment, I guess, as we go -- the 

                                                                 104

 1          numbers, and I know the Governor has, for the 

 2          Excelsior program, around $160 million.  You 

 3          gave a figure of how many students might it 

 4          be.  I think that the figure, should we take 

 5          in those numbers, the figures could go quite 

 6          a bit above that.  The figure that the 

 7          Executive put in the budget, if that comes to 

 8          fruition -- and so that obviously is 

 9          concerned as how do we pay for it.

10                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I'm sure they 

11          built that number on a set of assumptions 

12          that are yet to be analyzed.  That when you 

13          make a budget number like that, you've got to 

14          expose the assumptions, and that's what we're 

15          working on.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you very 

17          much.  

18                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

19                 Senator?  

20                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.  Senator Rich 

21          Funke.

22                 SENATOR FUNKE:  Thank you, Senator.  

23                 Thank you, Chancellor, for all of your 

24          good work on behalf of the families and 

                                                                 105

 1          students in New York State.  

 2                 I think we're all trying to get our 

 3          arms around the cost of this potential 

 4          program.  And so to know how many students 

 5          actually carry 15 credits, how many actually 

 6          graduate in four years, is certainly going to 

 7          be helpful to that end.

 8                 With that in mind, SUNY is governed by 

 9          a board that at least in theory is separate 

10          and apart from the Governor's office.  But 

11          that being said, there are some major policy 

12          changes being proposed in the Governor's 

13          Executive Budget with regard to SUNY.  For 

14          example, I would like to ask you if you 

15          support the Governor's proposal to extend 

16          free tuition to undocumented immigrants.

17                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yes.

18                 SENATOR FUNKE:  Okay.  

19                 I agree with you in terms of your 

20          opening remarks with regard to your statement 

21          on economic impact.  I come from a region 

22          that has eight private colleges, two SUNYs, 

23          and a couple of community colleges.  But two 

24          privates within my district.  

                                                                 106

 1                 And so here we have some proposals 

 2          that in my judgement hurt our independent 

 3          colleges like St. John Fisher and Nazareth 

 4          College.  We are, on one hand, limiting their 

 5          ability to increase their tuition by more 

 6          than $500, yet for them to lose their Bundy 

 7          and TAP funding.  Do you think it's fair that 

 8          you can increase tuition at the SUNY level 

 9          but at the same time the Governor is directly 

10          attacking the ability of your competitors to 

11          do the same thing?

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I only know 

13          that SUNY is incredibly affordable and we've 

14          tried to live within the plateaus that the 

15          Governor and the state have provided for us, 

16          all the way back to rational tuition.  So I 

17          don't think I'm in the position to comment on 

18          issues between public and private.  

19                 But I do think my obligation as a 

20          leader of a public institution is to keep our 

21          costs down and keep our tuition down. 

22                 SENATOR FUNKE:  Okay.  

23                 One other question.  Being from 

24          Rochester, I'm very concerned about recent 

                                                                 107

 1          events that would seem spell trouble for our 

 2          photonics initiative.  SUNY Poly is, at least 

 3          in theory, under the SUNY banner.  What 

 4          oversight do you have there?

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  What oversight do 

 6          we have over SUNY Poly?

 7                 SENATOR RICHARD FUNKE:  Yes.

 8                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Total oversight.  

 9          They are one of our 64 campuses, and our 

10          expectation is that the leadership and 

11          operation of that campus will be on par with 

12          every other one of our campuses.  

13                 As you know, when trouble arose, we 

14          took immediate action to change the 

15          leadership of the SUNY Poly campus.  We now 

16          have an outstanding researcher-administrator 

17          leading SUNY Poly in Professor Bahgat 

18          Sammakia.  He's outstanding.  He is, every 

19          day, getting that institution back on track 

20          to be the Polytechnic Institute we know it 

21          can become.

22                 SENATOR RICHARD FUNKE:  So at this 

23          point you believe you're taking -- you're 

24          doing everything you can to ensure the 

                                                                 108

 1          success of the photonics project?

 2                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, within the 

 3          SUNY Poly portfolio, it's photonics.  I will 

 4          say that our provost, Alex Cartwright, is a 

 5          photonics specialist and is keeping a 

 6          personal eye on the growth of the photonics 

 7          program.  And if he were here today instead 

 8          of at the Board of Trustees meeting, I'd ask 

 9          him to elaborate.  I might not understand 

10          what he's saying, but I know he's on it.

11                 SENATOR FUNKE:  All right.  

12          Chancellor, thank you.

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator 

15          Funke.

16                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

17                 Assemblywoman Lifton, please -- 

18          Assemblywoman Simon.

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  There we go.  

20          Thank you.

21                 Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank 

22          you, Chancellor, for your service and for 

23          your testimony today and every time I've 

24          heard you.  Thank you very much.

                                                                 109

 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

 2                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  I have a 

 3          question about the Excelsior scholarship.  I 

 4          know it's obviously something that's very 

 5          much on our minds, and I share some of the 

 6          concerns with regard to how many students 

 7          we're going to be able to help and some of 

 8          the policy issues around supporting full-time 

 9          students only, et cetera.  

10                 But one of the things that concerns me 

11          is the 15-credit-hour requirement.  In 

12          particular, I'm a student who actually went 

13          through college in less than four years, 

14          because I had no money and I could read fast 

15          and I was able to do that.  But there are so 

16          many students who really can't handle the 

17          workload because of a disability, and they 

18          run out of hours in the day.  

19                 And so I am concerned that this 

20          15-credit requirement would foreclose many 

21          deserving students with disabilities from 

22          being able to access that program.  And I'm 

23          wondering if you can address that issue for 

24          me.

                                                                 110

 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, 

 2          Assemblymember, we have to address that 

 3          issue.  I can't think of a solution to the 

 4          immense interest that you have in this issue 

 5          without sort of preparing for you a briefing.  

 6          How many disability students do we have?  

 7          What are the services we are providing for 

 8          them?  How many of them take 12 hours?  What 

 9          do they do with that, or 15?  

10                 So all that I am really asking in 

11          response to your immense interest here -- 

12          let's study this right now.  Let's look at 

13          exactly the populations that we feel are 

14          vulnerable and see what we're doing with 

15          them, for them.  

16                 And, you know, we've been big on 

17          disability services, we're trying to 

18          embellish them at every one of our campuses, 

19          but are they really touching the students who 

20          need it most?  We should be able to answer 

21          that for you, and by golly, we're gonna.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Thank you.  I 

23          appreciate it.

24                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

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 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  That's all.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Senator?

 3                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.  Senator Leroy 

 4          Comrie.

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Senator, may I 

 6          say that our dear president of our Student 

 7          Assembly may have to go to class or go to the 

 8          board meeting because he's a trustee at SUNY, 

 9          and we've got to release him.  I just want to 

10          thank him before he left.

11                 Thank you, Marc. 

12                 MR. COHEN:  Thank you all.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you for 

14          coming.

15                 (Applause.)

16                 SENATOR COMRIE:  Thank you, Marc, as 

17          well.  Thank you, Chancellor.  

18                 I just wanted to ask you, 

19          Chancellor -- I also wanted to share my 

20          concerns about the Excelsior program.  I hope 

21          that we can make it the program that the 

22          Governor truly wants it to be, which is to 

23          create educational opportunities for all, 

24          especially part-time students.  

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 1                 I represent Queens and, you know, 

 2          Southeast Queens, and a lot of my students 

 3          are going to school part-time and they're 

 4          trying to work, trying to maintain an income 

 5          and lifestyle.  Most of them are parents as 

 6          well, and they need to make sure that they're 

 7          included in any opportunity programs as well.  

 8          And hopefully the Excelsior can be expanded 

 9          to include part-time students.  

10                 And in that regard, I'm concerned 

11          about the other educational opportunity 

12          programs that are already existing in -- such 

13          as EOP, the SEEK program, College Discovery, 

14          and the Liberty Partnership program.  And 

15          from what I've seen in the budget, that some 

16          of those programs are not fully funded or 

17          funded at the rates that they need to be at 

18          to make sure that all students can take 

19          advantage of it.  

20                 And I hope that we can all work 

21          together to make sure that those programs are 

22          fully funded, because in the city most of our 

23          students are part-time, as you know, and even 

24          many of our SUNY students now are part-time 

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 1          as well.  So I hope that they can be included 

 2          in the discussion, to be included in any 

 3          opportunity for funding as well.  Because the 

 4          more students that we can include, the better 

 5          we -- mostly, that they can actually graduate 

 6          will be better for the economy all the way 

 7          around.  And better for SUNY as well, making 

 8          sure that we're inclusive as well.  

 9                 So I hope that we can find a way to 

10          have that discussion.  I don't want to be 

11          repetitive, but it clearly -- you know, 

12          expanding the opportunities with the 

13          Excelsior program is something that's 

14          critical to my community.

15                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I 

16          appreciate, Senator -- I'm no stranger to the 

17          part-time TAP discussion.  I know it has 

18          profound financial implications.  But we do 

19          hear repeatedly that many students would 

20          benefit from that.  And we're counting on you 

21          to help us carry EOP and other opportunity 

22          programs across the finish line.  So we are 

23          totally in sync here, Senator.

24                 SENATOR COMRIE:  Well, I hope that you 

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 1          can give us the numbers as well for what 

 2          those fully funded programs would look like, 

 3          and also to make sure that the staff in those 

 4          programs are retained also, because it's 

 5          important that we keep our -- the HEOP and 

 6          the SEEK and College Discovery programs.

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Indeed.

 8                 SENATOR COMRIE:  Thank you.

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.  

10                 SENATOR COMRIE:  Thank you, Madam 

11          Chair.

12                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you, Senator.

13                 Assemblyman Levine {sic}.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN LAVINE:  Thanks, 

15          Dr. Zimpher.

16                 It's not Levine.  Lavine is much more 

17          refined, I'm sure.

18                 (Laughter; discussion off the record.)

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN LAVINE:  First, this is 

20          the last opportunity you're going to have to 

21          appear before us, and I think we all believe 

22          that the people of the State of New York, the 

23          people of State of Ohio, and the people of 

24          the State of Wisconsin who believe in public 

                                                                 115

 1          education owe you a profound debt of 

 2          gratitude.

 3                 Now, I have a question for you.  And 

 4          it's a minor question, it's in response to 

 5          something that you said.  You mentioned that 

 6          there's a Smart Track program that discloses 

 7          debt, tuition debt.  Does that program -- and 

 8          you mentioned that it's -- 45 percent of our 

 9          kids from SUNY come out of SUNY with no debt.  

10                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

11                 ASSEMBLYMAN LAVINE:  But does that 

12          Smart Track program take into consideration 

13          debt load that families assume to pay for 

14          tuition?  Does it take into consideration 

15          families that mortgage their property or 

16          re-mortgage their property or draw down on 

17          their own pensions if they have the capacity 

18          to do that?  Is that program so sophisticated 

19          as to take those factors into consideration?

20                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I would say not 

21          as much as we might want.  Those programs are 

22          only as good as people are willing to share 

23          the data and then let us massage the data.  

24                 I've been a proponent of more data on 

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 1          all sides, because I believe that if we know 

 2          more, we can get better.  But as you know, 

 3          there's a lot of controversy about data 

 4          sharing and what are the individual privacy 

 5          rights of students and their families.  

 6                 So it could, it has the framework and 

 7          the capacity and the infrastructure, but 

 8          whether a family shares the data -- we can't 

 9          do the calculus, we can't run the program if 

10          we don't have the data.  And we can't demand 

11          the data.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN LAVINE:  Exactly.

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So it is what it 

14          is.  

15                 But thank you.  It's a step in the 

16          direction.

17                 ASSEMBLYMAN LAVINE:  Again, thank you, 

18          and sincere thanks.

19                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you for 

20          reading my vitae, I guess.

21                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Senator?

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Do we have any 

23          other speakers?  

24                 Well, I'm sorry.  Senator Krueger, who 

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 1          is the ranking member of Finance.  She likes 

 2          to go last.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Hi.  I'm afraid 

 4          Cathy Young and I are sharing a cold today.

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Oh, I'm sorry.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Me too.

 7                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  We'll join you 

 8          soon.

 9                 (Laughter.)

10                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Yeah, we'll go 

11          through these, wait for a few days, and then 

12          you'll have it.

13                 (Laughter.)

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  You mentioned that 

15          you project that with the Excelsior 

16          scholarship you'll have 80,000 students the 

17          first year throughout the SUNY system.  So 

18          are we assuming 160 in Year 2, and 240 in 

19          Year 3?  How are we projecting out?

20                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  We 

21          haven't really finished analyzing those 

22          numbers.  You know, we looked at the 

23          first-year impact only.

24                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And because of the 

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 1          formulas with TAP and Pell and gap filling -- 

 2          when we talk about the Excelsior scholarship, 

 3          we're pretty much probably talking about 

 4          people who are above the TAP eligibility 

 5          category.  Is that correct?

 6                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  When we 

 7          did the -- ran the 80,000, it wasn't a 

 8          costing exercise.  It just looked at students 

 9          at that income level and students taking 

10          15 credits.  So that number could come down 

11          as we did the last-dollar-in approach.

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Senator, I want 

13          to try to remember a statistic I used just 

14          yesterday.  I'll try.  Three hundred thousand 

15          students do not, today, effectively, 

16          appropriately fill out the free application 

17          for federal support called the FAFSA.  Three 

18          hundred thousand New Yorkers who could fill 

19          out that form and create access to federal 

20          tuition assistance do not.  They leave 

21          $174 million of tuition support on the table.  

22                 So I'm just saying that if we have 

23          this high demand that falls into the 

24          Excelsior category, what if on the other end 

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 1          we could get more people FAFSA-eligible so 

 2          that the demand on the last dollar would be 

 3          reduced?  So we have to work this at several 

 4          different angles.  

 5                 And yesterday we announced a 

 6          partnership with our own Capital Region SEFCU 

 7          to go into as many regions as we can to 

 8          literally help students and their families 

 9          fill out that form.  Don't underestimate how 

10          really important that could be to subsidize, 

11          if you will, the Excelsior program.  And TAP.  

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I didn't get to 

14          say that, so thanks for letting --

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  No, it's helpful.

16                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  -- me do it on 

17          your nickel.  Thank you.

18                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And so, in fact, you 

19          will have to file for that in order to become 

20          eligible for Excelsior.  So we are, at a 

21          certain level, mandatorily maximizing the 

22          federal funding in order to draw down the 

23          state funding.

24                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Exactly.

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 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So when you 

 2          calculated the 80,000 students in Year 1, 

 3          again, TAP, Pell, right?  X number of people 

 4          won't be needing it.  

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Scholarships.

 6                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  You'll have some 

 7          percentage of those students drawing down the 

 8          FAFSA-process funding that right now they 

 9          might not ever be getting.  

10                 Is that enough to them not be eligible 

11          for Excelsior?  Or you assume that will then 

12          package in with what they might draw down?

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Bring down the 

14          demand, but not enough to close the demand.  

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  So you talked 

16          about $60 million in gap filling is one 

17          reality for SUNY right now --

18                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

19                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  -- between the TAP 

20          commitment and your commitment to, you know, 

21          do no harm.  Do you have an estimate of what 

22          it will cost you, SUNY, for those Excelsior 

23          students Year 1, once we've factored in these 

24          other stats we're talking about?

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 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Not yet.

 2                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  Not yet.

 3                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  We have to model.  

 4          Just like the Governor's office modeled on a 

 5          set of assumptions, that's what we need to do 

 6          now.

 7                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  Then -- you 

 8          may have already said you don't have the data 

 9          yet.  Everybody seems to be quite concerned 

10          about the 15 credits.  Do you know right now 

11          in SUNY seniors and community colleges what 

12          percentage of students take less than 

13          15 credits per semester?

14                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  No.  Someone 

15          knows.

16                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Someone knows, but 

17          nobody here knows.

18                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  We can 

19          get back to you again.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  But I think, 

21          based on the conversations we were having 

22          already between many of my colleagues and 

23          yourself, that you assume we're going to need 

24          to move students to 15 credits in order for 

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 1          them to participate.

 2                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  That's the 

 3          proposal.

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And this would be 

 5          the motivator for them to do so.

 6                 You also talked, when you referenced 

 7          the $60 million it costs you per year to do 

 8          the gap filling as you raise the tuition -- 

 9          over the last five years, when you raised 

10          tuition 1,500 -- is that right, it's 1,500 

11          over five years?

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Mm-hmm.

13                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So I don't know if 

14          it's a fair question over five years.  So 

15          annually, you take $60 million to fill the 

16          gap.  How much more did you get from the 

17          tuition increases than you had to use to pay 

18          for the gap?

19                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thirty percent.

20                 CHIEF OF STAFF HENGSTERMAN:  The gap 

21          is 30 percent -- 

22                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thirty percent of 

23          the gap.

24                 CHIEF OF STAFF HENGSTERMAN:  -- of the 

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 1          new tuition dollars that came in.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Got it.  And that's 

 3          been sort of an annual formula?

 4                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

 5                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And you assume that 

 6          will continue going forward?

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yes.

 8                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Because there isn't 

 9          really a way to supplement gap filling with 

10          Excelsior.  

11                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  No.

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Because it's 

13          different populations.  

14                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I mean, you could 

15          make a proposal to fund that gap.  Just 

16          saying.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Okay.  Sorry, just 

18          one more question.

19                 And you talk about 40 to 60 percent of 

20          your students not graduating in six years?

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I have to 

22          unpack that.  The federal government keeps 

23          track of our four-year graduation rates and 

24          our six-year graduation rates, and they also 

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 1          track the community college graduation rates.  

 2                 So above 60 percent -- I could find 

 3          the number here quickly -- but it's more like 

 4          65.7 percent of our baccalaureate students 

 5          graduate in six years.  That number goes down 

 6          when you go to the four year, to sort of like 

 7          40 percent.  And the point I'm trying to make 

 8          universally is great, but not good enough.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Right.  And I share 

10          your goal that we should hope for a higher 

11          graduation -- faster graduation rate.

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  And we exceed the 

13          national average.  But again, is that 

14          bragging rights?

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  But if you're 

16          successful, then you are moving a larger 

17          number of students through your programs in a 

18          shorter period of time.  What is the impact 

19          on your faculty-to-student ratio and whether 

20          you have adequate full-time faculty or 

21          non-adjunct faculty to handle a new 

22          population of students?  It's not a new 

23          population of students, but it's more of them 

24          moving through faster. 

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 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

 2                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So it's got to be 

 3          filling up your capability --

 4                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Do we have the 

 5          capacity to handle success, is one way to put 

 6          it.  And I think we do, because I think we're 

 7          paying a lot of attention to feeding the 

 8          front end if we get better at sending 

 9          students out.  

10                 It's like a hole in your bucket.  If 

11          you graduate more students, to keep the 

12          investment going for our faculty we need to 

13          make sure we have more students coming in, 

14          which puts a lot of pressure on strategic 

15          enrollment management, which I think we 

16          should put pressure on.  So we're working 

17          really hard at that too.  

18                 We're working at all ends of 

19          continuum, Senators.

20                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you very much.

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

22                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you for your 

23          service.

24                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

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 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Assemblyman 

 3          McDonald.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you, 

 5          Mr. Chair.  

 6                 And Chancellor, congratulations.

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you for 

 9          your service.  I hope the next chapter of 

10          your life is as exciting and exhilarating as 

11          this chapter's been.

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  It won't be as 

13          exciting as these budget hearings.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Well, you can 

15          always come back and sit in the stands, the 

16          cheap seats, with the rest of us.  How's 

17          that?

18                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Okay.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  So, a couple of 

20          things.  And I'm new to the Higher Ed, so 

21          I'll make sure I stay within my boundaries 

22          here.

23                 The whole free college, the Excelsior 

24          program, initially I'm like, wow, that's 

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 1          free.  And you know my district; I have five 

 2          cities, so it's low-income, solid middle 

 3          class.  And I was surprised at the reaction 

 4          from my constituents.  A lot of 

 5          people actually were a little bit frustrated, 

 6          because not all the children -- students -- 

 7          choose to go to SUNY.  

 8                 As you know, the Capital Region is 

 9          blessed to have many great universities.  And 

10          I realize this is outside of your realm, but 

11          it's always important to state the fact that 

12          there are options for education in the 

13          Capital Region and around the state, and we 

14          need to be mindful of that.  

15                 People -- it's funny, there's a sense 

16          of some people like, Another free ride?  

17          What's that all about?  However, I think when 

18          Stacey mentioned the figures about tuition 

19          and books -- or not tuition, about room and 

20          board and books, it kind of leads to -- 

21          dismisses some of that myth of the free ride, 

22          because that's not free at $15,000 a year, no 

23          doubt about that.

24                 I'm glad you mentioned about the FAFSA 

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 1          applications.  And I think that might help a 

 2          little bit in the argument of is $165 million 

 3          an accurate figure.  

 4                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.  Exactly.  

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Because one 

 6          thing -- this administration has been very 

 7          good about parlaying federal money with state 

 8          money, and I think that's an important note 

 9          to keep in mind.

10                 I wanted to go to, actually, the 

11          community colleges.  And as you know, as a 

12          former mayor, I dealt with the city and 

13          county relations quite regularly.  And I 

14          think Senator LaValle actually started to 

15          speak to it about the third, the third, the 

16          third.  And, you know, my first year here in 

17          the Assembly, I was all about local 

18          government and we can't shepherd these costs 

19          to the counties.  And, you know, our county 

20          executives in Albany County and Rensselaer 

21          County have been very clear about the 

22          financial impact of the community colleges.  

23          And when I don't see a significant move 

24          towards meeting our third requirement, it 

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 1          kind of concerns me for this reason.  

 2                 The message has been very clear -- 

 3          once again, this is probably out of your 

 4          realm, but it's worth repeating, the concern 

 5          that -- there's many concerns that we all 

 6          have.  It's housing, it's education, the 

 7          whole nine yards.  But, you know, in upstate 

 8          New York it's about property taxes.  And, you 

 9          know, when the county executive of 

10          Rensselaer County last week mentioned she had 

11          to add another half-million dollars to their 

12          budget to support Hudson Valley because the 

13          state has not moved their level, I sympathize 

14          with her.  I agree with her.  I don't get 

15          embarrassed, I don't get upset.  I say 

16          "You're absolutely right."  

17                 And at the same token, I'm like, why 

18          aren't we fulfilling our first commitment 

19          first before we branch off to another area?  

20          That's one of my questions.

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I'm sort of 

22          thinking I'm glad I'm chancellor, not 

23          governor.  These are really challenging 

24          problems, and balancing out all the needs of 

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 1          our entire community is a tough burden.  So I 

 2          understand your desire to make those 

 3          statements.  But I think you're right, it's a 

 4          larger issue, one that I -- is a little bit 

 5          out of my sphere as chancellor, but thank 

 6          you.  

 7                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  The Governor 

 8          states correctly that now more than ever an 

 9          education is critical, a higher education is 

10          critical.  I don't disagree with that.  And 

11          my friend Mr. Ortiz was whispering sweet 

12          nothings in my ears here about something that 

13          I agree with, and I wanted to ask as well.  

14          An education is important.  

15                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  A career is 

17          even more important.  What is the success 

18          rate of graduates from the SUNY system in the 

19          job market?

20                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  That is the best 

21          question ever to which we do not have solid 

22          data.  We should know really where every one 

23          of our graduates goes.  Many go on to 

24          advanced degrees, that's important.  In our 

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 1          community colleges it's okay if you go to a 

 2          four-year campus and that's your goal, but 

 3          for many of our community college students, 

 4          they want to go directly into a career.

 5                 So what I can say is that we have 

 6          framed a new partnership with the New York 

 7          State Department of Labor, we have SED 

 8          working on this, we have Labor working on 

 9          this, we have funded a project within the 

10          Rockefeller Institute of Government to answer 

11          this question.  We can't talk about access, 

12          completion, and success if we don't know what 

13          the after-college success rate is.  

14                 So we're getting close.  You're spot 

15          on with your questions; we just aren't there 

16          yet.  But we've got two state agencies and 

17          the SUNY Rockefeller Institute working on the 

18          question.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  Thank you.

20                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

21                 ASSEMBLYMAN McDONALD:  And my other -- 

22          it's just a comment.  You talk about 

23          $30 million being added to community 

24          colleges, and I remember sitting back with 

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 1          Jim and your staff a couple of years ago, 

 2          understanding the difficulty of where aid has 

 3          been to these community colleges over the 

 4          years.  

 5                 So I agree with the concept of hold 

 6          harmless, don't do any harm and at that same 

 7          token make some improvements, because at the 

 8          end of the day it gets back to my earlier 

 9          concern about property taxes in the 

10          community.

11                 Thank you very much.

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  It's really time 

13          to examine that community college funding 

14          model.  We can't really -- it's not going to 

15          work going forward.  So thank you.

16                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

17                 Assemblywoman Malliotakis.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Thank you.

19                 Good afternoon, I guess.

20                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yeah.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  I wasn't 

22          going to ask the question, but there was an 

23          interesting exchange earlier with one of the 

24          Senators, and I wanted to add on to that.

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 1                 Thank you for your service.  Thank you 

 2          for your years of service to SUNY and the 

 3          State of New York.  What I'm hearing today is 

 4          that SUNY needs more money, there seems to be 

 5          a budget shortfall when it comes to things 

 6          like the Equal Opportunity Centers, the Small 

 7          Business Development Centers, some of your 

 8          childcare services.  

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Then of 

11          course there's the issue of the gap, how do 

12          we fund that gap between what TAP gives and 

13          what the actual tuition is for certain 

14          students.  And then there's the minimum wage 

15          issue, of course, right?  Which the Governor 

16          said wasn't going to impact tuition, and I 

17          said that it was, I think this time last 

18          year.  And sure enough, here we are, that 

19          SUNY wants to increase tuitions $250 a year.

20                 So there seems to be a funding issue, 

21          and obviously there are -- funds are limited 

22          in this state.  And so you said something 

23          interesting earlier about providing the 

24          DREAM Act with the free tuition program and 

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 1          that you do support providing free tuition 

 2          for people who are here illegally.  Is that 

 3          correct?

 4                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yes.

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Okay.  So 

 6          in comparison with -- we have a student debt 

 7          limit, or load, I should say, for the average 

 8          student here in the State of New York of 

 9          $36,000.  Tuition income eligibility, the 

10          threshold, the income eligibility 

11          threshold for TAP students has not increased 

12          in 17 years, correct?  An $80,000 household 

13          income is what it currently is.  It has not 

14          increased in 17 years.  And the Legislature 

15          in 2010 cut TAP for graduate students.  

16                 You're saying of all these things, the 

17          priority should be to implement free tuition 

18          for individuals who are here illegally?

19                 CHIEF OF STAFF HENGSTERMAN:  No, that 

20          would not be our highest -- that's not, we're 

21          not prioritizing.  The board did do a 

22          resolution in support of the DREAM Act, we 

23          are for the DREAM Act, SUNY has -- the past 

24          couple of years.  

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 1                 But on the budget, in the Governor's 

 2          budget, we haven't prioritized that.

 3                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Okay.  So 

 4          did SUNY do a resolution to support restoring 

 5          TAP for graduate students that was eliminated 

 6          in 2010?  The last six years have they -- 

 7          have they did a resolution supporting that?

 8                 CHIEF OF STAFF HENGSTERMAN:  No.

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  No.

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Okay.  Has 

11          SUNY supported a resolution in the last 

12          16 years to increase the household income 

13          eligibility for individuals that receive TAP 

14          so more of our middle-class families in the 

15          state can qualify?

16                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  No.

17                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Okay.  So 

18          the DREAM Act is a priority of SUNY, doing a 

19          resolution that -- which is fine if that's 

20          what their view is.  You know, I disagree, 

21          and I think it's important to have that on 

22          the record.  Because we have a lot of 

23          problems in this state and obviously, you 

24          know, money doesn't grow on trees here.  We 

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 1          have to be careful in where we're directing 

 2          resources.  

 3                 So just for the record, I just want to 

 4          know what your opinion was on the record.  

 5          But I -- you know, I would just add that, you 

 6          know, whatever we can do to help our students 

 7          who are citizens or legal residents first, I 

 8          think that should be a priority for all of 

 9          us.

10                 Now, if SUNY were to -- if we were 

11          going to do this free tuition program, I 

12          would assume that many more individuals will 

13          want to go to SUNY schools, right?  Just 

14          because it's free now.  As opposed to going 

15          to a private university, where you would have 

16          to pay tuition, I would assume that many of 

17          the students would say, Okay, I'll go to a 

18          SUNY school instead, obviously because it's 

19          more affordable.  

20                 Is that a concern to you at all?  I 

21          mean, in terms of capacity, what are the 

22          average classroom sizes right now, and how 

23          will that affect your system?

24                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Well, I think 

                                                                 137

 1          it's fair to say that SUNY has always been 

 2          attractive to families because it is 

 3          affordable.

 4                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  Sure.

 5                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  And I think we 

 6          also say it's a high-quality opportunity.  

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  

 8          Absolutely.

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So I can't argue 

10          with that.  I think that's part of why we 

11          attract students.

12                 We've been asked repeatedly today 

13          about our capacity, and while we projected 

14          somewhat cautiously on 3 to 5 percent 

15          capacity in our community colleges -- maybe 

16          as high as 10 percent, less capacity at our 

17          comprehensive colleges -- we have promised to 

18          give you a review of our capacity to answer 

19          that question.

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  And one 

21          thing just to note, because in addition to 

22          the free tuition proposal, there's also -- 

23          it's my understanding, from reading the 

24          budget language, that there's also a 

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 1          provision in there that would say any 

 2          university that raises their tuition by $500 

 3          or more, students will no longer be eligible 

 4          for TAP for that university.  And that I 

 5          think is problematic.  

 6                 So first of all, I don't think we 

 7          should be punishing -- which is beyond your 

 8          role --

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yeah, it's not 

10          our --

11                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  It's not 

12          your role.

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  No.

14                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  But just 

15          to make a point, because it does affect you 

16          if everyone's going to go to SUNY now.  

17                 The issue is is if we're going to -- 

18          we shouldn't be punishing a student because 

19          the institution raised its tuition.  It's 

20          nothing to do with the student, it's not 

21          their fault, they don't have no control over 

22          that.  So I think the issue for you would be 

23          then if they lose their TAP, now going to a 

24          private university, because that institution 

                                                                 139

 1          raised their tuition, then again it's going 

 2          to be overcrowding, I think, of SUNY --

 3                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.  We'll 

 4          have it at capacity --

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN MALLIOTAKIS:  That's 

 6          something to be mindful of, I think, as the 

 7          negotiations continue.

 8                 Thank you very much for answering my 

 9          questions.

10                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yeah.  Thank you.  

11                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

12                 Senator?

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.  Senator 

14          LaValle for another question.

15                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Yeah.

16                 All the bean counters that I know say 

17          that this proposal can't come in at 

18          $163 million.  So what number are you using 

19          as a per-pupil cost, SUNY per-pupil cost?

20                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Are we there yet? 

21                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  I don't 

22          think we -- I didn't hear the -- what per --

23                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Do we have a 

24          per-pupil -- well, say it again, Senator.

                                                                 140

 1                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Per-pupil cost.  

 2          What do you --

 3                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  We're not 

 4          there yet.

 5                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  You've got to get 

 6          there very quickly.

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Fast.

 8                 VICE CHANCELLOR McLOUGHLIN:  Yup.

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  All right.

10                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  You've got to get 

11          there because we are in a budget process.

12                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

13                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  And we've got to be 

14          able to find out whether the bean counters 

15          outside the Governor's office are wrong or 

16          the Governor's folks are right.  So --

17                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  I really do think 

18          we have not factored in more students 

19          accessing federal support.  I'm going to find 

20          a way to factor that in, because to me it's 

21          shocking that this many students and that 

22          much money from the federal government is not 

23          being applied here in New York.

24                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  So I would say --

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 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Got to do 

 2          something about that.

 3                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  -- your staff and 

 4          the Senate and Assembly staffs really should 

 5          have a number very, very quickly, so that we 

 6          can have a discussion.

 7                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Okay.  Our 

 8          charge.  We'll get to work.  We are working.

 9                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  And we can 

10          accommodate the new students who right now 

11          are not completing in four years, and we can 

12          accommodate the new growth?

13                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  We have that.  We 

14          have to give you those projections.

15                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Okay.

16                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  So we've got some 

17          assignments based on today's hearing.  Thank 

18          you.

19                 SENATOR LaVALLE:  Thank you.

20                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

21          much.  

22                 One more question, from Deborah Glick. 

23                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.  And 

24          thank you so much, Chancellor, for this 

                                                                  142

 1          rather lengthy questioning period and your 

 2          attempts to be responsive.  

 3                 The Governor does not include a 

 4          maintenance of effort.  And as you know, in 

 5          the past I have been resistant to even 

 6          discussing any tuition increase unless there 

 7          is a maintenance of effort on the part of the 

 8          state.  So I'm wondering at some point if you 

 9          can give us year-to-year utility expenses 

10          that have gone up across the campuses and 

11          some of the other unaccounted-for expenses 

12          that a full MOE would have, as both 

13          Senator LaValle and I had tried to ensure was 

14          available to the systems.

15                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Right.

16                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  And one closing 

17          question.  

18                 In the past, when tuition has gone 

19          up -- we certainly saw this in CUNY; I don't 

20          know what the effect was in SUNY.  When 

21          tuition went up, we saw some students who 

22          took time off to make money to come back.  

23          Now, a lot of those students come from 

24          families that are -- even with their Pell and 

                                                                  143

 1          their TAP, the expenses were not covered and 

 2          they took time off to take some opportunity 

 3          to work and then come back.  

 4                 So I'm wondering whether SUNY saw a 

 5          similar drop, return, drop, return, as 

 6          tuition grew.  And I'm not sure if you can 

 7          identify that, but it would be helpful for us 

 8          to know that if we're going to have any 

 9          discussion of increasing tuition, which I 

10          will say here publicly is not, in my view, 

11          appropriate without a full maintenance of 

12          effort.  That is, I think, critical to having 

13          some kind of agreement, again with students, 

14          their families, that the state is not going 

15          to erode its support any further.  

16                 And frankly, if we're going to see 

17          more students perhaps avail themselves of 

18          this Excelsior Program, then I think that not 

19          having additional operating aid is 

20          extraordinarily problematic, not just for the 

21          systems -- which, of course, some people 

22          might not care about -- but I think the 

23          quality of the education available to all the 

24          students, those who were there before and 

                                                                  144

 1          those who may be coming, is undermined if we 

 2          do not ensure that you have -- and I think 

 3          that's what the Senator was getting at when 

 4          he was asking how much does it cost to 

 5          actually educate a student.  Without 

 6          increased operating aid and without a 

 7          maintenance of effort, we are asking you to 

 8          do back flips on a very thin board.

 9                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  We appreciate 

10          your support of maintenance of effort.  We 

11          agree with you.  And go for it.  

12                 (Laughter.)

13                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

14                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.  

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

16          much.  

17                 Just one question.  This budget has a 

18          $5 million cut in the Education Opportunity 

19          Centers.  What do you think the cuts will do?  

20          What damage will it do?

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Delivery of 

22          services, I think we're --

23                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  No, not the EOCs, 

24          the Educational Opportunity --

                                                                  145

 1                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Yes, to the 

 2          Educational Opportunity Programs.  

 3                 There's no question about it, it 

 4          reduces our ability to serve, and we already 

 5          have this incredible demand that we can't 

 6          accommodate.  So increasing the availability 

 7          of EOP, as a signature program of this 

 8          Legislature and this state -- I think it's 

 9          one of the things we should be most proud of.  

10          And it just has to be advocated for every 

11          year.  And we appreciate the support that you 

12          give us.  

13                 And might I say as well, I personally 

14          appreciate the support you have given me 

15          today.  I will miss you.  And I have enjoyed 

16          my tenure here.  Thank you very much.

17                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  I would say thank 

18          you for your tenure.  Thank you.  

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

20          much.  We appreciate everything.

21                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you all.

22                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

23                 CHANCELLOR ZIMPHER:  Thank you.

24                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Next is the 10:30 

                                                                  146

 1          City University of New York time.  Chancellor 

 2          James Milliken.  Chancellor Milliken.

 3                 My coach says good morning, but I'll 

 4          say good afternoon.  And I apologize for my 

 5          pronunciation of your name.

 6                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you, 

 7          Mr. Chairman.  I appreciate it.  

 8                 I'm always delighted to follow my 

 9          colleague Chancellor Zimpher.  I too will 

10          miss her; she's been a great colleague and a 

11          leader of higher education in New York.  And 

12          every year she takes some of the toughest 

13          questions from you before I appear, so I'll 

14          miss that also.

15                 So good afternoon to Chairs Young and 

16          Farrell, LaValle and Glick, members of the 

17          Finance and Ways and Means Committees, and 

18          staff.  I am, as I think you know, James B.  

19          Milliken.  I am the chancellor of the City 

20          University of New York.  A number of my 

21          colleagues are with me, seated behind me, and 

22          some may join me when I find the questioning 

23          particularly difficult.

24                 I will not be joined by our students, 

                                                                  147

 1          because our students will appear later in the 

 2          day.  And you will see at that point, I 

 3          think, a demonstration of the incredible 

 4          caliber of the students at CUNY when you meet 

 5          the chair of our student government, Chika 

 6          Onyejiukwa, and the vice chair, Hercules 

 7          Reid, who will be here to present testimony.  

 8          And so I know you will enjoy that.

 9                 So I appreciate the opportunity to 

10          appear to talk to you today about the goals 

11          and priorities of the City University of 

12          New York and to address your questions.  This 

13          is an especially meaningful time for this 

14          conversation, I believe, and you've covered 

15          many of the reasons why it's especially 

16          important already this morning.  

17                 But there are a number of positive 

18          developments, I believe, that augur well for 

19          our students, for the city we serve and the 

20          state we serve.  And despite all the 

21          challenges for higher education across the 

22          country, I believe the Governor has staked 

23          out a position of national leadership for 

24          New York's public universities.  And that, 

                                                                  148

 1          together with the demonstrated commitment, 

 2          over the years, of this Legislature to higher 

 3          education, leads me to be optimistic about 

 4          the future of the nation's largest urban 

 5          university.  

 6                 I know you're well aware of CUNYís 

 7          historic mission -- to provide a broadly 

 8          accessible, affordable, high-quality 

 9          education to all New Yorkers, but especially 

10          those, over the years, from low-income and 

11          underrepresented groups and immigrant 

12          populations, so that they will enjoy the 

13          lifetime of benefits that a college degree 

14          provides.  Nothing is more important to the 

15          economic strength of our state than a 

16          talented, competitive workforce to attract 

17          investment and good jobs.  

18                 And we could not have received 

19          stronger proof of the impact of our mission 

20          than a remarkable study released last week by 

21          a group of respected economists that measured 

22          which universities do the best job of 

23          providing upward mobility to their 

24          lower-income students.  We were gratified by 

                                                                  149

 1          the compelling evidence of CUNYís success and 

 2          exceptional national ranking.  And I'll 

 3          summarize it with only one sentence from the 

 4          New York Times on Sunday:  "The new data 

 5          shows, for example, that the City University 

 6          of New York system propelled almost six times 

 7          as many low-income students into the middle 

 8          class and beyond as all eight Ivy League 

 9          campuses, plus Duke, M.I.T., Stanford and 

10          Chicago, combined."  

11                 It is a remarkable record of 

12          achievement, and it's something, I think, in 

13          which we can all take great pride, the 

14          history and the current success, in a study 

15          that looked at 30 million students across 

16          this country, and movement from the lowest 

17          quintile of income into the upper quintiles 

18          of income.  

19                 The study validates the importance of 

20          the investment in public higher education and 

21          CUNY in particular, which is why I'm 

22          gratified by the strong support provided to 

23          CUNY in Governor Cuomoís Executive Budget. 

24          The Governorís budget offers significant new 

                                                                  150

 1          support for public higher education and 

 2          represents a commitment to our students and 

 3          this state.  

 4                 Affordable access to high-quality 

 5          education is the cornerstone of public higher 

 6          education.  And as I have said repeatedly 

 7          over the last couple of weeks, this goal has 

 8          been advanced boldly this year by the 

 9          Excelsior Scholarship Program.  It's a 

10          powerful and welcomed initiative that will 

11          put a high-quality education within reach of 

12          even more middle-income students in New York.  

13          In addition to addressing cost, it promotes 

14          timely completion, which is one of our 

15          highest priorities.  It underscores the 

16          importance of higher education in creating 

17          unparalleled opportunities for New Yorkers 

18          and in advancing the prosperity of our state.  

19                 The attention this initiative has 

20          received locally and more broadly says to 

21          many students and their families that college 

22          is possible, and the importance of that 

23          message cannot be overstated.  And I hope, 

24          when we have a chance to talk later, I can 

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 1          say a little bit more about some of the 

 2          research that's been done on that very issue, 

 3          about the importance of communicating the 

 4          message that college is possible.

 5                 We also appreciated the Governorís 

 6          support for the passage of the DREAM Act, 

 7          which will extend financial aid and other 

 8          benefits to CUNYís many outstanding 

 9          undocumented students.  This has been a high 

10          priority for CUNY's Board of Trustees.  

11                 We're grateful for the Governorís 

12          commitment to the stateís predictable tuition 

13          plan, which will help ensure financial 

14          stability for the university, allow families 

15          to plan ahead, and provide important funding 

16          for academic programs and student services. 

17          There is no better use of state and city 

18          investment and tuition than to attract and 

19          retain the high-quality faculty that serve 

20          our students.  

21                 As we look ahead, the demands of a 

22          challenging economy require that we update 

23          and strengthen our programs and strategies to 

24          better serve our students, the city, and the 

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 1          state.  We start by offering the 

 2          highest-quality education.  We're also 

 3          committed to increasing academic advising and 

 4          the other supports that will help our 

 5          students graduate on time and have the 

 6          experiences they need to launch their careers 

 7          when they leave CUNY.  

 8                 We intend to increase CUNYís 

 9          graduation rates significantly so that more 

10          students will benefit from the much higher 

11          career achievement that diplomas allow.  We 

12          will work to ensure that more students 

13          graduating from the city's high schools will 

14          be prepared to succeed in college-level 

15          studies.  And we will give students greater 

16          workplace experience and networks to improve 

17          prospects for building promising careers.  

18                 We're reengineering our business 

19          processes to ensure a more efficient and 

20          effective administration, delivering better 

21          services to our colleges, our students, our 

22          faculty and staff, saving tens of millions of 

23          dollars a year which will be devoted to the 

24          classroom and student success.  Our goal is 

                                                                  153

 1          to promote financial transparency and 

 2          accountability, and to give New Yorkers 

 3          confidence that their taxpayer dollars will 

 4          produce exceptional returns.  

 5                 We're gratified that the Executive   

 6          Budget proposal includes $36 million to fully 

 7          fund projected fringe benefit cost increases. 

 8          As you know, these are non-discretionary 

 9          expenses essential to support the faculty and 

10          staff that serve CUNY.  

11                 Renewal of the predictable tuition 

12          plan, which was sought this year by the CUNY 

13          Board of Trustees, will enable the university 

14          to invest in retaining and attracting 

15          faculty, as it did over the five years of the 

16          predictable tuition plan when we hired almost 

17          a thousand new faculty.  

18                 Even with the increases contemplated 

19          in our budget request and the Executive 

20          Budget, CUNYís in-state tuition will continue 

21          to be well below the average for public 

22          universities in the country and, when 

23          combined with Pell and TAP and other 

24          programs, keep college affordable to our 

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 1          residents.  

 2                 For our community colleges, the 

 3          Executive Budget recommends an overall 

 4          increase of $4 million.  Base aid remains 

 5          flat per FTE, but overall support is expected 

 6          to grow because of the Excelsior Scholarship 

 7          initiative growth in enrollment.  The Board 

 8          of Trustees has requested a $250 per FTE 

 9          increase in community college state base aid 

10          to try to regain the position lost during the 

11          great recession.  The University has 

12          committed to freezing community college 

13          tuition for the second straight year at 

14          current rates if our funding request from the 

15          state and the city will allow us to.  

16                 With regard to the capital budget, 

17          this was a very good year.  We're especially 

18          grateful for the $284 million for critical 

19          maintenance in the Executive Budget.  It is a 

20          necessary and much appreciated investment in 

21          facilities that are very well used. The same 

22          is true of an $80 million match for our 

23          community colleges.  These are both 

24          significant increases that will help us do 

                                                                  155

 1          necessary upgrading, rehabilitating, and 

 2          maintenance in our facilities.  

 3                 Our campuses are open seven days a 

 4          week, with over 270,000 degree-seeking 

 5          students and over 250,000 continuing 

 6          education and professional students.  There 

 7          are fifty-some-thousand more CUNY students 

 8          using our facilities today than there were a 

 9          decade ago.  In other words, the equivalent 

10          of a university larger than, say, the 

11          University of Michigan has been added to the 

12          CUNY system in our existing facilities.  

13                 So our request does include additional 

14          funding for new buildings.  And several of 

15          the highest priorities are at Brooklyn 

16          College, Hunter, Medgar Evers, College of 

17          Staten Island, and York.  Many of these are 

18          facilities that would improve science and 

19          health professions, essential for providing 

20          career paths for our students in a thriving 

21          industry in New York, and also help meet the 

22          medical, science and technology needs of the 

23          state.  

24                 So once again, we appreciate the 

                                                                  156

 1          Governor's Executive Budget, particularly the 

 2          Excelsior Scholarship, which will open doors 

 3          to many more students.  We're grateful for 

 4          the support of this Legislature and for the 

 5          programs and investments that you have made 

 6          to support the City University of New York, 

 7          which is, and I believe was recently 

 8          demonstrated again, a remarkable engine of 

 9          social and economic mobility for the State of 

10          New York.  

11                 I look forward to addressing your 

12          questions.  I will be joined by two of my 

13          colleagues for that:  Matt Sapienza, who is 

14          the chief financial officer of the 

15          university, and Chris Rosa, the interim chief 

16          student affairs officer for the university.  

17                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

18                 Assemblywoman Glick.

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Hi.  Welcome, 

20          Chancellor.  As you say, you have the benefit 

21          of coming after the SUNY panel, but there are 

22          still some questions.  

23                 In your testimony you seemed pleased 

24          with the return to a rational tuition, but it 

                                                                  157

 1          doesn't include a maintenance of effort.  So 

 2          I'm wondering whether the university believes 

 3          that it can maintain all of the gains that 

 4          you believe you've had if you wind up with an 

 5          increase in tuition but no additional support 

 6          for operating aid.  And if at the end of the 

 7          day there's even a diminishment but that's 

 8          filled by tuition increases, what does that 

 9          do for the students, what does that do for 

10          the university system?  

11                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  We do support 

12          the predictable tuition reinstatement.  We 

13          developed a four-year financing plan that we 

14          presented to our board at the time that they 

15          considered our budget request.  It includes a 

16          number of elements.  It includes predictable 

17          tuition, it includes an increase in 

18          investment by both the state and the city, it 

19          includes an increase in private fundraising, 

20          and it includes an administrative 

21          efficiencies plan to reduce our costs by 

22          $75 million over four years and reinvest in 

23          the classroom and in student support.  

24                 So we look at this as a combination of 

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 1          I guess all five of those elements that are 

 2          necessary to allow us to accomplish what 

 3          we're doing and allow us to achieve our goals 

 4          for the City University in the future, which 

 5          include dramatically increasing our 

 6          graduation rates, offering more internship 

 7          and experiential learning programs, 

 8          developing additional programs that help 

 9          students become college-ready and then 

10          getting them through remediation into college 

11          if they're not ready.  

12                 So we have an ambitious set of plans.  

13          I would say to you that we would welcome the 

14          support from all and expect that we should 

15          get support from all five of those areas, 

16          including additional support from the state.  

17                 This happens to be, if you combine 

18          operating and capital, one of the best 

19          Executive Budgets for CUNY in some time.  And 

20          we're appreciative for that additional 

21          investment.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  From what I have 

23          been told, CUNY is really bursting at the 

24          seams, which is a reflection of your success 

                                                                  159

 1          and the desire of New Yorkers to get an 

 2          education to advance themselves, their 

 3          family, and so forth.

 4                 If you were to see some general 

 5          increase -- and the numbers I've seen suggest 

 6          that somewhere in the neighborhood of, you 

 7          know, 30,000, 35,000 students would be 

 8          eligible for this program.  That's how they 

 9          back into this rather seemingly low number.  

10          How many students do you believe you can 

11          absorb physically on your campuses should 

12          they all decide to take up this challenge and 

13          apply to the City University, thereby perhaps 

14          for many of them saving the cost of room and 

15          board if they were to reside at home?  So 

16          this program could very well wind up 

17          targeting mostly the City University.  What's 

18          your capacity?  

19                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So I'm going to 

20          unbundle that a little and address sort of 

21          what I see as three elements to it.  

22                 The first is I'm not sure about the 

23          assumption of how many new students, both in 

24          our community colleges and senior colleges, 

                                                                  160

 1          we would see as a result of the program.  

 2          We're working with the state, we are working 

 3          internally to try to model what the expected 

 4          increases would be.  

 5                 We also have a group working 

 6          internally to look at these very capacity 

 7          issues, which of our 24 colleges -- or, more 

 8          importantly, which of our community colleges 

 9          and senior colleges would have capacity, 

10          which would have difficulty serving more 

11          students at this point because they are 

12          bursting at the seams, so that we can try to 

13          manage the growth with places where we might 

14          have physical capacity.

15                 The third thing I'd say is we have a 

16          very ambitious plan to increase the online 

17          offerings.  We've doubled the number of 

18          online programs in the last five years.  

19          We'll more than double them in the next five 

20          years, I believe.  We have 10 percent of our 

21          students taking online courses now.  We think 

22          that number will get up closer to half in the 

23          next five years.  

24                 Part of I think CUNY's ability to 

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 1          expand in the future will be based on 

 2          effective use of technology and online 

 3          courses to supplement the physical delivery 

 4          of courses, as it is in many places in the 

 5          country where capacity is a challenge.

 6                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I'm glad that 

 7          you sort of moved into the notion of online 

 8          classes.  There is someone who is being 

 9          touted as a potential advisor to the new 

10          administration in Washington.  And I'm always 

11          entertained when somebody who has gained the 

12          benefit of a bachelor's and a master's says 

13          college in the coming years will be obsolete.  

14                 And I'm wondering whether you have any 

15          thoughts about the importance of what is 

16          still a traditional college-based education 

17          versus whatever it is may be suggested.  And 

18          I would point out the new administration's 

19          cabinet reflects people who don't have a 

20          particularly deep commitment to advanced 

21          degrees.  So I'm wondering what your thoughts 

22          are about the future, the importance of, and 

23          the continuing importance of college.

24                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So by college 

                                                                  162

 1          you mean the traditional experience of 

 2          physical delivery of college courses?  

 3                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Degree 

 4          granting -- degree granting --

 5                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Oh, I think -- 

 6          if we're taking it one step up and saying 

 7          both physical and online, but simply 

 8          different means of delivery of a traditional 

 9          college education leading to a degree, I 

10          think it's more essential than ever.  It is 

11          absolutely more essential than ever.  

12                 You heard Chancellor Zimpher early in 

13          her testimony; the numbers in New York are 

14          similar to those across the country.  We're 

15          at least 20 percent short of the number of 

16          degrees we need for the jobs that are being 

17          created in the market.  So we're maybe at 

18          40-some percent with college education and 

19          we're going to need 60-some percent almost 

20          immediately to meet the requirements of the 

21          workforce.

22                 So I believe it's more important than 

23          it's ever been.  We're in a knowledge economy 

24          where the coin of the realm is an education, 

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 1          a community college education, a senior 

 2          college, graduate -- and certificates are 

 3          increasingly important as either a supplement 

 4          to or a substitute for, I think most likely a 

 5          supplement to, a traditional college 

 6          education.  So I believe it's more important 

 7          than it's ever been.  

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  What do you 

 9          think the impact will be if you have a large 

10          number of students take advantage of this 

11          Excelsior program but the tuition that is 

12          associated with it is fixed at this year's 

13          tuition level?  Which is what the program 

14          calls for.  It does not envision any future 

15          growth for those students who take advantage 

16          of it now.

17                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  What's the 

18          impact of that?

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Right.  I mean, 

20          what gap do you have if you -- and this goes 

21          to a question that had been asked of the SUNY 

22          chancellor in terms of what does it actually 

23          cost to teach someone, what are the expenses.  

24          You have a tuition that probably doesn't meet 

                                                                  164

 1          all of the costs as it is, and then if you 

 2          have a new cohort of 10,000, 15,000 students 

 3          who come in and are covered with the current 

 4          tuition -- regardless of whether you get to 

 5          increase it by 250 going forward -- but they 

 6          are fixed at this point for four years.  And 

 7          you may have an opportunity to increase 

 8          tuition in the coming years, but not for this 

 9          cohort.  What does that do for you?

10                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So again, we're 

11          modeling what we expect the increases to be, 

12          what we think the impacts will be, so I can't 

13          go into any detail.  

14                 But conceptually, tuition doesn't 

15          cover the cost of education at any public 

16          university, and it certainly doesn't at CUNY.  

17                 So to the extent that a certain number 

18          of students are eligible for a program that 

19          holds constant their tuition at today's 

20          rates, that will increase the level of 

21          investment that would need to be paid on a 

22          per-student basis for a college education.  

23          So it would have some effect.  

24                 But I would say to you even with an 

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 1          increase of $250 per student that is 

 2          projected under the predictable tuition plan, 

 3          there will still be a significant gap -- and 

 4          I frankly hope there always will be -- where 

 5          the state is making an investment and the 

 6          city making an investment in our public 

 7          education and paying a fair part of the 

 8          share.

 9                 As you know well, across the country 

10          this number has been going down as a share of 

11          the total, and the tuition number has been 

12          going up.  New York has done a better job 

13          than most places of keeping tuition at both 

14          CUNY and SUNY more affordable and done a 

15          better job than most places at providing a 

16          need-based financial aid program for the 

17          state.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  The last round 

19          of rational tuition was a five-year plan, 

20          over the course of which tuition went up 

21          $1,500.  Many of your students -- because 

22          I've been on the subway, I see the ads 

23          indicating how low the debt load for your 

24          students are.  But the question that comes to 

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 1          mind is that there are, in fact, students who 

 2          wind up dropping out for a period, coming 

 3          back, they go to work, they come back, they 

 4          go to work, they come back.

 5                 Do you have any figures over that 

 6          five-year period that indicates or has 

 7          tracked which students left, did they come 

 8          back, what was the loss of your census, and 

 9          did it change the demographics of the City 

10          University?

11                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Now, you asked 

12          me part of this question last year, the 

13          second part of it, so I'll start with that 

14          one and hope that I give a consistent 

15          response.

16                 During the five years of the 

17          predictable tuition period, our data show 

18          that CUNY became more diverse during that 

19          period -- more underrepresented minorities as 

20          a portion of the total student population.  

21          Our own survey data shows that they were 

22          lower-income over that same period as well.

23                 Now, the data released over the last 

24          week, 30 million students, is a richer data 

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 1          set, and we'll be looking at that because I'm 

 2          not sure it's entirely consistent with our 

 3          survey data, which was the best that we had 

 4          at the time.  But I will say I don't think 

 5          that -- those may be in conflict, but what 

 6          that may suggest is the difference is not 

 7          great on the student profile at the end of 

 8          that period from the beginning.

 9                 I don't know the answer to your 

10          first -- to the first part of that question.  

11          But when I get back I will ask it, about what 

12          data we have on students sitting out and 

13          coming back.  It would be an interesting 

14          research project for us.  I'd like to know 

15          more about that.

16                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Finally, we know 

17          that you have a robust Opportunity Program in 

18          a number of ways.  And while we have tried to 

19          advance that -- and in the past, with a 

20          little bit of buy-in from the Governor, we 

21          were able to build on that.  This year, the 

22          budget seems to take a step back and we're 

23          going to be back in a situation where we'll 

24          be backfilling as opposed to advancing.

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 1                 What does that do to the number of 

 2          students that you think you can serve should 

 3          we not be able to backfill?  What do you lose 

 4          if we don't go forward?

 5                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  First of all, 

 6          let me say I'm a huge fan of this program 

 7          that has been time-tested and very, very 

 8          valuable for CUNY students and I believe 

 9          New York.  And so I thank you for your 

10          support of the Opportunity Programs.

11                 With the investment you made last 

12          year, we used most of it to increase the 

13          level of support service for students already 

14          served.  And so we hired more academic 

15          advisors, we provided MetroCards, we did some 

16          of the things that we have learned over the 

17          years help keep persistence rates higher and 

18          speed up graduation.  And so if we were to 

19          lose something because of a reduction in 

20          funding, it would be these additional 

21          services that we have provided, as opposed, I 

22          believe, to numbers of students.

23                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  But presumably 

24          that would then mean that those services 

                                                                  169

 1          might impact graduation rates and 

 2          persistence.

 3                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Absolutely.  We 

 4          hope those services do increase persistence 

 5          and graduation rates, and we think we have 

 6          pretty good evidence that they do.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

 8                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Senator?  

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

10          much.  

11                 The Assemblywoman asked many of the 

12          questions I was going to ask, so I'll turn 

13          the microphone over to Senator Diane Savino 

14          as vice chair.

15                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

16          Young.  

17                 Again, thank you, Chancellor.  

18          Assemblywoman Glick did ask many of the 

19          questions I was going to ask, too, so I won't 

20          repeat them for the sake of time. 

21                 I do have a question about my favorite 

22          subject.  You and I have been on it --

23                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  You want me just 

24          to start in on the answer?

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 1                 (Laughter.)

 2                 SENATOR SAVINO:  -- the Murphy 

 3          Institute.  If you could tell us where we are 

 4          with the creation of Murphy as a separate 

 5          school from the School of Professional 

 6          Studies and the progress that we're making 

 7          there.  It's very important for those of 

 8          us -- I would like to get to the point where 

 9          it's no longer a legislative add and it's a 

10          fully funded school of CUNY.  So if you could 

11          give us an update.

12                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So New York City 

13          should be the place where labor studies is 

14          the best in the country.  I've always 

15          believed that.  I've been very proud of the 

16          work that the Murphy Institute has done over 

17          the years.  And I have, from the day I 

18          arrived, been interested in how we elevate 

19          the work that they do and are seen around the 

20          country as the leader in research, in policy 

21          studies, in education relating to the field 

22          of labor.

23                 I have committed and we are in the 

24          process of developing the governance 

                                                                  171

 1          documents now that will go to our board to 

 2          transition Murphy from an institute to a 

 3          school.  And we have -- the provost at the 

 4          university has been leading our discussions 

 5          with the director and the board of Murphy.  A 

 6          week or two does not go by when I get an 

 7          update on where we are.  And it has taken 

 8          longer than we had expected, but I can assure 

 9          you it's being done.  

10                 And we will continue to invest in the 

11          new Murphy School, and we share the goal that 

12          it be viewed as a leader in the nation in 

13          labor studies.  And so I thank you for your 

14          continuing support.  I know this Legislature 

15          that supported it, as has the city.  And we 

16          appreciate that support.

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  But you 

18          can't give me a -- there's no estimated date 

19          for when it will be completed?  Do you have a 

20          an idea?

21                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Our plan is to 

22          make sure that this is approved by the Board 

23          of Trustees this semester.

24                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Okay.  That's good.  

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 1          You may not be aware, but we have one of our 

 2          graduates sitting right here in front of me, 

 3          Senator Alcantara.  She graduated from the 

 4          Murphy Institute.  So it's as important to 

 5          her as it is to me and other members of the 

 6          Senate.

 7                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So I will now 

 8          have two people here watching me to make 

 9          sure --

10                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Absolutely.

11                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So thank you.  I 

12          appreciate the teamwork.

13                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  Thank 

14          you, Chancellor.  

15                 At that point I'll cede the rest of my 

16          time.  Thank you.

17                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

18                 Assemblyman Lupinacci.

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Good 

20          afternoon.  I just had just a few follow-up 

21          questions.  

22                 Going over the past few years of the 

23          CUNY budget, which area of the budget, the 

24          total budget, have you seen the largest 

                                                                  173

 1          increase in terms of spending?

 2                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  I'm sorry, which 

 3          categories of the -- 

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Of the budget, 

 5          of the overall budget.  Like are there 

 6          certain areas you've seen a larger increase 

 7          than others in terms of where you've been 

 8          spending more money over the past few years?

 9                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Well, as is the 

10          case with every public university that I know 

11          of, over 80 percent of our budget goes for 

12          personnel, for faculty and staff.  I mean, 

13          we're in a knowledge and a people business, 

14          and so that's clearly where most of the 

15          funding goes.  And I don't expect that to 

16          change.  Even with the advent of online 

17          education, I would say, which is a 

18          labor-intensive effort.  

19                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  And I guess, 

20          you know, the follow-up question to that 

21          is -- because I asked this to the Chancellor 

22          from SUNY also -- is in terms of remedial 

23          classes.  Have you seen a large uptick in 

24          spending in that area?  And how has the 

                                                                  174

 1          program been going?  Because I know we've 

 2          spoken in past years about remedial classes 

 3          and the skills that students are entering 

 4          into college with, and I'm sure that will be 

 5          a topic that we speak about with our 

 6          commissioner in a little while from 

 7          education.  

 8                 Just if you can give us a little 

 9          backdrop in terms of spending on it and how 

10          the programs are going.

11                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Right.  So we've 

12          spent the last year on a high-level remedial 

13          education task force, with a series of 

14          recommendations that we are now implementing.  

15          And part of it, I believe, will drive down 

16          the cost of remediation today.  

17                 But the main reason we're doing this 

18          is to take advantage of the research-based 

19          best practices that we have learned more 

20          about from around the country -- and some we 

21          have developed ourselves with our own 

22          faculty -- to make sure that students are 

23          more effectively getting through remediation.  

24                 The biggest problem with remediation, 

                                                                  175

 1          if I might say, is not the cost.  The biggest 

 2          problem is the failure to advance students 

 3          through it to credit bearing courses.  So in 

 4          many cases they spend money to try to become 

 5          prepared for college and don't get there.  

 6          Chancellor Zimpher mentioned a program 

 7          developed by the Carnegie Foundation called 

 8          Quantways, which is something that we use at 

 9          CUNY as well, and Statways, which is 

10          quantitative reasoning at -- it is a 

11          research-based, effective way of providing 

12          mathematics preparation for college for 

13          students.

14                 The sooner we can get students not 

15          only into remediation but also into 

16          credit-bearing courses, so they're making 

17          some progress at the same time they might be 

18          addressing remedial needs, is important.  

19          Expanding programs like CUNY MATH Start, 

20          which we know offers great results in moving 

21          people through math remedial education, which 

22          is the greatest challenge for most remedial 

23          students, and getting them into credit- 

24          bearing courses.  

                                                                  176

 1                 So I believe through the adoption of 

 2          these various strategies we will drive the 

 3          costs of remediation down.  But even more 

 4          importantly, in my view, we will 

 5          significantly increase the number of students 

 6          who effectively emerge from remediation and 

 7          are on the path to getting a college degree.

 8                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Excellent.  

 9          And just one final question.  If both the 

10          DREAM Act and the Excelsior Scholarship 

11          Program were to go into effect, are there any 

12          estimates that you have at CUNY in terms of 

13          how many new students will be coming in or 

14          how many would be affected?

15                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Well, again, on 

16          the Excelsior, I do not know the answer to 

17          that today.  We are -- again, we're modeling 

18          it.  There are a number of variables.  We do 

19          hope that it results in an increase in 

20          interest and not just people moving into the 

21          program who are already at CUNY.

22                 But with regard to undocumented 

23          students, the number is probably between 

24          6,000 and 7,000 students across CUNY.

                                                                  177

 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Thank you.

 2                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  And I will say 

 3          as a footnote, by the way, CUNY is the 

 4          largest recipient in the nation of private 

 5          scholarship funds dedicated to this purpose, 

 6          to providing financial aid for undocumented 

 7          students, private funds raised nationwide.  

 8          We have, I think, over 400 students now that 

 9          are receiving private funds for that purpose.

10                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Thank you very 

11          much.

12                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

13                 Senator?  

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes.  Senator Toby 

15          Stavisky, who is the ranking member on the 

16          Higher Education Committee.

17                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you, 

18          Chancellor.  

19                 And we welcome his two colleagues, 

20          Mr. Sapienza and my long-time friend 

21          Dr. Chris Rosa.  And we congratulate Dr. Rosa 

22          on his promotion.

23                 I'm delighted that you mentioned in 

24          your opening remarks the New York Times story 

                                                                  178

 1          on the study involving income mobility of 

 2          graduates.  And I think it's important to 

 3          mention that Queensboro Community College 

 4          ranked 8th out of 690 community colleges 

 5          throughout the country in overall student 

 6          mobility.  And to me, that is the argument 

 7          for the DREAM Act, or one of the best 

 8          arguments for the DREAM Act.

 9                 But I have a number of questions.  I 

10          asked the chancellor, How many students do 

11          you anticipate being eligible for the 

12          Excelsior program?  Do you have a number on 

13          that?

14                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  I don't think we 

15          do at this point.  We've got a team of people 

16          working with Vice Chancellor Sapienza and 

17          people in our enrollment admissions programs 

18          to try to estimate what that number is, but 

19          we don't know it.

20                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  You'll 

21          get us the number when you --

22                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Be happy to get 

23          it for you.

24                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay.  There have 

                                                                  179

 1          been issues raised in terms of the operating 

 2          aid funding for the City University of 

 3          New York.  What percentage comes from the 

 4          state -- for the community colleges from the 

 5          state and from the city?

 6                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So for the 

 7          community colleges, if we're looking at it 

 8          the way we traditionally have, which is 

 9          tuition funding, city funding, state funding, 

10          we would say that about 25 percent comes from 

11          the state, about 35 percent comes from the 

12          city, and most of the rest from tuition, 

13          about 40 percent from tuition.  

14                 But if you look at this another way, 

15          which I would suggest is perhaps a fairer way 

16          to think about this, much of that tuition 

17          burden is funded by TAP, which is provided by 

18          the state.  I mean, there's a very 

19          significant, as you know, number of CUNY 

20          students who are getting TAP funding.

21                 So if you build TAP in as a part of 

22          the state's contribution, then the state's at 

23          over 37 percent and the city is a little over 

24          35 percent, and tuition's about 27.5, 

                                                                  180

 1          28 percent.  So to me, that's a way of 

 2          looking at, fully loaded, what the state's 

 3          investment is.

 4                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  I've asked this 

 5          question each year, and I'll ask it again.  

 6          What's happening to the ratio between the 

 7          full-time and the part-time faculty?

 8                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  As I think you 

 9          know, the numbers of part-time faculty are 

10          probably almost double the number of 

11          full-time faculty.  

12                 It has long been a high priority of 

13          this institution to increase the numbers of 

14          full-time faculty.  As I mentioned, that was 

15          a priority during the period of predictable 

16          tuition previously when we hired over 900, 

17          just under a thousand new full-time faculty.  

18          My colleague might be able to say what the 

19          trend is, but since I've been here I haven't 

20          seen much difference in the proportion of the 

21          faculty.

22                 CUNY CFO SAPIENZA:  Senator Stavisky, 

23          the ratio currently of full-time to part-time 

24          faculty is for every one full-time faculty, 

                                                                  181

 1          we have 1.66 part-time faculty.  So about 

 2          1 2/3 part-time faculty for every full-time 

 3          faculty.

 4                 As the chancellor mentioned earlier, 

 5          as part of the predictable tuition policy 

 6          that started in 2011, we added almost 1,000 

 7          new full-time faculty lines, which was a 

 8          tremendous benefit for our campuses, for our 

 9          students.  But over that time as well, 

10          enrollment increased too.  We added about 

11          13,000 students over that time period.  And I 

12          know, rightly so, there were people that were 

13          concerned that the predictable tuition policy 

14          would result in a reduced enrollment for 

15          CUNY, but we actually went the other way.  We 

16          added 13,000 students.  

17                 So we're adding full-time faculty.  

18          We're trying to keep pace with enrollment.  

19          And we certainly want to improve those 

20          ratios.

21                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  One 

22          last question.  

23                 Chancellor, you mentioned the fact 

24          that CUNY is the largest recipient of 

                                                                  182

 1          scholarship aid, particularly for 

 2          undocumented students.  But if the 10 percent 

 3          charge is imposed on -- and presumably a lot 

 4          of this goes to the various -- either the 

 5          CUNY Foundation or the college foundations -- 

 6          what's going to happen if they have to pay 

 7          the 10 percent tithe?  Because some of these 

 8          scholarships are dedicated, they're 

 9          earmarked.  And don't -- you know, the 

10          student is going to suffer.  They're going to 

11          lose out on the 10 percent, I'm concerned.  

12                 But how would you respond to that 

13          issue?

14                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Well, first of 

15          all, I'd say with regard to the DREAM Act, 

16          just to take this up, this is a separate 

17          foundation, the DREAM U.S., that provides the 

18          funding, not a CUNY foundation.

19                 The second thing I would say is that, 

20          probably the number-one fundraising priority 

21          for every one of our colleges is student 

22          financial aid.  And so a significant amount 

23          of the revenue that comes in each year is 

24          dedicated to that purpose.

                                                                  183

 1                 I think the details would have to be 

 2          worked out, but my assumption today is that 

 3          that would not challenge -- that over 

 4          10 percent is provided from our foundations 

 5          today for student scholarship funding, and 

 6          that would continue into the future.

 7                 Now, if -- of course, as you 

 8          intimated, if a gift is given for a 

 9          professorship or an academic program, that's 

10          a contractual agreement with a donor.  And 

11          those are sacrosanct.

12                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  That's why I asked 

13          the question.  Because if there's a gift to 

14          one of the foundations from a donor, to take 

15          10 percent out, to me, would be a hardship.

16                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  My sense is that 

17          overall, we would have -- it wouldn't be much 

18          of an issue to have 10 percent provided for 

19          student aid.  It couldn't be from individual 

20          gifts that were provided for a different 

21          purpose.

22                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

24                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

                                                                  184

 1                 Assemblywoman Glick.

 2                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Just a couple of 

 3          points.

 4                 The budget seems to envision the sale 

 5          of a Hunter Fine Arts Building.  I'm not sure 

 6          where that's located.  And I'm wondering 

 7          whether you're aware of any appraisal of that 

 8          property.  And it does seem to envision the 

 9          sale of that building for what I think they 

10          valued it at as $60 million, to offset, you 

11          know, state support.  

12                 So are you going to sell the building?  

13          Have you had an appraisal?  And how long 

14          would you envision -- if you are looking to 

15          sell it, how long do you think that real 

16          estate deal would take?  And if it took 

17          substantial time based on perhaps a ULURP -- 

18          a uniform land use review process -- through 

19          the City Council, what would that mean if you 

20          didn't get -- since the budget has to be done 

21          by April 1st, if there is this assumption 

22          that there's some money that you'll be 

23          getting from this and you don't get it, what 

24          happens?

                                                                  185

 1                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  You know, my 

 2          reading of it was not that it was required, 

 3          sale of the building, but was more 

 4          conditional.  That if the building was sold, 

 5          the resources would be invested in CUNY's 

 6          budget.

 7                 But I'm going to -- my colleague has 

 8          spent more time analyzing the budget than I 

 9          have.

10                 CUNY CFO SAPIENZA:  Yes, Assemblywoman 

11          Glick, I agree with the chancellor's review 

12          of that, that the language that was in the 

13          bill was conditional that if the building was 

14          sold, that resources from the proceeds of the 

15          sale would be then used for CUNY's senior 

16          college operating budget.  But it was 

17          conditional if the building is sold.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  And do you have 

19          plans to sell the building?

20                 CUNY CFO SAPIENZA:  The building is 

21          not technically for sale right now.  And you 

22          know, in terms of the number that you've 

23          mentioned earlier about $60 million, you 

24          know, I'm not aware of a formal appraisal.  

                                                                  186

 1          But the building is certainly worth more than 

 2          $60 million, the property is worth more than 

 3          $60 million.  But that I think was just a 

 4          stake in the ground that was put there in the 

 5          budget, and it doesn't necessarily mean that 

 6          that's the value of the building.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Sixty million 

 8          seems awfully close to what has been hanging 

 9          out as a request for the Hunter Science 

10          Building.  Does that --

11                 CUNY CFO SAPIENZA:  I think the 

12          request for the Hunter Science Building is -- 

13          it's significantly more than the 60 million.

14                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  But for the next 

15          stage.  So is this some suggestion by the 

16          Executive that perhaps you should be 

17          proceeding with the sale of that property?

18                 CUNY CFO SAPIENZA:  I don't believe 

19          that they're tied in.  But I think those are 

20          questions that you'd have to ask folks in the 

21          Executive.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

23                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

24                 Senator?  

                                                                  187

 1                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Senator Toby 

 2          Stavisky.

 3                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  I already did, but 

 4          I have one follow-up question.

 5                 (Cross-talk.)

 6                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  I have one 

 7          follow-up question on the sale of the 

 8          building.  Who would get the proceeds from 

 9          the sale?

10                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  I don't know 

11          that it's clear.  I think it says CUNY senior 

12          colleges.

13                 CUNY CFO SAPIENZA:  Right.  The 

14          language in the budget --

15                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Newspaper reports 

16          have indicated that it would go to the state.

17                 CUNY CFO SAPIENZA:  I think those are 

18          things that would have to be worked out, in 

19          terms of the ownership of the building and 

20          who gets the proceeds.  

21                 But as the chancellor mentioned, what 

22          the budget calls for is that $60 million of 

23          the proceeds would be used to support CUNY's 

24          senior college operating costs, which would 

                                                                  188

 1          be a positive thing for the university.

 2                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I'm sorry, Senator 

 4          Alcantara, I apologize for skipping over you.

 5                 SENATOR ALCANTARA:  Thank you, 

 6          Senator.

 7                 I want to congratulate you, 

 8          Chancellor, for being a supporter and a 

 9          champion of the DREAM Act.  My question is in 

10          terms of diversity.  Since 1998, 

11          Dominican-Americans represent the largest 

12          ethnic group -- national -- at CUNY.  And 

13          there has been an overall increase in student 

14          enrollment at CUNY, but the percentage of 

15          Dominican students' enrollment at CUNY has 

16          gone down.  What is CUNY doing to address 

17          this, since Dominican students are the 

18          largest group in the New York City public 

19          educational system?

20                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So thank you for 

21          continuing this conversation with me that we 

22          have started before.  

23                 But this is -- it is -- as you know, 

24          we are trying to get a better handle on 

                                                                  189

 1          disaggregating the data on the growth of all 

 2          populations.  The Latino population generally 

 3          has increased at CUNY over the last five 

 4          years, significantly.

 5                 We are working on a number of ways to 

 6          try to address the needs of the Dominican 

 7          community, and particularly the expansion of 

 8          programs, which you're aware of and have been 

 9          a big part of the discussions around, at CUNY 

10          in the Heights and other facilities in the 

11          neighborhood, to increase the opportunities 

12          for degree programs.  Our partner 

13          institutions also -- the BMCC, degree 

14          programs and continuing education adult 

15          programs.  And we have made a concerted 

16          effort to increase the number of degree 

17          programs there and at other locations.

18                 One of the things that we are going to 

19          try to do, in part because of our constraints 

20          on physical space in the future, is try to 

21          partner with more institutions throughout the 

22          city so that we can do a better job of 

23          expanding access throughout New York even 

24          where we don't have an existing CUNY physical 

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 1          presence today.  Part of that would be more 

 2          recruitment -- high school students, 

 3          expanding our programs that are Early College 

 4          and College Now, to get Dominican and other 

 5          students in the high school prepared for 

 6          college and get college credit under their 

 7          belt before they attend.

 8                 So a number of strategies which I'm 

 9          very pleased about which we will be 

10          increasing in the next few years.

11                 SENATOR ALCANTARA:  And I also see 

12          that both Dominican and Puerto Ricans 

13          constitute, like I said, the largest group at 

14          CUNY, but yet our enrollment in graduate 

15          schools is 10 percent and 12 percent, 

16          respectively.  What is the university going 

17          to do to address those issues?

18                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So there is, in 

19          fact, a concerted effort at the Graduate 

20          Center to increase the numbers of 

21          underrepresented populations in our graduate 

22          programs.  And they are making progress.  

23          There's much more to be done.  But this is 

24          something that we -- we realize similarly, we 

                                                                  191

 1          realize that while our comparison to 

 2          institutions nationally looks pretty good, 

 3          it's not good enough for CUNY in terms of the 

 4          representation in our faculty.  

 5                 So we spent a good deal of time with 

 6          our Board of Trustees last week looking at 

 7          the numbers, the progress, and the proposals 

 8          that we have in place to try, with a number 

 9          of different strategies, to increase the 

10          ranks in the faculty of underrepresented 

11          populations, as well as in our graduate 

12          programs.

13                 SENATOR ALCANTARA:  Great.  And my 

14          last question, in terms of faculty -- senator 

15          Stavisky touched upon it -- What is CUNY's 

16          plan to increase the number of full-time 

17          positions in the system?  Because right now 

18          we hear stories of part-time professors or 

19          non-tenure track professors that have to 

20          travel between two and three colleges, and 

21          they are earning salaries that are below the 

22          poverty line, sometimes without any access to 

23          healthcare or services.  I believe that if 

24          CUNY wants to be this model and we want to be 

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 1          the school for labor, we need to lead by 

 2          example, making sure that we provide benefits 

 3          for our part-time faculties and for our 

 4          non-tenure-track faculty.

 5                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  I agree with 

 6          you.  And I think we all agree that it is an 

 7          important priority for CUNY to increase both 

 8          the number of full-time faculty and the 

 9          proportion that they represent of total 

10          faculty.

11                 When we had available resources, under 

12          the predictable tuition policy, as we 

13          mentioned, we hired just under a thousand new 

14          full-time faculty.  This becomes a priority 

15          for us for investment.  As we talk about, as 

16          I responded to Chair Glick earlier, the 

17          various kinds of revenues that we hope to 

18          increase -- both private, state, city -- 

19          tuition and the reallocation of funds over 

20          the next few years, investment in faculty 

21          will be among the highest priorities that we 

22          have for the use of those funds.

23                 SENATOR ALCANTARA:  Thank you.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator 

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 1          Alcantara.  

 2                 And I'd like to point out, it's very 

 3          important to let the audience know that 

 4          Senator John Bonacic has just joined us.

 5                 Thank you.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Deborah Glick.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  One thing I 

 8          would like to explore briefly which has been 

 9          not alone with CUNY, but certainly we've seen 

10          it in the State University and I believe in 

11          private institutions as well, a drop in the 

12          number of students who are pursuing education 

13          courses and graduate programs in order to 

14          become teachers.  

15                 And I'm wondering if there has been 

16          any internal discussion about how to address 

17          this.  I know that there are folks who are 

18          participating in a Teach New York consortium 

19          to review how to improve and encourage more 

20          students to pursue this.  

21                 But, you know, for most of my years 

22          here, there was a certain level of teacher 

23          education that was a very important component 

24          of all of our colleges, and there has been a 

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 1          drop-off.  Some of that perhaps has been the 

 2          result of the political class blaming 

 3          teachers for everything.  And then why would 

 4          you, when you're not actually in charge of 

 5          poverty issues, why would you then pursue it?  

 6                 But are there other factors involved 

 7          that you have been discussing internally 

 8          about the drop-off in pursuing graduate 

 9          teaching degrees in order to become certified 

10          teachers in New York State?

11                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So some of that, 

12          I believe, that we're seeing at CUNY is 

13          related to increased competition from other 

14          institutions that are competing in new ways 

15          on price.  And so I think we've seen some 

16          decline in our graduate programs.  

17                 But we are concerned about that, and 

18          we have a working group addressing that.  And 

19          we have identified a number of strategies to 

20          help our students better prepare for tests, 

21          to help them, to support them in their work 

22          as education students.  

23                 You know, CUNY supplies -- I think 

24          it's roughly 40 percent of the teachers in 

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 1          New York City.  This is a virtuous cycle that 

 2          we have.  We get 60-some percent of the 

 3          New York City high school graduates who go on 

 4          to college, and we return 40 percent of their 

 5          teachers.  And so we have a stake in every 

 6          step of this cycle.  And so we're very 

 7          concerned about that.  We want to make sure 

 8          we have excellent students going into 

 9          teaching and that we are doing everything we 

10          can to prepare them to be successful when 

11          they're there.  

12                 But the provost has pulled together a 

13          working group on this very purpose.  

14                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Senator?  

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

17                 Next we have Senator Velmanette 

18          Montgomery.

19                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you, Madam 

20          Chair.  

21                 And hello, Chancellor.  And I want to 

22          start by complimenting you and the CUNY 

23          faculty, especially for the Youth Leadership 

24          Program that is run, where I've had any 

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 1          number of your students intern in my office 

 2          in the district.  And as a matter of fact, I 

 3          recently hired one of your students who 

 4          graduated from Brooklyn College.

 5                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you.

 6                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  So I'm very 

 7          pleased with that program.  And of course a 

 8          number of the students have been hired by 

 9          other members of the state.  So it's a good 

10          way for us to mentor and also for them to see 

11          how this business works.

12                 You mentioned the Early College 

13          Program, and so I just wanted to ask you a 

14          question about that.  I consider this one of 

15          the Opportunity Programs, as part of the 

16          opportunity system that we have.  And it was 

17          put in place a few years ago by the Regents 

18          and State Ed commissioner, and it seemed to 

19          have made a tremendous difference in students 

20          who may not have ordinarily considered 

21          college or been able to afford it 

22          immediately, to have a experience that 

23          projects them into college.

24                 And so I'm just wondering how you are 

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 1          working with that to hopefully expand it.  I 

 2          know a couple of the high schools in my 

 3          district that have participated in it, the 

 4          school graduation rate has improved 

 5          dramatically.  The curriculum is very 

 6          different, the number of students who manage 

 7          to get into school and to eventually graduate 

 8          from the college that they enter.  And it's 

 9          also really important for parents of students 

10          who really could not otherwise afford -- even 

11          though it's limited to maybe two years or a 

12          few credits, it's a tremendous help for 

13          parents who would not be able to afford 

14          college immediately for their children.

15                 So I care a lot about that, and I'm 

16          just wondering where you are with it and how 

17          much of that is reflected in this current 

18          budget to make it possible for you to expand 

19          it and do more.

20                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So thank you for 

21          that question.  It has expanded significantly 

22          during the three years I've been here.  We're 

23          proud of the program.  We do think it helps 

24          build a familiarity and a sort of pattern of 

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 1          success that will serve students well, 

 2          encouraging them to go to college and then 

 3          succeed there.

 4                 Now, I mentioned earlier that we are 

 5          engaged in a series of strategies that we 

 6          hope will significantly increase the 

 7          readiness and preparation of students and 

 8          have them be on a path, when they get to 

 9          CUNY, to succeed.  Early College is one of 

10          the key strategies, College Now, the new CUNY 

11          Tutor Corps to send our students into middle 

12          and high schools to role model and work with 

13          students, particularly in math and computer 

14          science.

15                 Other programs that we are putting in 

16          place so we can strengthen the tie between 

17          the public schools in New York and CUNY, that 

18          we can send role models into the classroom to 

19          show how they can be successful, that they 

20          can get college credit for free under their 

21          belt before they leave high school, and put 

22          them on a path to graduating on time.  These 

23          are all very important strategies that are 

24          part, I think, of what will allow us to get 

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 1          to the ultimate goal of getting people 

 2          college degrees in a timely way and having 

 3          them enjoy the benefits of that.

 4                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes, I appreciate 

 5          that.  And I just want to say that I'm a huge 

 6          believer in the pipeline process, so to the 

 7          extent that we can begin to connect the 

 8          different levels, it's going to make it much 

 9          more possible for more of the students, 

10          especially those difficult students -- or 

11          students who have the most difficulty in the 

12          system, to be able to connect.  

13                 And so I appreciate this part of the 

14          pipeline.  And I'm looking forward to 

15          strengthening that at every level.  So I 

16          appreciate your interest in it, and support 

17          of it.  And hopefully it doesn't get lost, as 

18          too many things that are really good, do.  

19          I'm looking forward to your continuing to be 

20          supportive of it.  So thank you very much.

21                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you very 

22          much.  

23                 Chris, do you want to say anything 

24          more about that, or did I --

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 1                 INTERIM VICE CHANCELLOR ROSA:  Only 

 2          that it's -- thank you, Chancellor.  

 3                 Senator, it's really proven -- having 

 4          those college credits under their belt for 

 5          those students has been a real important 

 6          kick-start to a pattern of academic momentum 

 7          that's really increased retention and 

 8          ultimately student outcomes.  So thank you 

 9          again for your interest and your leadership 

10          on it.

11                 SENATOR MONTGOMERY:   Absolutely.  

12          Thank you.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

14          much.  

15                 Our next speaker is Senator John 

16          Bonacic.

17                 SENATOR BONACIC:  First of all, good 

18          afternoon.  Thank you for being here.  I'd 

19          like to just share a couple of things on -- 

20          {inaudible; mic off}.  First of all, our 

21          chair, Cathy Young, is feeling terrible, and 

22          I see from this list that we're only on 

23          Speaker Number 2 and this started at 9:30.  

24          So, Cathy, you're in for a long day, I can 

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 1          see that. 

 2                 The second thing, when she says I'm 

 3          important, the people at this table that work 

 4          on the Education Committee, and have served, 

 5          have much more institutional knowledge than I 

 6          do.

 7                 So having said that, I don't mean to 

 8          repeat what some other speakers might have 

 9          said at 9:30 in the morning.  But I have 

10          reservations about the free tuition.  I think 

11          there are many reasons for this.  I have 

12          New Paltz and I have Delhi, upstate SUNY 

13          colleges.  And I've spoken to the people of 

14          my institutions, and what I'm concerned about 

15          is fairness in helping middle-class families.  

16          We give a billion dollars now in TAP aid.  

17          And so if we're going to -- and we want to 

18          help middle-class families and poor families.  

19          But fairness, always fairness.  

20                 And so I'm thinking, you know, the 

21          federal government has a work-and-forgive 

22          program to make sure that if we go down this 

23          path and we give free tuition, there should 

24          be a work requirement if they want the debt 

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 1          forgiven, like the federal government does:  

 2          Stay in New York, work in New York, and the 

 3          longer you're here, the diminished debt.  So 

 4          to me, that would be not a bad concept.

 5                 Now, I have a grandson and I have a 

 6          daughter.  And I went to maybe five or six 

 7          private and four-year colleges not in the 

 8          SUNY system.  And I wish my grandson went to 

 9          a SUNY school, just for the horrendous cost.  

10          He picked a school in Pennsylvania.  It was 

11          about $55,000 a year.  That's after taxes, my 

12          daughter has to pay, after taxes, to come up 

13          with $55,000 if there's no student aid.  

14          Okay?  

15                 But I had seen about five or six 

16          colleges; I went with him.  And I tell you 

17          what I see developing.  These colleges are 

18          building "Empire resorts" to entice students 

19          to come to these private and independent 

20          colleges at high tuition rates.  And yeah, 

21          you're going to get an education.  But 

22          everything is spectacular.  The gym, the 

23          swimming pool, the spas, the racing tracks, 

24          the buildings, everything.  

                                                                  203

 1                 And maybe, just maybe, we should be 

 2          concentrating on these colleges, private and 

 3          independent, that are raising these tuitions 

 4          without any conscience, making it impossible 

 5          for middle-class families to send their 

 6          children to school.

 7                 So I like a little bit what we're 

 8          doing.  If they're raising tuition, then we 

 9          cut back some of the aid that they get.  

10          Again, this is not your issue, and I don't 

11          mean to be taking your time.  But I won't get 

12          a chance to talk about higher education, and 

13          I thought this was a good forum and I'd share 

14          some of my thoughts.  Okay?

15                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you.

16                 SENATOR BONACIC:  And I would say to 

17          you, the younger generation is 25 percent of 

18          our population, they're a hundred percent of 

19          our future.  So we want them strong and 

20          intelligent to lead in the future.

21                 And I thank you, Mr. Milliken.

22                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you, 

23          Senator.  Just to respond quite briefly to 

24          that, I do, I think, agree with you that 

                                                                  204

 1          public higher education is one of the great 

 2          values in America for some of the reasons 

 3          that you stated.

 4                 About the work requirement, I would 

 5          simply cite a couple of statistics that would 

 6          lead me to believe that this may not be as 

 7          much of a concern when you're thinking about 

 8          investing in students who are going to CUNY.  

 9          Five years after they leave CUNY, 92 percent 

10          of our students are either working or 

11          pursuing a further degree.  Over 85 percent 

12          of them are doing it in New York City.

13                 So we're not educating people and 

14          sending them elsewhere, we're educating them, 

15          they're getting jobs, and they're doing it 

16          locally.  So I think that just speaks to the 

17          investment that you're making.

18                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Yeah.  What I'm 

19          worried about is the magnet of students 

20          coming from other states into New York to 

21          qualify to get the free education, and maybe 

22          they go back to where they came from, that's 

23          all.

24                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  That's an issue 

                                                                  205

 1          that would be important to you in terms of 

 2          residency requirements for in-state tuition, 

 3          for TAP, for -- in addition to Excelsior.  

 4          So ... 

 5                 SENATOR BONACIC:  Thank you.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator 

 7          Bonacic.  

 8                 Next, Senator Krueger.

 9                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

10                 Good afternoon.

11                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Hi.

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  So I actually -- I 

13          mean, you were listening when we were talking 

14          to the SUNY people.  I think Excelsior is 

15          probably less of a relevant discussion with 

16          CUNY.  

17                 Even though it doesn't sound like you 

18          have numbers either, as SUNY didn't, on what 

19          number of students you think it would impact, 

20          I would assume, given the demographics of the 

21          city and the population who goes to CUNY, 

22          we're not going to see 80,000 students 

23          suddenly eligible for Excelsior the first 

24          year because, one, you have a much poorer 

                                                                  206

 1          population of students than the SUNY system, 

 2          and so they're the TAP/Pell crowd, so to 

 3          speak, but not necessarily those who would 

 4          then need additional money for tuition beyond 

 5          that.  

 6                 But you also have a larger number of 

 7          students who have to work while going to 

 8          school because of their demographics and the 

 9          realities that they have families and 

10          children to care for.  And they're not your 

11          18-year-olds living on a college campus going 

12          to the dorm, for example.  

13                 So am I right to assume that when you 

14          do your calculations on the impact of the 

15          Excelsior program, you're not necessarily 

16          projecting a big impact on your university?

17                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Yes.  I think 

18          for the reasons that you suggested, we think 

19          our numbers will be less than will be 

20          expected at SUNY.

21                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  But you also talked 

22          about dealing with the growth in student 

23          population -- because you've just been having 

24          that, year in, year out -- by expanding your 

                                                                  207

 1          online programs.

 2                 I'm very nervous about expansion of 

 3          online, so I'd like you to delve into that a 

 4          little bit more.  One, there's different 

 5          kinds of online programs.  There's online 

 6          programs where you can see the TV commercials 

 7          or see the advertisements, even though 

 8          they're not supposed to really be legal in 

 9          the State of New York, for these universities 

10          that don't actually exist except virtually, 

11          and they have incredibly high drop-out rates 

12          of the students who sign up for the classes.  

13                 And there's online that you just watch 

14          a video, and there's online that is 

15          immediately interactive between a professor 

16          and the student.

17                 So tell me what your vision of 

18          expansion of online means.

19                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Sure.  So the 

20          first thing I would say is that I'm not the 

21          spokesperson for all online programs, any 

22          more than for all physical-delivery academic 

23          programs.  I am an advocate for CUNY's.  And 

24          our programs have been judged to be among the 

                                                                  208

 1          best in the country.  Last year we had the 

 2          number-one baccalaureate program in New York 

 3          online, and it was No. 11 in the nation, I 

 4          think, a bachelor's degree program.  

 5                 In my view, the only way that this 

 6          works is if the same talented faculty that 

 7          are in our classrooms are creating the 

 8          courses and teaching them online.  So the 

 9          brand promise, if you will, the commitment 

10          for CUNY, is that these are our faculty, our 

11          courses and degree programs, and our quality.  

12          And that, I feel fine about putting our 

13          imprimatur on.  

14                 And I think that there's increasing 

15          evidence that it will be an increasingly 

16          important part of meeting the gap, the 

17          education gap in this country.  And I think 

18          CUNY needs to be a part of that.  I think we 

19          should and we will expand our student 

20          population.  But part of that demand, I 

21          think, is going to have to be met with online 

22          delivery.  Not fully online programs, 

23          necessarily.  The students that I mentioned, 

24          10 percent taking an online course now and 

                                                                  209

 1          projected that it will reach 50 percent in 

 2          five years, those are people who are maybe 

 3          taking one or two courses, supplementing.  

 4                 I want our students to leave prepared 

 5          to continue their education throughout their 

 6          lives.  And the research today demonstrates 

 7          that students who graduate now are going to 

 8          change careers many times over the first 10 

 9          to 15 years of their life out of college.  

10          And they're going to have to retool.  And 

11          they're going to have to get new skills to be 

12          able to get a promotion or change careers.  

13                 I want them to do it at CUNY.  I don't 

14          want them going elsewhere.  I want them to be 

15          familiar with our offerings and want the 

16          quality that we offer.

17                 One of the other areas that we are 

18          committed to doing is expanding our ePermit 

19          program, which now provides the opportunity 

20          for students at any CUNY college to take a 

21          course at a different college and use it 

22          towards their graduation at their home 

23          campus.  This may be one way that we can 

24          address some of the capacity issues.  It 

                                                                  210

 1          won't be the total answer, but I think that 

 2          it provides an opportunity for us, one, in 

 3          terms of capacity and, two, in terms of 

 4          students who may want -- may not be able to 

 5          get the course that they need at their home 

 6          campus, may want something offered at another 

 7          campus, and there's no reason why we 

 8          shouldn't be able to accommodate them.  

 9                 So for the first time, this year we 

10          put the total course catalog for all of CUNY 

11          online for our students to be able to look at 

12          it and see if there were courses across the 

13          entire university that they want to take.

14                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And then you talked 

15          about, I guess in answering a colleague's 

16          question about expansion of graduate 

17          programs -- and you referenced the Graduate 

18          Center, which is in my district.  

19                 So my understanding was the Graduate 

20          Center had actually decreased the number of 

21          students it was accepting, put a fairly 

22          strict limit on each department taking new 

23          students every year.  So is there some change 

24          that's being anticipated that would actually 

                                                                  211

 1          increase the number of graduate student slots 

 2          available?  

 3                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Well, in terms 

 4          of increasing the number of graduate 

 5          students, both at the Graduate Center and at 

 6          colleges across CUNY, we're looking at 

 7          expanding master's programs, and that would 

 8          increase the numbers of graduate students.  

 9          In particular, an area that I think is 

10          particularly promising is the professional 

11          master's programs in some of the science and 

12          technology fields.

13                 But my response here was about 

14          increasing the diversity in our graduate 

15          programs and that we have developed 

16          strategies for that, as well as increasing 

17          the diversity in our undergraduate programs 

18          at our most selective senior college 

19          programs.  One of the initiatives that we're 

20          undertaking now is to expand the Macaulay 

21          Honors program so that we can bring more 

22          community college transfer students, 

23          high-performing students who started at 

24          community college into that marquee honors 

                                                                  212

 1          program at CUNY, which we think will have the 

 2          effect of increasing the diversity of that 

 3          honors program.

 4                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  And then in 

 5          follow-up to a question that was answered 

 6          earlier that despite the efforts, the ratio 

 7          of adjunct part-time professors to full-time 

 8          professors continues to be, in my opinion, a 

 9          serious problem -- and I think the number was 

10          one to 1.66, is that -- so, close to 2 to 1.

11                 I am told there's some research, but I 

12          haven't seen it, that there is far more grade 

13          inflation among adjunct professors' classes, 

14          because the adjuncts need to keep the job and 

15          so they give higher grades to be a more 

16          popular teacher.  And I get it, if I'm an 

17          adjunct who's running between three campuses 

18          to try to hold together barely enough money 

19          to pay the rent on whatever it is that I get 

20          for three classes a semester.  

21                 But I'm just wondering, is there 

22          research from CUNY that shows that?  Or have 

23          you seen any research like that?

24                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  I don't know.  

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 1          And no.  

 2                 But there are many other reasons for 

 3          increasing the number of full-time faculty.  

 4          Full-time faculty are able to advise students 

 5          and spend more time in the academic 

 6          community.  In fact, one of the tasks we have 

 7          now is to try to understand how we can free 

 8          up more time for our full-time faculty to 

 9          spend on academic advising for students, 

10          which I think is one of the great benefits 

11          that we would have.

12                 So there are a lot of reasons to do 

13          it.  I hadn't heard that one.  I don't know 

14          about the research, but I'll ask about it.

15                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  I guess I would ask 

16          you -- I would assume, in your system, it 

17          wouldn't be that hard to do runs on the 

18          averages and median grades from different 

19          kinds of professors in different colleges, 

20          but holding it to apples and apples, not 

21          bananas and grapefruit, I understand that.  

22                 But the reason I ask is not to be 

23          critical of adjuncts, because that's not my 

24          intent, but to make the point that we are 

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 1          potentially -- because we are failing to 

 2          deliver the ratio of full-time faculty who in 

 3          fact then do student advising, et cetera, et 

 4          cetera, that we may in fact be lowering the 

 5          standards of what a degree from CUNY means if 

 6          everybody is in a rush to make sure you don't 

 7          drop out, make sure you get done soon.  

 8          Right?  That's the message very much in the 

 9          Excelsior scholarship incentive.  

10                 So let's get them through quickly, but 

11          I also want them to come through with a 

12          quality education and not end up in a 

13          situation where we were so excited about 

14          increasing the rate at which they graduate 

15          and filling more slots -- because everybody 

16          can watch a computer video in their own 

17          home -- and a grade-inflation scenario.  

18                 Because again, to highlight, I guess, 

19          Senator Bonacic's point, we can compete with 

20          all those incredibly expensive private 

21          universities, but we need to make sure that 

22          we aren't trapping ourselves into a lower 

23          standard of expectations from our students -- 

24          not because of any fault of the students, but 

                                                                  215

 1          because we were -- what is the -- the mouse 

 2          on the wheel, what's that expression?  Right, 

 3          we were so rushing to keep the wheel going 

 4          that we didn't actually stop and ask some of 

 5          the right questions about the quality of the 

 6          education.

 7                 So thank you very much, Chancellor.

 8                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

10                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Just one question.  

11          The budget includes about $401 million this 

12          year in critical maintenance or capital 

13          funding for the CUNY system.  What are the 

14          CUNY major capital needs right now?

15                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Our major 

16          capital needs in terms of the funding that's 

17          provided for critical maintenance?

18                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Yeah, the in and 

19          out.  What would be covered and what else is 

20          it?

21                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  So I will be 

22          happy to make sure you have a copy of this 

23          book (indicating), which has a five-year plan 

24          in it for addressing the critical maintenance 

                                                                  216

 1          priorities across the system.  

 2                 I can assure you that that money will 

 3          be extremely well used and is very necessary 

 4          at each of our colleges, and the priorities 

 5          are laid out in this document.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 7                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you, 

 8          Mr. Chairman.

 9                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

10          much.

11                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

12                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

14                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you.  

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  See you next year.

16                 CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN:  Thank you.  

17                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  11:30 a.m., New 

18          York State Education Department, MaryEllen 

19          Elia, commissioner.  

20                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Good afternoon.

21                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Good afternoon.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Hi, Commissioner.

23                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  So, Chairs Young, 

24          Farrell, LaValle and Glick, and members of 

                                                                  217

 1          the Senate and Assembly here today, my name 

 2          is MaryEllen Elia, and I'm the New York State 

 3          Commissioner of Education.

 4                 I'm joined today by Deputy 

 5          Commissioner for the Office of Higher 

 6          Education John D'Agati, Deputy Commissioner 

 7          for the Office of Professions Doug Lentivech, 

 8          and Deputy Commissioner for the Office of 

 9          Adult Career and Continuing Education 

10          Services Kevin Smith.

11                 You have my full testimony before you.  

12          And I know you have many more people in this 

13          room who are anxious to speak to you as well, 

14          so for their sake and yours, I will be brief.

15                 The Regents' priorities in higher 

16          education are laser-focused on equity, 

17          quality, and access to postsecondary 

18          education opportunities, particularly for 

19          underrepresented students.  Because we know 

20          from the multiple indicators, as you can see 

21          on Slides 2 through 4, college completion 

22          leads to better employment opportunities and 

23          higher income.

24                 On Slide 5, the Regents recommend an 

                                                                  218

 1          increase of $11.6 million for Higher 

 2          Education Opportunity Programs.  A number of 

 3          you, as I listened to the testimony today and 

 4          the questions, are focused on that.  We are 

 5          too.  These programs provide access to 

 6          postsecondary education for students that are 

 7          at the highest risk of either not attending 

 8          college or not completing a degree.

 9                 We appreciate the strong support that 

10          you have demonstrated in this area.  These 

11          programs work, and your support and funding 

12          has truly made a difference.  Over 36,000 

13          students are served by one of these programs.  

14          And with investments we've recommended, we 

15          would reach more than 40,000 students across 

16          the state.

17                 I also want to thank you for your 

18          investments in Early College High Schools and 

19          P-TECH programs.  And as you can see on 

20          Slides 10 and 11, these investments have also 

21          been very successful.  We are encouraged that 

22          there is funding for the programs in the 

23          Executive Budget.  

24                 Our access and opportunity agenda also 

                                                                  219

 1          indicates and includes enactment of the New 

 2          York State Dreamers Act.  The Regents and the 

 3          department have long been advocates for this 

 4          important legislation, which is highlighted 

 5          on Slide 12.  We're glad to see this proposal 

 6          is in the budget, and we are hopeful that 

 7          this is the year when the Dreamers Act is 

 8          finally signed into law and young New Yorkers 

 9          are no longer punished for decisions that 

10          they ultimately had no control over.

11                 As you negotiate this budget, please 

12          remember that our workforce and the workforce 

13          pipeline are the state's most important 

14          infrastructure and our best economic 

15          development program.  A state-of-the-art 

16          workforce pipeline does not depend only on 

17          traditional college pathways.  As you can see 

18          on Slide 13, the Regents are requesting a 

19          $10 million investment in Bridge Programs 

20          which will enable out-of-school kids and 

21          adults to obtain essential, basic skills.

22                 On Slides 15 to 20, we provide you 

23          with updates on the work of the Office of 

24          Professions.  And I want to bring particular 

                                                                  220

 1          attention to the e-licensing on Slide 18.  

 2                 In 2009, the Legislature approved a 

 3          15 percent registration fee increase so we 

 4          could replace a 35-year-old COBOL-based 

 5          licensing structure and enhance our customer 

 6          experience.  And we again thank you for your 

 7          bipartisan efforts to make these resources 

 8          available to the department.

 9                 For several years, we actively 

10          explored with other agencies a statewide 

11          licensing solution.  But due to the complex 

12          licensing and credentialing needs, we have 

13          concluded that a custom-built system is 

14          really the only solution.  The department has 

15          begun to develop and roll out online license 

16          applications, but this is only the very 

17          beginning of the work that needs to be done.  

18                 We are requesting authority to spend 

19          up to $4.3 million in funds that we have on 

20          hand in the professions account to develop 

21          that system.  Unfortunately, it was not 

22          included in the proposed budget.  

23                 This action would have no fiscal 

24          impact to the state.  It would simply 

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 1          increase our spending authority to use 

 2          existing resources.  The failure to get this 

 3          spending authority has been a significant 

 4          barrier in our efforts to serve our 

 5          constituents.  We request that you allow us 

 6          to utilize these existing resources to build 

 7          a system that licensed professionals deserve.  

 8                 On Slide 21, we highlight another 

 9          significant barrier faced by the department 

10          as we seek to better serve your constituents.  

11          The department is in dire need of resources.  

12          In too many program offices, there's only one 

13          person performing critical tasks.  I've heard 

14          from many of you about constituents that need 

15          assistance accelerating applications, 

16          licenses, or certifications.  We want to be 

17          able to better and more quickly provide 

18          services to New Yorkers, but too many of 

19          those offices are at a breaking point.  

20                 In the past few years, the department 

21          has taken on several new responsibilities, 

22          including implementing new licensed 

23          professions, establishing new teacher and 

24          leader registration requirements, and 

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 1          conducting audits related to the Enough is 

 2          Enough initiative.  No new resources have 

 3          accompanied any of these responsibilities 

 4          and, quite simply, it's no longer 

 5          sustainable.  

 6                 There are additional no-cost actions 

 7          you could take which would help us on this 

 8          front.  For example, consider our request for 

 9          institution accreditation on Slide 22.  The 

10          department is, as far as we know, the only 

11          state education agency in the United States 

12          authorized by the United States Department of 

13          Education to accredit institutions of higher 

14          education.  However, we receive no dedicated 

15          resources to conduct this work, and we have 

16          in the past requested spending authority to 

17          charge and spend fees to support 

18          accreditation services.  

19                 There are currently 19 institutions of 

20          higher education in New York accredited by 

21          the Regents, like the Cold Spring Harbor 

22          Laboratory, the Gerstner School at 

23          Sloan-Kettering, and we know that others are 

24          interested in pursuing accreditation through 

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 1          the board.  It would cost the state nothing 

 2          to allow the department to charge a modest 

 3          fee for institutions and use those revenues 

 4          to support that function.  

 5                 Again, that no-cost action would allow 

 6          us to continue to accredit institutions that 

 7          would otherwise have to pay much higher fees 

 8          to another outside accreditation agency.  

 9          Absent a fix in this area, it will be very 

10          difficult to continue to provide this 

11          service.  

12                 Before I take your questions, I want 

13          to again thank you for the opportunity to 

14          discuss our priorities with you, and we look 

15          forward to working with you this year in our 

16          shared goals, and I look forward to your 

17          discussion.  

18                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

19          much.  

20                 Assemblywoman Glick, Chairperson 

21          Glick.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  It's great to 

23          see you, Commissioner.

24                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Good afternoon.

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 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  We worked very 

 2          hard to ensure that you could, for the 

 3          purpose of improving service to the 

 4          professions, increase license fees.  That was 

 5          supported by the professions with the 

 6          understanding that they would at some point 

 7          be given better -- quicker service.  Better 

 8          is not -- you always give excellent service.  

 9          But this would help to streamline your 

10          processes.  

11                 Have you been given any explanation as 

12          to why the funds which were raised with a 

13          specific purpose in mind, which would help to 

14          streamline your operations, have not yet been 

15          released by the Division of Budget?  

16                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Well, remember 

17          we've been working for several years on what 

18          might be an opportunity to have a system that 

19          in fact could be used in other places across 

20          the state.  But because of the uniqueness of 

21          the system that needs to be developed -- for 

22          instance, a hunting license and seeking a 

23          hunting license is very different than the 

24          licensure of a physician.

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 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  We would hope.

 2                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  And I'm pointing 

 3          out to two very different positions.  But I 

 4          think it's important to know that we have 

 5          moved forward ourselves to putting online the 

 6          registration, the beginning registration, but 

 7          there's much behind the scenes that needs to 

 8          be developed.  Doug Lentivech could give you 

 9          some additional information on that.  

10                 But I want to point out to you that we 

11          are very interested in efficiencies, because 

12          we understand -- we want to be more efficient 

13          at the department, and as these systems get 

14          put online, everything about it becomes more 

15          efficient.  We've worked years to try to come 

16          up with a way that we can do that with 

17          others, but ours is unique, we believe.  And 

18          in those discussions with the other agencies, 

19          we realize that -- and I think they 

20          realize -- that it's not something that can 

21          be done within the context of other 

22          licensing.  

23                 So Doug?

24                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH:  Sure.  

                                                                  226

 1          Thank you, Commissioner.  

 2                 Thank you for the question, 

 3          Assemblywoman.  This has been a long, long 

 4          process of getting to where we are today, as 

 5          you know.  And right now we're engaged in 

 6          getting all our professions at least to the 

 7          point where they can apply online with the 

 8          first part of their application, and we're 

 9          very excited about that.  But that's a small 

10          part of the project that we engaged upon with 

11          the Executive, and we've been engaging on it 

12          for my entire time, I think, here at State 

13          Ed.

14                 And what we hope to do is to develop 

15          an e-licensing system so that all our systems 

16          talk together so we don't really need to have 

17          a lot of clerical work, moving papers back 

18          and forth, and we can spend the agency's time 

19          on the more difficult questions, the question 

20          of comparability of programs and things like 

21          that.  

22                 We think we have a plan that gets us 

23          there, but I think the point is that it's 

24          going to take a little bit of money that we 

                                                                  227

 1          have to do that.

 2                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  But those 

 3          resources have already been received from the 

 4          various professions that, as I recall, were 

 5          very -- it was a modest increase that hadn't 

 6          been changed in many, many years.  And so the 

 7          resources exist, you're just not authorized 

 8          at this point to spend them, and that's what 

 9          you're asking for; right?

10                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Yes.

11                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

12                 We had some earlier conversation with 

13          the SUNY and CUNY system, particularly CUNY, 

14          around the issue of the drop-off in teachers, 

15          teacher graduate students.  And I think there 

16          are many factors.  In some parts of the 

17          state, there just aren't jobs.  The tax cap 

18          limits the jobs people -- if you're in a 

19          small town and you see that a couple of 

20          teachers have been let go, you might not be 

21          encouraged to spend four to five years 

22          pursuing that as a profession.  

23                 But it has had an impact.  And I know 

24          you have some material in here.  Could you 

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 1          just speak to where you're headed in hopes of 

 2          ensuring that as we have retirements across 

 3          the state, that we actually have sufficient 

 4          numbers of teachers in the coming years?

 5                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Well, I'm glad you 

 6          brought that up.  I think it's a very 

 7          important issue.  And from the perspective of 

 8          what we can do to ensure that we have quality 

 9          teachers in front of our classrooms, it has 

10          to be the all-consuming question.  

11                 I don't think there's anyone that 

12          would doubt the importance of a quality 

13          teacher in making sure that students meet 

14          success.  There's been a number of things 

15          done, and I want to put it into context.  You 

16          alluded to the issue of when teachers have 

17          been laid off in a district, in a community, 

18          in an area around the state.  And I can go 

19          back into the 2009 through 2013, '14 years, 

20          when in fact we had massive layoffs across 

21          the state because of decreasing funds.  

22                 All of those things affected the 

23          mindset of people who are going into college 

24          and deciding what their major is going to be.  

                                                                  229

 1          And so people I think were less apt to think 

 2          about teaching, if that was the case and they 

 3          saw that, and it was covered very heavily in 

 4          the press.

 5                 One of the other things that was 

 6          mentioned in some of the earlier conversation 

 7          was that we have vilified teachers nationally 

 8          in the press, and that has caused people to 

 9          say, Why would I go into a profession that is 

10          so difficult to have people be considered 

11          actual professionals?  

12                 We think that there's a number of 

13          things that need to be done.  And I'm 

14          co-chairing, with Chancellor Zimpher, the 

15          Teach New York agenda.  And those factors 

16          have been laid out, and we have discussions 

17          and roundtable groups -- and some of you, in 

18          fact, are involved in that.

19                 The big issue, we believe, is that we 

20          have to shift the focus on support for 

21          teachers who are in the programs themselves.

22                 We recently had an edTPA committee 

23          that met for a number of months made up of 

24          practitioners, both in the K-12 system and in 

                                                                  230

 1          the colleges and university systems.  And as 

 2          we received the recommendations -- and I 

 3          know, Chair Glick, you were at that 

 4          meeting -- it really is important for us to 

 5          look at all of the factors that are involved 

 6          in the certification process now.  And we're 

 7          doing that.  We believe there should be some 

 8          changes in assessments.  We're doing that.  

 9                 We also know that to be a successful 

10          teacher in our schools, they have to have 

11          experiences during their college prep 

12          programs where they actually are in schools.  

13          And so the recommendation came from that 

14          committee to expand the teacher opportunities 

15          in schools with teachers in our classrooms.  

16                 But then they have to have teachers 

17          identified in the classroom who are leaders 

18          in curriculum and understanding and great 

19          teachers themselves, to help those new 

20          teachers become better.  That in and of 

21          itself is important.  And we have, over the 

22          last several years, had a decrease in the 

23          number of teachers that are willing to take 

24          student teachers.  So we need to address 

                                                                  231

 1          those issues.  

 2                 There are a number of factors we think 

 3          are important.  We'll be looking very closely 

 4          at the recommendations from the edTPA 

 5          committee, and from Teach New York, to 

 6          address those issues.  We are asking 

 7          specifically for $800,000 in new funding to 

 8          double the number of teacher certification 

 9          exam vouchers.  We have had testimony from 

10          across the state -- and in fact, there are 

11          people that go into teaching and at the end 

12          of the four years they're stressed out on 

13          finances, and we are asking them then to 

14          complete these assessments, and the 

15          assessment fees are going to be, we hope, 

16          through having additional vouchers, be 

17          dropped for a number of individuals.  

18                 And we are also asking for a $160,000 

19          increase in the Albert Shanker grant.  This 

20          gives us the opportunity to actually work on 

21          making teaching the profession that it should 

22          be, with the kinds of respect that comes with 

23          that.  And teachers that are going through 

24          the teacher certification, and then to become 

                                                                  232

 1          master teachers, is all part of that.  

 2                 We're also working very closely with 

 3          teachers -- the unions, specifically -- on 

 4          ways that we can support teachers in the 

 5          profession and that they can become teacher 

 6          leaders in their school.  

 7                 All of those things contribute to the 

 8          issue of what makes me want to become a 

 9          teacher.

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

11          much.

12                 I know that I will be having a meeting 

13          with some of your staff later this week to 

14          discuss the issue around the Tuition 

15          Assistance Program and how campuses are 

16          supposed to make certain that students who 

17          are receiving financial aid move through to 

18          completion.  I just want to say here -- 

19          (clearing throat).  Excuse me.  I hope that 

20          the wind has not been blowing from that side 

21          to this.  

22                 (Laughter.)

23                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  But I do want to 

24          say that one of the concerns I have is if you 

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 1          are not a student on financial aid and you 

 2          have taken your general ed courses and you 

 3          start to take what you think is your major, 

 4          but because of friends or you take a course 

 5          and all of a sudden you realize that you 

 6          really don't want to be a history major but 

 7          you want to be a physics major, that you can 

 8          do that without anybody looking over your 

 9          shoulder.

10                 And I am concerned that whether it's 

11          regulations or whether it is something that 

12          we have to change in statute, that we, in 

13          working with the HESC, which will administer 

14          TAP, that we ensure that we don't have a 

15          two-tier system where someone whose exposure 

16          to the wide range of options of professions 

17          is not stymied in pursuing that course of 

18          study because they change horses in 

19          midstream.  

20                 There are lots of people who have 

21          started in one direction and realized, maybe 

22          because they never had the opportunity to see 

23          something else, that they want to go in a 

24          different direction.  And I just want to be 

                                                                  234

 1          certain that we are not penalizing TAP 

 2          recipients from pursuing that, or 

 3          discouraging their campuses because of 

 4          required recordkeeping and, if it isn't 

 5          properly maintained, that they wind up being 

 6          in a situation where they're either fined or 

 7          the resources are clawed back.  

 8                 And this is an issue that arose on one 

 9          campus, but I have since learned it's in 

10          numerous campuses.  So I just want to find 

11          out if, off the top of any of the heads 

12          sitting in front of me, whether they think 

13          it's issues with regulations or is it 

14          statutory direction that we should be 

15          addressing.

16                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Well, I will pass 

17          this to John D'Agati in just a moment.  But 

18          let me point out that most people who go to 

19          college go into college not really certain of 

20          what they want to do.  My experience is that 

21          students very often change not only one time, 

22          but maybe two or three times.  I had that 

23          experience with my own children, and I can 

24          tell you that their friends were equally like 

                                                                  235

 1          that.  And in many cases, that is an 

 2          important part of the process of becoming an 

 3          adult, trying things and then realizing you 

 4          want to do something else.  

 5                 We had that issue come up.  We're very 

 6          anxious to speak with you about it.  I can 

 7          have John give you some more specifics.  But 

 8          we don't think that that in fact, the TAP 

 9          program, should be excluded from supporting 

10          some of the changes that come in students' 

11          lives.

12                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER D'AGATI:  I would 

13          echo what the commissioner just said.  We 

14          want to provide as much flexibility as 

15          possible.  

16                 And to your point, some of it is 

17          statutory, some of it is regulatory, and we 

18          could work through how we can provide 

19          additional flexibility.  We have some ideas 

20          that we can certainly discuss with you.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Well, that's 

22          good to hear.  

23                 Do you think that -- we're going to be 

24          embarking perhaps, perhaps, on a new 

                                                                  236

 1          scholarship program, and that's a 15-credit 

 2          load per year.  And since the department 

 3          deals with kids who are at risk and have gone 

 4          through various programs -- CSTEP and Liberty 

 5          Partnership and so forth -- do you have any 

 6          thoughts, since TAP is viewed as full-time at 

 7          12 credits and this is 15 credits, do you 

 8          have any thoughts about -- from your 

 9          experience dealing particularly with at-risk 

10          youngsters?

11                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  So prior to me 

12          coming up, I think we heard some questions 

13          specifically related to part-time students 

14          and accessing TAP.  I think that for many of 

15          our students who are at risk whose families 

16          are living at or slightly above the poverty 

17          level, and they're in school, that idea that 

18          they have to be full-time has been disruptive 

19          for them and very often causes them not to 

20          stay.

21                 But let me point out what I think may 

22          be the possibilities of the new Excelsior 

23          program.  You know, we have -- we've put 

24          ourselves in silos in education for many 

                                                                  237

 1          years.  We think of ourselves as a P-12, and 

 2          then we think of a two-year, then we think 

 3          beyond that another two-year, and then post 

 4          that, we think of up to 20.  So wouldn't this 

 5          be exciting if we could think about how we 

 6          could, at various times in a student's 

 7          education, provide opportunities for them?  

 8                 We have slides that I think are 

 9          powerful to look at the importance of 

10          students having access to higher level 

11          coursework while they are in high school.  We 

12          currently have dual-enrollment programs 

13          across the state, in this country.  We have 

14          Advanced Placement, we have International 

15          Baccalaureate, we have our programs for Early 

16          College High School, we have our P-TECH 

17          programs.  If there's one thing that all of 

18          those programs tell us, it's that they're 

19          successful.  

20                 There are specific studies that have 

21          been done on students who have been exposed 

22          to higher-level coursework before they left 

23          high school.  Number one, many students don't 

24          really get it that they can do that level of 

                                                                  238

 1          work.  They take that, they know they have to 

 2          work harder.  I myself have been very 

 3          involved in those programs, and I will tell 

 4          you that students themselves, the position, 

 5          the way they see themselves in the context of 

 6          what can I do, can I be successful -- they 

 7          get pumped up when in fact they get into one 

 8          of those programs and they realize that they 

 9          are seeing this material from a level that's 

10          a higher level.  

11                 And therefore, 26 percent of the 

12          students who have had exposure -- not 

13          necessarily getting, on an AP exam, a 3, 4, 

14          or 5, but taking that course -- are more apt 

15          to graduate in four years from a university 

16          or college.  They go to college, they 

17          understand they have to be more serious about 

18          it, they develop better study skills, they're 

19          exposed to higher levels of reading and 

20          higher levels of anticipation of their work.  

21                 And so we believe that there are 

22          possibilities here where we should take 

23          ourselves out of those silos and start to 

24          build the program where the Excelsior 

                                                                  239

 1          Scholarship that's provided a portion of 

 2          that, could be provided at the high school 

 3          level -- and we have multiple programs in 

 4          that now.  

 5                 And so you would then be taking some 

 6          of the pressures off of our colleges and 

 7          universities in space, in terms of the staff 

 8          that they'd need to be able to handle the new 

 9          students coming in under the new scholarship 

10          program.  All of this could be done in making 

11          our high schools more efficient, more focused 

12          on higher-level coursework, at the same time 

13          moving forward in that 12 to 14 to 16 level.

14                 So ultimately, where we would be would 

15          be providing, equitably across the state, 

16          opportunities for students to take 

17          higher-level coursework.  Which we know from 

18          all the programming and the studies is a very 

19          important part of moving forward 

20          academically.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very, 

22          very much, Commissioner.

23                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Are you in favor 

24          of getting rid of those silos?

                                                                  240

 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I believe that 

 2          communication and collaboration is not only a 

 3          positive thing, but a small-D democratic way 

 4          to operate.

 5                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Thank you.  I do 

 6          too.

 7                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Senator?  

 8                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you very 

 9          much.  

10                 And we've been joined by Senator Todd 

11          Kaminsky and Senator Robert Ortt.  

12                 And our next speaker is Senator Toby 

13          Stavisky.

14                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Excuse me.  We've 

15          been also joined by Assemblywoman Earlene 

16          Hooper.

17                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you, 

18          Commissioner, for your testimony today.  I 

19          get a feeling I heard this last year.

20                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Pardon me?  

21                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  I said I have a 

22          feeling of dÈj‡ vu, where I heard a lot of 

23          this same testimony last year.

24                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  From me?

                                                                  241

 1                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yes.

 2                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  You're right.

 3                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Shows you I was 

 4          paying attention.  

 5                 And to follow up on Assemblywoman 

 6          Glick's questions about the increase in fees 

 7          for licensure, I asked that question last 

 8          year.  And I asked if that money had been 

 9          reappropriated.  And what you're telling us 

10          is that it has been reappropriated, but it's 

11          being held up by the Division of the Budget.  

12          Am I --

13                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Yes.

14                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  I also asked last 

15          year about licensure requirements and the 

16          speed with which you're able to accomplish 

17          the renewal of the various 50-some-odd 

18          professions.  Has that improved at all?

19                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  I'm going to ask 

20          Doug Lentivech to give you -- I think we have 

21          some specifics on it.

22                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH:  Yes.  

23          With what we have available, we're moving in 

24          a lot of different initiatives.  

                                                                  242

 1                 And I think right now -- 10 years ago 

 2          we were a very paper-dominated organization 

 3          in terms of -- most places were.  We right 

 4          now, while we do not have the electronic 

 5          system that we would love to have, we convert 

 6          things electronically immediately, so we work 

 7          in the electronic environment we need to.  

 8          And we see that that has really increased our 

 9          ability to initially license people.  

10                 And our online registration, everybody 

11          is able to reregister online.  You know, 

12          every three years you reregister.  Everybody 

13          is able to do that.  And that's taken 

14          advantage of by in the 90 -- the upper 

15          90 percent of people do that.  So they just 

16          do that overnight.  It's a changing world.

17                 And we do need the licensing platform 

18          we're talking about.  That will change things 

19          radically.  But we haven't sat still either.

20                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  And if I can point 

21          to Slide 16, there's one number I think you 

22          can remember, because it really caught my 

23          attention.  

24                 We have taken in more than a million 

                                                                  243

 1          emails and telephone inquiries in 2016.  So, 

 2          I mean, just the demands on staff is they're 

 3          doing everything -- responding to emails and 

 4          telephone inquiries are absolutely critical.  

 5          Our professionals across the State of 

 6          New York, and people interested in getting in 

 7          the professions, deserve to have responses 

 8          when they have questions.  But those are some 

 9          of the constraints.

10                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  And after the 

11          hearing, and probably for another six months 

12          or so, Commissioner Lentivech and I had a 

13          number of email conversations -- you know, 

14          email and telephone conversations --

15                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  So you were 

16          included in the million.

17                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  (Laughing.)  Well, 

18          no, I think I jacked up that number because 

19          there were repeated conversations.

20                 But I was concerned about one aspect, 

21          and I mentioned it last year, that an 

22          individual -- and we allegedly have a nursing 

23          shortage -- was trying to get accredited from 

24          a Philippine university, where she had a 

                                                                  244

 1          bachelor's degree in nursing.  And I went 

 2          online -- I guess maybe that's another one of 

 3          your hits online -- a number of times, and 

 4          not only checked out the university -- it was 

 5          a legitimate one with a hospital attached, 

 6          this is not one of the scams.  

 7                 And you require this organization, 

 8          called CGFNS, to handle the accreditation or 

 9          the acceptance of foreign licensures.  And 

10          you indicated that the student didn't have to 

11          do this.  I've discovered that they do have 

12          to go through this one particular 

13          organization.  

14                 My first question is, was there a 

15          competitive bidding in selecting this group?

16                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH:  I 

17          think the short answer is that the only group 

18          that exists out there currently to do it is 

19          CGFNS.

20                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  That's what I 

21          assumed.

22                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH:  And 

23          they do not have to use them.  They have to 

24          use -- they have to try to get us the 

                                                                  245

 1          documents that are real documents from the 

 2          school.  It's very difficult for us as a 

 3          department to do that and to go all the other 

 4          places, so we try to have people use an 

 5          organization like CGFNS that does it.  

 6                 They are the only ones that do it 

 7          right now, but in the last -- since we spoke 

 8          last year at this very hearing, we've been 

 9          trying to get other organizations interested 

10          in doing this so there are more organizations 

11          to make it easier for us to get this.

12                 We've also -- we have in place a 

13          policy that if somebody isn't getting results 

14          within six month's period of time, we will 

15          then take control of it and start to reach 

16          out and try to make the effort to reach out 

17          to those schools themselves directly and do 

18          that.  And that's what we do in any case when 

19          it reaches a six-month period.  

20                 We would do it initially if we had to.  

21          The thing is is that it would be a disservice 

22          to the student not to use one of these 

23          organizations that have actually boots on the 

24          ground in the Philippines or in various 

                                                                  246

 1          communities.  

 2                 It's one of the struggles we have of 

 3          getting direct source verification from 

 4          schools that -- the school is good, we know 

 5          the school -- we realize the school might be 

 6          good.  To realize that particular student has 

 7          credentials from there starts to be another 

 8          level of inquiry that's difficult for us to 

 9          do, one that we would hope that e-licensing 

10          might change the playing field on that as 

11          well.

12                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  You know that I 

13          represent a district of many immigrants, and 

14          this is a particular issue for many of the 

15          people who were not educated in the 

16          United States but who are coming here to live 

17          and have a green card and all of that.

18                 However, that's not what your website 

19          says.  It says you've got to use this 

20          organization.  And they charge $390 to do it 

21          online.  And if there's no response within 

22          one year, you've got to reapply.  And it's 

23          another, I think, $160 or something.

24                 I know my time is up, but the 

                                                                  247

 1          individual I'm talking about, all she did -- 

 2          all she received back was they mailed you a 

 3          package with her transcript and diploma.  It 

 4          took them 11 months to do it -- this was last 

 5          year -- and cost her almost $400.  And I 

 6          think that's an area that needs further -- 

 7          and also your website says you've got to use 

 8          this group, and I'm concerned.  

 9                 And what bothers me even more is the 

10          exam that's given by Pearson.  Was Pearson 

11          selected with competitive bids?

12                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH:  For 

13          the nursing examination?  

14                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yes.

15                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH:  That 

16          is the nationwide exam.  We use a nationwide 

17          exam.  It isn't a New York competitive-bid 

18          organization.  

19                 As far as the website, I think you'll 

20          find that that's a link that doesn't exist 

21          anymore.  After I spoke to you last year, I 

22          directed some changes --

23                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  There were changes, 

24          I agree.

                                                                  248

 1                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH:  And 

 2          we're changing it, and I think that you got a 

 3          link that doesn't exist anymore.  Because we 

 4          do share your view on this.

 5                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Because I did it on 

 6          January 23rd, which was just I think Friday.  

 7          Or Saturday, whenever.

 8                 DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LENTIVECH:  

 9          Unfortunately, there are so many links -- if 

10          you get so many links, you'll find a link 

11          that probably disagrees there, unfortunately, 

12          as we clean it up, but ...

13                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  

14                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, Senator.  

15          We've been joined by Senator Phil Boyle.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Commissioner, just 

17          a couple of questions.

18                 When Chancellor Zimpher was here, we 

19          talked a little bit about college readiness 

20          and doing a better job, you know, while in 

21          school so that when we send our kids on to 

22          college, that they're better prepared.  We 

23          mentioned the issue -- as we've discussed, I 

24          think, a couple of times in recent years -- 

                                                                  249

 1          of having something to actually identify 

 2          early on enough, at the high school level, 

 3          kids who might be targeted for going to 

 4          college but not really being prepared, and 

 5          coming up with something that we could agree 

 6          on as a diagnostic tool to get us there to 

 7          identify those kids and try to do that 

 8          remedial work before they get to college.

 9                 Any progress on that?  And I know she 

10          said we aren't there.  But is that something 

11          that you think we can get to going forward?

12                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Well, I do think 

13          we can.  And we in fact have had some 

14          progress.  We have a group of superintendents 

15          in a group, they work with college 

16          presidents, and we're looking with them to do 

17          a pilot in their districts, because many of 

18          the students from their districts go to those 

19          corresponding schools.  It's a group called 

20          LIRACHE.  And they're going to be piloting, 

21          in their schools, a 10th or 11th grade 

22          screening assessment that would allow them 

23          then to know that a student particularly 

24          needs work in mathematics or ELA to be able 

                                                                  250

 1          to do well on that initial screening.

 2                 We're also working with Chancellor 

 3          Zimpher and Chancellor Milliken to make sure 

 4          that if there are agreeable assessments that 

 5          a student would have already taken -- so let 

 6          me give you an example.  An assessment, an 

 7          Advanced Placement course in English Language 

 8          Arts they may have taken in 11th grade, and 

 9          they had a specific grade on that, that that 

10          could waive then the requirement for them to 

11          take the screening test for the English 

12          Language Arts, on the anticipation that since 

13          they passed that test, that they would be 

14          fine with the other.  

15                 So we're looking for ways that we can 

16          do it in both modes, if you will.  One mode, 

17          can we screen earlier so students in high 

18          school can have what they need?  And the 

19          other is, after they've taken an assessment, 

20          can we use that assessment and get a sign-off 

21          from the university system?  

22                 Every one of our colleges and 

23          universities has kind of a different approach 

24          on this, and that's one of the things that 

                                                                  251

 1          requires then everybody thinking, Well, am I 

 2          willing to give up the rules that I have, 

 3          because they all are different.

 4                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Are any of those 

 5          that you're working on -- you mentioned 

 6          superintendents.  Are those large schools, 

 7          urban, rural?  Or do you have kind of a 

 8          cross-section?

 9                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Those particular 

10          districts are small and they are -- they're 

11          in the Long Island area, so they are 

12          providing and interacting with schools on 

13          Long Island that a high percentage of their 

14          students attend.

15                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Just one more 

16          question.  You talked about kids doing better 

17          who get exposed to the tougher courses, even 

18          if they don't necessarily succeed highly on 

19          those.

20                 Do you see that as being a 

21          possibility, as well as exposing kids more to 

22          various occupations or fields of study?  My 

23          sense would be if kids have some of those you 

24          know, opportunities -- gee, that's something 

                                                                  252

 1          I do like, or something I don't like -- I 

 2          think either of those are good, so that 

 3          you're -- as you're seeking for what you 

 4          might want to do.  But if you're exposed to 

 5          those, may give a reason to be a bit more 

 6          serious about your study, because you see 

 7          that how I do here may be connected to do I 

 8          make it to the field I might be interested 

 9          in.

10                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  So I think it's 

11          important for us to understand that we do 

12          have models like that, where it is showing 

13          exactly that same result that we see when 

14          kids take higher-level coursework.  The 

15          example that I can give is P-TECH.  In 

16          P-TECH, students are exposed to a career and 

17          an academic focus as they go through, 

18          starting in 9th grade or 10th grade, and then 

19          going through to ultimately an associate 

20          degree.  

21                 And the reality is -- it's on your 

22          slides, on page 11.  But the data on this is 

23          that those students, many of them at high 

24          risk, who probably never thought of 

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 1          themselves as moving forward and being able 

 2          to get a certificate and/or an associate 

 3          degree by the time they finish this program, 

 4          actually are very successful and moving into, 

 5          then, higher-level coursework going on to a 

 6          university, or going right into a field, a 

 7          career that was part of the preparation.  

 8                 And then they can always, of course, 

 9          go on.  Chancellor Milliken mentioned the 

10          point that when students leave CUNY, he wants 

11          them to be able to think about what they 

12          might want to do as they change jobs multiple 

13          times in their careers.

14                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Certainly, just in 

15          closing, a couple of the programs -- the same 

16          program, which is the Summer Advanced 

17          Manufacturing Program that's been done in the 

18          Rochester area and the Finger Lakes, those 

19          types of things I think are excellent, even 

20          if they're short exposures to that.  

21                 So I'm interested, as I'm sure many 

22          others are, the more experiences we can give 

23          during their high school career, maybe even 

24          during their middle school career and as they 

                                                                  254

 1          go on to higher training, to be able to 

 2          inspire kids to move toward the fields of 

 3          work that they might like and also where 

 4          openings might be.

 5                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  So I would 

 6          anticipate that we will be bringing some 

 7          changes to the Regents in the regulations 

 8          relating to middle school curriculum as well 

 9          as high school curriculum.  Middle school 

10          right now, I recently had a meeting with 

11          several superintendents who are very excited 

12          about the opportunities of shifting some of 

13          the middle school curriculum to make it more 

14          relevant to and connected to careers that 

15          they might have exposure with in high school.

16                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you.

17                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

18                 Our next speaker is Senator Todd 

19          Kaminsky.

20                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:  Good afternoon, 

21          Commissioner.  How are you?

22                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Hi, Todd.

23                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:  I just would like 

24          to talk to you about entry into secondary 

                                                                  255

 1          education, which obviously obtaining a high 

 2          school diploma is necessary for.  I've had 

 3          the occasion to host a forum and talk to 

 4          parents from all over, although mostly 

 5          concentrated on Long Island, who have 

 6          children who -- many of whom show the ability 

 7          to be able to achieve on the next level, 

 8          whether in a trade school, the military, or a 

 9          college, but, because of the strict 

10          requirements, are unable to get a high school 

11          diploma.  The CDOS that they get does not 

12          grant them access to many of the places 

13          they'd like to go.

14                 And it's just a very heartbreaking 

15          thing to talk to parents and students, many 

16          of whom are in honors classes, have perfect 

17          attendance, have teachers that tell you that 

18          they are better than 95 percent of other 

19          students, but, because of perhaps a learning 

20          disability or a language issue or other 

21          outlying circumstances, are kind of trapped.  

22                 And I talk to parents with 20-year-old 

23          children who either have to stay in school 

24          with people much younger than them, 

                                                                  256

 1          continuing to take tests that they're not 

 2          getting decent grades on, or go on government 

 3          assistance.  

 4                 And it's very tough, and you and I 

 5          have spoken on this before, but I would be 

 6          very interested to know what the state's 

 7          plans are going forward, whether you've 

 8          considered project-based assessments, have 

 9          looked at what some other states are doing, 

10          and where things are at this current time.

11                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Well, as you well 

12          know, we made some changes.  In fact, we've 

13          had several conversations on this to point 

14          out the number of issues that, since I've 

15          been the commissioner, we've made shifts on.  

16                 And some of those allow for the 

17          specific example you just mentioned relating 

18          to students who are in Regents-level classes, 

19          have been in Regents-level classes, for 

20          whatever reason are having difficulty passing 

21          the required Regents.  And we have the 

22          ability for a superintendent to do a 

23          superintendent's waiver on that particular 

24          issue.  So actually as a result of our 

                                                                  257

 1          discussion and parents' discussions with me, 

 2          we've moved in that direction and allowed 

 3          that to occur.

 4                 And so this is one of those things 

 5          that we clearly want to address with all of 

 6          our students.  But one of the things that I 

 7          think is extremely important, the CDOS 

 8          credential, although we had not in the past 

 9          done the kind of work that needs to be done 

10          to make civil service and the military very 

11          aware of exactly what levels and skills the 

12          students are certified in, we've started 

13          doing that now and have had some very 

14          positive conversations with civil service and 

15          with the military.  So we are moving in that 

16          agenda.

17                 We also are looking at making sure 

18          that in fact students have alternatives.  And 

19          those alternatives might require that they 

20          stay in school a little bit longer, but that 

21          they get to the point where they have the 

22          ability to earn a diploma.  

23                 So those things are all on our page 

24          and, you know, we'd be happy to make sure 

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 1          that you're kept in the loop as we make those 

 2          shifts.

 3                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:  I really appreciate 

 4          that.  And I also appreciate your past and 

 5          continuing openness to discuss this.

 6                 What I would just like to keep in the 

 7          forefront is that in my mind, and I believe 

 8          in yours and hopefully in your department's, 

 9          there should always be a clock that's 

10          ticking, because there are parents who are 

11          always looking to June saying, Will I have a 

12          child who graduates or not?  And, you know, 

13          every year I feel that we have a chance to 

14          open the door a little bit wider to let more 

15          students in.  

16                 This February 7th I'm going to be 

17          hosting another forum with several Regents.  

18          I think we're going to have a good crowd 

19          there.  I'd love to be able to report back to 

20          you on what I'm hearing from the larger 

21          community about what's going on with diploma 

22          options.  I know that your efforts with the 

23          CDOS are appreciated; hopefully we could 

24          redouble that.  And I know parents are very 

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 1          excited, as well as teachers and 

 2          administrators, including superintendents, 

 3          that I talk to about project-based 

 4          assessments, as a way of saying over the 

 5          course of a year a student has demonstrated 

 6          sufficient rigor that a diploma is merited, 

 7          although in one area we know that the student 

 8          can't get a certain -- a higher mark on a 

 9          test, it's time to try something else.

10                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  And as you know, 

11          we've expanded the opportunities for the 4+1, 

12          which is a career and technical program that 

13          can be used in lieu of a Regents exam, and so 

14          that does open it up.  And one of those 

15          options is the CDOS, which is a 

16          performance-based program.

17                 So I think we have looked at it and 

18          we're opening it up.  And I would agree with 

19          you that we need to continue to do that.  So 

20          any feedback you want to give us from those 

21          parents -- of course, generally the 

22          parents -- a number of these parents are 

23          people that we meet with regularly as well.

24                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:  Sure, I appreciate 

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 1          it.  

 2                 And then if I could just close by just 

 3          saying the following.  I appreciate the need 

 4          to have made a high school diploma mean 

 5          something more than it used to.  And I get 

 6          that people have to understand that 

 7          sufficient rigor has gone into it.  

 8                 My experience, having looked at this 

 9          and been going over this for two years now, 

10          is that the pendulum has just swung a little 

11          bit too far the other way, and there are a 

12          lot of good kids who deserve to go on who are 

13          not.  I've heard everything you've said, and 

14          I hope you we can continue to work on easing 

15          that up a little bit and striking the right 

16          balance.

17                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Yeah, I've been 

18          working on it for years.

19                 SENATOR KAMINSKY:  Thank you.

20                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  Thank you.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Anyone else?

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  We want to thank 

23          you.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes, thank you very 

                                                                  261

 1          much, Commissioner.  We appreciate you coming 

 2          today, and everyone, and look forward to 

 3          seeing you soon.

 4                 COMMISSIONER ELIA:  I think I'm 

 5          scheduled to come back on the 14th, so I will 

 6          see many of you then.  Thank you.

 7                 (Discussion off the record.)

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  And our 12:30 

 9          witness, from the New York State Higher 

10          Education Services Corporation, the executive 

11          vice president, Elsa Magee.  

12                 Thank you for being here, and we'll be 

13          with you in two seconds.

14                 (Pause.)

15                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Anytime you're 

16          ready, I think we are all ears.

17                 (Discussion off the record.)

18                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Can you hear 

19          me now?

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Yes, we can.  

21          You're on the air.

22                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Good 

23          afternoon, Chairwoman Young, Chairwoman 

24          Glick, and members of the Senate and 

                                                                  262

 1          Assembly.  Thank you for the opportunity to 

 2          speak today about the Governor's 2017-2018 

 3          Executive Budget recommendations that impact 

 4          the New York State Higher Education Services 

 5          Corporation.  I'm Elsa Magee, executive vice 

 6          president and acting president of HESC.

 7                 HESC administers New York State's 

 8          generous Tuition Assistance Program and more 

 9          than 20 other state student financial aid 

10          programs that provide college access and help 

11          to ease college costs for New York State 

12          residents.  Collectively, these programs 

13          provide over $1 billion in financial aid 

14          awards to support the college costs of more 

15          than 370,000 students at public and private 

16          colleges.  This includes roughly $650 million 

17          for students attending public colleges, and 

18          over $300 million for students attending a 

19          private college.

20                 Governor Cuomo's 2017-2018 Executive 

21          Budget continues full support for all 

22          existing state grant and scholarship 

23          programs, reintroduces the DREAM Act, and 

24          proposes bold new actions to further 

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 1          alleviate financial barriers to obtaining a 

 2          college degree in New York State.

 3                 The Executive Budget includes the 

 4          Excelsior scholarship to make college 

 5          tuition-free for New York's middle-class 

 6          families at all SUNY and CUNY two- and 

 7          four-year colleges.  This proposal enables 

 8          students from households with incomes of up 

 9          to $125,000 to attend a public college 

10          tuition-free, ensuring that all New York 

11          State students have access to a quality 

12          education and the skills needed to succeed in 

13          today's global economy.

14                 To reduce the total cost of earning a 

15          degree, recipients must be on-track to 

16          complete their degrees in two years, for 

17          those pursuing an associate degree, or four 

18          years, for those pursuing their 

19          baccalaureate.  This program effectively 

20          leverages our very generous Tuition 

21          Assistance Program, coupled with other aid 

22          sources, to cover tuition for over 200,000 

23          students.

24                 To stem the surging rise in tuition 

                                                                  264

 1          costs, the Governor has also proposed actions 

 2          to make all colleges in New York State 

 3          accountable for the cost of getting a degree 

 4          at their institutions.  Beginning in 

 5          2018-2019, only colleges that maintain annual 

 6          tuition rate increases below $500, or the 

 7          three-year average of the Higher Education 

 8          Price Index, whichever is greater, will be 

 9          eligible to participate in TAP.  

10                 Colleges whose annual tuition increase 

11          exceeds the threshold would be ineligible to 

12          receive TAP for students newly entering their 

13          campuses.  No existing students would be 

14          impacted by this proposal.

15                 The Governor has been a champion for 

16          students seeking a college education every 

17          year since taking office, increasing state 

18          support for higher education by $1 billion 

19          since 2012.  Under his leadership, New York 

20          has implemented an unprecedented number of 

21          new student financial aid programs and 

22          initiatives, including the STEM Incentive 

23          Program, the New York State Get on Your Feet 

24          Loan Forgiveness Program, the Masters in 

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 1          Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship, and 

 2          the New York State standard financial aid 

 3          award letter.  His recommendations for higher 

 4          education programs continue to pave a path to 

 5          an affordable and high-quality college 

 6          education.  

 7                 The 2017-2018 Executive Budget enables 

 8          HESC to continue administering an array of 

 9          programs and services that support the 

10          attainment of a college degree for all 

11          New York State students.  On behalf of 

12          Governor Cuomo, HESC is pleased to play a 

13          vital role in providing New York State 

14          students with a gateway to a successful 

15          college career.

16                 Thank you, and I'd be glad to answer 

17          any questions.

18                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

19          much.  I actually have several questions.

20                 First of all, you are potentially 

21          faced with a new program, the Excelsior 

22          program.  And by the Executive's estimate, it 

23          seems that they are envisioning about 30,000, 

24          35,000 students being eligible for this.  Do 

                                                                  266

 1          you have the capacity to administer such a 

 2          new, large program?

 3                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Yes, we would 

 4          be -- HESC is ready and able to implement a 

 5          new program for the Excelsior scholarship, 

 6          yes.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  You indicated in 

 8          your testimony that this determination by the 

 9          Executive that any school that increases its 

10          tuition by more than $500 or the three-year 

11          running HEPI index would be ineligible for 

12          either Bundy Aid or TAP.  You said no 

13          existing students would be impacted by this 

14          proposal, but what about students going 

15          forward?

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  The 

17          taxpayer -- what we call the tuition 

18          accountability program would be to encourage 

19          colleges to limit their costs so that they 

20          can limit the tuition increases, which is a 

21          benefit to students and families across the 

22          state.

23                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Well, I 

24          understand that, and that's certainly 

                                                                  267

 1          laudable.  We -- I'm just curious about the 

 2          notion that TAP is capped out at $5,165 

 3          currently.  It has always been an eligibility 

 4          that follows the student, so students who 

 5          receive TAP never have their ambitions or 

 6          opportunities imposed upon by the state.  The 

 7          state says if you're income-eligible and you 

 8          maintain your certain grade level, you can go 

 9          to College A, B, C, D, whatever.

10                 This is implying that we would say, 

11          you know what, you can go to A, B, and C, but 

12          we don't want you to go to D or E -- even 

13          though, regardless of the tuition, all we 

14          would be spending is the $5,165, regardless 

15          of where they go, and in many instances mark 

16          down their tuition for students who are 

17          TAP-eligible.  

18                 So I'm just trying to understand why 

19          in this year there is a determination to 

20          change the basic rule of TAP, which is that 

21          if you're eligible, you get the dollars, and 

22          you spend them where you and your family want 

23          you to go.  And it may be that you want to go 

24          to a school that's relatively close to home, 

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 1          and there's no public university in that 

 2          region.  

 3                 Why would we be today, all of a 

 4          sudden, changing a basic tenet of TAP, 

 5          especially when it does not change what the 

 6          TAP award would be to any one student?  So 

 7          that if some school, because of lower 

 8          enrollment and the need to charge $550 more, 

 9          then all of a sudden that school -- and all 

10          of the students who wanted to go to the 

11          school -- are penalized?  Is this an attempt 

12          to drive certain schools out of business?

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  No, this is 

14          not about competition or to drive private 

15          schools or any other school out of business.  

16          It's about college affordability.  And this 

17          is the Governor's attempt to try to rein in 

18          the exorbitant growth in college tuition 

19          rates.  So colleges can choose to behave, 

20          students can choose to attend a college, but 

21          the colleges -- we're trying to spur them to 

22          consider the rates at which they're 

23          increasing tuition, so that students can 

24          really afford to go there as well. 

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 1                 So this is really an incentive to 

 2          change behavior on the part of the colleges.

 3                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  All right, so we 

 4          are now going to -- it's a laudable goal, but 

 5          it's the first time that I know of that -- 

 6          we're, you know, engaging in essentially de 

 7          facto price controls.

 8                 Let me ask you another question.  The 

 9          Excelsior, we've had a lot of discussion on 

10          this today.  TAP sees full time as 12 

11          credits, and many students who accept TAP can 

12          only handle the 12 credits, and some go for 

13          15 credits.  There may be some students crazy 

14          enough to go for more because they are able 

15          to do the work, they have supports at home, 

16          and they want to graduate sooner.  There 

17          clearly are students who get out in three, 

18          three and a half years, and they take a 

19          higher load.

20                 Is it a somewhat -- is it just driven 

21          by the numbers, that you have 42 percent 

22          fewer students who go full time, and so 

23          that's a way to meet the financial goal of 

24          Excelsior?  This is what we're willing to 

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 1          spend, so these are the eligibility 

 2          requirements, and therefore we're going to 

 3          pay for your whole thing, we're going to pay 

 4          for it all?

 5                 TAP doesn't pay for it all.  TAP, for 

 6          many families who are making $60,000, 

 7          $70,000, what's that average?  I know that 

 8          there are lots of variables -- how many kids 

 9          may be going to school and so on -- but what 

10          is the average award that some family gets if 

11          they're in that $60,000 or $70,000 area?

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  I think once 

13          we get to $60,000 to $70,000 for TAP, they 

14          would be at the minimum, $500.  So there 

15          would be a large tuition gap that needs to be 

16          filled for those students, which the 

17          Excelsior scholarship would then be able to 

18          fill.

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  So for all the 

20          students, regardless of -- because this has 

21          been pitched as students -- we're raising 

22          sort of the TAP top number from 80, first to 

23          100 and then 125.  

24                 So for any of those families who are 

                                                                  271

 1          saying I'm only getting about a thousand 

 2          dollars worth of TAP, everybody's going to be 

 3          made whole all the way down the line?

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Yes.  But you 

 5          have to understand that tuition gap starts at 

 6          a much lower income level, so you're really 

 7          helping students from incomes probably 

 8          ranging from $35,000 to $40,000.

 9                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Right.  But 

10          we're going to, with -- because the numbers 

11          I've seen refer to this as like 32,000 

12          students.  Aren't there a lot more students 

13          who are receiving TAP?

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  The program 

15          considers that, yes.  We have very generous 

16          state financial aid programs that currently 

17          students are recipients of.  But then we're 

18          also encouraging on-time completion.  The 

19          difference between TAP and the Excelsior 

20          scholarship is that we're encouraging a 

21          change in behavior, on-time completion.  

22                 Right now, for the TAP program, we 

23          receive 30,000 applications a year from 

24          students who have actually exhausted their 

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 1          eligibility because they're taking 

 2          12 credits.  For those remaining years, that 

 3          means someone who's pursuing an associate's 

 4          degree is applying for a fourth year of TAP, 

 5          and someone who's pursuing a bachelor's 

 6          degree is applying for a fifth year of TAP, 

 7          for which they're not eligible.  So they 

 8          don't have a degree, and they don't even have 

 9          TAP to continue paying their tuition.

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I appreciate 

11          that, so I'm just trying to understand.  

12          Right now you may have students who are -- 

13          maybe they're taking 12, that's a baseline, 

14          but many of those students may be taking 

15          15 credits.  That's -- the eligibility is at 

16          12, but they may be taking 15.  

17                 And they are -- I'm trying to 

18          understand.  This program is prospective, is 

19          that correct?  Meaning that if you're 

20          currently receiving TAP and you're in your 

21          junior year, will you be eligible for 

22          Excelsior?

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  You will.  If 

24          you are on track to complete in four years, 

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 1          you will be eligible, yes.

 2                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Okay, so here's 

 3          where I don't understand how the numbers add 

 4          up.  If we have -- how many kids are getting 

 5          TAP in general?

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Roughly 

 7          350,000.

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Right.  So let's 

 9          say that, just for argument's sake, half of 

10          them, 175,000, are above the -- they're in 

11          that middle range of $50,000 to $70,000.  

12          They're getting $1,000, $1,500 now.  We're 

13          going to give them free tuition up to 6475 or 

14          whatever it is --

15                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  6470.

16                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  That gap is now 

17          going to be filled.  It's going to be filled 

18          for all those students, plus anyone going 

19          forward is going to be eligible -- who were 

20          never eligible before in that 80,000 to 

21          100,000.  So that's going to be the full ride 

22          of 6450.

23                 So I just don't understand how the 

24          numbers add up, is my problem, because I see 

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 1          that in the first year it goes up to 

 2          $100,000, and that presumably is the 32,000 

 3          that you're anticipating.  So I just don't 

 4          see how that number plus everyone who is only 

 5          getting a small portion of their tuition 

 6          being paid, how that -- how the numbers work.

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Again, it's 

 8          an on-time completion program.  Right now at 

 9          our community colleges, I believe the number 

10          is about 10 percent or fewer than 10 percent 

11          of students earn their two-year degrees in 

12          two years.  

13                 So again, when you consider that the 

14          students must be -- the students who are 

15          currently in school must be on time and on 

16          track to complete or else they would not be 

17          eligible.  So there's a number of students.  

18          But again, the purpose for the program is to 

19          encourage a change in behavior.  So we don't 

20          want to continue to see less than 10 percent 

21          of community college students graduating on 

22          time and incurring that additional debt to 

23          get a two-year degree or a four-year degree.

24                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  So all of the 

                                                                  275

 1          moms and dads across New York State sit down 

 2          Junior and say, By God, you can go, we don't 

 3          have to struggle anymore, you're going to 

 4          take enough credits, you're going to do your 

 5          work, and you're going to finish on time?  

 6          Then the numbers don't work, right?

 7                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  If that's -- 

 8          that's what we hope to get to, but that's not 

 9          where we are currently.

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  But that's the 

11          behavior modification we are looking for.

12                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Yes.

13                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  And if we get 

14          that all of a sudden, then maybe the numbers 

15          don't work.

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  But again, as 

17          you bring new students in, you're bringing 

18          new students who would be eligible for TAP, 

19          and again would have their full tuition 

20          covered between TAP and other sources of 

21          financial aid as well.  So the Excelsior 

22          scholarship won't pick up necessarily a 

23          hundred percent of the cost as you bring in 

24          new enrollments.

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 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Right, it only 

 2          picks it up for those who are at the higher 

 3          income levels, because they're not eligible 

 4          for anything else.  So this actually provides 

 5          for that cohort a full ride, whereas we will 

 6          see a decreasing cost for Excelsior as 

 7          more -- as you go down the scale.  But you 

 8          still have -- you're still going to make 

 9          everybody whole.  Right?

10                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Mm-hmm.  But 

11          again, those at the higher income levels also 

12          have the ability to get merit-based aid.  

13          It's not just need-based aid that's in the 

14          equation.  So we want them to take advantage 

15          of all free aid that's available to them and 

16          not leave money on the table.

17                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Right, everybody 

18          has to be a genius and get what they can.  

19          Great.

20                 Now, I am asking you this not because 

21          this was on -- necessarily on my list, but I 

22          was asked over Twitter a question, and it was 

23          for students who predate the 2014 Get on Your 

24          Feet Loan Forgiveness Program.  How are we 

                                                                  277

 1          going to start this new sort of free program 

 2          when you have students who have really, in 

 3          their view, done everything right, but have 

 4          huge amount of loans and are the ones who -- 

 5          they've -- they're out, and they are not -- 

 6          they need some help too?  So they're asking 

 7          me, how can you start like free for some 

 8          students when I just am going to have this 

 9          burden and I need access to this other 

10          program?  Is there any talk about expanding, 

11          improving, helping others who are perhaps, at 

12          some income level, struggling with their 

13          debt, that their loan forgiveness would -- is 

14          there any thought about assisting earlier 

15          students from the year or two before?

16                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Again, our 

17          agency does not set the policy on what that 

18          initial date is, but that is something that 

19          there could be discussions between the 

20          Legislature and the Governor.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

22                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you, 

23          Assemblywoman.  

24                 And welcome, Executive Vice President 

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 1          Magee.  We're so happy to have you here 

 2          today.

 3                 I wanted to explore quite a few 

 4          things, but Assemblywoman Glick had asked you 

 5          about capacity issues, and you just said yes, 

 6          absolutely, or something to that effect.  But 

 7          how do you know that?  What is the projected 

 8          increase of students on our campuses -- and I 

 9          asked this question earlier of Chancellor 

10          Zimpher.  But right now we have a lot of 

11          infrastructure needs, we literally have some 

12          buildings on campuses and infrastructure 

13          falling apart.  

14                 So I was wondering if you could 

15          explain that a little bit more to us as to 

16          how you know what the capacity will get to, 

17          number one, and how you come to the figure of 

18          163 -- or how does the Governor come to the 

19          figure of a $163 million cost for this 

20          program?

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  I believe the 

22          question that she asked of me was whether as 

23          an agency we can administer the program for 

24          the number of students, and yes, we 

                                                                  279

 1          administer -- actually, for this program, for 

 2          students who are TAP recipients, they would 

 3          not need to complete another application.  So 

 4          it would be very simple, just add a question 

 5          if they're interested in applying for the 

 6          Excelsior scholarship.

 7                 So administratively, from our agency, 

 8          we can certainly implement this new program, 

 9          and it's a very worthwhile program.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  If you're 

11          administering the program, my question is 

12          then you need to know what the actual influx 

13          of students is going to be.  And I have to 

14          imagine that it's going to be quite large.  

15          Anytime anything is billed as being free, 

16          there's a lot of -- understandably, a lot of 

17          interest in that program.

18                 And so I was just wondering, are there 

19          studies going on, is there some kind of 

20          quantitative analysis that has been done to 

21          educate the Legislature about how many 

22          students this actually entails?  And that's 

23          related to cost, of course, and that will 

24          dovetail into that.  But we've got a lot of 

                                                                  280

 1          decisions to make between now and March 31st, 

 2          and there seems to be a sparsity of actual 

 3          details on this.  So I was hoping that you 

 4          could enlighten the Legislature about those 

 5          issues.

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  I understand 

 7          that there are conversations underway with 

 8          staff, but I would again be glad to sit down, 

 9          you know, at any time with members to go 

10          through the numbers in specific detail.

11                 But again, the factors that drive the 

12          cost are again that we provide very generous 

13          tuition support to students.  We always have.  

14          Through the TAP program, we provide 

15          $1 billion in tuition awards to students.  So 

16          $1 billion is already going out the door for 

17          students to support college costs.

18                 Then, as the Governor has with this 

19          program, as we do with all of our other 

20          programs, we require that students do not 

21          leave any free money on the table before they 

22          go the last mile through this program.  So 

23          students are taking advantage not only of 

24          state financial aid, but they're also looking 

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 1          at other scholarships that they're eligible 

 2          to receive before we say, okay, now you have 

 3          this much that's remaining.  

 4                 And it's the shrinking of the total 

 5          outstanding balance by taking advantage of 

 6          financial aid that some students are not 

 7          applying for.  I think it was Chancellor 

 8          Zimpher who also mentioned the last 

 9          statistics that I saw, that 25 percent of 

10          households that would be eligible for 

11          financial aid do not complete the FAFSA.

12                 So this is encouraging many changes in 

13          behavior that drive people to get financial 

14          aid that's already available to them that 

15          they're just not utilizing.  So that, all 

16          coupled together, will help to shrink down 

17          the total size of the cost of the degree.

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

19                 We're welcoming Jim Malatras from the 

20          Governor's office.  So thank you for coming 

21          today, Jim.  We appreciate it.

22                 MR. MALATRAS:  Thank you, Senator.  

23          I'm looking for new internship opportunities 

24          that I heard HESC was offering, so ...

                                                                  282

 1                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I'm sorry?

 2                 MR. MALATRAS:  HESC was offering new 

 3          internship opportunities, so I'm here today.

 4                 (Laughter.)

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  You make a great 

 6          entrance for sure.  So thank you for that.

 7                 Maybe, Jim, you could add to that 

 8          question.  Did you hear it?

 9                 MR. MALATRAS:  I did not hear the 

10          question, Senator, I'm sorry.

11                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So I had a question 

12          about capacity issues.  And, you know, 

13          obviously, if a program is offered for free, 

14          there's going to be a great deal of interest 

15          in it.  And right now on campuses, we have -- 

16          you know, the Senate and the Assembly both 

17          put forward five-year capital plans for the 

18          SUNY system.  We passed it in 2015, the 

19          Governor vetoed it.  Literally, we have 

20          buildings that are falling down in some of 

21          our campuses.  So we have a lot of 

22          infrastructure needs.  

23                 So I'm just wondering how the Governor 

24          came up with the figures of how this program 

                                                                  283

 1          will be utilized, what is the capacity, and 

 2          how you address some of the infrastructure 

 3          needs.  And the fact that the TAP gap is a 

 4          major strain on the SUNY budgets.  They'll 

 5          have to make up those costs somehow.  So I 

 6          believe that SUNY has been underfunded over 

 7          the past several years, so there are a lot of 

 8          questions about how we can afford this and 

 9          what it will actually cost.

10                 MR. MALATRAS:  Thank you, Senator, for 

11          allowing me to sit here today.  There's a lot 

12          of questions in that.

13                 The first part is -- I'll get to the 

14          capital piece in a second -- free tuition, in 

15          the Governor's mind, doesn't mean the 

16          cheapening of higher education.  Just because 

17          it's now a free offering of tuition means you 

18          still have to meet admissions requirements, 

19          GPA requirements, and the like. 

20                 There are capacity issues in some 

21          schools; they're not allowing kids in now.  

22          If there are not capacity issues, they'll let 

23          them in.  That's not going to change the 

24          schools or put pressure on the schools to 

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 1          allow more kids.

 2                 On the capital side, I think we've 

 3          done a lot in this budget, and Robert Mujica, 

 4          the budget director, can speak more to that.  

 5          But that plus SUNY 2020 and other programs on 

 6          the capital side, we've been trying to build 

 7          that capacity at our SUNY and CUNY campuses.

 8                 On the numbers of how we got to what 

 9          we got, I know there's been a lot of 

10          questions -- is 163 the right number, not the 

11          right number?  It's an as-of-right program, 

12          right?  So more kids come, they get accepted 

13          to the schools, they get offered; they'll be 

14          accepted and the state will pay for it, under 

15          our proposal.  There's not a lot -- we think 

16          our number is right because we do the TAP 

17          gap, Pell gap, this is the last mile, as we 

18          call it, program.  

19                 But there's not a lot to go on, you're 

20          right.  Historically there's only two states, 

21          Oregon and Tennessee, that offer free 

22          tuition, and that's for community colleges.  

23          No state does four years plus two years.  

24          They saw an increase of about 25 percent of 

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 1          enrollment.  We build in about 10 percent, 

 2          because they also don't have a robust TAP 

 3          program like the State of New York already 

 4          has, which allows many kids to go to school 

 5          tuition-free already.  So we've built in 

 6          about a 10 percent cushion.  Is that 

 7          11 percent, 15 percent, 8 percent?  We don't 

 8          know.  We'll have to adjust based on that.

 9                 But on capacity, we don't think free 

10          means cheap.  We think free means giving kids 

11          more access to higher education, more 

12          opportunities to go to college, because it's 

13          no longer -- it's a necessity, it's not 

14          something that you can go without any longer.  

15          And we'll have to adjust if there's now 

16          capital needs.  In addition, we'll have to 

17          adjust as that goes along too.  

18                 But we've done a robust capital 

19          program in this year's budget also for SUNY 

20          and CUNY.

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Well, thank you for 

22          that answer.  And I would point out that SUNY 

23          actually asked for $800 million in capital 

24          over the next five years.  I know the 

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 1          Governor's proposal has $500 million 

 2          included.  So there's quite a shortfall there 

 3          as to fulfilling the capital needs of the 

 4          campuses.

 5                 So one of the concerns I have is that 

 6          it seems that the community colleges are cut 

 7          under the Governor's proposal, and 

 8          Chancellor Zimpher, when she testified 

 9          earlier, told us that, well, if they're over 

10          capacity in the SUNY system, a lot of those 

11          students would just go to community colleges.  

12          And I'm just curious about that fact, because 

13          how can they sustain an influx of new 

14          students if their funding is cut?

15                 MR. MALATRAS:  It's interesting on the 

16          community college side, because you get an 

17          education every day doing this.  Community 

18          college funding is actually down, not as a 

19          result of state cuts, but as an enrollment 

20          decline.  Right?  So some of the -- many of 

21          our community colleges are seeing declining 

22          enrollment, so they could build more capacity 

23          under this program.

24                 What we've tried to do on the funding 

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 1          side for community colleges, which is a 

 2          little different, in this year's budget we 

 3          include the Job Linkage Program still, which 

 4          is to take some of that delta of decline, 

 5          even though they're not eligible for that 

 6          money because the students have gone down, 

 7          the enrollment has gone down.  We're taking, 

 8          I believe, $5 million of that and saying 

 9          we'll still give that to community colleges 

10          if you meet certain performance metrics -- I 

11          think it's $3 million for SUNY, $2 million 

12          for CUNY.  

13                 So the funding piece on the community 

14          college side, you're actually seeing 

15          declining enrollment.  Hopefully under the 

16          Excelsior scholarship, that this helps build 

17          some capacity back, back in our community 

18          colleges, which will help with the funding 

19          side.  Because as Chancellor Zimpher likes to 

20          say, more butts in the seats means it's 

21          better for the schools.  So we hope it helps 

22          to build the capacity, actually.

23                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

24                 Another issue of concern is the 

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 1          opportunity programs, and the Governor cut 

 2          those in his Executive proposal.  But there's 

 3          a great possibility that we may have other 

 4          opportunity program students that may need 

 5          that assistance.  So already we're denying 

 6          these services to a large number of students 

 7          in the state, under the Governor's construct.  

 8          And on top of it, what do we do about the 

 9          additional students that may be eligible?

10                 MR. MALATRAS:  Thank you, Senator.

11                 I think on the opportunity programs, 

12          we are at significant levels.  We think the 

13          opportunity programs are very important.  I 

14          think the part we took out this year was the 

15          legislative add from last year, even though 

16          we've kept previous legislative adds built 

17          in.  

18                 So of course we'll work with the 

19          Legislature.  The Assembly and the Senate 

20          have been advocates on the opportunity side, 

21          and we've done a lot ourselves on providing 

22          new pathways of opportunity for many 

23          students, including our disadvantaged 

24          students.  The Early College High School 

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 1          program, for one, has been extended in this 

 2          budget, which is exactly the type of pipeline 

 3          we are supposed to be creating for some of 

 4          these disadvantaged kids, where you're in 

 5          high school and you're also getting a free 

 6          college degree with a job at the end of it.  

 7          We've increased that funding.

 8                 So there's other funding pots that 

 9          we've done on, quote, unquote, opportunity 

10          programs.  I think the ones you're 

11          specifically referring to are the legislative 

12          adds that we've cut.  But this is the 

13          beginning of the budget cycle, and we'd love 

14          to work with the Legislature on that.

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

16                 But we will agree that there may be 

17          more students who may need opportunity 

18          programs under the Excelsior program; 

19          correct?

20                 MR. MALATRAS:  I think any way you can 

21          give more tools to any students in their 

22          toolbox is important.  I think Chancellor 

23          Zimpher and even Chancellor Milliken have 

24          mentioned this in previous testimonies -- I 

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 1          don't know if it was this year -- some 

 2          students don't even fill out their FAFSA 

 3          forms; right?  They don't even fill out the 

 4          forms to give them financial assistance to 

 5          let them go to college at a reduced cost.  

 6          Even on that level, we need to give those 

 7          tools to kids.  So the more ways we can 

 8          enhance a student's performance throughout a 

 9          college career, we'll work on doing that.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

11                 So again, you know, I guess -- do you 

12          have some kind of report or study that you 

13          did to come up with the figure of 

14          $163 million?  Is that something that you 

15          could share with us?

16                 MR. MALATRAS:  I think our budget 

17          office has worked with both finance offices 

18          of the Senate and the Assembly.  We'd be glad 

19          to share how we came down -- I think they 

20          went line by line.  And we've also included 

21          our assumptions.  Like I said, we built in 

22          like a 10 percent increase based on Oregon 

23          and Tennessee, which saw double an increase.  

24          But that's largely because they don't have 

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 1          TAP.

 2                 So we walked -- I think we've walked 

 3          our finance teams through those assumptions.  

 4          Is it totally right, totally wrong?  We don't 

 5          know.  Will there be more enrollment growth, 

 6          less enrollment growth?  We don't know.  But 

 7          as-of-right program, it could be a little 

 8          more expensive.  

 9                 But yes, those numbers have been 

10          shared and we'll be glad to give any office 

11          or member the information also.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

13                 I think there are a lot of questions 

14          as to how the program actually will operate.  

15          So, first of all, is there a residency 

16          requirement, or will people be moving to 

17          New York State to take advantage of free 

18          college tuition?  Which, as you know, is a 

19          major concern.  

20                 I know the Governor's been concerned 

21          over tax hikes over the past several years, 

22          and reducing the tax burden in New York.  And 

23          I think there's some concern about people 

24          moving here -- because certainly, if this is 

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 1          the first state in the country to offer free 

 2          college tuition, I have to imagine that that 

 3          would be very attractive to other people, 

 4          especially because of the excellence of our 

 5          higher education institutions that we have 

 6          here in New York.  

 7                 So don't you think that that would 

 8          attract other people, on the backs of the 

 9          taxpayers of our state?  And how would you 

10          address that?

11                 MR. MALATRAS:  I'll say this.  The 

12          program works like other financial assistance 

13          programs.  You have to be a resident, but 

14          that takes a year to become a resident, 

15          right?  So it's not as if tomorrow you can 

16          walk into the State of New York, you get free 

17          tuition.  It follows like TAP and other sort 

18          of financial aid programs.

19                 The second piece is the State 

20          University system and the City of New York 

21          system already is a tremendous bargain for 

22          people.  We get people coming from other 

23          states who pay the out-of-state tuition; 

24          sometimes they become residents after the 

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 1          year and they go in-state.

 2                 Our tuition, compared to our sister 

 3          public systems in Pennsylvania or other 

 4          places, it's much more inexpensive already.  

 5          So it's a bargain to go to school for $6400 

 6          on the four-year side or $4300 or $4400 on 

 7          the community college side already.  This 

 8          added benefit I don't think is going to be a 

 9          tipping point.  

10                 We follow the same residency 

11          requirements, you have to be a resident for a 

12          year in order to qualify for all the 

13          financial aids, right?  It won't work if you 

14          get the Excelsior program but you can't get 

15          TAP, right, because this is the last-mile 

16          program.  And at the end, we love to have 

17          more people coming into New York, seeing the 

18          great things in the State of New York, the 

19          quality education.  Hopefully they stay here 

20          because we're doing soup-to-nuts economic 

21          development, education to economic 

22          development.

23                 But I think the program works like 

24          other similar financial assistance programs.  

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 1          You don't see -- we were concerned about that 

 2          too.  You don't see the, quote, unquote, 

 3          gaming of the system now under the financial 

 4          assistance programs.  What you do see is 

 5          people want to come here to a Stony Brook or 

 6          a UB or a Buffalo or a Potsdam or an Oswego 

 7          or a Hunter College because the tuition is 

 8          low, the faculty is excellent, and we have 

 9          quality education across the state.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I will tell you 

11          many of my classmates, when I was growing up 

12          and graduated with, they wanted to go to 

13          another state system.  They would go there 

14          for a year and, you know, maybe goof off or 

15          work, and then they could qualify for lower 

16          tuition rates.  So I don't think that that's 

17          unheard of.

18                 Is there any residency requirement 

19          after a student graduates?

20                 MR. MALATRAS:  There is not, under 

21          this program, like other financial assistance 

22          programs.  We as a policy matter thought it 

23          was important to offer up, broadly, the 

24          access points.  And if people after 

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 1          graduating, as a New York State resident for 

 2          all of their lives, wanted to go to Europe 

 3          for two years and come back, we didn't want 

 4          to limit, under this program, access to the 

 5          students that go.  

 6                 There have been other scholarship 

 7          programs that exist -- the STEM program -- 

 8          obviously that do require a residency 

 9          requirement.  But in this case we think it 

10          was important to cast a broad net to allow 

11          people to have the chance to take advantage 

12          of the program.

13                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Is there any 

14          academic requirements associated with the 

15          Excelsior program?

16                 MR. MALATRAS:  There are not.  But 

17          it's like other academic financial aid, it's 

18          largely based on one's income.  But the 

19          schools offer, you know, other assistance for 

20          other -- you know, textbooks and room and 

21          board.  There's GPA requirements for other 

22          scholarship programs that we're not changing, 

23          but there's none in this program.

24                 You have to be -- you can't get 

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 1          admitted, though.  Stony Brook's not going to 

 2          lower their admissions requirements just 

 3          because of this program.  There can be robust 

 4          admissions requirements still.  And you have 

 5          to maintain a certain GPA to maintain -- you 

 6          have to stay in school, right?  This doesn't 

 7          say you can go to college tuition-free, get 

 8          zeros across the board for a year, and remain 

 9          in the program.  If you're not qualifying to 

10          remain in school under the current rules, 

11          you're no longer a student at the school.

12                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

13                 Do you think that there's a 

14          misunderstanding out there with the public 

15          that they think this is totally free?  

16          Because obviously room and board and other 

17          fees are not included under this proposal.  

18          And I'm not really sure right now what the 

19          room and board is at various campuses, but 

20          it's still thousands of dollars, probably at 

21          least $6,000 or $7,000.

22                 MR. MALATRAS:  What we thought -- yes, 

23          room and board at SUNY is about $12,500.  

24          Don't quote me on that.

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 1                 What we thought was important here 

 2          is -- there are a couple of good things.  

 3          One, to highlight the fact that New York 

 4          State already has a very robust Tuition 

 5          Assistance Program that's almost unparalleled 

 6          to other states.  The TAP program is second 

 7          to none.

 8                 We do have a last-mile program where 

 9          kids are not meeting that financial need 

10          tuition-wise, so they're either going to 

11          school a little bit longer or taking a job 

12          where they can't complete -- and that's 

13          driving debt.  So we wanted to lower the 

14          debt, yes, but we also wanted to have 

15          students to still have some skin in the game 

16          too.  Right?  Tuition-free doesn't mean you 

17          can go get a free degree and that's it.  You 

18          have to earn your degree, and there are other 

19          costs associated with going to a SUNY or CUNY 

20          school, as a motivating factor to graduate 

21          kids on time.

22                 And I know there's been some 

23          discussion, if I may, on the credits.  It's 

24          written into the rule -- we want it to be 

                                                                  298

 1          full-time, because we want the completion 

 2          rates to go up, right?  Four-year completion 

 3          rates at SUNY, in our public systems right 

 4          now, are about 39 percent, four-years 

 5          graduation rates.  Two-year graduation rates 

 6          are about 9 percent at our community 

 7          colleges.  We want to elevate and raise the 

 8          graduation rates.  We want to get the kids in 

 9          on time, we want to graduate them so they 

10          lower their debt, lower their overall costs.

11                 But there are provisions in our bill I 

12          think that could be worked on.  I think 

13          Chairperson Glick has raised some concerns.  

14          For instance, there's a stepping-out 

15          provision.  If there's a family emergency or 

16          a family need where you have to step out of 

17          the program for a year, we don't penalize 

18          you.  The clock starts again when you come 

19          back in.  

20                 There's also, in the law, wiggle room 

21          for -- because that may be 15 credits, 

22          15 credits.  So you take 18 credits one 

23          semester, and 12 credits another semester.  

24          There's ways of working that out to be 

                                                                  299

 1          full-time.  But if there's other ideas on 

 2          that, too, we want to work on those ideas 

 3          with you.  The important part for us was 

 4          full-time, complete on time, as opposed to 

 5          languishing in our programs longer.

 6                 So thank you for listening.

 7                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So thank you for 

 8          that.

 9                 What would occur if a student changed 

10          his or her major?  Because oftentimes that 

11          requires extra time.  And also there are 

12          instances, unfortunately -- and I don't know 

13          how common they are, but my own nephew had to 

14          go to school an extra year at a SUNY college 

15          because he was misadvised on which courses to 

16          take.  So what would happen in those 

17          instances?

18                 MR. MALATRAS:  The eligibility is for 

19          four years for four-year schools and two 

20          years for two-year colleges.  

21                 You must know about my college 

22          experience.  I changed majors probably 96 

23          times.  I graduated in three years, still -- 

24          took a little work there.

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 1                 But no, it would be limited out, so 

 2          you would get a tuition cost.

 3                 There are other programs, though, that 

 4          we are exploring too, where if there's a 

 5          problem on the advising side or on the 

 6          college side itself, where the student is 

 7          held harmless.  UB's program, Finish in Four, 

 8          is a very interesting program to us, and I 

 9          think many of you must know about it, where 

10          it is -- if they can't offer you the 

11          coursework or there is a problem with 

12          advisement, the school will hold you harmless 

13          on the incentive that you are offered to 

14          finish your college, because you may be a 

15          half a semester past four years.

16                 So we can explore those types of 

17          things too.  But this is timed out to four 

18          years and two years as a benefit.

19                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I only changed my 

20          major three times, so you're way ahead of me.

21                 But, you know, I remember semesters 

22          where I was taking 21 credits.  What if a 

23          student wanted to take more than just the 

24          basic 15 credits per semester?

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 1                 MR. MALATRAS:  Nothing stops, under 

 2          this.  It would still be tuition-free.  I 

 3          mean, yeah, I averaged about 20.  So it would 

 4          still be tuition-free.  You wouldn't need the 

 5          extra year in some level, right?

 6                 I graduated in three years, so you'd 

 7          lose the room-and-board year and paying for 

 8          the fees and things.  So that was how I saved 

 9          dollars for myself.

10                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  So let's switch to 

11          the independent colleges.  

12                 And you know my district very well, 

13          Jim, and I am very fortunate, I represent 

14          three private colleges.  

15                 One is Houghton College, a private 

16          institution founded in 1883.  They have been 

17          coed since Day 1.

18                 I have St. Bonaventure University, of 

19          which I'm a proud alumni.  I actually went to 

20          SUNY Fredonia  for two years before I changed 

21          my major and went to St. Bonaventure, a 

22          strong focus on Franciscanism and diversity 

23          programs, founded in 1858.

24                 Then Alfred University, which you're 

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 1          aware of, because we have a state-school 

 2          component of that through the Ceramics 

 3          College.  I just want to read you a couple of 

 4          facts about Alfred University.  They were 

 5          founded in 1836.  They have been a coed 

 6          institution, both genders, since its 

 7          inception at that time.  

 8                 And even before the Civil War, and 

 9          certainly before other institutions in 

10          New York State and the nation, 

11          Alfred University admitted African-Americans 

12          and Native Americans.  So they've been way 

13          above the curve, ahead of the curve.  

14                 And most of their students -- for 

15          example, in 2016, 80 percent of their 

16          incoming first-year students came from 

17          families with an adjusted gross income of 

18          less than $130,000.  They aren't serving 

19          elite students, they are serving everyday 

20          New Yorkers.  And over the past 10 years, an 

21          average of 83 percent of the first-year 

22          students have come from families, as I said, 

23          below $130,000.  So they're doing their part.

24                 And right now, by the way, 26.5 

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 1          percent of all students at Alfred University 

 2          have identified themselves as minority 

 3          students.

 4                 So I'm very concerned, because these 

 5          three institutions, two in Allegany County, 

 6          the second-poorest county in the state, and 

 7          one in Cattaraugus County, which is the 

 8          third-poorest in the state -- they are not 

 9          only major drivers of knowledge and 

10          education, cultural opportunities, collegiate 

11          sports, but also economic factors.  They are 

12          major employers in rural parts of the state 

13          that are suffering already from lack of jobs.

14                 So my question is -- and I believe 

15          that we'll hear testimony later today from 

16          the independent colleges -- that they believe 

17          that the Excelsior program jeopardizes them 

18          and puts them at a real disadvantage.  And 

19          when you pile on top of it the restriction of 

20          the Bundy Aid, the penalty that's included in 

21          the Governor's budget, basically it's 

22          untenable to them and a major cause of 

23          concern.  If any of those colleges or any of 

24          the other independent colleges go out of 

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 1          business anywhere in the state, it's going to 

 2          be a major loss to our state.

 3                 So I was hoping that you could address 

 4          that, because I am deeply concerned about the 

 5          position that the independent colleges are 

 6          put in.

 7                 MR. MALATRAS:  Thank you, Senator.  

 8          It's the old adage, one side says the 

 9          proposal is too hot, and the other side says 

10          the proposal is too cold.  $163 million can't 

11          possibly cover enough to pay for these kids; 

12          on the other side, $163 million is going to 

13          tip the entire system over, is sort of what 

14          we're battling with.  So we think we're sort 

15          of right.

16                 I think under the Governor's previous 

17          six budgets, this being his seventh, and what 

18          you've passed in your budgets, we're 

19          extremely happy about having a broad array of 

20          choices for students in this state, privates 

21          and publics.  In our budget this year, with 

22          HECap, Bundy Aid and TAP, $400 million 

23          already go to our private institutions of 

24          state incentives, which is not an 

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 1          insignificant amount of money.  I believe 

 2          except for Texas, the State of New York 

 3          provides more public financial assistance to 

 4          private and independent universities in the 

 5          nation.  Right now, about 90,000 kids get 

 6          TAP, state-subsidized tuition, to go to 

 7          private schools.

 8                 That doesn't change.  None of that 

 9          changes, we're not changing it.  We have some 

10          new requirements on tuition increases.  The 

11          industry, the higher education world, is 

12          changing rapidly.  I don't want to speak to 

13          that today.  I think some of the schools that 

14          you're referring to have faced financial 

15          issues for a long time now, and they should 

16          speak to that.  I don't want to speak to 

17          their financial issues.

18                 This is an incentive program.  We 

19          wanted to maximize our dollars to elevate the 

20          opportunities for as many kids as possible to 

21          get a college education.  And the way we 

22          could do that was on the public school side.  

23          When the average tuition for a SUNY school is 

24          $6400 and the average tuition for a private 

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 1          school is $34,000, we simply can't make up 

 2          that delta on the state side, nor should we.

 3                 But if students do want -- and there's 

 4          a lot of students that want to go to private 

 5          schools, we will continue the TAP program.  

 6          That's a robust -- it's about $300 million 

 7          that goes to kids to go to private schools 

 8          now.  Bundy Aid and HECap, that's a very 

 9          generous thing.  But we wanted to maximize 

10          the opportunities.  And to make that work for 

11          a $125,000 level, it was focused on public 

12          higher education, which was the SUNY and CUNY 

13          systems.

14                 The competition sort of is already 

15          there, though, right?  There are students 

16          that want to go for the lower-tuition public 

17          school option now, and there's some kids that 

18          want to go to a private school, and either 

19          the scholarships and other things don't work 

20          or they do.  And that's their choice.  And we 

21          don't want to hurt that choice.  There are 

22          other economic factors at play.  

23                 But I don't think this proposal is the 

24          tipping point for those schools, and the 

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 1          Governor and I think the Legislature should 

 2          be very proud of the fact that, you know, 

 3          close to a half a billion dollars a year is 

 4          going towards helping the private and 

 5          independent system now.

 6                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Right.  And I 

 7          commend this Legislature, the Senate and the 

 8          Assembly.  We have invested heavily in 

 9          college affordability programs, notably TAP, 

10          for example.  And in the Senate, we have 

11          passed several packages of bills, under 

12          Senator LaValle's leadership as chair of the 

13          Higher Education Committee, to enhance 

14          college affordability.  So there are a lot of 

15          proposals out there.  And certainly the 

16          Senate is very focused on that issue, because 

17          we understand what families go through.

18                 I think to say that, you know, kind of 

19          dismissively that the $163 million isn't 

20          going to put any of these colleges over the 

21          edge, I think, you know, really -- I would 

22          hope that, you know, we would have further 

23          discussions about that so that the Governor 

24          and you can fully understand the situations 

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 1          that these colleges are in.

 2                 So, you know, we look forward to 

 3          working with you along these lines, and I'm 

 4          sure we'll be hearing more testimony today.  

 5          So I want to thank you for your time, and 

 6          then I'll cede it over to Chairman Farrell.

 7                 MR. MALATRAS:  Thank you, Senator.  

 8                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

 9                 Assemblywoman Simon.

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Yes, thank you.  

11                 Yes, Ms. Magee, I have a question to 

12          follow up on the hearing we had in November, 

13          where we asked about the loan forgiveness 

14          program, the Get on Your Feet loan 

15          forgiveness program.  And you were kind 

16          enough to send some additional information 

17          with regard to the number of people who had 

18          applied but were rejected.  And it appears 

19          that about 2,000 people had applied, about 

20          84 percent of them because they had graduated 

21          prior to 2014.  

22                 I'm wondering if you have any further 

23          data with regard to what that span of time 

24          is.  Like if -- they could have graduated in 

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 1          1990 or they could have graduated in 2012, 

 2          for example.  Do you have any sense of the 

 3          sort of time frames within which those people 

 4          graduated who were not eligible?  

 5                 And then, secondarily, any ideas about 

 6          expanding that?  Because I'm quite sure that 

 7          loan forgiveness is going to continue to be a 

 8          big issue.  And I think it's a very important 

 9          policy issue that we need to work on.  And 

10          I'd appreciate it if you could address that 

11          issue.  And if not you, maybe Mr. Malatras, 

12          you could.

13                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Just 

14          factually, as far -- we can provide you the 

15          data as to students up to a period of time 

16          who applied, what year they actually 

17          graduated from high school.  But we've 

18          changed our application so that if someone 

19          checks that they actually graduated prior to 

20          the eligible year, we won't see the 

21          application at all.  But we can get you our 

22          experience up until the time that we were 

23          continuing to accept applications from 

24          borrowers who had already graduated prior to 

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 1          2014.  

 2                 MR. MALATRAS:  Assemblywoman, we'll 

 3          work -- this program is something the 

 4          Governor proposed several years ago.  I think 

 5          we're one of the only states in the nation to 

 6          offer 100 percent loan forgiveness to kids 

 7          coming out of college for two years, to let 

 8          them -- and to get on your feet just 

 9          literally, so you're not accumulating other 

10          debt because you're paying off your student 

11          loans.  If there are ways to grant more 

12          access to students, we'd be glad to work with 

13          your office on this.  We think this is a 

14          national program that could really help a lot 

15          more kids.  So however we can work with you 

16          on that, we would.

17                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Yeah, I think 

18          it's a great idea.  I'm very happy that 

19          New York is doing it.  I'm just concerned 

20          that we're not doing as much of it as we 

21          could do.  And so, you know, I wanted to 

22          explore that further.

23                 And then the other question I have is 

24          about some of the features of the Excelsior 

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 1          program, and in particular this issue about 

 2          15 credits.  I'm curious what source or what 

 3          study was done to determine that this would 

 4          make sense, to increase the minimum credit 

 5          load to 15.

 6                 MR. MALATRAS:  Some of it was 15 

 7          credits or 30 credits a year gets you to full 

 8          completion.  So it's 120 credits for the SUNY 

 9          or CUNY system, which means you can graduate 

10          in four years.  That's how we got the math.  

11                 On the study, if you look at Inside 

12          Higher Education or the Chronicle, which is 

13          sort of the signature place where higher ed 

14          looks for thought ideas, study after study 

15          shows the more credits you take -- if you're 

16          taking full-time credits, you will complete 

17          on time, you will finish college, and you 

18          will do better, as opposed to less.  So we 

19          can provide that to your office.  

20                 So academic studies have shown the 

21          more you can incentivize completion on time, 

22          the better kids do while they're going to 

23          school and the higher grades they get, and 

24          they actually do complete.  And 15 was just 

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 1          because it's 30 credits a year to get you to 

 2          120 in order to graduate in four years.

 3                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  So we talked 

 4          earlier -- I think it was Senator Young asked 

 5          about the students stepping out and coming 

 6          back or the fact that somebody might take a 

 7          course during the winter break, for example, 

 8          and get 30 credits overall.  And you've 

 9          indicated a willingness to be flexible about 

10          that.  

11                 Another question that I have asked 

12          previously and is a great concern to me is 

13          our students with disabilities.  And that is 

14          that, as I gave an example earlier, I 

15          graduated in less than four years.  I 

16          graduated in three-years plus because I 

17          could, because I could read fast.  And there 

18          are lots of students for whom they can't go 

19          through any faster.  If they double up and 

20          they -- you know, in order to get this 

21          benefit of tuition assistance, they take 

22          15 credits, they're going to end up either 

23          dropping back in terms of their grade point 

24          average or maybe dropping out or, you know, 

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 1          having to drop a course and then losing that 

 2          funding.  

 3                 So there are -- not every student, 

 4          certainly, but there are certainly students 

 5          who would need a reduced course load as a 

 6          reasonable accommodation.  And I have a very 

 7          real concern that students like that could be 

 8          made ineligible because of their disability, 

 9          which I think would not be something that you 

10          would want to do.  And I'm curious what 

11          thought has been given to that and how that 

12          would be implemented.

13                 MR. MALATRAS:  What we built into the 

14          program, and it may not be the perfect 

15          language yet, is this hardship exemption for 

16          just these cases.  You don't want to 

17          disadvantage kids that may have needs that 

18          are different than the typical student -- I 

19          don't mean pejoratively.  

20                 The question for us becomes, which 

21          we'll have to work with the SUNY and CUNY 

22          systems on, and we can get your ideas on it, 

23          is how do you actually implement such a 

24          hardship waiver or exception in a program, 

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 1          campus by campus.  Is that a -- as a policy, 

 2          how does that work?  But we do have a 

 3          recognition that there are students that may 

 4          need enhanced services or more time on a 

 5          case-by-case basis, and how do you address 

 6          that.  We address it in our proposal broadly, 

 7          but how that gets implemented -- you know, we 

 8          need to work with the systems.  And there's 

 9          probably more we could do there, yes.  That 

10          was something that the Governor recognized as 

11          a concern too, and something we'd like to 

12          work with the Legislature on.

13                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  There's some 

14          pretty strong disability services offices 

15          that normally would handle that kind of thing 

16          and would probably be very -- would have a 

17          lot of the data that you would be seeking, I 

18          would think.

19                 Thank you.

20                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Senator?  

21                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Yes, next we have 

22          Senator Diane Savino.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator 

24          Young.  

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 1                 Thank you, Ms. Magee, and Jim, for 

 2          coming over to provide some clarity on some 

 3          of the questions from the earlier testimony.  

 4          It appears that you might be the only person 

 5          who has the answers to all of the questions 

 6          that we've presented today about the 

 7          Excelsior program.  If you were listening, 

 8          you heard the responses from the chancellor 

 9          from SUNY and from CUNY and even from State 

10          Ed.  There seems to be a lot of confusion 

11          about who's eligible, what they would be 

12          eligible for, whether or not disabled 

13          students would be -- there would be an 

14          exemption, if you step out, if you step in.

15                 So I think before we go forward, they 

16          need to be apprised of what the -- who would 

17          qualify and under what circumstances if we 

18          want this to work.  We all want to support 

19          the idea of tuition-free for students.  And 

20          so I want to ask a question because I'm a 

21          little confused, because our Tuition 

22          Assistance Program is really about providing 

23          financial assistance to families based upon 

24          their need.  Because we all agree, as a 

                                                                  316

 1          public policy matter, that a higher education 

 2          is important for not just a person's 

 3          individual growth and their economic growth, 

 4          but for the state, correct?

 5                 MR. MALATRAS:  Correct.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And we all know the 

 7          limitations of TAP, because it's means-tested 

 8          at a certain level and only students are 

 9          going to get it because of their family's 

10          income.  And so there's this gap of people 

11          who don't qualify over a certain income 

12          level.  And so -- I mean, I personally and I 

13          know the members of the IDC, we believe we 

14          should just double the amount of TAP and 

15          increase the length -- but, okay, we're here 

16          to discuss the Governor's program.  

17                 In this program, though, it appears 

18          almost as if we're punishing people over that 

19          income level.  Because I've heard said today 

20          more than once that this is not just about 

21          providing financial assistance, it's about 

22          encouraging a behavioral change.  So why 

23          would we encourage a behavioral change only 

24          among these students, requiring them to 

                                                                  317

 1          complete school in four years, at 15 credits 

 2          at a time or they lose their funding, when we 

 3          don't have that behavioral change on students 

 4          at a lower income level?  

 5                 So is it a financial assistance 

 6          program for families, middle-income families 

 7          who don't qualify for full financial aid, to 

 8          get them over that last mile, or is it a 

 9          behavioral tool?

10                 MR. MALATRAS:  It's multiple things.  

11          You have a lot of questions there.  I was 

12          going to stop at the okay when you said you 

13          were going to do your own.  

14                 Right now, those students between, 

15          right, you have up to $97,000 a year, an 

16          average family can get $500 of TAP.  Above 

17          that, there's nothing.  So we're providing 

18          now a new financial incentive to begin with.  

19          Right?  

20                 So are we encouraging behavior?  Yes.  

21          But the first thing we're doing is we're 

22          actually offering a financial assistance that 

23          these families never had to begin with.

24                 Secondly, the last mile goes down 

                                                                  318

 1          pretty far, at about $65,000 a year.  A 

 2          family of three on $65,000 a year is not 

 3          middle class.  We're already filling in some 

 4          of the financial gaps there too already.  So 

 5          we're providing a broad array of financial 

 6          assistance to a large group of people, not 

 7          just the middle-income people.  

 8                 But part of this is to increase 

 9          graduation rates.  Yes, we do want to change 

10          behavior.  We wish we could do more.  I'd 

11          like to focus on the entire system about how 

12          we can improve graduation rates, because 

13          improved graduation rates helps everybody.  

14          How do we get those?  Do we need more 

15          assistance one way or another to get every 

16          kid through the system?  A 9 percent 

17          graduation rate in a two-year school to us is 

18          not an acceptable graduation rate.  That 

19          drives debt, that drives extra costs.  Some 

20          of those kids don't finish at all, and they 

21          have debt coming out of school for nothing.  

22                 So however we can incentivize ways for 

23          people to finish school on time, yes, we 

24          don't hide behind that.  We do want kids to 

                                                                  319

 1          complete on time.  We do want students to 

 2          complete on time.  Not every program offers 

 3          that, right?  TAP is 12 credits, which is 

 4          five years.  But we do want to change it.  

 5          But the first thing for the new bracket of 

 6          families that currently don't have any access 

 7          to financial assistance, they're getting 

 8          financial assistance for the first time.  So 

 9          it's not penalizing them, it's a benefit that 

10          the state was not providing to begin with, 

11          coupled with a pretty affordable education, 

12          higher education across the board on other 

13          things too.

14                 So yes, we don't hide behind the fact 

15          that we're trying to improve graduation 

16          rates.  However, we can do more across the 

17          board.  We're game.  We'll work with every 

18          Senator and Assemblyperson to improve those 

19          graduation rates, because the faster we get 

20          them trained for the workforce, the better 

21          for the State of New York.  A million 

22          unfilled jobs, mostly high-tech jobs, and 

23          we're importing people to fill some of our 

24          high-tech jobs.  Let's graduate our kids on 

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 1          time faster.  

 2                 So yes, we want to change behavior, 

 3          but this is a benefit that they don't have 

 4          now.  So it's not like you're penalizing them 

 5          for something that they don't have.

 6                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, perhaps 

 7          penalizing is too harsh of a word.  I think 

 8          the concern is more that recognizing the 

 9          difficulties that you can sometimes run up 

10          against trying to achieve that four-year 

11          degree in the four-year period of time, 

12          sometimes through no fault of your own.  You 

13          know, I shared earlier this morning I'm not 

14          that old that I don't remember registration 

15          day, where you may not be able to get all of 

16          those courses that you need in that time 

17          frame.

18                 So there has to be some flexibility in 

19          the plan.  Otherwise, you will have people 

20          who are motivated, who are incentivized, who 

21          really want to do this, but for whatever 

22          reason aren't going to be able to meet that, 

23          and then they're going to lose not only the 

24          eligibility, they have to repay the money.  

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 1          And now, now what happens to them, right?

 2                 So I just think we need to, you know, 

 3          think it through so that we don't wind up, 

 4          you know, hurting students who are currently 

 5          not eligible for anything and then they'll 

 6          wind up, you know, in worse shape than they 

 7          started.

 8                 And the other thing, the question we 

 9          have is about the schools, you know, this 

10          requirement that they not raise their tuition 

11          above $500 or above the -- what is it, the 

12          APR.  If they do, then no student in that 

13          school would be eligible for tuition 

14          assistance.  Isn't that a bit harsh?

15                 MR. MALATRAS:  I think you're 

16          referring to the proposal on the private 

17          independent schools?  

18                 SENATOR SAVINO:  No, it also applies 

19          to public institutions as well.

20                 MR. MALATRAS:  Well, with public, 

21          right, the public gets put aside because the 

22          state already controls tuition increases.  

23                 So I think you're referring to the 

24          private school side, which is going 

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 1          forward -- not the current cohorts of kids -- 

 2          if you raise your tuition above a certain 

 3          threshold a year, you're no longer eligible 

 4          for TAP under those schools.  Yes, we did put 

 5          that in as a way to try to rein in college 

 6          costs across the board.  It doesn't really 

 7          apply to the public side, because we control 

 8          tuition.  We have a proposal, which I'm sure 

 9          is going to be fully vetted, on extending the 

10          rational tuition program.  

11                 But this largely applies to the 

12          private school side as a way to try to rein 

13          in some of those increased costs as a 

14          condition of getting increased financial aid 

15          from the state side.  Applying to new cohorts 

16          of kids, not current kids here in schools.

17                 SENATOR SAVINO:  So what would happen 

18          to all of those students -- let's assume a 

19          private college, you know, goes over the 

20          tuition amount and the state acts and they 

21          make the students no longer eligible for TAP.  

22          They would then all either have to leave the 

23          school and show up at SUNY or CUNY.  So I 

24          think that would be a serious concern for any 

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 1          one of the institutions that they would show 

 2          up at.  

 3                 But again, it would harm those 

 4          students.  So I just question whether or not 

 5          that's actually -- you know, I agree with 

 6          sometimes you've got to use the carrot and 

 7          sometimes you have to use the stick.  I'm not 

 8          sure this is the best way to use the carrot 

 9          and the stick on that one.

10                 MR. MALATRAS:  This is like a 

11          lollipop.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  A lollipop.

13                 MR. MALATRAS:  It's hard but sweet.  

14                 (Laughter.)

15                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, thank you for 

16          that, Jim.

17                 MR. MALATRAS:  Thank you, Senator.  

18                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Okay, thank you.  

19          On that note, back to the Assembly.

20                 (Laughter.)

21                 (Mr. Malatras left the hearing room.)

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Just a few 

23          follow-up questions.  

24                 Going back to the threshold, so I know 

                                                                  324

 1          it's going to be phased in up to $125,000 

 2          when it's fully phased in.  So if you're just 

 3          above the limit, $126,000, you'll be 

 4          suspended, you will not be eligible for the 

 5          scholarship anymore?

 6                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  No.  Just 

 7          similar to the TAP program, which has an 

 8          income cap, the Pell program has an income 

 9          cap, this program also has the income cap 

10          where, beyond that amount, you're not 

11          eligible for the award.

12                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  And I know at 

13          this point there haven't been mentioned -- 

14          but do you think anyone has looked at or -- I 

15          was hoping that the Governor's aide would 

16          still be here -- but regional income limits.  

17          So in other words, Long Island, where I'm 

18          from, the cost of living is different than 

19          other parts of the state.  Do you know, have 

20          any of those factors been considered?

21                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  For the 

22          income threshold?

23                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Yes.

24                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  What the 

                                                                  325

 1          Governor has proposed is a single $125,000.

 2                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Flat, across 

 3          the state?

 4                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Yes.

 5                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Okay.  And I 

 6          guess what we just heard kind of clarified 

 7          something a little bit earlier when we were 

 8          speaking earlier with the chancellor, when we 

 9          were looking at the 15 credits and 15 

10          credits.  Now, I think the interpretation is 

11          that it's 30 credits average per year.  So if 

12          you need to take classes during the summer or 

13          the January session, as long as --

14                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  -- you 

15          complete 30 each year so that you're on track 

16          to complete two for an associate's or four 

17          for a bachelor's, yes.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN LUPINACCI:  Okay, thank 

19          you.

20                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Any further 

21          questions, Senator?  

22                 Thank you very much.

23                 ACTING PRESIDENT MAGEE:  Thank you.

24                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Next, 1 p.m., 

                                                                  326

 1          Andrew Pallotta, NYSUT executive vice 

 2          president.  Oh, excuse me.  We also have 

 3          Frederick Kowal, president, United University 

 4          Professions; Barbara Bowen, president, 

 5          Professional Staff Congress; Christopher 

 6          Black, director of legislation, NYSUT.

 7                 Do we have enough chairs?

 8                 NYSUT EXEC. VP PALLOTTA:  Yes, we're 

 9          good.

10                 Hi, and thank you for the opportunity 

11          to testify before you today on the proposed 

12          2017-2018 Executive Budget for higher 

13          education.  My testimony represents the 

14          concerns of nearly 80,000 faculty and 

15          professional staff who work in colleges and 

16          universities across New York State.  These 

17          include the members of UUP at SUNY and PSC at 

18          CUNY and all of the faculty and staff at 

19          nearly all community colleges throughout the 

20          state.  

21                 I am joined today by Dr. Fred Kowal, 

22          president of UUP, and Dr. Barbara Bowen, 

23          president of PSC, and also Chris Black, the 

24          director of legislation.

                                                                  327

 1                 You have my testimony before you, and 

 2          I would like to just summarize a couple of 

 3          points.  

 4                 We are pleased to see that the 

 5          Governor has made college access a focal 

 6          point of the Executive Budget.  We support 

 7          the intent of the Excelsior Scholarship 

 8          Program.  We believe that any proposal to 

 9          provide free tuition to students should be 

10          accompanied by a purposeful and meaningful 

11          multiyear proposal.  

12                 We would like to see a restoration to 

13          SUNY and CUNY to the prerecession funding, as 

14          well as increased student access to full-time 

15          faculty.  We would like to see an increase of 

16          funding by $250 per FTE to community 

17          colleges, getting closer to New York's 

18          upholding its commitment to fund 40 percent 

19          of its operating cost, and also to restore 

20          state subsidies to SUNY hospitals and provide 

21          additional support to these hospitals and 

22          help them prepare for any potential changes 

23          coming as changes to the Affordable Care Act.  

24          Both Dr. Kowal and Dr. Bowen will speak to 

                                                                  328

 1          the specific funding needs of SUNY and CUNY.

 2                 We are also aware that SUNY is looking 

 3          at changing the funding methodology for 

 4          community colleges.  And while we are open to 

 5          this, it is our strong position that state 

 6          funding should still go directly to the 

 7          colleges, and we stand by that and we say 

 8          there should be local control.  

 9                 We know that increased investment will 

10          require additional state revenue.  NYSUT has 

11          been working in coalition with other groups 

12          on revenue enhancers.  For example, the state 

13          could generate $5.6 billion annually from 

14          extending and expanding the millionaire's tax 

15          and closing the carried interest loophole at 

16          the state level.  We urge the Legislature to 

17          consider dedicating a portion of these 

18          revenue streams to develop and support a 

19          multiyear state investment plan for public 

20          higher education.

21                 We want to thank the legislature and 

22          especially the chairs of Higher Education, 

23          Senator LaValle and Assemblymember Glick, for 

24          your tireless advocacy and support of SUNY 

                                                                  329

 1          and CUNY.  

 2                 I now turn this over to Dr. Kowal.

 3                 UUP PRESIDENT KOWAL:  Thank you.  

 4                 Chairperson Young, Chairman Farrell, 

 5          distinguished members of the Senate Finance 

 6          Committee and Assembly Ways and Means 

 7          Committee, I want to thank you for providing 

 8          United University Professions with the 

 9          opportunity to testify on the 2017-2018 

10          Executive Budget for higher education.  

11                 UUP is the nation's largest higher 

12          education union.  We represent more than 

13          42,000 academic and professional faculty and 

14          staff serving hundreds of thousands of 

15          students and patients at the academic 

16          institutions, the health science centers, and 

17          public teaching hospitals directly 

18          administered by the State University of 

19          New York.  

20                 I want to begin by expressing my deep 

21          appreciation for your leadership and staunch 

22          support for the initiatives important to UUP 

23          over the past several years.  Last year 

24          alone, we were encouraged by your support for 

                                                                  330

 1          the opportunity programs, as they continue to 

 2          grow and serve students who desperately need 

 3          that assistance to have the opportunity to 

 4          attend and graduate from college.  

 5                 You also deserve our gratitude for 

 6          restoring $19 million to the state subsidy 

 7          for SUNY's three teaching hospitals and 

 8          overturning language in proposed Article VII 

 9          legislation which would have severely limited 

10          federal and state matching DSH money.  And I 

11          was encouraged this morning to hear the 

12          chancellor speak of the necessity for that 

13          funding to be guaranteed moving forward and 

14          delivered as scheduled.  These institutions 

15          are crucial to the future of New York State 

16          and SUNY.  

17                 Finally, I'd like to thank Senator Ken 

18          LaValle and Assemblymember Deborah Glick for 

19          joining last year with UUP, PSC, NYSUT and 

20          higher education advocates in calling for the 

21          enactment of a full maintenance of effort 

22          bill.

23                 My full written testimony has been 

24          delivered to you.  I will just simply hit a 

                                                                  331

 1          couple of the high points in terms of the 

 2          Governor's proposal and our proposals to 

 3          match.

 4                 First, we do applaud the inclusion of 

 5          higher education in a primary position in the 

 6          Governor's budget proposal through the 

 7          proposal for the Excelsior Scholarship 

 8          Proposal.  It is certainly a welcome idea, 

 9          and conceptually, we support it.  However, in 

10          my written testimony I will discuss the 

11          financial implications of the decades-long 

12          underfunding of SUNY and the results that 

13          that underfunding has had and its impact on 

14          students, on faculty and staff, and looking 

15          forward, on whatever version of the Excelsior 

16          program goes into effect.

17                 One most important point is that 

18          higher education is a labor-intensive service 

19          that requires faculty-student ratios that 

20          permit significant personal interactions 

21          between students and instructors.  At the 

22          turn of this century, SUNY had 10,300 

23          full-time faculty to instruct 185,000 

24          students.  Today, it has less than 8,700 

                                                                  332

 1          full-time faculty to teach 220,000 students.  

 2          The result has been a significant increase in 

 3          the dependence on adjunct faculty who are 

 4          paid poverty-level wages.

 5                 The issue of quality must be addressed 

 6          in any consideration of the Excelsior 

 7          program, and similarly the long-standing 

 8          underfunding of our public university 

 9          systems.

10                 Second, New York State's public 

11          hospitals in SUNY are staring down the barrel 

12          of America's biggest health care crisis, and 

13          that is the potential repeal of the 

14          Affordable Care Act.  We believe that any 

15          replacement offered will not provide 

16          insurance coverage that most people need or 

17          can afford.  Therefore, Brooklyn's Downstate 

18          Medical Center, Stony Brook's University 

19          Medical Center, and Syracuse's Upstate 

20          Medical University Hospital could soon see a 

21          dramatic upsurge of uninsured patients 

22          without the ability to pay for healthcare.  

23          Up to 2.7 million New Yorkers could lose 

24          health care coverage if the ACA is repealed 

                                                                  333

 1          without the concurrent availability of 

 2          alternate coverage.

 3                 Now, it's important to remember, when 

 4          we consider those teaching hospitals, that 

 5          they are economic engines in the areas that 

 6          they serve, but they also train, providing 

 7          doctors and professional healthcare 

 8          specialists in New York City and throughout 

 9          the state.  Therefore, the funding that the 

10          chancellor has requested and that we support 

11          is absolutely crucial moving forward.

12                 Third, again I want to thank you for 

13          the support that you have extended to the 

14          Opportunity Programs, EOC and EOP.  They are 

15          clearly the examples that should be used in 

16          terms of how to make education in SUNY 

17          successful.  EOP works diligently to close 

18          the achievement gap.  We are asking that the 

19          Legislature help close the funding gap.  

20          because as the chancellor spoke this morning, 

21          there are thousands of students who would 

22          like to take advantage of EOP and EOC, and 

23          they simply can't get in.  There aren't 

24          enough slots.

                                                                  334

 1                 Fourth, regarding teacher education, 

 2          we applaud the actions taken last year by the 

 3          Legislature to fund the Teacher Opportunity 

 4          Corps.  We are proposing a SUNY program that 

 5          would complement this program, the existing 

 6          Teacher Opportunity Corps, to take the state 

 7          further towards creating a school-to-career 

 8          pipeline we need to address the state's 

 9          diversity gap in terms of racial and ethnic 

10          groups within the teaching profession.  

11                 Finally, on the issue of transparency, 

12          it's important to remember that recent events 

13          involving the SUNY Research Foundation and 

14          so-called private, nonprofit groups created 

15          and managed by the foundation and the former 

16          head of SUNY Polytechnic demonstrate that a 

17          clear need exists for greater accountability 

18          and transparency of the foundations and their 

19          auxiliary organizations.  We are presently 

20          concluding work on a comprehensive proposal 

21          that would address the many issues 

22          surrounding the operation of SUNY's 

23          foundations.

24                 With that, I will close my comments 

                                                                  335

 1          and look forward to answering any questions 

 2          that you may have.  Thank you.

 3                 PSC PRESIDENT BOWEN:  Thank you very 

 4          much.  Good afternoon, and thank you for 

 5          staying and for asking such probing and 

 6          trenchant questions throughout the day.  We 

 7          have appreciated hearing them.

 8                 Good afternoon, Chairperson Young and 

 9          Chairperson Farrell and the Chairpersons -- 

10          LaValle is not here, I see, but Deborah 

11          Glick, and also the members of the Assembly 

12          and Senate.  Thank you very much for your 

13          presence.  I'm proud to be joined by my 

14          colleagues here at the table and also two of 

15          the other PSC officers, Professor Mike 

16          Fabricant and Professor Nivedita Majumdar.  

17                 You've heard a lot and you've asked a 

18          lot today about the Excelsior scholarships, 

19          and you also heard about Mr. Malatras speak 

20          about the state's desire to incentivize 

21          college completion.  I'm going to make the 

22          argument that the way to incentivize college 

23          completion is to fund CUNY and SUNY fully, 

24          and that that's the real focus that we should 

                                                                  336

 1          have this year, and that the Legislature can 

 2          offer leadership in that area.

 3                 But first, I want to say thank you, 

 4          because last year was an extraordinary year 

 5          of effort on your part.  You took a very 

 6          strong and principled position in support of 

 7          funding our collective bargaining increase, 

 8          our contract which had been overdue for six 

 9          years; you stood firm against the proposal to 

10          reduce state support aid to CUNY by 

11          $485 million; and you listened to the people 

12          of New York when they said they opposed a 

13          tuition increase.  So thank you all very 

14          much.  The students, the faculty, and the 

15          communities that rely on CUNY are grateful to 

16          you.  You also made other restorations, and 

17          we thank you for those.

18                 Important as it is to restore funding, 

19          and critical as those major legislative 

20          victories are, they do not solve the root 

21          problem.  And I think you're hearing the same 

22          thing, a similar thing from all of us.  The 

23          fundamental issue at CUNY is not a fairly 

24          limited scholarship program.  The fundamental 

                                                                  337

 1          issue is the years of underfunding that has 

 2          been devastating to the City University of 

 3          New York, despite the efforts of the 

 4          Legislature.  The university has endured a 

 5          steady decline in state funding that now 

 6          threatens the quality of education, as some 

 7          of you have suggested today.

 8                 The good news, however, is that 

 9          solving the problem is within New York's 

10          reach.  The PSC calls on you to build on the 

11          work last year and to move forward to a new 

12          direction in funding for CUNY.  Higher 

13          education has never been as prominent in the 

14          national imagination, the national 

15          consciousness, as now.  This is the year for 

16          New York to turn around the pattern of 

17          underfunding of CUNY.

18                 Governor Cuomo was right when he 

19          focused on the importance of college 

20          education as a central issue of our times.  

21          The idea of free college education caught 

22          fire during the presidential election as a 

23          way to address income inequality.  It will 

24          take more than college to address income 

                                                                  338

 1          inequality -- that needs a larger structural 

 2          change -- but this is a critical focus.

 3                 The Excelsior Scholarship Program is 

 4          important because it elevates the idea of 

 5          free college tuition.  As Chancellor Milliken 

 6          said, it reaffirms the value of CUNY and 

 7          SUNY, and it suggests that free college 

 8          education is a realistic goal.  All of that 

 9          represents a breakthrough.  But the plan is 

10          presented as a promise to the people of the 

11          State of New York that the state is committed 

12          to free college education, and that promise 

13          has to be made real.

14                 The Legislature can make the promise 

15          of high-quality education real by seizing the 

16          opportunity of this moment and offering real 

17          leadership in the arena of higher education, 

18          public higher education especially.  There is 

19          a chance this year, and it's up to the 

20          Legislature, we believe.

21                 Full funding for CUNY is where we 

22          would ask the Legislature to go.  And it's an 

23          expensive proposition.  By our estimate, it 

24          is about a $2 billion per year increase in 

                                                                  339

 1          annual funding.  That's a large number, and 

 2          we are not proposing that it be reached in 

 3          one year.  But the impact would be 

 4          extraordinary even if we reach it over time.  

 5          And we're calling on you to focus your 

 6          attention slightly differently than on the 

 7          scholarship program and to imagine how at 

 8          this moment, when higher education has seized 

 9          the national attention and New York has 

10          seized national attention on that issue, the 

11          Legislature can offer real leadership, deep 

12          leadership, by embarking on a funding program 

13          for the public universities.  

14                 We have very strong evidence in 

15          New York that public investment works.  At 

16          CUNY, we have the ASAP program, where it's 

17          been shown that investing in students, a 

18          greater investment, produces three times the 

19          graduation rate than for non-ASAP students.  

20          That evidence is right there, and it shows 

21          that it works.  And we can talk more about 

22          that if you'd like to hear later.

23                 So we believe that it's the time to 

24          start making a significant investment, and 

                                                                  340

 1          we'd like to suggest how.  We also support 

 2          the Governor in his support of extending the 

 3          millionaire's tax.  We believe that tax 

 4          should be expanded and made permanent because 

 5          it is going to take more revenue to fund 

 6          public universities properly.  But public 

 7          universities, as we've heard Jim Malatras say 

 8          earlier today, are a public good, and 

 9          therefore they're a worthy expenditure of 

10          public money.

11                 So we call on the Legislature to work 

12          with us on several items.  First is to cover 

13          the mandatory cost increases at CUNY this 

14          year.  And you've heard Fred Kowal speak 

15          about the need for that at SUNY.  Last year 

16          you worked extremely hard to support the 

17          maintenance of effort legislation.  That 

18          needs to be made permanent legislation.  

19                 CUNY would need an additional 

20          $81.1 million to cover the mandatory costs.  

21          Fringe benefits have been covered in the 

22          Governor's proposal, but there are other 

23          costs -- step increases, rental increases, 

24          collective bargaining increases -- that are 

                                                                  341

 1          not there.  And unless they're there, we're 

 2          seeing a decrease in the operating budget of 

 3          CUNY.

 4                 Second, we call on you to take the 

 5          first steps toward restoring the City 

 6          University of New York in an area we also 

 7          heard Fred Kowal speak about, and that is we 

 8          call on you to provide the funding to hire 

 9          1,000 additional full-time faculty.  That may 

10          sound like a big number, but the last time 

11          CUNY enrollments were near the level they are 

12          now, CUNY had 11,500 full-time faculty.  Now 

13          we have 7,700.  We're 4,000 full-time faculty 

14          short.  The ratio of students to faculty is 

15          appalling, and we need that increase.  Nearly 

16          half the courses are now being taught by 

17          adjunct faculty.  

18                 So there must be an investment.  That 

19          is the way to support students, because they 

20          will have more time with their professors, 

21          more support, they'll be able to get into 

22          courses they need.

23                 Third, we call on you to make a 

24          signature investment, something that is 

                                                                  342

 1          gaining national attention, which is to make 

 2          an investment in adjunct salaries.  Normally, 

 3          of course, salaries are articles for 

 4          collective bargaining.  But the reason that 

 5          we have such low adjunct salaries and so many 

 6          adjuncts is the hollowing out of the budget.  

 7          And we feel that the solution must be, at 

 8          least in part, a budgetary solution.  

 9                 For $40 million, the Legislature could 

10          begin -- and here you would take absolute 

11          national leadership -- could begin the move 

12          to a $7,000 per course payment for adjuncts.  

13          This is a state that's led the way on $15 per 

14          hour minimum wage.  We should be leading the 

15          wage on adjunct wages.  Adjuncts are 

16          currently, as Fred said, many of them, on 

17          poverty wages.  That sends the absolute wrong 

18          message about the value of higher education, 

19          if we pay the instructors poverty wages.

20                 Fourth, we call on you to increase the 

21          community college base aid by $250, as our 

22          colleagues have described.

23                 And then we call on you to do 

24          something that Chancellor Milliken mentioned 

                                                                  343

 1          this morning, which is to add a fairly modest 

 2          amount of money, $35 million, to move toward 

 3          an initiative that would allow more hands-on 

 4          time, one-on-one time, for our existing 

 5          faculty with the students.  The current way 

 6          the caseload is structured at CUNY does not 

 7          allow that time.  Students are desperate for 

 8          time with their professors.  And for a 

 9          relatively modest investment, that could be 

10          accomplished.  The CUNY budget has called on 

11          New York City to put in that amount, and we 

12          call on the state to do the same.

13                 We also seek to have the state cover 

14          the TAP gap.  And by that I refer to not what 

15          you mentioned earlier, Senator Savino, but 

16          the difference between what TAP provides and 

17          the actual tuition.  And as many of you have 

18          observed, that will only grow with the 

19          Excelsior scholarships.

20                 And finally, we ask you two things.  

21          One is to restore the very items you restored 

22          last year -- the Opportunity Programs, the 

23          Murphy Institute and others, which have again 

24          been cut, undoing your good work, and to 

                                                                  344

 1          support passage of the DREAM Act.  We applaud 

 2          the Governor for his support of that, but we 

 3          are concerned that DREAM Act students, or 

 4          undocumented students, would not be covered 

 5          in the Excelsior Scholarship Program.  And 

 6          the DREAM Act is vitally important for the 

 7          moral and political and economic health of 

 8          the state.  And this is the time to do it, 

 9          right now.

10                 Finally, we have a few things to say 

11          about the Excelsior scholarships.  I won't 

12          take too much time on those, but just to say 

13          that they do raise concerns for us.  

14          Important as it is conceptually to name the 

15          value of free college, it's important to 

16          recognize that it's not actually a free 

17          college program, it's a last-dollar 

18          scholarship program, that the cost is hard to 

19          reconcile with the actual numbers.  

20                 We also have concerns that part-time 

21          students -- 84,000 part-time students are at 

22          CUNY.  They're not included.  And they're 

23          some of our neediest students.  And we do 

24          have concerns about the structure of the 

                                                                  345

 1          scholarship itself.  The credit limit you've 

 2          fully explored, and also the fact that it's 

 3          deferred so that a student could be at CUNY 

 4          and SUNY and be forced to drop out and CUNY 

 5          and SUNY would be forced to absorb the cost.

 6                 So there are several concerns that we 

 7          have about it, and I think we'd be very happy 

 8          to talk with you about that further.

 9                 But the main thing I want to leave you 

10          with is this, that important as it is that 

11          the Governor has focused attention nationally 

12          on public higher education, and that's a very 

13          good thing, it's equally important for us to 

14          look carefully at the program that he has 

15          proposed and to be aware of its limitations, 

16          and at the same time to lift our eyes and 

17          look at what would really make a difference 

18          for the people of New York, and that's to 

19          stop starving our public institutions, stop 

20          sending the public college students the 

21          message that their education has to be 

22          poverty education.  They deserve the very 

23          best, and I know you are all committed to 

24          that.  We feel this is the year to make a 

                                                                  346

 1          significant move toward full funding for CUNY 

 2          and for SUNY.  

 3                 Thank you very much.

 4                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 5                 Assemblywoman Glick.

 6                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

 7          much for all of your testimonies.

 8                 I just want to grasp -- obviously, the 

 9          notion of full funding is something that I 

10          would support.  And you've laid out that it's 

11          a big number, and that you see that over a 

12          horizon.  How long and in what increments do 

13          you think you start to make real progress?

14                 PSC PRESIDENT BOWEN:  That's a great 

15          question.  What we are proposing now is a 

16          four-year progress to that.  Obviously it 

17          could be stretched out further.  We could 

18          work with you on that.  I mean, there are 

19          other ways of conceiving of it.  

20                 But to the second part of your 

21          question, how long would it take to make a 

22          real difference, with what we've proposed 

23          this year, it could make a tremendous 

24          difference.  Increasing the number of 

                                                                  347

 1          full-time faculty by a thousand would be 

 2          instantly felt.  It would be very dramatic.  

 3          We would hope that some of those new 

 4          full-time faculty would be people who 

 5          currently are working as adjuncts, who are 

 6          very eager to have full-time positions and 

 7          have the advanced degrees.  

 8                 We also see it as an opportunity to 

 9          continue increasing racial and ethnic and 

10          gender diversity and other kinds of diversity 

11          in CUNY faculty.  

12                 But the impact on students would be 

13          felt immediately.  You know, every study that 

14          we see everywhere about what makes a 

15          difference in students' education, the 

16          number-one thing is time with the individual 

17          faculty member.  So simply having more people 

18          there would enable the colleges to offer more 

19          courses.  A significant number of students, 

20          I'll pull it out for you, report that they 

21          cannot get into courses in their major 

22          because the courses are not there; they 

23          cannot get courses they need to graduate 

24          because the courses are not offered.  All of 

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 1          those things would be changed dramatically by 

 2          step one of this.  

 3                 And some of the time to graduate 

 4          concern that's been raised frequently today 

 5          would be alleviated by having enough 

 6          full-time faculty to teach the courses.  I 

 7          mean, obviously there are many other reasons 

 8          for the time to graduate, mostly societal and 

 9          economic, but this would be a significant 

10          change.

11                 UUP PRESIDENT KOWAL:  Assemblymember 

12          Glick, similarly, what we've proposed is 

13          either a four- or a five-year program to get 

14          us basically to recoup about half of what has 

15          been lost since 2008, where there were the 

16          big cuts that occurred with the Great 

17          Recession.  

18                 And then for all intents and purposes, 

19          you know, both of the most recent executives 

20          have not been all that generous in proposing 

21          funding.  Thankfully, the Legislature has 

22          helped out.  But still we have, by our 

23          calculations, seen cuts in SUNY approaching 

24          over $500 million.  A program of $50 million 

                                                                  349

 1          per year for about five years would begin to 

 2          address that gap.  It would allow us to do 

 3          the hiring of full-time faculty.  

 4                 But we also see the necessity for 

 5          campuses, some of them suffering to a great 

 6          extent -- Senator Young, you represent 

 7          Fredonia.  Fredonia has been hurting very 

 8          badly and is in need of support to cover 

 9          those basic costs.  And that's why we also 

10          call for a $30 million funding plan to 

11          address those costs that are recurring.  And 

12          also, if you notice, add the two together, we 

13          end up with $80 million, which if you recall 

14          was what SUNY was proposing originally.  And 

15          then when word spread that there might be a 

16          financial crisis of sorts, they backed away 

17          from that.  

18                 So all we are saying is we agree with 

19          SUNY, its original proposal, that they do 

20          need $80 million to begin to address what has 

21          been lost, both in terms of full-time faculty 

22          and those -- what we refer to as the 

23          maintenance of effort costs.

24                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Okay.  So SUNY 

                                                                  350

 1          needs 80; CUNY, on a first-year down 

 2          payment --

 3                 PSC PRESIDENT BOWEN:  Right.  We've 

 4          proposed $80 million for full-time faculty 

 5          and $40 million to move the adjuncts toward a 

 6          non-poverty wage.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Okay.  This is a 

 8          little off the -- because you've raised some 

 9          of the smaller schools that have some 

10          problems.  It's been my feeling that it's 

11          very hard for a Fredonia or a Potsdam on 

12          their own to do the marketing.  SUNY is writ 

13          large, but I daresay that the average student 

14          in regions other than the immediate region 

15          has no idea what schools are out there.  

16                 And so has there been any thought 

17          about how the individual schools could be 

18          assisted by the system?  And obviously this 

19          is more a question for the system, but you 

20          may have some ideas.  You usually do.  I've 

21          had the pleasure of going to some of the 

22          smaller schools -- not all of them yet, but 

23          you know, I'm still willing to travel.

24                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I know, it's 

                                                                  351

 1          Western New York.

 2                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I've been to 

 3          Buffalo a couple of times, but you're on the 

 4          list.

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  We didn't mean to 

 6          change the subject here.  Just let me know.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  You're on the 

 8          list.

 9                 And -- but I have been to the North 

10          Country East and the North Country West, and 

11          the schools individually have incredibly 

12          unique programs that most students aren't 

13          even aware of.  And Plattsburgh, for example, 

14          has an incredible arts program that frankly I 

15          don't think 12 people in the City of New York 

16          are aware of.

17                 And I'm just wondering what your 

18          thoughts are about how we could be doing a 

19          better job, all of us -- you all, us, the 

20          system -- in making it clear not just the 

21          power of SUNY, and it's writ large, but its 

22          individual components have so much to offer.  

23          Do you have any thoughts on that?

24                 UUP PRESIDENT KOWAL:  Yes.  And I 

                                                                  352

 1          think what needs to be remembered is that 

 2          when I talk about the cuts that have 

 3          occurred, the campuses that have been harmed 

 4          the worst have been the comprehensives and 

 5          the technical campuses.  The university 

 6          centers have done very well.  They also have 

 7          the luxury of being able to attract private 

 8          funding.  They have huge endowments.  And, 

 9          you know, when you add it all together -- 

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Relatively.  

11          Relatively.

12                 UUP PRESIDENT KOWAL:  Yeah, relative.  

13          And the foundations that the university 

14          centers have at their disposal, you know, 

15          that gives them a serious advantage.

16                 And I think when I go back in my 

17          career, going back to the 1990s when there 

18          was an effort on the part of SUNY, for 

19          whatever reason, to begin to almost break off 

20          into individual campuses -- there was a move 

21          by campuses to stop referring to themselves 

22          as SUNY Cobleskill or SUNY Canton.  It became 

23          Canton College, it became Plattsburgh 

24          College.  And it was almost like the denial 

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 1          of the existence of a system where, together, 

 2          there would be a promotion of all of the 

 3          unique elements of that.

 4                 I've always thought that when 

 5          Chancellor Zimpher has talked about 

 6          systemness, that that's what she was getting 

 7          at, the idea that there would be a promotion 

 8          of all of the institutions.  Unfortunately, 

 9          what has happened is because of reduced 

10          funding -- and, to be honest, this emphasis 

11          over the last couple of years on 

12          performance-based funding -- that has not 

13          helped those institutions that have already 

14          been harmed by underfunding, places like 

15          Potsdam or Fredonia or my home campus at 

16          Cobleskill.  

17                 What is needed is an investment in 

18          those institutions that have an incredible 

19          history of serving the people of New York 

20          State.  They have excellent programs.  But 

21          yes, because of a combination of underfunding 

22          and, I would say, a lack of imagination in 

23          terms of promoting these campuses, what we 

24          have seen is a competitive nature within SUNY 

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 1          so that you have winners and you have losers 

 2          in the recruitment fights.

 3                 I want to point out as well, though, 

 4          that some of these campuses like Plattsburgh, 

 5          like Fredonia, even Geneseo, which has a very 

 6          strong reputation, they have suffered 

 7          enrollment-wise because of the attacks on the 

 8          teacher education programs and the program of 

 9          assessment that has been flawed from the 

10          get-go three, four years ago.

11                 I am optimistic that the reforms that 

12          are being talked about will help to alleviate 

13          that, while also I am hopeful that the 

14          Legislature will look favorably on our 

15          proposal to increase the diversity in the 

16          enrollment of these programs, and that will 

17          address what is in New York State now, the 

18          growing teacher shortage.  

19                 So I think we can look at campuses, 

20          but you're right, we also need to look at 

21          programs.  And for 17 of our institutions, 

22          teacher education is a major program, and we 

23          need to get back to promoting those programs 

24          and supporting them for the good they do to 

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 1          New York.  And let's remember, New York still 

 2          exports teachers, and so these programs are 

 3          crucial and necessary.

 4                 If you just look at SUNY statistics, 

 5          though, over the last couple of years there 

 6          has been a fall off of 40 percent of 

 7          enrollment in our teacher education programs.  

 8          This is going to have a dramatic impact on 

 9          New York State.  So those programs need to be 

10          emphasized while also promoting the strengths 

11          of the campuses across the state.

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

13                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

14                 Senator?  

15                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Senator Stavisky.

16                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Just one question.  

17          Was the salary contract included in the 

18          Governor's Executive Budget?

19                 PSC PRESIDENT BOWEN:  You mean the 

20          funding for the recently bargained --

21                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yes, your contract.

22                 PSC PRESIDENT BOWEN:  No, not 

23          specifically.  The increases for this year -- 

24          there are two parts of it.  There's 

                                                                  356

 1          retroactive pay, which was included in the -- 

 2          it was reported on in last year's financial 

 3          reports.  The first quarter from last year 

 4          shows the amount for the retroactive pay.  

 5                 The second piece is the cost of 

 6          increasing the salaries.  We see that as just 

 7          the salaries.  Right?  It should not be 

 8          separated from the rest of the -- that's the 

 9          same as your base salary.  That is not now 

10          the salary at CUNY.  That's the contractually 

11          agreed-on salary.  So that is an absolutely 

12          mandatory cost, and it shouldn't be separated 

13          out.  So we see it as part of the need for 

14          mandatory cost increases.

15                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

16                 PSC PRESIDENT BOWEN:  There are other 

17          salary pieces that are not in there either.  

18          I mean, again, years ago this union had 

19          bargained for salary step increases rather 

20          than having everybody at the top step right 

21          away.  That was stretched out, and those 

22          increases had been funded until about four 

23          years ago, and they are not funded in this 

24          budget.

                                                                  357

 1                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

 2                 PSC PRESIDENT BOWEN:  You're welcome.

 3                 SENATOR KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 4                 Assemblymember?  Anybody?

 5                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I think we're all 

 6          set.  Thank you so much.

 7                 PSC PRESIDENT BOWEN:  Thank you very, 

 8          very much.  Thank you.

 9                 NYSUT EXEC. VP PALLOTTA:   Thank you.  

10                 UUP PRESIDENT KOWAL:   Thank you.  

11                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  1:30, 

12          Mary Beth Labate, president, Commission on 

13          Independent Colleges and Universities, CICU. 

14                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  Good 

15          afternoon, everyone.

16                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Good afternoon.

17                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  And thank you, 

18          Chairpersons Young, Farrell, LaValle and 

19          Glick, and members of the Senate Finance and 

20          Assembly Ways and Means Committees.  

21                 I am Mary Beth Labate, and I am 

22          honored to be here today as the eighth 

23          president of the Commission on Independent 

24          Colleges and Universities, a role that I 

                                                                  358

 1          began three weeks ago, but it seems like a 

 2          lifetime.  CICU represents more than a 

 3          hundred not-for-profit or independent 

 4          colleges and universities located throughout 

 5          the state, and the almost 500,000 students 

 6          they educate each year.  

 7                 I applaud the effort to make higher 

 8          education more affordable; it is what our 

 9          colleges focus on each and every day.  Still, 

10          I am deeply concerned about the overall 

11          direction that the Executive Budget has taken 

12          in this regard.  Any program that limits 

13          opportunities for the 300,000 New Yorkers for 

14          whom a private college or university offers 

15          the best academic, social and career fit is 

16          incomplete.

17                 What's more, it could have devastating 

18          and I assume unintended consequences for 

19          private colleges that have long been the 

20          pillars of their communities.  Students don't 

21          deserve to have their choices limited or 

22          their TAP taken away simply for selecting a 

23          private school that best fits their needs.

24                 Many of you have one or more 

                                                                  359

 1          independent colleges in your district, and 

 2          you know us well.  Others may be less 

 3          familiar with the sector, so I want to take 

 4          this opportunity to share with you a few 

 5          facts.  

 6                 Let me begin with our students.  They 

 7          are diverse in every sense of the word.  More 

 8          than 80,500 qualify for TAP.  Nearly 

 9          three-quarters of those students have family 

10          incomes below $40,000.  Ninety percent 

11          receive financial aid, making the cost of 

12          private higher education significantly lower 

13          than the so-called sticker price would 

14          suggest.

15                 Our schools provide $5.1 billion in 

16          financial aid every year to our students, a 

17          threefold increase since 2000-2001.  We are 

18          responsible for over 400,000 jobs, and our 

19          employees pay more than $2 billion in state 

20          taxes.  Eight independent colleges are among 

21          the top ten employers in their respective 

22          regions.  All told, private colleges and 

23          universities generate almost $80 billion in 

24          economic impact.  We keep students from 

                                                                  360

 1          leaving the state, and we attract students 

 2          and investments from around the globe to 

 3          areas that might otherwise experience further 

 4          population declines.  

 5                 We confer 80,000 undergraduate and 

 6          60,000 graduate degrees each year.  And each 

 7          year more black and Hispanic students earn 

 8          undergraduate and graduate degrees from our 

 9          campuses than went anywhere else in the 

10          state.  We also lead in degree completion.

11                 While we boast some of the greatest 

12          research universities in the world, nearly 90 

13          of our campuses enroll fewer than 2,000 

14          students.  The proposals in the Executive 

15          Budget threaten the balanced ecosystem of 

16          public and private institutions that make 

17          New York's higher education system the envy 

18          of the world.  They will erode a system that 

19          has, for more than a century, brought 

20          economic mobility to its students and 

21          stability to its communities.  Our private 

22          colleges and universities work hard to ensure 

23          that students who are qualified for admission 

24          can afford to attend regardless of their 

                                                                  361

 1          economic circumstances.  The Executive Budget 

 2          could upend that tradition.

 3                 The proposed Excelsior scholarship 

 4          would provide free tuition at our public 

 5          institutions while offering no additional aid 

 6          to students who would otherwise thrive at a 

 7          private college.  The Executive Budget would 

 8          also deny TAP or Bundy Aid to students 

 9          attending private schools that raise tuition 

10          beyond the limits imposed by government.

11                 Who loses from proposals that hurt our 

12          independent colleges and universities?  First 

13          and foremost, our students.  As you have 

14          recognized with TAP, we strongly believe that 

15          any effort to supplement existing state 

16          financial aid must treat all New Yorkers the 

17          same, regardless of whether they want to 

18          attend one of our 100-plus private campuses 

19          or a SUNY or CUNY campus.  

20                 Government-run and independent 

21          colleges and universities both serve 

22          important missions.  We make each other 

23          better in doing so.  Student choice leads the 

24          way.  That's true accountability.  

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 1                 Let me introduce Sarah Tuzzolo, from 

 2          whom you will hear in a moment.  Sarah is a 

 3          first-year student and TAP recipient at 

 4          Russell Sage College, the women's college 

 5          just across the river.  Sarah's older sister 

 6          attends the College of St. Rose.  Sarah plans 

 7          to earn a career in occupational therapy.  

 8          She chose Sage for its small class sizes and 

 9          supportive environment dedicated to student 

10          success.  As a participant in the HEOP 

11          program, Sarah receives the maximum TAP grant 

12          of $5,165, plus more than $39,000 in 

13          additional grants and scholarships.  

14                 On my left is Cody McEneny Ingraham.  

15          Cody is another student, another of the 

16          thousands of New York State students who 

17          chose a private college to pursue his dreams.  

18          Currently a junior at Siena and originally 

19          from Guilderland, Cody is a double major in 

20          history and political science, with minors in 

21          broadcast journalism, German, and a 

22          certificate in prelaw.  A maximum TAP award, 

23          6,800 in federal grants, $12,500 in a 

24          privately funded scholarship, and a Siena 

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 1          College scholarship totaling $28,000 are 

 2          helping Cody meet his college expenses.  

 3          Cody's family of four has limited means and, 

 4          according to a federal formula, is not 

 5          expected to contribute to his education.  He 

 6          had a federal loan of $2,275 and $600 in 

 7          federal college work study.  

 8                 I met with these two young folks 

 9          today, and I'm completely in awe of what 

10          they've done and I'm in awe of the schools 

11          for providing the support that they have for 

12          them.  So I'm honored to be with them.  

13                 Thank you for coming.

14                 Government did not turn its back on 

15          Sarah or Cody or attempt to sway them in one 

16          direction or another in their college 

17          selection process.  Instead, through your 

18          support of private higher education, you've 

19          said to them, and thousands like them:  We 

20          want to partner with your family and your 

21          school to make sure you have the resources to 

22          choose the school that best fits your 

23          ambitions.  The proposed Excelsior 

24          Scholarship Program would limit opportunities 

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 1          for students like Sarah and Cody.  

 2                 Who else loses when we weaken our 

 3          private colleges and universities?  Our 

 4          communities.  Our schools are critical 

 5          economic engines.  We are one of the state's 

 6          oldest and most enduring industries.  Like 

 7          other major industries, we must be nourished.  

 8                 Finally, taxpayers lose from an 

 9          Executive Budget proposal that could harm our 

10          private, not-for-profit colleges.  With so 

11          many New Yorkers educated in private colleges 

12          using private resources, New York devotes 

13          less to higher education as a percentage of 

14          its overall budget than all but seven states.  

15          It is a public/private partnership at its 

16          very best.  

17                 Taxpayers provide $6 billion in aid to 

18          SUNY and CUNY.  That's reasonable.  They're 

19          public institutions, and we don't begrudge 

20          that in the least.  This translates into 

21          $8,830 per student, a cost that will grow 

22          with free tuition and with future increases 

23          in operating and capital support to SUNY and 

24          CUNY to handle increased enrollment.  These 

                                                                  365

 1          added costs are not factored into the 

 2          Executive's proposal.

 3                 That same student could be educated at 

 4          a private college or university at a cost of 

 5          $650 to the taxpayer.  Why?  Because our 

 6          schools are heavily invested in student 

 7          success.  With our schools providing $5.1 

 8          billion in financial aid, the message is 

 9          clear:  Private, not-for-profit colleges and 

10          universities are engaged in marshalling their 

11          resources to reinvest in student aid.  The 

12          state's willingness to help is a critically 

13          important part of the successful formula that 

14          has created a balance between public and 

15          private higher education that has served 

16          students and taxpayers well.  

17                 The Executive Budget proposals will 

18          tip that balance.  Many of our schools will 

19          not be able to compete on this increasingly 

20          unlevel playing field, or will be forced to 

21          compromise their educational value to do so.  

22          Some might ask if we can compete better by 

23          reducing tuition.  Some of our schools have 

24          done so, but for many others a tuition 

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 1          reduction would hit the very student they 

 2          strive to help -- those of modest means who 

 3          benefit from very deep tuition discounts.  On 

 4          average, comparable campuses spend about the 

 5          same on student instruction.  What does 

 6          differ is who pays.  

 7                 In fairness to our students, 

 8          communities and taxpayers that rely on our 

 9          schools, CICU urges you to expand the 

10          availability of tuition assistance for all 

11          students whose families earn $125,000 or 

12          less.  An expansion of the maximum TAP award 

13          to $6500 and an increase in the minimum would 

14          increase the number of students already 

15          receiving free tuition at SUNY and CUNY, 

16          while giving students the choice of what 

17          college, public or private, works best for 

18          them.  

19                 And with that, I'd like to turn it 

20          over to the voices that really matter in this 

21          debate -- your constituents, our students.  

22                 Who would like to go first?  

23                 MS. TUZZOLO:  Good afternoon.  I am 

24          here today to discuss the importance of the 

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 1          Tuition Assistance Program.  

 2                 I, like many other students, need help 

 3          with paying for college.  I come from a 

 4          single-family home where my mother is 

 5          battling cancer.  I have always dreamed of 

 6          going to college.  I've always wanted to help 

 7          others.  TAP and HEOP have allowed me to 

 8          afford Russell Sage.  These programs have 

 9          allowed me to become one step closer to 

10          becoming an occupational therapist.  

11                 Sage was the best college for me 

12          because of the strong academic support and 

13          small classes.  I believe if TAP is 

14          eliminated, students would be put in a 

15          situation where they cannot attend the 

16          college of their choice due to the price.  I 

17          ask you to please protect the Tuition 

18          Assistance Program for me and many students 

19          like me who would not get the opportunity to 

20          fulfill their dreams because they lack the 

21          funds for an education.  

22                 Thank you for your time.  

23                 MR. INGRAHAM:  Good afternoon.  My 

24          name is Cody McEneny Ingraham.  I was 

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 1          accepted to several state and private 

 2          colleges, but Siena College was absolutely 

 3          the right fit for me.  It was close to home, 

 4          which meant to me not only family but 

 5          Albany's storied historical and political 

 6          landscape.  I especially liked Siena's strong 

 7          sense of community and Franciscan tradition.  

 8          Its variety of solid academic programs fit 

 9          together in just the right way which allowed 

10          me to pursue my passions in politics, 

11          history, law and journalism.

12                 Since, the community and academic 

13          activities I've participated in have not only 

14          fostered the many interests I have, but have 

15          also prepared me with the skills to make an 

16          impact in my future career.  

17                 If not for state and federal financial 

18          aid, I would not have been able to attend 

19          Siena.  The aid I receive allows me to pursue 

20          the education of a lifetime, which I intend 

21          to pay forward by pursuing a career of public 

22          service where I can use my skill set and 

23          academic background to help others.  I am 

24          passionate about education law and policy and 

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 1          social justice, and hope to follow these 

 2          passions in graduate school and throughout my 

 3          future professional life.  

 4                 I am grateful that these interests and 

 5          goals are being nurtured at an undergraduate 

 6          college with the right campus culture, with 

 7          professors who care sincerely about the 

 8          personal and academic development of each 

 9          student, and with alumni who are dedicated to 

10          their alma mater and want to see other 

11          graduates succeed and give back to others.

12                 New York State's Tuition Assistance 

13          Program allowed me to choose the right 

14          college.  I feel strongly that the Governor's 

15          proposed Excelsior scholarships should be 

16          extended to all of New York's college 

17          students, whether they attend a private or 

18          public institution.  

19                 College affordability should be a 

20          priority, and the state's financial aid 

21          programs have made higher education possible 

22          for many throughout the decades.  Allowing 

23          students to choose a college based on where 

24          they will excel and will see a strong return 

                                                                  370

 1          in their financial investment is the right 

 2          thing to do.

 3                 Siena's slogan is that students can 

 4          receive the education of a lifetime.  The 

 5          Excelsior scholarship would be a way to offer 

 6          the opportunity of a lifetime to students 

 7          statewide, and I hope the committee and the 

 8          State Legislature as a whole will continue to 

 9          consider offering this opportunity to the 

10          students of the State of New York.

11                 Thank you.

12                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

13                 Questions?

14                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Just a few 

15          questions.

16                 I appreciate the fact that you 

17          represent a very wide range of institutions; 

18          some are quite small, some are more 

19          middle-size, and some are kind of large.  I 

20          don't know all of the -- and I agree that 

21          TAP, which has been always tied to a student, 

22          and they make free choice, has been an 

23          important and good thing for the State of 

24          New York and all of the institutions, public 

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 1          or private.

 2                 I happen to represent a very large 

 3          institution that has a tuition at this point 

 4          of something like $50,000.  Right now, the 

 5          public universities are at about just under 

 6          $6,500.  So the difference between what TAP 

 7          provides and what the Excelsior would pick 

 8          up -- if they're getting 1,000, 2,000 -- is a 

 9          $4,500 difference.

10                 If we were to suggest that for the 

11          same cohort, up to $125,000, we were going to 

12          say, well, that's fine and we'll pick up the 

13          difference between the tuition cost -- so I 

14          guess the question is, are your universities 

15          willing to accept a tuition for students in 

16          Excelsior of just under $6,500?

17                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  That's an 

18          interesting question, Assemblymember.

19                 To just clarify, in our strong 

20          suggestion that we treat all students 

21          equally, we are not suggesting that in any 

22          way the Excelsior Scholarship Program provide 

23          free tuition at our private colleges.  We're 

24          simply saying treat the students the same so 

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 1          that if you're a similarly situated student, 

 2          same economic profile, give that student the 

 3          same amount of money a student would get 

 4          under Excelsior, and then require -- then it 

 5          will be up to our private colleges and 

 6          universities to compete for those students by 

 7          putting together very robust financial aid 

 8          packages.  

 9                 And I think you're seeing, with both 

10          of the students we have here today, that our 

11          colleges are very successful at packaging 

12          very strong financial aid packages that make 

13          it affordable for students to attend our 

14          private universities.

15                 So by no means are we asking anyone to 

16          pick up the bill for all of the private -- 

17          the cost of a private education.  We feel 

18          that is our responsibility.  We would simply 

19          want to see government continue the social 

20          contract that it has had with us so long and 

21          has had with our students.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I think part of 

23          what is driving this is not just a desire to 

24          see completion and graduation rates go back 

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 1          up, but also a limitation on debt.  And while 

 2          some of these schools have offered very 

 3          generous packages, it does seem that students 

 4          are still putting together part of that with 

 5          some loans.  

 6                 And I think that the notion, as far as 

 7          tuition goes -- because obviously we're not 

 8          covering room and board, which for some of 

 9          the students -- I mean, when I went to the 

10          City University, you pretty much stayed at 

11          home until you got to be a senior and worked 

12          a little bit and got 12 friends and found a 

13          place.  But generally speaking -- and they do 

14          have some dorms, which they never had.  It's 

15          really a rather new thing.  But for the most 

16          part, the students who attend those schools 

17          are attending them and just have the tuition, 

18          books, transportation.

19                 And I think that that's quite 

20          different in some of the other schools that 

21          we're talking about, where students generally 

22          do -- you know, you said you were close to 

23          home.  Are you staying at home?

24                 MR. INGRAHAM:  I'm living on campus.

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 1                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  So I think that 

 2          there still is this issue of we're focused 

 3          really on not all of the costs, but on the 

 4          tuition.

 5                 And so I guess what I'm asking is are 

 6          you suggesting that the program should 

 7          provide, if students are -- they're not 

 8          TAP-eligible if they have a family income of 

 9          over $80,000.  So you are suggesting that in 

10          those instances, those families should be 

11          getting essentially a $6450 tuition 

12          assistance to go to any school?

13                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  We're 

14          suggesting that if under the proposed 

15          Excelsior program, if Sarah, because of her 

16          family's financial status, was eligible for 

17          $6400, that she remain eligible for that and 

18          be able to use it at either a public or 

19          private institution.  

20                 And it will really then be incumbent 

21          on the private institution to put together 

22          the kind of package that would attract Sarah 

23          or Cody to come to them.

24                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Do you have any 

                                                                  375

 1          idea what that number then leads out to, 

 2          considering the number of students?  Did you 

 3          say you had --

 4                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  Currently we 

 5          have 80,000 students, about 80,000 who go to 

 6          privates who receive TAP.

 7                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  But for the 

 8          cohort that is above 80,000, they are not 

 9          getting TAP.

10                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  Correct.  

11          Correct.

12                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  So this is 

13          clearly an attempt on the part of the 

14          Executive to find a way to expand TAP without 

15          calling it TAP.

16                 So do you have any idea -- you don't 

17          have to have it off the top of your head, I 

18          understand.  But perhaps you could get us 

19          some figures on what those numbers would then 

20          look like.  You have some students who are 

21          getting $3,000 worth of TAP, some students 

22          who are getting zippo who would be 

23          income-eligible.  And we'd like to see what 

24          those numbers are, because it's very possible 

                                                                  376

 1          that that then makes a very significant 

 2          difference.

 3                 Do the majority of your students, 

 4          whether they're getting TAP or not, are they 

 5          carrying a full 15 credits?  And do you know 

 6          what your -- maybe you could get us your 

 7          graduation rates.  There may be regional 

 8          differences, but if you could give us some 

 9          idea of those graduation rates.

10                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  Sure.  We have 

11          those, and I can get those for you.  And I 

12          think you'll find they're better than -- I 

13          think they lead the sector.  Of the various 

14          higher education sectors in the state, you'll 

15          find that they lead.

16                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  That may be, in 

17          part, generated by the kind of behavior 

18          change that the publics are trying to induce, 

19          which is it costs so much more, you'd better 

20          get your act together and get out.

21                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  Right.  

22          Because as you know, the whole issue of debt 

23          and graduation, debt is closely connected 

24          to -- and default on debt is closely 

                                                                  377

 1          connected to your ability to graduate.  And 

 2          because we graduate our students on time, 

 3          default on their debt is significantly lower 

 4          than what may otherwise be the case.

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 7                 Senator?

 8                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.  

 9                 Senator Stavisky, do you have any 

10          questions?

11                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  No.

12                 SENATOR SAVINO:  I just have one or 

13          two questions.  Thank you for your testimony.  

14                 I want to follow up on the line of 

15          questioning from Assemblywoman Glick.  In 

16          your testimony, you didn't read all the way 

17          through, but you actually recommend one of 

18          the things that I think we should do, which 

19          would be to expand TAP, the eligibility, to 

20          more families, increasing the income 

21          eligibility, and also expand the size of the 

22          award.  

23                 I agree with you, I don't think we 

24          should be restricting where students can go, 

                                                                  378

 1          that TAP has always applied to the student, 

 2          not necessarily the institution.  

 3                 But there seems to be some concern on 

 4          many people's part about the cost of higher 

 5          education at private institutions.  I was a 

 6          graduate of St. John's in 1986, and my 

 7          tuition then is what CUNY costs today.  As 

 8          you know, St. John's today is about $38,000 

 9          without fees and without dormitories -- they 

10          didn't have dormitories when I went there.  

11          But, you know, it's incredibly expensive.  

12          They recently reduced their tuition by 

13          $10,000, and I believe they're going to do 

14          the same for their law school and for their 

15          grad school, because they realize it's 

16          becoming a zero-sum game; if it's too 

17          expensive, it can't attract students.  But I 

18          understand that there's also a lot of aid 

19          that's provided to students, so that no one 

20          really pays the sticker price.  

21                 But I don't have a clear understanding 

22          of how much does a average student pay at a 

23          private institution, where you start out with 

24          a tuition that's $38,000? 

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 1                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  Well, let me 

 2          say nine out of 10 students nationally get 

 3          financial aid.  In New York, we are no 

 4          exception to that.  

 5                 Just a word on tuition levels.  The 

 6          sticker price is very often set in a way that 

 7          will help to subsidize the majority of the 

 8          students who are getting financial aid.  Our 

 9          data suggests that the average net price, all 

10          in -- tuition, room and board -- for students 

11          who are receiving financial aid is about 

12          $25,000.  So you figure room and board is 

13          about the same for SUNY and CUNY, in the 

14          13 -- or, excuse me, for SUNY and the 

15          privates.  For SUNY and the privates, I think 

16          today SUNY said theirs was about 15; ours is 

17          about 13 or so.  So if you consider that 

18          those getting financial aid, the net price is 

19          25, and 13 of that is room and board, then 

20          about 12,000 would be tuition.

21                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And so that's what 

22          the student is responsible for.

23                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  That's what 

24          the student is responsible for.  But again, 

                                                                  380

 1          that is the net price, the average price for 

 2          all students getting financial aid.  Those at 

 3          the lower income spectrum, their net price 

 4          will be significantly less.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And so in your 

 6          opinion, if we were to expand this Excelsior 

 7          program to include private colleges, what do 

 8          you think the impact would be on private 

 9          colleges?  I mean, there was a question about 

10          capacity at SUNY and CUNY.  Do you think that 

11          there would be a capacity issue at the 

12          private colleges?  

13                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  I think if 

14          you -- I don't think there becomes a capacity 

15          issue unless you balance the scale too far in 

16          one direction or another.  Because if 

17          students are given the opportunity to choose, 

18          I think you'll continue to get the variety of 

19          choice that you now see.  Where in fact the 

20          private colleges educate a greater percentage 

21          of students than either SUNY or CUNY.  I 

22          think you'll continue to see that sort of 

23          distribution, so that no one system becomes 

24          overwhelmed.

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 1                 SENATOR SAVINO:  And finally, all 

 2          things being equal, wouldn't it just be 

 3          easier to increase TAP and increase the 

 4          income eligibility levels, since we already 

 5          have a system that does that?  

 6                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  We couldn't 

 7          agree with you more, Senator.

 8                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.

 9                 MS. TUZZOLO:  Can I add something?  

10          When you were talking about like the demand 

11          and like college students, right now Russell 

12          Sage, in our freshman dorms, we're only using 

13          the first two floors.  We need more students.  

14          So if this would be expanding, we want more 

15          students.  We want to expand our programs to 

16          show that we can succeed and just show our 

17          talent in smaller classrooms, with one-on-one 

18          teacher-to-student ratios, having the 

19          opportunity to express who we are, not being 

20          a number.  We're not a blank face sitting in 

21          a chair, we can raise our hand and have class 

22          discussions.

23                 SENATOR SAVINO:  That's a very good 

24          point.  Thank you.

                                                                  382

 1                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 2                 CICU PRESIDENT LABATE:  Thank you.

 3                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  NYPIRG, Blair 

 4          Horner.

 5                 MR. HORNER:  Good afternoon.  My name 

 6          is Blair Horner.  I'm NYPIRG's executive 

 7          director.  Our board chair could not make it, 

 8          so the testimony -- we'll summarize the 

 9          testimony.  Dennis Dontsov, from Hunter 

10          College, will be testifying on our behalf, 

11          and then we'll be willing to answer any 

12          questions you might have.

13                 Dennis?

14                 MR. DONTSOV:  Good afternoon.  My name 

15          is Dennis Dontsov.  I'm a first-generation 

16          American and a student at Hunter College of 

17          the City University of New York.  Given the 

18          inclement weather, our board chair is not 

19          able to make it to Albany today to testify.

20                 As you may know, NYPIRG is a statewide 

21          college-student-directed organization.  Our 

22          board chair is a student at SUNY Buffalo 

23          State.  We appreciate this opportunity to 

24          share our preliminary perspectives on the 

                                                                  383

 1          Governor's 2017-2018 Executive Budget for 

 2          higher education in New York State.  I will 

 3          summarize our written testimony, and we are 

 4          available to take questions. 

 5                 We strongly support the stated 

 6          position of Governor Cuomo that the cost of 

 7          attending public college has become too 

 8          expensive and that the state should ensure 

 9          that low-, moderate-, and middle-income 

10          college students can all attend public 

11          college tuition-free.  Thus we support the 

12          philosophy behind the Governor's proposed 

13          Excelsior Scholarship Program, which would 

14          charge no tuition to students whose income 

15          does not exceed $125,000.  

16                 However, we do have concerns.  Most 

17          notably, a key concern is that the Excelsior 

18          is a deferred-payment program.  As we 

19          understand it, the program requires that a 

20          participating student receive the benefit of 

21          the scholarship only after successfully 

22          completing 15 credits and earning at least a 

23          passing C grade.  Thus, the money does not 

24          flow until after the semester.  If the 

                                                                  384

 1          student for some reason fails to meet those 

 2          requirements, he or she is ineligible for 

 3          coverage, and the college must bill the 

 4          student for the semester -- the student, who 

 5          is eligible for the program precisely because 

 6          they need economic support.  

 7                 It seems counterintuitive that 

 8          economically struggling students be on the 

 9          financial hook for the costs of a college 

10          semester that they took under the reasonable 

11          assumption that the scholarship should pay 

12          for it.  These are students who have been 

13          accepted to college and thus meet its minimum 

14          academic standards.  As you know, real-life 

15          problems can adversely impact a student's 

16          life and his or her economic performance, 

17          divorce, death or illness among family 

18          members, or the student incurring an injury 

19          or illness.

20                 NYPIRG recommends that the Legislature 

21          amend the Governor's Excelsior Scholarship 

22          Program to ensure that students in good 

23          academic standing are held harmless for the 

24          tuition costs of a semester in which they are 

                                                                  385

 1          actively participating.  

 2                 In order to ensure that more 

 3          affordable public higher education comes 

 4          without compromising quality, our 

 5          universities must receive more state support.  

 6          State funding remains largely flat, even as 

 7          the costs to maintain SUNY and CUNY have 

 8          increased.  

 9                 NYPIRG recommends that the Legislature 

10          enhance funding for CUNY and SUNY senior and 

11          community colleges in order to help students 

12          get the classes they need to graduate, reduce 

13          class sizes, and bolster student advisement.

14                 The Governor took a positive step 

15          toward fixing an outdated financial aid 

16          program by including funding for college 

17          students who are undocumented immigrants.  We 

18          urge support.

19                 Furthermore, TAP should cover more of 

20          the cost of tuition for those who qualify, 

21          and be flexible enough to meet the needs of 

22          all types of New Yorkers, not just the 

23          traditional straight-from-high-school-to- 

24          college full-time student that it was 

                                                                  386

 1          initially designed to serve.

 2                 A recent report by NYPIRG and other 

 3          groups looked at food insecurity on college 

 4          campuses.  Consistent with prior studies, 

 5          48 percent of respondents reported food 

 6          insecurity in the previous 30 days.  NYPIRG 

 7          urges that the Legislature include monies in 

 8          the budget to allow public and independent 

 9          colleges and universities to develop 

10          recommendations on how best to tackle the 

11          problems of college students who suffer from 

12          food and housing insecurities.

13                 Opportunity programs are an incredible 

14          asset to New York.  They are often designed 

15          for the educationally and economically 

16          disadvantaged and have a steady track record 

17          of success and increasing graduation rates 

18          among the most at-risk students.  Students 

19          involved in the nationally recognized ASAP 

20          program graduate at more than double the rate 

21          of non-ASAP students, with increases in 

22          graduation rates after three years of at 

23          least 30 percent.

24                 These programs' success is bolstered 

                                                                  387

 1          from not only providing resources like 

 2          academic counseling, but, in cases like ASAP, 

 3          money for textbooks, tuition, and 

 4          transportation.  Programs known to be widely 

 5          successful and in many cases the only 

 6          opportunity for many students to pursue 

 7          higher education must be adequately funded by 

 8          the government.  NYPIRG strongly urges the 

 9          Legislature to take steps towards expanding 

10          funding to these opportunity programs.  

11                 In conclusion, rising tuition and 

12          other costs, eroding state support, outdated 

13          and inadequate financial aid, and growing 

14          student loan debt all conspire to undermine 

15          quality and put college out of reach for too 

16          many New Yorkers.  The demand to graduate 

17          more students from college with less student 

18          loan debt should result in policies that both 

19          decrease tuition and increase state support 

20          to institutions of higher education, as well 

21          as funding to financial aid programs such as 

22          TAP.  In order to provide a quality and 

23          affordable higher education for all 

24          New Yorkers, the state must commit itself to 

                                                                  388

 1          increasing public funding.  

 2                 Thank you.

 3                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Questions?

 4                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Do you think 

 5          that the average student takes fewer than 

 6          15 credits just because they want to take 

 7          longer to get out of school?

 8                 MR. DONTSOV:  No, I don't think so.

 9                 MR. HORNER:  Certainly it hasn't been 

10          our experience.  It tends to be that students 

11          take the credits they need based on whatever 

12          is happening in their lives.  And that's why 

13          the colleges set full tuition at 12 credits, 

14          that's why TAP was set at 12 credits, because 

15          they recognize the situation that college 

16          students often find themselves in.

17                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  We heard today 

18          from a representative of the executive branch 

19          that they've heard these concerns about the 

20          15 credits as a full-time and a potential 

21          trap door, and they said they were open to 

22          suggestions.  

23                 So I would suggest that you think 

24          about and come back to us with an array of 

                                                                  389

 1          suggestions that reflect the needs of the 

 2          students that you work with.  You know, I 

 3          know from my own experience, I took forever 

 4          to get out because there were -- you know, 

 5          there was a war to end and stuff like that, 

 6          so I was busy.

 7                 And unfortunately, the Governor's 

 8          representative left before I could ask him 

 9          this question.  I thought it was an 

10          unfortunate statement from somebody who's 

11          benefited greatly from a number of graduate 

12          degrees, to say if somebody goes to college 

13          but they don't finish, they have nothing to 

14          show for it.  I mean, I actually believe that 

15          the experience that one gains, the 

16          information, the interaction, the maturing, 

17          actually is something.  And I do think that 

18          there are lots of people who go to -- I know 

19          a number of people who went to law school.  

20          They don't think that they got nothing out of 

21          it.  They chose not to pursue law as a 

22          profession -- some of them might have taken 

23          the bar, some of them might not have.  But I 

24          don't think they would have looked on that as 

                                                                  390

 1          a waste.  Which is, I think, unfortunately 

 2          what we heard today.

 3                 I do believe that it is good for 

 4          people to complete their degree, but I do 

 5          think a lot of people go to school, think 

 6          that they want to finish, don't think they 

 7          want to go into their father's plumbing 

 8          business -- and then either dad gets sick and 

 9          they need to step in, and then they find out 

10          that, well, at least it's a job that can't 

11          get outsourced.  And they find out that they 

12          actually can make a very good living, and 

13          they actually enjoy it.

14                 So I don't think that education that 

15          doesn't end in a degree is a waste.  But I 

16          also agree that if people can conclude their 

17          degree, they're better off.

18                 So I would urge you to come back to us 

19          in the very near future with some suggestions 

20          about what kinds of things reflect the 

21          reality of students' lives.  I know you have 

22          this mention in here that almost a 

23          reimbursement basis is concerning and 

24          difficult.

                                                                  391

 1                 MR. HORNER:  I mean, the state has a 

 2          TAP program; Senator Savino was talking about 

 3          it.  I mean, there's a lot of models that 

 4          exist to build off of.

 5                 We certainly think, you know -- and 

 6          again, increasingly people describe students 

 7          that are involved in these programs, they 

 8          call them kids.  That's not true anymore.  I 

 9          mean, it was true when I went to school --

10                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Well, even if 

11          they're 40, to me they're kids.

12                 MR. HORNER:  Well, let's 

13          chronologically say -- but a lot of college 

14          students are not, in fact, young adults.  

15          Certainly our view is the financial aid 

16          program should be designed to deal with these 

17          college students as they are now, not as they 

18          were 40 years ago.  And so there's a lot of 

19          things we believe that can be done in terms 

20          of part-time aid.  TAP, though, is a model 

21          that could drive how the Excelsior program 

22          runs.  Because again, it's been on the books, 

23          people use it, you already know it, all the 

24          regs are in place, there's an agency behind 

                                                                  392

 1          it, there's nothing new to sort of figure 

 2          out. 

 3                 But we would have suggestions, and we 

 4          will come back to you with that for sure.

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  One final point.  

 6          It came up earlier that there are a great 

 7          number of students who don't know they're 

 8          eligible for some sort of aid and that 

 9          they're not filling out a FAFSA form because 

10          they just assume.  I think sometimes it's 

11          because their parents don't want to fill out 

12          a form that relates to their income.  We've 

13          seen people who are reluctant to fill out or 

14          release tax information, so I guess that's 

15          setting a new standard.  

16                 So I'd like you to think about what 

17          kinds of things can we do to help more 

18          students who -- obviously one thing would be 

19          to have high school counselors who are more 

20          familiar with financial aid issues than 

21          apparently they are, or perhaps just have 

22          some counselors.  Because I think we are 

23          probably running a severe deficit in that.

24                 But I look forward to working with you 

                                                                  393

 1          on ways in which we think we can reach more 

 2          students so that they know they have at least 

 3          some assistance, because they take advantage 

 4          of this without it.

 5                 MR. HORNER:  And as Dennis mentioned, 

 6          I think one of the major flaws in the 

 7          Governor's Executive Budget is the cuts, 

 8          really, to the opportunity programs.  Those 

 9          are the programs that are helping students to 

10          sort of navigate their way through the 

11          college experience.  Dennis specifically 

12          mentioned ASAP, but HEOP, EOP, SEEK, all 

13          those programs are important programs.  And 

14          they've delivered in terms of empirical 

15          evidence.  They're actually best practice.

16                 So we think as you're considering what 

17          to do with the higher education portion of 

18          the budget, the students that need the help 

19          the most should get the most help, and then 

20          you sort of work your way back from there.  

21          So again, we would urge, really, to look at 

22          the opportunity programs, because it's 

23          related to what you're discussing.  There are 

24          individuals who are not able -- either they 

                                                                  394

 1          can't or the family can't sort of manage the 

 2          whole experience of college.  They need the 

 3          help, they should get it.  The programs 

 4          exist, they should get the funding for them.

 5                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

 6                 MR. HORNER:  Sure.

 7                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 8                 Questions?  No?  Thank you very much.  

 9                 MR. HORNER:  Thank you.

10                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Next, Donna 

11          Gurnett, president and CEO, Association of 

12          Proprietary Colleges.  1:55.

13                 MS. GURNETT:  All right, can you hear 

14          me?

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Yes, I can.

16                 MS. GURNETT:  All right.  Wonderful.  

17                 So Assemblyman Farrell, Assemblywoman 

18          Glick, members of the Legislature, thank you 

19          very much for this opportunity to present my 

20          testimony on behalf of the Association of 

21          Proprietary Colleges.  My name is Donna 

22          Gurnett, and I am the president and CEO of 

23          the association, and it is my honor to be 

24          here today.

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 1                 APC represents the degree-granting 

 2          proprietary or for-profit sector here in 

 3          New York State.  We currently have 14 

 4          members, with 27 member campuses throughout 

 5          the state.  So we have campuses in Jamestown, 

 6          Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and a 

 7          high concentration of our members are in the 

 8          metropolitan New York City area.  

 9                 All of our members offer at least 

10          associate's degrees, and most of them also 

11          offer bachelor's, and some offer graduate 

12          degrees as well.

13                 Today I'd like to focus my remarks on 

14          the positive trends that we're seeing in the 

15          proprietary sector, as well as highlight a 

16          few things that we see that we think set our 

17          members apart from what you might see in the 

18          other three sectors of higher ed.  And I'd 

19          also like to take a few moments to talk about 

20          the Governor's proposed Excelsior Scholarship 

21          Program.  

22                 So first, a little background about 

23          our members.  APC member colleges have a 

24          long-standing history of offering 

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 1          high-quality, affordable educations.  On 

 2          average, our members have been in existence 

 3          for over 90 years, and half of them have 

 4          actually been in existence for over 

 5          100 years.  

 6                 We educate over 35,000 students, and 

 7          we are very New York State-focused, as over 

 8          90 percent of those students come from 

 9          New York State and then stay in New York 

10          State after they graduate, to live and work.  

11          We also employ over 6,000 faculty and staff.  

12          So we're very strong economic drivers in our 

13          local communities.  

14                 APC member colleges are truly 

15          committed to keeping college affordable.  In 

16          the 2015-2016 academic year, our average 

17          college tuition was just a little over 

18          $17,000.  So that was about a $380 increase, 

19          or just less than 1 percent increase over the 

20          prior year -- so well within the Governor's 

21          new recommendation to keep college tuition 

22          increases below $500 or below the three-year 

23          average of the Higher Education Price Index.

24                 Most of our members have either seen 

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 1          small tuition increases, so 1 or 1.5 percent, 

 2          or have actually been able to keep their 

 3          tuition flat.  Or, in the case of Five Towns 

 4          Colleges, they were actually able to decrease 

 5          their college tuition over the past couple of 

 6          years.  This is possible because our members 

 7          excel at finding operational efficiencies 

 8          they can implement that don't negatively 

 9          impact their staff and faculty development 

10          or, more importantly, their student support 

11          systems that we have in place.  

12                 I think it's also important to note 

13          that our 14 members have provided over 

14          $92 million in institutional grants and aids.  

15          That's an incredible amount coming from all 

16          of our members and helping, you know, to make 

17          college more affordable.

18                 Another way that our members promote 

19          access and affordability is the "Jump-Start" 

20          or "Middle College" programs.  For instance, 

21          we have Plaza College in Queens, or we have 

22          Bryant and Stratton College, their Rochester 

23          campus, who are partnering with their local 

24          city high schools to offer tuition-free 

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 1          college courses to those high school 

 2          students.  So we're either pushing professors 

 3          out to the high schools so they can teach 

 4          those college courses there or, 

 5          alternatively, we're bringing the students 

 6          onto the college campus so they can get those 

 7          college courses there.  So it's really giving 

 8          those high school students an introduction to 

 9          what college-level work looks like, what the 

10          college environment is like, and also, more 

11          importantly, it gives them a cost-effective 

12          jump-start on their college degree.

13                 APC members also believe that on-time 

14          graduation is key to keeping student loan 

15          debt low.  So our graduation rates are 

16          provided in my written remarks that you have 

17          in front of you, but I just want to point out 

18          that our on-time associate degree rates are 

19          considerably higher than the other three 

20          sectors, and our on-time bachelor degree 

21          rates have increased by 3 percent since 2011.  

22                 And I also just want to take a moment 

23          to note that if you look at the subgroups of 

24          students with disabilities, students who 

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 1          struggle through high school, or minority 

 2          students, we also do very well at getting 

 3          them to graduation on time.

 4                 So what happens after our students 

 5          graduate?  Well, our student outcomes tell us 

 6          that the support they received while they 

 7          were in college continues after college.  In 

 8          a recent member survey, our members told us 

 9          that over 72 percent of their graduates found 

10          jobs in their field of study within six 

11          months, and that number increases to 

12          85 percent in 12 months.  

13                 We think a large part of our success 

14          is due to the internship programs that many 

15          of our members have.  Internships truly 

16          compound the educational value and give our 

17          students real-world value, real-world 

18          experience, and hands-on training that they 

19          need to prepare them for good jobs after 

20          graduation.  

21                 Let's take a look at LIM College, for 

22          example.  LIM is located in Manhattan, and 

23          they are where business meets fashion.  So 

24          all of their programs are geared towards the 

                                                                  400

 1          business side of the fashion industry.  Their 

 2          internship program starts right away in the 

 3          freshman year, where they complete an 

 4          internship in the retail side of the fashion 

 5          industry.  Then in their sophomore year, they 

 6          complete another internship in the corporate 

 7          side of the fashion industry.  And then in 

 8          their senior year, they complete a full 

 9          semester or full-time work co-op, which 

10          oftentimes actually translates into a 

11          full-time job after those students graduate.  

12                 Lastly, I'd like to talk about student 

13          loan debt.  As I mentioned earlier, our 

14          members are very committed to keeping college 

15          affordable, and so we provide a lot of 

16          financial literacy courses.  And we also have 

17          very comprehensive financial aid programs 

18          around student loans.  And so we want to make 

19          sure that our students understand how much 

20          loan debt they're taking on and what those 

21          payments are going to look like after they 

22          graduate.  And we also want to make sure that 

23          they understand what their options are for 

24          repaying those loans.  Whether it's 

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 1          income-based repayment programs or New York 

 2          State's Get on Your Feet loan repayment 

 3          programs, we want to make sure that they 

 4          understand all their options when they 

 5          graduate.  

 6                 And again we see that this attention 

 7          to detail pays off, because according to the 

 8          new college scorecard data, you'll see that 

 9          APC members' students graduate with an 

10          average debt load of just $21,900.  So it's 

11          about 32 percent lower than the national 

12          average.

13                 Finally, I'd just like to take a few 

14          moments to address the Governor's Excelsior 

15          Scholarship Program.  We were very excited to 

16          see that the Governor was focused on access 

17          and affordability.  But of course we were 

18          understandably disappointed to learn that our 

19          students were not going to be able to 

20          participate in this.  

21                 New York State has a long history of 

22          treating all four sectors of higher education 

23          equally, and this has really created a robust 

24          and diverse education system that's benefited 

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 1          all New Yorkers.  And so we would certainly 

 2          hope that that parity and equality would 

 3          continue.  

 4                 So we would ask that our students 

 5          either be encouraged to also participate but, 

 6          more importantly, we think it would be a much 

 7          better use of those funds to expand the 

 8          existing Tuition Assistance Program, either 

 9          by increasing the minimum TAP award from $500 

10          to $1,000 or the maximum TAP award from $5100 

11          to $6500, or even increasing the maximum 

12          income threshold up to $100,000, for 

13          instance.  We think that maybe all of those 

14          would be much better uses for those funds, 

15          and again, they would apply to all 

16          New Yorkers.  

17                 The data shows that 73 percent of our 

18          students are Pell-eligible and over 21,000 of 

19          our students get some form of TAP award, so 

20          they certainly would appreciate this 

21          increased, expanded program.

22                 In conclusion, I just want to 

23          reiterate that APC members are committed to 

24          keeping student loan debt low, academic 

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 1          achievement high, and the pathway to 

 2          employment is our priority.  So I appreciate 

 3          your support of our students, and on that 

 4          note I'd be happy to answer any questions you 

 5          may have.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

 7          much.

 8                 Deborah Glick.

 9                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I appreciate the 

10          concerns raised by APC as well as by CICU 

11          about your non-inclusion.  And as chair of 

12          the committee, I hear from students who have 

13          debt that they wish they hadn't.  A young man 

14          who actually helped me in my campaign said to 

15          me, "You know, I went to NYU for a while, and 

16          I couldn't afford it anymore so I switched to 

17          Hunter and boy, I had the same education and 

18          would have had no debt."  So -- and he's 

19          struggling.

20                 So when I see from private 

21          institutions, proprietary institutions, or 

22          even from SUNY -- who will say the average 

23          debt is $25,000, seemingly rather de 

24          minimis -- I asked the financial aid folks in 

                                                                  404

 1          November at a hearing, What does that mean?  

 2          I mean, $25,000 sounds like quite a bit, 

 3          especially if it's not tax-deductible.  What 

 4          is the real cost of that to somebody?  And 

 5          they said, Well, you know, it's hard to -- it 

 6          depends on the terms of the loan, it depends 

 7          on the interest rate and so forth.  But 

 8          generally speaking, it would wind up being in 

 9          somewhere in the $200 to $400 a month for, 

10          you know, 10 years, maybe 15.  

11                 Well, that seems like -- easy for us 

12          to say it's only, but there's a real cost to 

13          the society when young folks, and not such 

14          young folks, get out of school and they have, 

15          in the instance of not-such-young folks, they 

16          have a house, they may have a car they have 

17          to run in order to get to and from work, and 

18          $200, $300, $400 a month are your utility 

19          bills or a car payment.  And it's every 

20          month, and it's every month for many years.

21                 So I just want us not to be so 

22          cavalier about that kind of number, because 

23          the real effect for especially young people, 

24          who are maybe getting entry-level jobs -- I 

                                                                  405

 1          don't know, maybe you can give us some idea 

 2          at some point what the average starting 

 3          salary is for folks who are graduating.  But 

 4          I'm concerned about careers like social work.  

 5          We need social workers.  Why would anyone 

 6          become a social worker if they're going to be 

 7          making $30,000.  And what does that mean to 

 8          them to have a $200, $300, $400 nut off the 

 9          top every month?  

10                 So this is to say that everybody has 

11          to think a little bit more about those 

12          numbers and not be -- you know, it may be 

13          below the national average, but I hate 

14          averages.  People have heard this before.  

15          You stick your head in the oven, you stick 

16          your feet in the freezer, on average, you're 

17          comfortable.  

18                 (Laughter.)

19                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  So I'm not a big 

20          fan of averages.

21                 So I appreciate your testimony, and 

22          maybe you'll get back to us with some figures 

23          on what kind of jobs people get, what kind of 

24          salaries are they making, so we can really 

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 1          see how that works out for them.

 2                 MS. GURNETT:  Absolutely.  We can do 

 3          that.

 4                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thanks so much.

 5                 SENATOR SAVINO:  Senator Stavisky.

 6                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you for 

 7          mentioning Plaza College in Forest Hills, 

 8          we're very proud of it.  And Monroe College, 

 9          which is in the Bronx, but also emerging as a 

10          very significant part of the Flushing 

11          community.  And they too are starting a 

12          program, and they're very involved with our 

13          business improvement district.

14                 And I think the point is that many of 

15          the proprietary colleges have roots in the 

16          community, these are family-run institutions, 

17          and they make a major contribution not just 

18          to the students but to the community where 

19          the school is located.  So I thank you.

20                 MS. GURNETT:  That's very true.  I 

21          couldn't have said it better myself.  

22          Absolutely.

23                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

24                 Next, Children's Aid Society, Jessica 

                                                                  407

 1          Maxwell, director.  Next after that will be 

 2          Center for Disability Rights, then CUNY 

 3          Student Senate, then Young Invincibles and 

 4          one other.  Would you please come down close 

 5          so if you come and sit up, we can get done 

 6          quicker.

 7                 MS. MAXWELL:  Good afternoon, Chair 

 8          Farrell, Chair Glick, and the members of the 

 9          Finance and Ways and Means Committees.  Today 

10          I would like to take the opportunity to 

11          present testimony on behalf of the Fostering 

12          Youth Success Alliance, which is a statewide 

13          organization that's really comprised with 

14          concerned advocates who are advocating for 

15          policies to impact the foster care system.  

16                 And today we would like to take the 

17          opportunity to address the Educational 

18          Opportunity Program funding; more 

19          specifically, the Foster Youth College 

20          Success Initiative.

21                 We are happy that the Foster Youth 

22          College Success Initiative has a place in 

23          Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget at 

24          $1.5 million, but unfortunately there is not 

                                                                  408

 1          enough funding.  We know that it takes 

 2          $1.5 million to support each cohort of 

 3          students each year to have a reasonable 

 4          chance at success, and the Governor's 

 5          proposal falls short of the $4.5 million 

 6          needed this year.  

 7                 If authorized today, the Governor's 

 8          executive proposal would cut resources from 

 9          an entire cohort of students that are 

10          currently attending college and receiving 

11          support and who have no other resources to 

12          rely on.

13                 In New York State, there's 

14          approximately 20,000 children and youth in 

15          the foster care system, of which 40 percent 

16          are adolescents and are likely to age out of 

17          the foster care system.  Many youth leave 

18          care without the support of a caring adult or 

19          family, and when barriers or emergencies 

20          arise, don't have savings or relatives or 

21          friends to rely on.  When discharged, youth 

22          are expected to learn how to become an adult 

23          through trial and error.  When presented with 

24          obstacles, youth are left to navigate the 

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 1          complexities of adult public services and 

 2          benefit systems.  

 3                 As you heard many times today, for any 

 4          young person seeking to go to college, the 

 5          financial aid application processes are often 

 6          a daunting task, but for youth in the foster 

 7          care system and those who have aged out, 

 8          those responsibilities seem insurmountable.  

 9          Many lack supportive adults to help navigate 

10          confusing applications and processes before 

11          ultimately making decisions.  

12                 In 2015, FYSA advocated for the 

13          establishment of the Foster Youth College 

14          Success Initiative, which was aimed at not 

15          only closing the financial gaps but providing 

16          on-campus social and emotional supports to 

17          succeed.  In the fiscal year 2016 budget, the 

18          state allocated $1.5 million to establish 

19          Cohort 1 of the Foster Youth College Success 

20          Initiative.  Thank you to the leadership of 

21          the Assembly for that allocation. 

22                 Under the statute establishing the 

23          Foster Youth College Success Initiative, the 

24          program requires that students be served 

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 1          through opportunity programs at public and 

 2          independent colleges participating in SEEK, 

 3          College Discovery, EOP or HEOP.  This was a 

 4          welcome decision, given the historical 

 5          success of opportunity programs.  

 6          Participating institutions including programs 

 7          like New York University, Columbia 

 8          University, St. Lawrence, College of 

 9          Staten Island, Stony Brook University, and 

10          Le Moyne College.  Since the state made this 

11          investment, much progress has been made over 

12          the last 18 months to institute this program.

13                 Additionally, in fiscal year 2017, the 

14          state allocated $3 million to continue to 

15          support Cohort 1 and establish Cohort 2.  We 

16          are already seeing the positive impact of 

17          this program.  We have seen a 98 percent 

18          retention rate for Cohort 1 of 52 students 

19          from Year 1, the 2015-2016 academic year, to 

20          Year 2, the 2016-2017 academic year currently 

21          in progress.  

22                 So for the past two years, the state 

23          has devoted resources to assist foster youth 

24          in obtaining a college degree.  Now is the 

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 1          time to redouble our commitment to foster 

 2          youth under our care.  New York State has an 

 3          obligation to ensure that youth in the foster 

 4          care system can transition to independence, 

 5          and a college degree is critical in that 

 6          transition.  Therefore, we are requesting and 

 7          urging the state to take the additional 

 8          steps.  

 9                 First and foremost, we are urging the 

10          state to provide a sustainable funding 

11          strategy for the Foster Youth College Success 

12          Initiative.  By providing a sustainable 

13          funding strategy, college programs will have 

14          the opportunity to plan ahead for students 

15          coming into their doors and do active 

16          outreach.  As such, we're requesting that the 

17          state include $4.5 million in the fiscal year 

18          2018 budget to support this initiative.  

19          Three million dollars will be used to support 

20          Cohorts 1 and 2, which currently exist, and 

21          $1.5 million will be provided to establish 

22          Cohort 3 of the initiative.  

23                 Foster youth already face many 

24          uncertainties.  Obtaining a college degree 

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 1          should not be one of them.  Our second 

 2          recommendation is really around the 

 3          identification mechanism for foster youth.  

 4          Unfortunately, right now the college 

 5          application processes do not include any way 

 6          to identify foster care youth in their 

 7          system.  And due to that, many foster youth 

 8          are often unaware of their eligibility for 

 9          the opportunity programs and, furthermore, 

10          the resources under the Foster Youth College 

11          Success Initiative.  

12                 Therefore, we are asking the state to 

13          take a proactive approach to identifying 

14          students by establishing a standardized 

15          identification mechanism which will be 

16          mandated of all schools participating in the 

17          initiative.  

18                 We are recommending that the state ask 

19          the CUNY, SUNY and independent colleges 

20          participating in the opportunity programs to 

21          create standardized language that allows 

22          foster youth to self-identify on their 

23          college admission applications, which is the 

24          first time they would touch base with them.  

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 1          By doing so, we will be able to readily 

 2          identify earlier the number of foster youth 

 3          that are, one, eligible for the program and, 

 4          two, need services.  Additionally, this will 

 5          provide us with much more opportunities to 

 6          create a data cohort so we can better 

 7          understand the success of foster youth 

 8          attending college and, lastly, understand 

 9          what are their additional needs.

10                 In conclusion, I restate, foster youth 

11          face many uncertainties in their lives, and 

12          having continuous support to obtain a college 

13          degree should not be an area of concern.  The 

14          state simply cannot abandon its 

15          responsibility at such a critical time of 

16          transition.  We must work together to ensure 

17          all students already in college can continue 

18          on and, furthermore, to ensure that new 

19          students that will enroll in college have 

20          supports available to them.  By doing so, the 

21          state will be ensuring that foster youth 

22          currently under their care will have a 

23          fighting chance at succeeding in college and 

24          in life.

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 1                 FYSA welcomes the opportunity to 

 2          continue working with the state and all of 

 3          its partners to ensuring the implementation 

 4          and success of foster youth, and we welcome 

 5          any questions.  Thank you.

 6                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

 7          much.

 8                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I don't actually 

 9          have a question, because we worked closely 

10          together.  But it's very helpful to have 

11          specific, detailed recommendations that have 

12          been presented to the committee, as we're in 

13          the middle of the budget process.  So I very 

14          much appreciate you waiting all day to come 

15          and present this, and to have very clear, 

16          concrete suggestions that we hopefully can 

17          act on.

18                 MS. MAXWELL:  Thank you, Assemblywoman 

19          Glick.

20                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

21                 MS. MAXWELL:  Thank you.

22                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Next, Gregg 

23          Beratan, policy analyst for Center for 

24          Disability Rights.

                                                                  415

 1                 MR. BERATAN:  Good afternoon.  Thank 

 2          you to the chairs and the committee for 

 3          allowing me to testify.

 4                 The Center for Disability Rights 

 5          doesn't necessarily have any objections to 

 6          the Governor's proposals for the budget, but 

 7          for what's missing from it.  And, you know, 

 8          that being any consideration for disabled 

 9          people.

10                 So if you look at the Governor's 

11          proposal for free tuition, this is admirable.  

12          We support that, and we think it's very good.  

13          But it leaves things out.  And as I think 

14          someone earlier pointed out when talking to 

15          the council, the fact that it stops at four 

16          years -- you know, the students that this 

17          would most affect probably are disabled 

18          students.  

19                 And I can say this as someone who was 

20          a disabled student navigating higher 

21          education who did not take a traditional 

22          four-year path.  I would have been on the 

23          hook for whatever it is, you know, in the 

24          budget with these deferrals.  And I think 

                                                                  416

 1          that's dangerous to shrug aside if the 

 2          executive branch wants to do that, because 

 3          disabled students can complete education, can 

 4          be very successful in education.  

 5                 Because I was allowed, you know, and 

 6          supported in going through a nontraditional 

 7          path, you know, I was then able to go on and 

 8          get my master's degree and my Ph.D.  But, you 

 9          know, if that had been denied to me, if I 

10          hadn't had the supports that I managed to 

11          find for myself, that would not have been a 

12          possibility.

13                 And so I would like greater 

14          consideration in here for disabled students.  

15          And some of those nuanced policies, like the 

16          four-year limit, I think are poorly thought 

17          out.

18                 But beyond that, I think there are 

19          things that this committee and both bodies of 

20          the Legislature need to consider, which is 

21          that SUNY and CUNY are still dealing with 

22          accessibility issues.  And so you've got 

23          students that, you know, can't worry about 

24          whether or not they get free tuition, because 

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 1          they can't get in the door in some cases.  

 2          And I think this is symptomatic of the way we 

 3          have approached things; disability has been 

 4          treated as an afterthought and not as 

 5          something we consider from the start.  

 6                 Accessibility.  We have professors 

 7          talking about banning laptops from 

 8          classrooms.  Well, as a student, I wouldn't 

 9          have finished my undergraduate without a 

10          laptop.  I wouldn't have finished my Ph.D. 

11          without a laptop.  These are things -- you 

12          know, not everyone learns along the same 

13          trajectory, learns with the same skills.  And 

14          so unless we make accessibility de facto in 

15          both our physical environment and our 

16          pedagogy teaching, students will continue to 

17          be driven from higher education, and you will 

18          see higher dropout rates among disabled 

19          students.  

20                 And we don't want that.  I mean, 

21          disabled people have twice the unemployment 

22          rate of nondisabled people.  I think I heard 

23          the chancellor of CUNY earlier saying that 

24          the higher education system is the greatest 

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 1          engine for social and economic change we 

 2          have.  And he's right.  But disabled 

 3          students are often denied that.

 4                 And that brings me to my next point, 

 5          and I don't know if it necessarily fits 

 6          within today's remit.  But the fact is that 

 7          our public secondary and primary education 

 8          systems are often preventing people from even 

 9          getting to the point where they can think 

10          about applying for the Excelsior 

11          scholarships, because we're channeling 

12          disabled students into paths where the only 

13          degree they can get doesn't qualify them for 

14          SUNY or CUNY.

15                 And so until we address that, again, 

16          disabled students will be denied access to 

17          higher education, will be denied the benefits 

18          that the Governor is saying he wants to 

19          expand to all students.

20                 Beyond that, I mean, I -- there are 

21          other things in my written testimony.  I know 

22          it's late, and I know people want to get 

23          home, so I'll leave it at that.  But I do 

24          appreciate your time.

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 1                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.  

 2                 Questions?  

 3                 Thank you very much.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.

 5                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL: CUNY Student Senate, 

 6          Chairperson Chika -- I'm not even going to 

 7          try to do his last name.  I will mess it 

 8          up -- and Hercules Reid, vice chair, 

 9          legislative affairs.  

10                 Kevin Stump and Dr. Keen, if they 

11          would come down and help -- I think they're 

12          down.  Oh, there he is, okay.

13                 Would you pronounce that name for me?

14                 MS. ONYEJIUKWA:  It's Onya-che-kwa.

15                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Yes, thank you.  I 

16          knew I couldn't do it.

17                 MS. ONYEJIUKWA:  Good afternoon, 

18          members of the New York State Legislature.  

19          My name is Chikaodili Onyejiukwa, and I am a 

20          senior at Hunter College at the City 

21          University of New York, majoring in community 

22          health education.  I serve as the chairperson 

23          for the City University of New York 

24          University Student Senate, also known as CUNY 

                                                                  420

 1          USS.  USS is the elected student governance 

 2          organization responsible for representing the 

 3          interests of nearly 500,000 students that 

 4          attend CUNY each academic year.  I also have 

 5          the distinct honor to serve as a CUNY 

 6          trustee.  

 7                 I am a proud member of Assembly 

 8          District 32, represented by Assemblymember 

 9          Vivian Cook and Senate District 14, 

10          represented by Senator Leroy Comrie.  

11                 Over the past several years, since the 

12          SUNY 2020 plan was adopted in 2011, our 

13          organization, USS, has been working 

14          diligently to call on the CUNY Board of 

15          Trustees and our legislative bodies to freeze 

16          the annual tuition increases at CUNY.  We 

17          have also been working with local leaders and 

18          organizations to put our minds together and 

19          explore constructive approaches to returning 

20          CUNY to being a well-funded and tuition-free 

21          institution of higher learning.  

22                 The University Student Senate is a 

23          steering member of the CUNY Rising Alliance.  

24          The CUNY Rising alliance is a growing 

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 1          alliance of 30-plus community members, 

 2          nonprofits, unions, student advocates, and 

 3          faith-based organizations that serve and 

 4          mobilize and minister to millions of 

 5          New Yorkers.  In December, the CUNY Rising 

 6          Alliance released a white paper making the 

 7          case for free and quality education at CUNY.  

 8                 Last year, after a long battle and 

 9          persistent advocacy efforts from our students 

10          and community leaders, CUNY and SUNY students 

11          were given a break from five years of 

12          perpetual tuition hikes.  We want to thank 

13          every member of this Legislature for making 

14          this happen.  We are happy to have you as 

15          representatives of our great state.  And 

16          again, the students at CUNY are calling for a 

17          tuition freeze and investments into our 

18          university.

19                 I was most surprised to see that the 

20          Executive Budget proposed five years of $250 

21          tuition hikes for CUNY and SUNY students.  

22          This call for tuition hikes comes two weeks 

23          after a proposed plan for a tuition-free CUNY 

24          and SUNY.  We cannot have alternative tuition 

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 1          proposals.  The notion that we will have 

 2          tuition increases within the same institution 

 3          that is declared will be tuition-free is 

 4          inherently contradictory.  Either we are 

 5          committed to making CUNY and SUNY free of 

 6          cost for our students, or we are not.  

 7                 We are asking the New York State 

 8          Assembly and Senate to reject any attempts to 

 9          increase our students' tuition.  We have paid 

10          our fair share over the past five years 

11          through tuition increases and are now asking 

12          for relief that we have outrightly earned.  

13                 There has been a decade-long trend of 

14          disinvestment in public higher education.  

15          What New Yorkers need is a real investment in 

16          public higher education.  We need a 

17          commitment from our governor and state 

18          legislators that our students and professors 

19          are a priority to this great State of 

20          New York.  

21                 We can make a real investment in CUNY 

22          by passing and signing a maintenance of 

23          effort bill that ensures that our university 

24          remains well-funded as the price of running a 

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 1          competitive university raises every year.  We 

 2          can make a real investment by reforming our 

 3          Tuition Assistance Program by expanding the 

 4          eligibility criteria and increasing the 

 5          maximum award.  We can make a real investment 

 6          by fighting for the DREAM Act and making sure 

 7          that our students that are undocumented have 

 8          a shot at the American dream as well.

 9                 The student population at CUNY is very 

10          different from most college institutions.  

11          Most of our students are working, low-income, 

12          or, in short, people who fall short of the 

13          traditional college student.  The Excelsior 

14          program is too restrictive, and many of our 

15          students will not reap the benefits being 

16          offered by the program.  

17                 As stated in the New York State 

18          Education Law, Legislative Findings and 

19          Intent of Higher Education:  "The City 

20          University is of vital importance as a 

21          vehicle for the upward mobility of the 

22          disadvantaged in the City of New York."  

23                 The academic ladder remains an 

24          important component in attaining professional 

                                                                  424

 1          and personal success.  And for many of us, 

 2          CUNY remains as the only viable option of 

 3          higher education -- not because we will not 

 4          excel in other academic institutions, but 

 5          because CUNY is affordable and accessible.  I 

 6          know that the Legislature has a profound 

 7          understanding of how important public higher 

 8          education is to a successful New York 

 9          workforce.  We are asking that you make a 

10          real investment in CUNY.  

11                 Thank you.

12                 MR. REID:  Good afternoon, members of 

13          the New York State Legislature.  My name is 

14          Hercules Reid, and I am the vice chair of 

15          legislative affairs for the CUNY University 

16          Student Senate.  And I am also the two-term 

17          president of the Student Government 

18          Association at City Tech.  

19                 I will skip through my bio because the 

20          more important part is the content of this 

21          message.

22                 As a student, I have directly 

23          benefited from engagement in programs such as 

24          the Black Male Initiative program, BMI.  

                                                                  425

 1          Through BMI, I was able to save money on 

 2          textbooks for a few semesters and receive 

 3          necessary one-on-one tutoring to pass my 

 4          remedial and beginning-level courses.  

 5          Without BMI, I know I would not have survived 

 6          my first academic year at City Tech.  

 7                 Throughout my time at CUNY, I have 

 8          seen and learned about the great benefits of 

 9          opportunity programs such as BMI, CUNY ASAP 

10          SEEK, and CUNY LEADS.  All of these allow 

11          CUNY to not only remain accessible, but also 

12          enhance the quality of our education.  We 

13          encourage you to challenge any divestments of 

14          these programs, and we humbly ask that you 

15          not only challenge any divestments but also 

16          aid in the growth, expansion, and investment 

17          in these programs.  

18                 We are also asking for you to support 

19          our students by providing more capital 

20          investments to support eroding facilities and 

21          development of new state-of-the-art centers 

22          of education.  We are very appreciative of 

23          the Governor's investment in critical 

24          maintenance for senior colleges.  The reality 

                                                                  426

 1          is our students need to be safe and 

 2          comfortable in comfortable learning 

 3          environments to excel and succeed.  I have 

 4          sat in classrooms at City Tech with 

 5          temperatures measuring above 90 degrees.  

 6                 We understand that there are 

 7          challenges associated with maintaining 

 8          facilities.  However, we need an investment 

 9          which will allow us to enhance our facilities 

10          to meet the needs of society in the next 

11          generation.

12                 Understanding that some of our 

13          students have children, more funding needs to 

14          be added to the state and city budget to 

15          provide access for childcare centers and 

16          services on campuses to aid parents pursuing 

17          or continuing their degree.

18                 We feel compelled to mention that USS 

19          strongly is against raising tuition.  In the 

20          SUNY 2020 bill, which was passed in 2011, we 

21          were promised a maintenance of effort.  

22          Tuition rose for five years, students paid 

23          their fair share, and today, in 2017, we have 

24          still not a commitment from the Executive 

                                                                  427

 1          Budget to support the maintenance of effort.  

 2                 The Governor's Executive Budget 

 3          proposes another five years of unaffordable 

 4          tuition hikes to CUNY students:  An increase 

 5          in tuition of $250, totaling $1,250 over the 

 6          next five years.  This would bring tuition to 

 7          $7,580 at CUNY senior colleges and create a 

 8          $2,415 gap between tuition and the maximum 

 9          TAP award of $5,165.

10                 Raising tuition at CUNY is 

11          contradictory to the Governor's plan to make 

12          college more affordable.  Legislation like 

13          the DREAM Act, which the Governor is looking 

14          to pass, is an example of truly aiding not 

15          only the privileged but also the 

16          underprivileged and underrepresented 

17          populations of individuals in the State of 

18          New York who we have all sworn to represent 

19          and protect.

20                 We encourage you all to make it your 

21          business to pass the DREAM Act on behalf of 

22          the Dreamers out there striving to be better 

23          individuals in their society and the 

24          community.  

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 1                 When accessibility is mentioned, that 

 2          does not only reference ADA compliance, but 

 3          also the need for public transportation to 

 4          commute back and forth to college.  MTA is 

 5          looking to raise the fare yet again.  What 

 6          serious conversations or legislation have 

 7          been created to address this on behalf of how 

 8          this will affect access to higher education 

 9          in the city?

10                 I have so many friends who miss class 

11          on multiple occasions because they cannot 

12          afford the fare for that day.  How many 

13          students need a monthly or weekly MetroCard 

14          but, due to being a full-time student, yet 

15          purchase rides regularly because they could 

16          not afford the full monthly price, in fear of 

17          not having money to eat throughout the month.

18                 We are asking you to consider not just 

19          the idea of a reduced fare initiative for 

20          college students, but even something as 

21          minimal as 30 percent reduced fare would 

22          increase revenue for the MTA due to more 

23          students being able to purchase a monthly or 

24          a weekly MetroCard.  We ask that you take 

                                                                  429

 1          action to make transportation also 

 2          affordable.

 3                 I can directly tell you how hard it is 

 4          to pay the ever-increasing costs of rent, 

 5          tuition, food, textbooks and the 

 6          ever-increasing MetroCard.  If we thought 

 7          what we were requesting was unreasonable or 

 8          unfathomable, I would not be here speaking 

 9          with so much conviction.  You are all a part 

10          of the people who can make or break higher 

11          education, not only for the present but for 

12          the future.

13                 In closing, in addition to what my 

14          colleague just mentioned, also the State 

15          Education Law 6201, Legislative Findings and 

16          Intent, reads:  "Only the strongest 

17          commitment to the special needs of urban 

18          constituencies justifies the Legislature's 

19          support of an independent and unique 

20          structure for the university.  Activities at 

21          the City University campus must be undertaken 

22          in a spirit which recognizes and responds to 

23          the imperative need for affirmative action 

24          and the positive desire to have City 

                                                                  430

 1          University personnel reflect the diverse 

 2          communities which comprise the people of the 

 3          City and the State of New York."  

 4                 Thank you.

 5                 MS. KERLUKU:  Good afternoon, members 

 6          of the New York State Assembly Committee on 

 7          Higher Education.  My name is Jona Kerluku.  

 8          I am a student majoring in exercise science, 

 9          minoring in mathematics, on a premedical 

10          track at Lehman College at the City 

11          University of New York.  This fall I had the 

12          honor and privilege to be elected vice chair 

13          for fiscal affairs for the CUNY University 

14          Student Senate.  I will graduate Herbert H. 

15          Lehman College this spring, 2017, in hopes to 

16          continue my career in medicine.  

17                 I emigrated from Albania in 2001 and 

18          chose the City University of New York to 

19          receive my bachelor's degree because it was 

20          all that my mother and I could afford.  I 

21          have committed a lot of time to volunteering 

22          in several public hospitals around the city, 

23          participating in scientific research, 

24          athletics and, most recently, student 

                                                                  431

 1          government.  I spoke to hundreds of students 

 2          throughout my years from different 

 3          demographics throughout the CUNY system, and 

 4          we all feel strongly against the increases of 

 5          tuition.  

 6                 I would like to focus my testimony on 

 7          the importance of reforming the Tuition 

 8          Assistance Program.  The five-year tuition 

 9          increases that are included in the Executive 

10          Budget will increase tuition to $7,580 and 

11          further enhance the gap between tuition and 

12          the maximum TAP award, which is currently 

13          $5,165.  

14                 I ask that you reconsider the 

15          difficulty for working-class and low-income 

16          students to fill the gap of $2,415.  As one 

17          of those students, I want to tell you that 

18          the burden of the TAP gap is heavy and the 

19          consequences could potentially defer the 

20          dreams of many New Yorkers.  Students are 

21          already working very hard to cover living 

22          expenses, transportation, books, and meals.  

23                 Perhaps the idea Governor Cuomo had in 

24          mind was to cover the gap with the Excelsior 

                                                                  432

 1          scholarship.  But you've heard before, the 

 2          scholarship is fairly restrictive and there 

 3          are tens of thousands of students and 

 4          potential students at CUNY that will not 

 5          receive any of the benefits the scholarship 

 6          is promising.  

 7                 I am especially concerned for the 

 8          part-time students and undocumented students 

 9          who are currently not receiving any TAP 

10          funding.  These students are often going to 

11          school part-time precisely because they have 

12          to work and go to school.  The Excelsior 

13          program assumes that our students have the 

14          option to take 15 credits a semester.  While 

15          this goal is desirable, the reality is that 

16          many of our students have real-life 

17          responsibilities, and we need to find a way 

18          to help them.

19                 We are requesting an increase in the 

20          maximum TAP award to keep up with the rising 

21          cost of tuition and index the award so that 

22          if tuition increases in the future, so will 

23          award amounts.  

24                 Despite the inconsistency students 

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 1          face when applying for TAP, the restriction 

 2          on part-time students hinder a large portion 

 3          of the CUNY population from completing their 

 4          education.  These constraints cause students 

 5          to manage an overwhelming course load during 

 6          the semester, which limits the 

 7          extracurricular activities they could provide 

 8          attention to, like sitting up here in front 

 9          of you today, or applying for internships 

10          instead of running out of school to go to 

11          work.

12                 For us to have remarkable statistics 

13          as a university, we need to provide an 

14          affordable and accessible system for the 

15          450,000 students asking for an education.  

16          The benefit of a free public education system 

17          is that students are relieved of the burden 

18          of having another bill.  In senior colleges, 

19          32.3 percent to 48.8 percent of the 

20          undergraduate students have a household 

21          income of less than $20,000, in senior 

22          colleges and community colleges respectively.  

23          More than 30 percent of students in senior 

24          and community colleges work over 20 hours per 

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 1          week to keep up with living in New York City.  

 2          Students cannot focus on school if they have 

 3          to worry about overwhelming tuition hikes.  

 4                 We are counting on each of you to help 

 5          modernize financial aid for our students.  As 

 6          my colleagues mentioned, the State Education 

 7          Law 6201, Legislative Findings, also reads 

 8          that:  "The Legislature finds that in order 

 9          to meet the state's responsibility to provide 

10          postsecondary education in New York City 

11          beyond the associate degree level, as it does 

12          elsewhere in the state, there should be full 

13          state funding of senior college operating and 

14          debt service."

15                 Thank you.  

16                 MR. REID:  "Ohana" means family, and 

17          family means nobody gets left behind.

18                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you very 

19          much.

20                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I can't read 

21          your buttons.  What do they say?  

22                 MS. ONYEJIUKWA:  They say "The only 

23          climate change we need is a CUNY tuition 

24          freeze."

                                                                  435

 1                 (Laughter.)

 2                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

 3          much.

 4                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  I want to thank you 

 5          students for showing up today.  I think it 

 6          shows a lot about you, the initiative that 

 7          you're taking, and I think it bodes very well 

 8          for the future.  And it's always so helpful 

 9          for the Legislature to hear directly from 

10          students as to how the Governor's proposals 

11          affect your lives.  So thank you very much.  

12                 MS. KERLUKU:  Thank you.

13                 MR. REID:  Thank you guys for your 

14          time.

15                 SENATOR STAVISKY:  Let me just add one 

16          thing.  I've always said students ought to be 

17          testifying earlier, because they're the ones 

18          we're talking about.  You're the investment.

19                 MS. ONYEJIUKWA:  Thank you.  

20                 MR. REID:  Thank you guys for waiting 

21          around.

22                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Young Invincibles, 

23          Kevin Stump.

24                 MR. STUMP:  Good afternoon.  Thank 

                                                                  436

 1          you, everybody, for sticking around.  And I 

 2          would second the motion from Senator Stavisky 

 3          that students should go first before SUNY and 

 4          CUNY, and then we'll hear everybody else.

 5                 So what you have before you is our 

 6          testimony.  The two pages before that are 

 7          distinct fact sheets that -- we know 

 8          legislators like one-pagers that are easy to 

 9          kind of digest and read on the fly.  So we 

10          thought it would be a good idea this year to 

11          provide you with two different fact sheets 

12          outlining how the tuition waiver credit that 

13          is a structural disinvestment through the 

14          Tuition Assistance Program is impacting both 

15          the students and CUNY and SUNY.

16                 So let me begin.  My name is Kevin 

17          Stump.  I'm the Northeast director of Young 

18          Invincibles.  We are a national nonpartisan 

19          policy and advocacy group that's working to 

20          elevate the voices of young adults and to 

21          expand economic opportunities for the 

22          millennial generation.  

23                 Our generation faces unprecedented 

24          challenges, despite being the most diverse 

                                                                  437

 1          and educated generation in American history.  

 2          Young Invincibles' latest research shows that 

 3          millennials have earned a net wealth half 

 4          that of baby boomers at the same age, and 

 5          young adult workers today earn $10,000 less 

 6          than young adults in 1989.  That's a decline 

 7          of 20 percent.  Additionally, when baby 

 8          boomers were young adults, they owned twice 

 9          the amount of assets as young adults do 

10          today.  

11                 We also found that educational 

12          attainment is still an individual's best 

13          pathway to upward mobility, but that student 

14          debt negatively impacts the long-term 

15          financial security of our generation.  

16                 In New York, student debt more than 

17          doubled during the last decade, growing to 

18          $82 billion, an increase of 112 percent, with 

19          an average debt holder owing more than 

20          $32,000 a year.  This shouldn't be 

21          surprising, as tuition has skyrocketed and 

22          the state's TAP program award levels have 

23          remained woefully inadequate, and many of the 

24          rules governing the program are unfair, 

                                                                  438

 1          excluding many needy students from accessing 

 2          much-needed aid.

 3                 Unfortunately, the state's commitment 

 4          to providing an affordable higher education 

 5          is not as strong as it needs to be, and the 

 6          Governor's Executive Budget proposal doesn't 

 7          go far enough.  While we're excited to see 

 8          the Governor thinking about how to make 

 9          college more affordable for New Yorkers, the 

10          proposal sets a dangerous precedent in how we 

11          tackle the issue of college affordability by 

12          pushing many New York families to the side.  

13          The Governor's proposal is a last-dollar 

14          scholarship for full-time students only, 

15          backfilling aid after the TAP and federal 

16          Pell grants have already gone towards 

17          tuition, and therefore leaving the most 

18          at-need students without adequate financial 

19          aid.  

20                 College affordability also means 

21          helping students pay for the 

22          non-tuition-related costs which account for 

23          the majority of the costs associated with 

24          getting a college degree.  The Governor's 

                                                                  439

 1          tuition-free criteria for full-time, defined 

 2          as 15 credit hours per semester, is not 

 3          aligned with the state and federal financial 

 4          aid definitions used to determine full-time 

 5          student status.  Both TAP and Pell distribute 

 6          awards using 12-credit course loads as the 

 7          full-time definition.  

 8                 As a result, the Governor's 

 9          tuition-free program will exclude students 

10          who are unable to attend college full time 

11          because they have other financial and family 

12          obligations that also require their 

13          commitment, such as childcare, having to work 

14          to pay rent or other bills, or may not be 

15          academically ready and able to take a 

16          15-credit course load for four years.  

17                 Finally, the Governor's Excelsior 

18          scholarship claims to be serious about 

19          increasing graduation rates and reducing the 

20          time it takes to graduate, but does not come 

21          with serious resources that match that need, 

22          such as additional advisors, scaled-up 

23          opportunity programs, and other 

24          well-documented strategies we know work, like 

                                                                  440

 1          CUNY's ASAP program.

 2                 Unfortunately, the Governor's proposal 

 3          penalizes students who do not fit a very 

 4          narrow criteria to pursue a college degree.  

 5          The Legislature should scale opportunity 

 6          programs to increase graduation rates, 

 7          increase the TAP award income threshold to 

 8          $125,000 so more middle-income families can 

 9          access TAP, increase the maximum TAP award 

10          for CUNY and SUNY students to $6,500 or that 

11          of tuition at SUNY and CUNY senior colleges, 

12          or whichever is higher, and index the maximum 

13          award to tuition so that if tuition rises, so 

14          do award amounts.

15                 Unfortunately, despite the Governor's 

16          Excelsior scholarship initiative to make 

17          college more affordable, the budget proposes 

18          flat funding for the state's public 

19          universities and another five years of 

20          unaffordable $250 tuition hikes to SUNY and 

21          CUNY students.  For the tens of thousands of 

22          low-income students who do not qualify for 

23          the scholarship, they would be responsible 

24          for increased tuition totaling $1250 over the 

                                                                  441

 1          suggested five years, which would bring 

 2          tuition at CUNY senior colleges to $7,580, 

 3          creating an even larger gap of $2,415.

 4                 Raising tuition at the state's public 

 5          university system is contradictory to the 

 6          Governor's rhetoric to make college more 

 7          affordable.  This is a double whammy for the 

 8          most at-need students.  The Legislature 

 9          should reject the Governor's proposal to 

10          increase tuition at SUNY and CUNY and instead 

11          fully fund the state public universities.

12                 Unfortunately, the tuition credit 

13          continues to structurally erode resources 

14          from SUNY and CUNY systems.  The New York 

15          SUNY 2020 legislation mandated that SUNY and 

16          CUNY universities grant a tuition credit to 

17          their students who qualify for the maximum 

18          TAP reward where tuition exceeds the maximum 

19          TAP.  Although this protected the most 

20          at-need students by covering their tuition, 

21          it also required the students' universities 

22          to use their operating budgets to cover the 

23          gap between tuition and the maximum award.  

24          This alone cost CUNY senior colleges more 

                                                                  442

 1          than $180 million from 2012 to today.  The 

 2          state needs to increase the maximum TAP award 

 3          and index it to tuition to eliminate the 

 4          funding gap that students and universities 

 5          absorb every year.  

 6                 Once again, the Governor fails to 

 7          include a true maintenance of effort funding 

 8          commitment, further eroding the quality of 

 9          the state's public higher education 

10          institutions.  The MOE bill was a promise 

11          made as part of the New York SUNY 2020 

12          legislation that the state would pay for 

13          mandatory cost increases, but the state has 

14          failed to do so, costing the universities 

15          tens of millions of dollars since 2011.  

16                 The Legislature must include a 

17          maintenance of effort funding in the budget 

18          so SUNY and CUNY do not need to use precious 

19          operating dollars to pay for cost increases 

20          the state should also absorb.

21                 And finally, enough is enough, the 

22          state needs to pass the New York State DREAM 

23          Act to extend undocumented students' access 

24          to state financial aid.

                                                                  443

 1                 We look forward to working with the 

 2          Governor and the State Legislature this 

 3          budget season, and thank you for hanging 

 4          around.

 5                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 6                 Questions?

 7                 To close, Dr. W. Hubert Keen, 

 8          president, Nassau Community College.

 9                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  Thank you, 

10          Chairman Farrell, Chairwoman Glick, members 

11          of the joint committee.  Thank you for 

12          providing this opportunity for me to speak 

13          about Nassau Community College and other 

14          issues related to the State University of 

15          New York.  I'm so pleased to see Assemblyman.  

16          Lupinacci, who is such a strong supporter of 

17          my former institution at Farmingdale State, 

18          and he sought to be on this very committee 

19          from the very beginning.

20                 Nassau Community College is the 

21          largest of the community colleges in the 

22          State University of New York as a single 

23          campus.  It serves the population of Nassau 

24          County -- of more than 1.4 million people -- 

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 1          one of the largest and probably comparable to 

 2          Suffolk County, the two largest populations 

 3          served by community colleges.  

 4                 We enroll more than 20,000 students, 

 5          and minority enrollment exceeds 50 percent 

 6          and has been growing rather dramatically.  A 

 7          larger proportion of minority students attend 

 8          the college than the general population of 

 9          Nassau County.  The Hispanic enrollment at 

10          Nassau now exceeds 25 percent, which 

11          qualifies us, when it's documented formally, 

12          for Hispanic Serving Institution status with 

13          the U.S. Ed Department.

14                 In addition to educating many students 

15          who transfer to senior colleges, Nassau 

16          fulfills the traditional mission, providing 

17          academic programs that lead directly to the 

18          workforce.  Most recently, we've added 

19          programs in hospitality management and 

20          culinary arts to support the workforce in the 

21          ever-growing tourism industry of Long Island.  

22                 As an institution that has for more 

23          than 75 years shone as a model of excellence 

24          in community college education, Nassau has 

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 1          enjoyed great support by the county and the 

 2          state and fulfilled its promise to hundreds 

 3          of thousands of students.  However, the 

 4          demands of recent years and the need to 

 5          sustain an aging physical plant has taken its 

 6          toll.  

 7                 I want to speak basically about what 

 8          we're confronted with with respect to a 

 9          serious problem of the Executive Budget, and 

10          that is the base operating aid, which, if 

11          carried out based on the enrollments as it is 

12          based, will lead to our losing -- and 27 of 

13          the community colleges in SUNY losing -- 

14          support.  Ours would be the largest.  Of 

15          course, the scale of enrollment and budget in 

16          our institution might predict that it would 

17          be the largest, and so we would lose some 

18          $2.7 million of operating aid if the 

19          Executive Budget is passed as it is.  

20                 The Excelsior tuition plan would be 

21          excellent for many students.  It would allow 

22          them to lower debt, and it would provide for 

23          quite a number of students to come to higher 

24          education who would not otherwise come.

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 1                 So it's been a long day for all of 

 2          you, and I want to conclude by thanking you 

 3          for this and also for the support of the 

 4          Legislature and the Governor over the years 

 5          for higher education, and for Deputy Speaker 

 6          Earlene Hooper's support of Nassau Community 

 7          College.  So thank you.

 8                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

 9                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

10                 I want to simply note that Senator 

11          LaValle has been a very strong supporter of 

12          Nassau Community College, as has the Senate.  

13          And so I just don't want you to forget that 

14          part of the equation.

15                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  Yes.

16                 CHAIRWOMAN YOUNG:  Thank you.  

17                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you very 

18          much.  

19                 Oh, excuse me, I didn't see you.  Yes, 

20          Ms. Hooper.

21                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  Yes.  Thank you 

22          very much, Dr. Keen.  I appreciate your 

23          patience, your tenacity, and certainly for 

24          your allowing Nassau County Community College 

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 1          to profit from your leadership.  

 2                 But I would like to ask just maybe 

 3          one -- maybe three questions, because we've 

 4          had a long day, and we would like to end this 

 5          on a positive note.

 6                 I would like to know a few things 

 7          about the college as it relates to student 

 8          access and opportunities to reside on the 

 9          campus.  Is there anything on your agenda or 

10          long-term plan as relates to dormitories for 

11          students to be able to remain on campus?  

12                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  There has been 

13          some discussion of the possibility of 

14          building dormitories, and we're studying the 

15          positives and the negatives of that.  We know 

16          that a number of other community colleges 

17          have built residence halls in the upstate 

18          region, and so we're going to look at whether 

19          or not they've been successful for those 

20          institutions.  And we'll make a decision 

21          about how to proceed based on that.

22                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  I see.  I 

23          understand that you also have developed a 

24          one-stop center for students' access to the 

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 1          necessary services.  Could you expand on that 

 2          a little?  

 3                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  Yes.  We're a 

 4          large and sprawling campus, and what we've 

 5          done is to consolidate all of the student 

 6          services in a single center in the base of 

 7          our Tower Building on campus.  And it has 

 8          been a wonderful service to the students who 

 9          now can go to a single place and find all of 

10          the services for admission, for financial 

11          aid, and for all of the other aspects of 

12          student support services, yes.

13                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  Thank you.

14                 One last concern, and certainly I 

15          think it would be helpful.  Aside from the 

16          students who benefit from this education, to 

17          what extent does the economics of the Nassau 

18          County community -- what benefits are there 

19          by having this college located in 

20          Nassau County, from where I am also a 

21          resident?  I'm talking in terms of 

22          employment, job outreach, development, 

23          relationship with local high schools.  Could 

24          you expand on that, please?  

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 1                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  We serve an 

 2          exceptionally important role.  I've just 

 3          finished four meetings with the 

 4          superintendents of Nassau County, about 15 at 

 5          a group.  And they have told me that of 

 6          course Nassau is the higher ed institution of 

 7          destination for a larger percentage of their 

 8          students than any other institution.  Maybe 

 9          you'd predict that as a community college 

10          that serves the county.  

11                 But it does emphasize the importance 

12          of Nassau in educating the students and also 

13          providing them for the workforce of the 

14          county, which as I mentioned earlier has a 

15          population of 1.4 million people.

16                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  Just briefly, 

17          what type of employment does Nassau Community 

18          College provide generally to Nassau County, 

19          generally?

20                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  You mean 

21          employment in the institution by faculty and 

22          staff?  

23                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  In other words, 

24          are those persons -- not only the 

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 1          professionals, but those support service -- 

 2          those persons who work and/or live in the 

 3          area, what -- do you have an idea of what 

 4          impact the college has on that, especially 

 5          those persons who need employment and 

 6          certainly those who are seeking jobs that 

 7          have what you might call a living wage?

 8                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  Well, it's a very 

 9          important employer in the county.  As a 

10          matter of fact, if you considered it a usual 

11          element of the Nassau County government, it's 

12          the largest employer of the county.

13                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  It's the 

14          largest employer?

15                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  Yes.

16                 ASSEMBLYWOMAN HOOPER:  All right.  

17          Thank you so very much.  I look forward to 

18          working with you, and certainly my colleagues 

19          look forward to the long-ongoing benefits 

20          from the Nassau Community College.  Thank you 

21          for being so patient to wait for this 

22          opportunity.  Again, thank you.

23                 NCC PRESIDENT KEEN:  Thank you.

24                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  Thank you.

                                                                  451

 1                 ASSEMBLYMAN OAKS:  Thank you.

 2                 CHAIRMAN FARRELL:  That's it.  We're 

 3          closed until tomorrow at 10 a.m.

 4                 (Whereupon, the budget hearing concluded 

 5          at 5:39 p.m.)

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