STONY BROOK, NY- Last month, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D- 16th District) chaired one of four hearings regarding various issues facing college administrators, staff and students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senator, who chairs the Higher Education Committee, was joined by fellow members of the committee in hearing testimony from university and community college presidents, faculty and staff including union representatives, and student body leaders. At the start of the hearing, which took place at Stony Brook University, Senator Stavisky surprised former Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) with a proclamation, honoring his decades of outstanding service.
“Too often, partisan politics divides us in a way that hinders our ability to lead,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “As Chairman of the Higher Education Committee, Senator LaValle did not allow that to happen. Senator LaValle knew that what truly mattered was working to make our State's higher education system more affordable and accessible, without sacrificing the quality of the education. New York State owes a great deal of gratitude to Senator LaValle for his decades of service and I was proud to present him with this proclamation.”
Senator Kenneth LaValle was first appointed chair of the Higher Education Committee in 1979, where he served more than three decades. The Senator was quick to see how advancing technology was reshaping the world economy, and his foresight allowed New York to remain competitive in attracting new industries and preparing students to excel in new, quality jobs within the state. Senator LaValle was a champion for affordable higher education in New York State up until his retirement in 2020.