Public Hearing - December 16, 2019

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       2      ------------------------------------------------------

       3                        PUBLIC HEARING:

       4                  FUNDING OUR PUBLIC COLLEGES

       5      ------------------------------------------------------


       7                                 Senate Hearing Room
                                         250 Broadway, 19th Floor
       8                                 New York, New York

       9                                 Date:  December 16, 2019
                                         Time:  11:30 a.m.


      12      PRESIDING:

      13         Senator Toby Ann Stavisky

      15      PRESENT:

      16         Senator Robert J. Jackson











              SPEAKERS:                               PAGE  QUESTIONS
              Robert Haelen                              6      18
       3      Senior Vice Chancellor
                for Capital Facilities
       4      General Manager
              SUNY Construction Fund
              Karren Bee-Donohoe                         6      18
       6      Associate Vice Chancellor
                for Capital Facilities
       7      SUNY

       8      Frederick E. Kowal                        28      44
       9      United University Professions (UUP)

      10      Richard Smardon                           28      44
              SUNY Distinguished Service
      11        Professor Emeritus, SUNY ESF
              United University Professions (UUP)
              Barbara Bowen                             45      58
      13      President
              Sharon Persinger
      14      Treasurer
              Professional Staff Congress - CUNY
              Austin Ostro                              75      99
      16      President
              SUNY Student Assembly
              Timothy Hunter                            75      99
      18      President
              CUNY University Student Senate
              Fay Yanofsky                              75      99
      20      Vice Chair of Fiscal Affairs
              Sakia Fletcher                            75      99
      22      SUNY Government Association President
              Medgar Evers College




              SPEAKERS (Continued):                   PAGE  QUESTIONS
              Mary Beth Labate                         112     140
       3      President
              Commission on Independent Colleges
       4        and Universities (CICU)

       5      Charles Kruzansky                        112     140
              Associate Vice President for
       6        Government Relations
              Cornell University
              Cecil Scheib                             112     140
       8      Chief Sustainability Officer
              New York University
              Santana Alvarado                         158     166
      10      Chairperson
              New York Public Interest Research
      11        Group (NYPIRG)


      13                            --oOo--

      14      Santana Alvarado                         158     166













       1             SENATOR STAVISKY:  It is now 11:30, and we

       2      are going to start our hearing.

       3             Good morning.

       4             First, let me thank you for coming today, and

       5      let me welcome you to the Senate Standing Committee

       6      on Higher Education's hearing being held in the

       7      New York State Senate Hearing Room at 250 Broadway

       8      in Manhattan.

       9             Today is December 16, 2019, and the time is

      10      11:30 a.m.

      11             I would like to start the hearing by thanking

      12      the folks from the Senate staff, Mike Swanson, from

      13      the Senate Finance Committee, and, Frankie Schwartz

      14      from the New York State Senate Operations Committee,

      15      for assistance in the preparation of for this

      16      hearing; as well as Mike Favilla, my chief --

      17      Michael Favilla, my chief of staff; Saul Chapnick

      18      and Chelsea Hill from my office.

      19             The purpose of the hearing today is to

      20      discuss capital funding for higher education, and

      21      the need for a five-year capital plan for both SUNY

      22      and CUNY, that -- a plan that takes into account the

      23      Climate, Leadership, and Community Protection Act,

      24      "CLCPA," as it's known, and the goals that they have

      25      set for themselves.


       1             We will also discuss the capital needs in the

       2      private sector as well.

       3             The SUNY state-operated campuses represent

       4      about 40 percent of the state's buildings, and, of

       5      that, about 40 percent of those buildings are more

       6      than 50 years old.

       7             Secondly, I want to point out, I'm sure we

       8      all know that -- know this, but we have not had a

       9      five-year capital plan since 2008.

      10             The 2019 approved budget did include

      11      $834 million in critical maintenance, but critical

      12      maintenance does not put a shovel in the ground and

      13      help in the construction of new buildings,

      14      certainly, more climate-efficient new buildings.

      15             And, lastly, the HECap matching grant program

      16      for the private colleges was allocated $30 million

      17      in the 2019-2020 budget.  But, unfortunately, this

      18      3-to-1 match takes a long time to process.

      19             I look forward to hearing the testimony.

      20             We have copies for the members for -- of the

      21      Committee, as well as having it available online, so

      22      that I hope everyone will adhere to the time

      23      constraints.

      24             And, lastly, because of the potential of

      25      inclement weather, I would like -- and people have


       1      to return to Albany, as well as other parts of the

       2      state, I would like to end the hearing no later than

       3      3 p.m.

       4             And we'll begin with our first panel of

       5      speakers.

       6             Robert...?

       7             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Haelen.

       8             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Is he -- oh, there.

       9             Robert Megna, senior vice chancellor, chief

      10      operating officer, of SUNY;

      11             Robert Haelen, senior vice chancellor for

      12      capital facilities, and general manager of the SUNY

      13      Construction Fund;

      14             And, Karren Bee-Donohoe, associate

      15      vice chancellor for capital facilities.

      16             And before we begin, I would like to welcome

      17      the Chancellor, congratulate her on her election,

      18      And welcome, Merryl Tisch, who has a long and

      19      illustrious record of service to the community.

      20             And we certainly appreciate all of her

      21      contributions, not for the past, really, but what's

      22      going to happen in the future.

      23             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Okay, good morning.

      24             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Good morning.

      25             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  And thank you for inviting


       1      us to provide testimony today on SUNY's capital

       2      operations and our ongoing plans for meeting

       3      ever-changing academic needs, as well as our work to

       4      make SUNY the leader when it comes to clean energy,

       5      energy efficiency, and innovative building.

       6             I am Robert Haelen, general manager of the

       7      State University Construction Fund, and senior

       8      vice chancellor for the Office of Capital Facilities

       9      for the State University of New York.

      10             I am joined here today with

      11      Karren Bee-Donohoe, the associate vice chancellor

      12      for capital facilities.

      13             On behalf of Chancellor Kristina Johnson,

      14      I would like to thank you, Chairperson Stavisky, for

      15      holding this hearing.

      16             I know that the Chancellor looks forward to

      17      discussing SUNY's state fiscal-year '20-'21 agenda

      18      with you and your colleagues soon.

      19             I would also like to acknowledge and thank

      20      our Chairman, Merryl Tisch, and our entire SUNY

      21      Board of Trustees, for their leadership and support,

      22      along with the great work of our executive

      23      leadership team and the presidents across all

      24      64 SUNY's colleges and campuses.

      25             In fact, much of our testimony today, which


       1      will be in the form of a visual presentation, will

       2      highlight the innovative ways that the SUNY campuses

       3      are wisely investing capital dollars provided by

       4      Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to improve

       5      infrastructure and modernize buildings as we educate

       6      New York's future workforce.

       7             Before I begin, I'd like to share some key

       8      information about SUNY, our operations, and our

       9      students that I think you will find interesting

      10      (indiscernible) which also underscores the

      11      importance of what we do.

      12             SUNY serves 1.4 million students annually

      13      across 64 colleges and campuses.

      14             As previously noted, SUNY operates 40 percent

      15      of the state's building assets, and many of our

      16      campuses top annual social-mobility indices because

      17      we are able to provide the physical space to help

      18      these students excel while they are with us and into

      19      the careers after they graduate.

      20             Our present --

      21             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Would it help if the

      22      lights-- can people see the -- is there a problem?

      23             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  No.

      24             SENATOR STAVISKY:  No?

      25             Okay.  I'm sorry.


       1                (Slideshow begins.)

       2             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Our presentation today

       3      will cover the following areas:

       4             An overview of New York State capital

       5      breakdown, including the amount allocated to higher

       6      education;

       7             The SUNY footprint and asset life-cycle

       8      modeling;

       9             Transformational investments;

      10             Campus investments and impacts;

      11             And climate and clean-energy leadership.

      12             We will not go through every slide with you

      13      in the presentation, but we wanted to include

      14      pictures and examples of much of the work happening

      15      on our campuses.

      16             You'll find this here as an appendix.

      17             To begin, as you may know, the $15 billion

      18      capital fund is 7 percent of the state fiscal-year

      19      '19-'20 spending plan.

      20             Higher education, including SUNY, CUNY, and

      21      the private colleges, benefit from about 10 percent

      22      of the total of $15 billion.

      23             SUNY wisely invests its capital funds, with

      24      over 80 percent addressing existing facility

      25      critical maintenance needs.  This includes


       1      investment in building exteriors and building

       2      systems which also helps improve energy efficiency.

       3             The current annual spending is approximately

       4      $635 million.

       5             And I know that Chancellor Johnson plans to

       6      meet with you soon to discuss the '20-'21 needs.

       7             We are appreciative of the investments that

       8      Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have made, and,

       9      as you know, SUNY's footprint is expansive.

      10             There are over 2900 buildings and

      11      100 million -- and 110 million square feet of space

      12      to maintain.  Our average age is 49 years old.

      13             It is important to note that these numbers

      14      also include the community colleges.

      15             To quantify the best strategies for our

      16      investment, SUNY has a robust asset life-cycle

      17      database of over 42,000 components which identify

      18      when assets come due for renewal, and it also tracks

      19      the "FCI," or, facility condition index, for each

      20      building, for each campus, and for the entire

      21      system.

      22             The average FCI is currently 12.7 percent,

      23      which is well above the ideal industry standard of

      24      5 percent, with more than half of the state-operated

      25      campuses above 10 percent.


       1             Along with the physical condition, it is

       2      important to take into account the campus

       3      programmatic needs, enrollment trends, and

       4      sustainability opportunities.

       5             This project at the University at Albany is

       6      an example of a total-gut re -- renovation that will

       7      provide a modern learning environment for the

       8      growing education and math departments, and will

       9      also achieve energy goals.

      10             Aligning-- wherever possible, we align the

      11      needs of our aging assets with supporting growing

      12      programs.

      13             This chart shows how programmatic headcounts

      14      change over time with significant increases in the

      15      STEM field.  This is representative by the top four

      16      bars.

      17             Two areas making a comeback are also liberal

      18      arts and education, which are typically cyclical.

      19             SUNY capital projects are often

      20      transformational.

      21             We use new technologies, and have the

      22      potential, due to our size and representation across

      23      the state, to help shift markets.

      24             As an example, the new School of Pharmacy at

      25      Binghamton University, which was recently built in


       1      Johnson City, a small depressed village across the

       2      river from the Binghamton Campus, is creating a

       3      medical corridor near the hospital.

       4             An old manufacturing facility in the same

       5      area is being repurposed into the School of Nursing.

       6             These two projects have stimulated private

       7      investment to develop housing in the area and are

       8      helping to revitalize the community.

       9             We have always designed projects to maximum

      10      energy savings, but this chart shows we still have a

      11      significant amount of fossil fuels being used,

      12      primarily, natural gas and steam supplied by others,

      13      but also produced by natural gas.

      14             In 2007, the SUNY board passed a resolution,

      15      requiring all new buildings and major renovations to

      16      be designed LEED silver or better.

      17             We have always had a history of building to

      18      beyond building code with efficient systems and

      19      well-insulated exteriors.

      20             Some examples of energy-savings elements are

      21      listed on this slide, which are typical insulated

      22      windows and improved envelopes, geothermal wells,

      23      high-efficiency chillers, condensing boilers,

      24      LED lighting, and solar vol -- photovoltaic systems.

      25             As a result of this hard work we have been


       1      doing, we have increased our square footage by

       2      28 percent, yet only increased our energy usage by

       3      2 percent, since 2005.

       4             As you know, there has been numerous

       5      executive orders prior to the creation of the CLCPA

       6      that have helped to influence the progress we've

       7      made.

       8             Three boxes on this chart are internal

       9      SUNY-specific initiatives, while the others are

      10      executive and legislative initiatives.

      11             Capital infrastructure, of course, extends

      12      well beyond our buildings.  It also covers our

      13      energy grid, our transportation infrastructure, and

      14      much more.

      15             I would like to turn it over to Karren.

      16             KARREN BEE-DONOHOE:  Thank you, Bob.

      17             As Bob mentioned, the fund and campuses have

      18      been going well beyond the requirements of energy

      19      code for years, even as the code has increased in

      20      rigor.

      21             Yet as the chart showed, significant fossil

      22      fuels are still being used, which we will continue

      23      to work to reduce, through major changes in how we

      24      approach buildings and prioritize investments.

      25             Working throughout 2018, with the release in


       1      early 2019, SUNY collaborated with NYPA, NYSERDA,

       2      DPS, and LIPA to develop a clean-energy road map for

       3      SUNY with six major goals:  Environmental

       4      sustainability, clean-energy template, a network of

       5      community resilience, net-zero buildings, existing

       6      building retrofits, and workforce development.

       7             I'll go into each of these briefly.

       8             The first goal is for SUNY's grid-sourced

       9      electricity to be 100 percent from renewable

      10      sources.

      11             The first step to this is underway, with

      12      development of a consortium of both private and

      13      public universities, to form the New York Higher

      14      Education Large-Scale Renewable Energy Consortium.

      15             Individual campuses do not have a large

      16      enough load to contract with the developer for an

      17      entire large-scale renewable-energy project.

      18             But when the campuses join together, they can

      19      purchase the output of the entire project, achieving

      20      a better price.

      21             This gives the developer a set income stream

      22      for the life of the contract, opening access to

      23      financing for the developers.

      24             Through this project, SUNY is incentivizing

      25      development of new renewable projects while also


       1      stabilizing the cost of electricity for the

       2      campuses.

       3             The consortium has hired a consultant, and is

       4      nearing the release of the RFP for this first

       5      tranche of campuses.

       6             Subsequent RFPs will be released to move SUNY

       7      to meet this first goal.

       8             The second goal is to have all campuses

       9      reduce their greenhouse emissions by 40 percent from

      10      the 1990 levels.

      11             As a system, the State-operated campuses had

      12      been moving toward the previous goal of 30 by 20.

      13      And as a system, SUNY was at 24.5 percent reduction

      14      as of 2017.

      15             With the work done in 2018, the preliminary

      16      numbers show SUNY at 39.2 percent reduction, very

      17      close to the CLCPA goal of 40 by 30.

      18             This chart also shows that SUNY is coming

      19      close to meeting the Paris Accord goals of

      20      28 percent by 2025.

      21             The third goal is to have all campuses assess

      22      the potential to develop a campus microgrid for all

      23      or part of the campus to help with resiliency, with

      24      a few ideal campus candidates to be identified by

      25      the end of 2020, and a template for planning to be


       1      developed by 2021.

       2             To address Goal 4, all SUNY facilities

       3      commencing design in 2019, and beyond, are to be

       4      designed to net-zero carbon emissions.

       5             Toward this goal, the Construction Fund has

       6      issued Designed Directive 1B-2, and is working with

       7      the New Buildings Institute, NYSERDA, and A10, an

       8      architectural consultant with clean-energy

       9      experience, to enhance and clarify the directive.

      10             The fifth goal is targeted to the existing

      11      building stock, looking to accomplish deep-energy

      12      retrofits on all existing buildings.

      13             The 1B-2 building directive also addresses

      14      both major and partial renovations of existing

      15      buildings, recognizing that a true deep-energy

      16      retrofit will address a building envelope, creating

      17      an envelope with minimal thermal transfer for both

      18      heat and cold, coupled with a replacement and

      19      reduction of the HVAC equipment, and topped off by

      20      instituting additional energy-efficiency measures.

      21             The last of the six goals is to develop a

      22      clean-energy workforce, both for the clean-energy

      23      industry and internally at the SUNY campuses, to

      24      maintain and manage the campus facilities and

      25      buildings of the future.


       1             The clean-energy economy needs workers with a

       2      technology-based education that can deal with the

       3      more complex buildings Bob described.

       4             We are working toward both of these goals

       5      with NYSERDA on development of clean-energy

       6      curriculum through a grant program, and with NYPA on

       7      educating our workforce on the use of the New York

       8      Energy Manager.

       9             And with that, I'll turn it back over to Bob.

      10             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  As mentioned earlier, we

      11      have included in the slide deck many examples of the

      12      work we are -- we have been doing throughout SUNY

      13      for your review today, or later at your convenience.

      14             It would be impossible to share in this

      15      testimony all of the innovation, hard work, and

      16      visionary ideas coming out of our campuses, or all

      17      of the challenge we -- challenges we have in the

      18      years ahead.

      19             We are thankful you have convened this

      20      hearing, and that you will be hearing from campus

      21      leaders, students, and advocates from both the

      22      private and public sector.

      23             It is a privilege to come here before you,

      24      and we would be happy to answer any questions.



       1             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

       2             Be -- I have a couple of minor questions, but

       3      before that, let me introduce my colleague and

       4      longtime friend, Senator Robert J. Jackson.

       5             SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, Senator, let me thank

       6      you for putting forward this hearing on a very

       7      important subject area.

       8             Obviously, someone that has been involved in

       9      education for decades, and more specifically, in my

      10      the first year on the New York State Senate, I had

      11      the opportunity to sit and listen to testimony at

      12      the joint budget hearings, and, listening to

      13      individuals that are talking from all sides

      14      regarding their needs, especially in SUNY and CUNY.

      15             And it's clear to me that the infrastructure

      16      of SUNY, and CUNY, needs lots of funding in order to

      17      be in sync with what's going on in 2020, and beyond.

      18             And, obviously, knowing that education is an

      19      equalizer for all communities, I'm just so happy to

      20      be a part of listening, and making recommendations,

      21      and, hopefully, seeking the type of funding that is

      22      needed in our system.

      23             I've heard that from SUNY New Paltz

      24      President, and others.

      25             I just wish that some of the leaders in the


       1      system would really say how they really feel about

       2      the funding, instead of trying to be more

       3      diplomatic, not to piss off certain individuals in

       4      higher levels of government, because that's what's

       5      really needed.

       6             As you know, I'm not a homeowner, but I do

       7      live in an apartment, in which needs to be painted

       8      and the floors need to be done, and, in essence, it

       9      needs a lot of tender loving care, in order to be

      10      the type of apartment that I like and my family


      12             And so I do understand about SUNY.

      13             I went to SUNY New Paltz.

      14             My wife went to SUNY New Paltz.

      15             My daughter went to SUNY New Paltz.

      16             Another daughter went to SUNY at Buffalo.

      17             So -- and I've been on all of those campuses.

      18             And I say to you that, besides operating

      19      money, which is totally different, now we're dealing

      20      with capital that deals with the major

      21      infrastructures and technology that we need.

      22             So, I appreciate listening to you.

      23             I would love to talk to you off-mic about

      24      your real needs and feelings about it.

      25             But one of the questions, after we hear from


       1      our Chair, I want to know:  How much money are we

       2      talking about, over what period of time, so that we

       3      can get some sort of focus?

       4             Because life is constantly -- you have to

       5      constantly refocus about what you're doing, and how

       6      you're doing it, and whether or not we have the

       7      resources to do it.

       8             And I thank you for coming in.

       9             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

      10             And I think we are talking -- including it in

      11      a five-year capital plan, which is part of the --

      12      I think part of the solution.

      13             Before I ask you a couple of questions,

      14      I must tell you -- I know Chancellor Johnson has

      15      been very involved in this issue.

      16             And, in fact, long before I scheduled the

      17      hearings, during the session this year -- earlier

      18      this year, she had -- she brought some folks from

      19      the different campuses, from ESF, from Stony Brook,

      20      and there was a presentation at the facility on

      21      Washington -- opposite Washington Park, I guess

      22      that's Washington Avenue, on the sustainability

      23      issues.

      24             And it was very, very enlightening to hear

      25      about how, for example, they were treating wood to


       1      make it last longer at the Syracuse campus, and so

       2      on.

       3             I have only one question, or two.

       4             The consortium that you're talking about only

       5      has a few colleges.

       6             And I would love to see that increase,

       7      because I think there -- the public -- the

       8      partnership between the private sector and the

       9      public sector is extremely important, because many

      10      of those colleges are facing the same kinds of

      11      problems that you're facing.

      12             Do you have plans to increase that number?

      13             KARREN BEE-DONOHOE:  There are no plans at

      14      the moment to increase the number of private

      15      universities.

      16             We did a lot of outreach.  We had, initially,

      17      about seven or eight that were very interested.

      18      But, when it came time to sign on the line, a letter

      19      of intent to participate, that went down to five.

      20      And then, during this past year, we had another one

      21      drop out.

      22             They simply didn't have a person who could

      23      continue to follow through with it, because this

      24      takes a lot of work.

      25             They've been working very hard on this.


       1             SENATOR STAVISKY:  And the second part of the

       2      question:

       3             You have this part -- this consortium with

       4      the private colleges.

       5             What about the business community, so that we

       6      can effect a revenue stream to pay for some of these

       7      things?

       8             KARREN BEE-DONOHOE:  Yeah, we have not

       9      engaged the business community on this particular

      10      piece, but this is only the first step, and is only

      11      a piece of the SUNY campuses.

      12             So once we do this first one, we could look

      13      at potential for future ones.

      14             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Because I love the idea of

      15      the business community working together with the

      16      higher-education community, 'cause, to me, that

      17      creates jobs and revenue and all good things.

      18             Senator Jackson, did have you a question?

      19             SENATOR JACKSON:  Sure.

      20             So I wanted to get back to the question that

      21      I posed in my introduction, and, obviously, that was

      22      only a minute or two ago.

      23             So, to give you an opportunity to respond to,

      24      I want to know, from the perspective of, from SUNY,

      25      the Construction Fund, and from the Chancellor's


       1      office, you know, and with the Chair indicated

       2      five-year capital plan:

       3             So, how much are we talking about?

       4             And, what schools are in most need compared

       5      to some other projects?

       6             And, you know, have you had -- do you have a

       7      list of the various SUNY schools, and what their

       8      needs are, in essence, to help formulate the

       9      five-year capital needs, understanding the holistic

      10      point of view, but then looking at the individual

      11      campuses also?

      12             So, that's my question to both of you.

      13             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Sure.

      14             All right.  Thank you.

      15             So the -- SUNY's capital budget was discussed

      16      at the November board of trustees meeting, and also

      17      at the December meeting.

      18             And I'll just go through some of the key

      19      points of that budget request.

      20             It is a multiyear plan; it's a five-year

      21      plan.

      22             The first year for educational facilities:

      23             We had asked for base critical maintenance of

      24      $650 million, which is up $100 million from last

      25      year.


       1             We also asked for another $200 million for

       2      strategic needs, which could be for either new

       3      construction or major renovations.

       4             So that brings --

       5             SENATOR JACKSON:  That's facility, you said?

       6             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Facility -- facility

       7      needs.

       8             SENATOR JACKSON:  That's what I said.

       9             Okay, thank you.

      10             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  So that's 800 -- so, in

      11      total, it's $850 million for the educational

      12      facilities at the State-operated campuses;

      13             We also asked for $150 million for our

      14      hospitals;

      15             For a total of $1 billion in one year, which

      16      would be $5 billion over the five years.

      17             SENATOR JACKSON:  And hospitals are

      18      Brooklyn --

      19             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Stony Brook.

      20             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- Downstate; right,

      21      Stony Brook; and Upstate, those are the three

      22      hospitals?

      23             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Correct.

      24             SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.

      25             SENATOR STAVISKY:  And Buffalo -- Buffalo


       1      doesn't have a hospital, excuse me.

       2             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Right.

       3             So -- so, you know, that was the overall

       4      need.  We think it's a robust capital request.

       5             I mean, we have to take into account how much

       6      work you can actually physically do on a campus.

       7             You can't tear a campus up in every little

       8      corner, you have to keep it operational.

       9             And as far as which campuses need the most

      10      amount of attention, as I mentioned in my

      11      presentation, we do a facility condition index.

      12      That index is an indicator of how much renewal needs

      13      campuses need.

      14             We do have that by campus.

      15             I don't have it with me here today, but we

      16      certainly could provide that to you.

      17             SENATOR JACKSON:  Yeah, if we don't have

      18      that, it would be appropriate for us to have that,

      19      so that we can look at it and assess.

      20             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Yes, absolutely, we can

      21      provide that.

      22             SENATOR JACKSON:  So, I'm sorry, that was the

      23      first year.

      24             And then other than that, it's by index; is

      25      that correct?


       1             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  It's -- it -- that's the

       2      first year.

       3             But I think the question was:  Do we

       4      understand, or do we know, where -- which campuses

       5      have the most amount of need?

       6             That facility index will indicate which ones

       7      need more investment than others.

       8             Some campuses are newer than others.

       9             Some still have some old building stock that

      10      needs to be renovated.

      11             SENATOR JACKSON:  So you indicated about a

      12      billion dollars the first year?

      13             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Correct.

      14             SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.  So do you have how

      15      much you, based on everything that you've assessed,

      16      about the second year, in fact?  Or is it just going

      17      by the index and looking at the individual needs?

      18             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  So when we look at our

      19      renewal needs, we are -- and to maintain a facility

      20      condition index of state of good repair, we're

      21      looking at an investment of 850 million per year.

      22             So the -- the request that we have put

      23      forward also aligns with the data that we're getting

      24      out of our system as to, how quickly is the SUNY

      25      system decaying, and how much investment do we need


       1      to halt or address that decay?

       2             KARREN BEE-DONOHOE:  And I think to your

       3      other part of the question, right now we're just

       4      saying a billion a year, for $5 billion.

       5             We haven't indexed that to increase, based on

       6      any escalation.

       7             SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.

       8             Okay.  That's all for now.

       9             I'm sorry that I missed some of your

      10      testimony.

      11             I was at a -- looking at capital needs of

      12      parks in my district.  And they took me on a tour of

      13      Riverside Park, which is all part of my district.

      14             And so I apologize for being late,

      15      Madam Chair, and everybody else.

      16             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

      17             I must say, I've been working with a number

      18      of the hospitals, because they have a special need;

      19      they're in the red.

      20             And in the budget, we tried very hard to have

      21      that -- is it $50 million? -- put into the capital

      22      part rather than the expense part of the budget.

      23             We were not successful.

      24             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  Yeah, it is a

      25      capital-intensive business.


       1             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah, it is, I know that.

       2             But, we're looking to try to alleviate some

       3      of the problems, because all of the hospitals

       4      face -- the three hospitals do face that problem.

       5             ROBERT M. HAELEN:  We appreciate that.

       6             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you very much.

       7             The second panel will have two parts.

       8             The first part will be UUP, Fred Kowal,

       9      and -- the president of UUP, and, Richard Smardon,

      10      SUNY distinguished service professor emeritus at

      11      SUNY ESF, the environmental science and forestry

      12      school.

      13             And the second part, separately, will be the

      14      Professional Staff Congress.

      15             Let me also welcome Barbara Bowen, the

      16      president of the Professional Staff Congress, and

      17      Sharon Persinger, the treasurer of the Professional

      18      Staff Congress.

      19             Thank you for coming.

      20             And I must point out that Dr. Kowal has

      21      been to every one of the hearings that we have held,

      22      from Buffalo, to Nassau County, and everything in

      23      between.

      24             FREDERICK E. KOWAL:  And they have been

      25      really enlightening.


       1             And, Senator Stavisky, Senator Jackson,

       2      I want to thank you both for your commitment to

       3      public higher education, and especially to you,

       4      Chairperson Stavisky, for putting these hearings

       5      together, and, likewise, being all over the state,

       6      even when climate conditions did not allow you to

       7      travel as rapidly as you would have liked back from

       8      Syracuse that one time.

       9             I would also echo your earlier statement, and

      10      recognize Chairperson Merryl Tisch who has joined

      11      us.

      12             And I think that speaks to the importance

      13      that the leadership of SUNY is placing on the

      14      conversation today.

      15             And, thank you, Merryl Tisch.

      16             I would -- once again, as I have done in my

      17      previous testimonies, I have submitted written

      18      testimony.

      19             I would just like to make a couple of

      20      comments, and then turn it over to my colleague from

      21      the College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry,

      22      because I think, again, as we have done in our other

      23      sessions, I believe hearing from our rank-and-file

      24      members and our experts is vitally important for

      25      you.


       1             UUP, a union of 37,000 members, believes that

       2      the deferred divestment [sic] in SUNY is overdue and

       3      should be dealt with as soon as possible.

       4             That investment, above all, must be a

       5      statement of what we believe, and how our state must

       6      lead the way.

       7             This past weekend in Madrid, we saw, once

       8      again, the inability or unwillingness of the leaders

       9      of the world to address the crisis that we face

      10      globally.

      11             The climate emergency, and dealing with that

      12      emergency, has not occurred simply because of the

      13      obstructionist behavior of the nations that produce

      14      the most CO2.

      15             And, unfortunately, with the

      16      Trump Administration, the United States is actually

      17      acting in a counterproductive and destructive way.

      18             UUP believes very strongly that it is

      19      imperative that New York State, among other states,

      20      act as countervailing forces to what is occurring at

      21      the national level and international level.

      22             New York State has already acted with the

      23      passage of the CPCLA, and I want to applaud the

      24      Legislature and the Governor for taking that

      25      important step, that historic step.


       1             When it comes to capital, however, we need to

       2      place an emphasis on how buildings are constructed

       3      and the choices that are made in their design.

       4             New buildings and new construction projects

       5      at SUNY must not be designed to simply meet the

       6      energy and environmental goals of today.

       7             They need to meet the climate goals of 2040.

       8             Any kind of new construction or major

       9      renovations must result in at least carbon

      10      neutrality.

      11             We believe very strongly that SUNY, as an

      12      institution, should lead the way in showing how the

      13      state can be the transitional force in addressing

      14      the climate crisis.

      15             I was disturbed greatly at the hearing that

      16      the Assembly, the joint committee hearing,

      17      Environment Committee and Higher Ed Committee, three

      18      weeks ago, where the leadership of SUNY had to

      19      acknowledge that a brand-new residence hall being

      20      constructed at Stony Brook University is going to be

      21      heated by a natural gas boiler, and that there are

      22      no solar panel-generating facilities at Stony Brook.

      23             Likewise, major renovation going at

      24      Marshal Hall at ESF, the heating system is going to

      25      be a natural gas boiler.


       1             This is not taking us in the direction we

       2      need to go in.

       3             We -- you know, I welcome the comments that

       4      were made by the previous panel, but I think what's

       5      lacking is the sense of urgency.

       6             I just want to draw your attention to my

       7      testimony.

       8             We are proposing a series of what I believe

       9      to be absolutely necessary steps for SUNY to take.

      10             And I think that we also have to remember,

      11      though, in dealing with the climate crisis, we are

      12      not just dealing with environmental necessity.

      13             It's also a necess -- it is an issue that

      14      resonates in racial and economic justice terms.

      15             Not only are the communities that are poorest

      16      and communities of color those that are hit the

      17      hardest by the climate emergency impacts, there's

      18      also the response to the question that,

      19      Senator Jackson, you asked just a little while ago,

      20      and that is, where the resources will come from.

      21             What we need is a fairer, more just tax

      22      system.

      23             We need to figure out the revenue side of

      24      things that will bring about a more just economic

      25      system while also addressing the climate crisis.


       1             It can be done.

       2             As Robert Kennedy stated years ago, he put it

       3      best by saying:

       4             "The future is not a gift; it is an

       5      achievement.  We have to work towards building a

       6      sustainable future.

       7             "We must do all we can to preserve our

       8      environment for the generations that will follow us.

       9             "It is our responsibility, and it is a

      10      responsibility that we cannot and must not shirk."

      11             Once again, on behalf of the entire

      12      37,000 membership of UUP, I would like to thank you

      13      for the opportunity once again to address you, and

      14      now I'm going to turn it over to my colleague.

      15             Richard.

      16             RICHARD SMARDON:  Thank you.

      17             Senators, Stavisky and Jackson, and everybody

      18      else here, we're very happy to be here to testify on

      19      behalf of the United University Professionals.

      20             I've been teaching at SUNY ESF for

      21      36 1/2 years.  I've been retired four years, and

      22      I don't get this retirement thing at all.  I'm

      23      failing, totally.  Okay?

      24             So, anyhow, I've been asked to talk about,

      25      you know, the capital budget in regard to the


       1      New York State Climate Leadership and Community

       2      Protection Act.

       3             It's kind of hard to do, CLCPA, you know, or

       4      whatever the acronym is.

       5             So, just briefly, I've taught for a decade at

       6      SUNY ESF, dealing with both climate, greenhouse gas

       7      monitoring, and also climate-action planning.

       8      And actually had students work with local

       9      communities to do climate-action planning all

      10      over Central New York.  And, also, I taught

      11      sustainability courses on the community scale.

      12             So that's my, kind of, general background

      13      here.

      14             Also, I worked with Barbara.  Right?  Didn't

      15      we --

      16             BARBARA BOWEN:  Yes.

      17             RICHARD SMARDON:  -- we did the -- we did --

      18      2003, I ran a conference, basically saying, we

      19      should have a SUNY-wide consortium dealing with

      20      climate change.

      21             BARBARA BOWEN:  Right.

      22             RICHARD SMARDON:  You know, so, enough of

      23      that.

      24             BARBARA BOWEN:  (Inaudible.)

      25             RICHARD SMARDON:  So, you know, Section 7 of


       1      the act says all state agencies will assess and

       2      implement strategies to reduce GHG emissions.

       3      Right?

       4             And it also states, if they can't do it, why?

       5      you know, and what the alternatives are.

       6             One way of kind of looking at this, one of my

       7      homework assignments was, basically, looking at

       8      which institutions, SUNY institutions, then CUNY,

       9      were members of the American Society of

      10      Sustainability in Higher Education, called "ASSHE."

      11             They have a system called "STARS."

      12             And, basically, you report what you've done,

      13      including physical facilities, curriculum, as well

      14      as leadership in your institution.

      15             Now -- right now, we have about 11 SUNY

      16      campuses are listed and ranked: gold (indicating),

      17      silver (indicating), bronze (indicating).

      18             There's only -- there's only -- there's only

      19      a few of these.  Right?

      20             Some 14 other SUNY institutions are on the

      21      STAR system.  They're not -- they don't have a rank,

      22      but they've reported in terms of the STAR system.

      23      Okay?

      24             This is one indication of where the

      25      facilities are.  They're self-reported, but it gives


       1      you an indication, what they're doing in terms of

       2      climate change and sustainability.

       3             So it's a good data source.

       4             It's not the same as what the SUNY folks have

       5      just reported on, but it's just another indicator.

       6             So the action options might include:

       7             Certificates of renewable energy, which is

       8      what SUNY is looking at right now, which you group

       9      institutions together to buy renewable energy.

      10             Developing sources on campus, or buy into

      11      community renewable energy sources.

      12             And we'll talk about that a little bit later.

      13             So, I reviewed the SUNY plan in terms of the

      14      New York Higher Education Large-Scale Renewable

      15      Energy Consortium, and 16 campuses and the 4 private

      16      campuses, basically, buying, you know, renewable

      17      energy.

      18             But I think there's three things we can do,

      19      maybe, to augment that, or as part of that.

      20             The first thing is, basically, doing SUNY

      21      campus physical plant energy and GHG reductions,

      22      which they've outlined, but there's maybe a few

      23      more -- a few more options here.

      24             The second thing is, what accounting method

      25      do we use to say how far along we are, both from a


       1      GHG-reduction point of view and from a

       2      cost-effectiveness point of view?

       3             And the third thing is, basically, how do we

       4      roll out the education that we need to have for

       5      professionals dealing with these kinds of issues as

       6      well as community folks?

       7             So these are the three.

       8             Yeah, so we've got these consortium of

       9      16 SUNY campuses, plus four privates, in the

      10      New York Higher Education Large-Scale Renewable

      11      Energy Consortium.

      12             They're in the process of putting out RFPs

      13      for the work that needs to be done, which is

      14      admirable, I think.

      15             But there's other kinds of things that can

      16      happen.

      17             If we look at, like, SUNY ESF, they've,

      18      basically, spent about $8 million -- no, I'm

      19      sorry -- yeah, 8 million over 10 years; roughly,

      20      about eight hundred and thirty-one dollars and

      21      five hundred and fifty-one cents [sic] per year.

      22             You wanted figures, I got figures.

      23             Okay?

      24             So -- but that's a relatively small campus.

      25      Right?


       1             So you could be talking a million dollars a

       2      year, to half a million dollars a year, depending on

       3      the size campus you have and what their needs are.

       4      Right?

       5             So I think that SUNY Central has done a

       6      really great job of indicating what is there.  I'm

       7      sure in their database they have it.

       8             But the thing is, that we need to have

       9      specific things done for individual buildings,

      10      electrification of water, space heating, use of

      11      appliance energy standards, annual energy

      12      benchmarking, use of performance contracting, which

      13      I'm sure that they do.

      14             And that's -- when Chancellor Johnson rolled

      15      out the Clean Energy Roadmap in 2019, a lot of that

      16      stuff was in there.

      17             Great.

      18             There's a thing that needs to be done in

      19      terms of building systems and materials.

      20             At SUNY ESF, we've been dealing a lot with

      21      sort of life-cycle analysis.

      22             If you do something, use a certain kind of

      23      material, if you use a certain kind of system,

      24      what's the life span of that?  And then what happens

      25      to it over time?  And how do you -- how do -- how


       1      much do you need to invest to maintain it?

       2             Right?

       3             So the whole life-cycle analysis is really

       4      key to whatever work is being done, and the tools,

       5      the methodology, to do that.

       6             So the second thing -- so that's dealing with

       7      sort of just the building systems.

       8             I think we need a lot, in terms of what

       9      I call "accounting and assessment methods," as well

      10      as energy-related research.

      11             I've actually done -- I've asked the research

      12      foundation to pull every research project in the

      13      recent past that SUNY investigators have done.

      14             There's 84 different projects dealing with

      15      clean energy.  And I would say about 44 of those are

      16      really good, sort of, high-value projects.

      17             The problem is, how do you build on that?

      18             How do you work it back in to whatever you're

      19      doing in building systems or energy reduction?

      20             So I think there's a whole bunch of stuff we

      21      could do that could be in addition to the

      22      consortium, would be assessment tools for measuring

      23      reductions in energy use.  Right?

      24             If we -- and there's a lot of tools that are

      25      out there, but the problem is, you need to use the


       1      same kind of tools so you can compare the results

       2      from one campus to another, or one building to

       3      another.

       4             In my appendix I have all the stuff lined

       5      out.

       6             A good test:  Evaluate the best available

       7      economic models, emission estimation techniques, and

       8      other scientific methods.

       9             This is direct from the Climate Leadership

      10      Act.  They say, we need to do this.

      11             And another thing we need to do is, review

      12      end-testing methods to calculate economic and social

      13      benefits of the reductions; not only the economic

      14      benefits of energy savings, are there some social

      15      benefits, especially that could accrue to

      16      disadvantaged communities?

      17             We need to develop test methods to quantify

      18      GHG offsets with emphasis on maximizing public

      19      health and environmental benefits.

      20             Sometimes, instead of doing direct energy

      21      reduction or direct greenhouse gas reduction, we

      22      say, well, we'll invest in an offset.

      23             To me, this is sort of avoiding the major

      24      issue.

      25             We need to do it on-site as much as possible


       1      versus going to an offset.

       2             Now -- and the other thing that the climate

       3      act calls for is develop and test methods of

       4      calculating the social cost of carbon.  Right?

       5             Is there a social cost to certain

       6      communities, especially disadvantaged communities?

       7      What is that social cost?

       8             We need to test methods for assessing and

       9      identifying contributing sources and categories of

      10      sources.

      11             Some pollution sources are worse than others.

      12             We all know about brownfields and toxic

      13      waste.

      14             Depending on the kind of emissions we are

      15      having, there could be health effects as well as

      16      environmental effects.

      17             And, in fact, the SUNY Center for

      18      Environmental Health and Medicine, which is,

      19      SUNY ESF and Upstate Medical is working on this kind

      20      of thing.

      21             And, also, at SUNY Albany, they're doing a

      22      lot of work in atmospheric effects.

      23             Implement easily replicated renewable energy

      24      projects.

      25             I think there's a real opportunity here, and


       1      a great example is SUNY Binghamton.

       2             They're working with three different

       3      communities on solar installations that benefit the

       4      community directly.  Right?

       5             Great example, I think.

       6             Develop minimum percentage of energy storage

       7      projects.

       8             The big problem with a lot of renewable

       9      energy is we can't figure out how to store it.

      10             We need either immense batteries or some

      11      other way of doing that.

      12             Now, it so happens that both SUNY Binghamton

      13      and SUNY Stony Brook are doing research in this

      14      area, in terms of trying to figure out how to store

      15      this kind of renewable energy so it can be used.

      16             The last piece I want to talk about is the

      17      workforce training program.

      18             I looked at all through -- all through SUNY,

      19      at the doctoral institutions, at the four-year

      20      institutions, at the community colleges, that came

      21      up with programs.

      22             There's a number of programs already existing

      23      in clean energy or clean-energy development.  Right?

      24             So, like, for instance, SUNY Buffalo,

      25      Cortland, and Oswego have clean-energy


       1      master's-degree programs.

       2             SUNY, Canton, Cobleskill, SUNY ESF, offers

       3      bachelor's-degree programs.

       4             Morrisville, Schenectady, and Ulster have

       5      workforce development continuing-education programs.

       6             This is the kind of stuff we need.

       7             So this needs to be expanded, I think, and

       8      become part of the consortium activity in terms of

       9      workforce and training development.

      10             And one thing I worked on as an example,

      11      another thing we could do is, have a -- like a

      12      million-dollar-per-year support program for

      13      developing programs of higher ed, whether it's

      14      doctoral, master's, undergraduate, or even, you

      15      know, external kind of degree programs, and -- and,

      16      you know, learn from what others have done.

      17             The other thing that we could do is, we could

      18      do a demonstration seed grant program that would

      19      pair a SUNY campus with a disadvantaged community.

      20             So it would be a pairing on the development

      21      of renewable energy, or energy savings, or GHG

      22      reduction, with a community and the educational

      23      institution.

      24             And a good example, again, is SUNY Binghamton

      25      and the work that they're doing with those three


       1      communities.

       2             And what I did, over 10 years, is worked with

       3      the Central New York Regional Planning and

       4      Development Board, with communities all through the

       5      Central New York area, to do their carbon footprint

       6      and their climate-action plan.

       7             Some of these are very poor rural

       8      communities.

       9             Okay, so that's my sort of recommendation.

      10             And I worked for 25 years with The Great

      11      Lakes Research Consortium, one of the most

      12      successful consortial activities in New York State,

      13      with SUNY.

      14             We know it can be done.

      15             So those are my comments.

      16             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

      17             And thank you for the thought and the time

      18      that you put into this presentation.

      19             I must tell you, when I went to Syracuse, it

      20      was simply the forestry school.

      21             And today it's become an

      22      internationally-recognized center, not just dealing

      23      with trees, but dealing with the environment and all

      24      of the issues associated with it.

      25             So we thank you for all of the work that you


       1      and your colleagues at ESF.  It's quite an

       2      operation.

       3             As you said, I was up in Syracuse, Halloween

       4      night, October 31st was the hearing.  And there were

       5      a lot of references to all of the good work that ESF

       6      has done.  And Cobleskill.

       7             Do you have any questions?

       8             SENATOR JACKSON:  No.  I'm going to wait to

       9      hear from them first (indicating).

      10             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay.

      11             Next we have the president of the

      12      Professional Staff Congress, Barbara Bowen.

      13             BARBARA BOWEN:  Thank you.

      14             Thank you very much, Senators, and thank you

      15      for holding so many hearings.

      16             I think this is the last in your travels.

      17             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Not much time left

      18      (inaudible).

      19             BARBARA BOWEN:  No, not much time left, and

      20      thank you for crisscrossing the state.

      21             I know you also held one in Queens earlier,

      22      and we thank you for the logistical work, the work

      23      of your staff and others, to put together all of

      24      this, and I think it's critically important.

      25             I'm very pleased to be here.


       1             In a minute you'll hear from the PSC

       2      treasurer, Sharon Persinger, who's also a professor

       3      of math and computer science at Bronx Community

       4      College.

       5             But I'm going to talk a little bit, overall.

       6             And also say, how honored I am to be with my

       7      SUNY colleagues, and very respectful of the work

       8      that's been going on for a long time on

       9      environmental justice.

      10             I think what we just heard from the two

      11      speakers from UUP shows, clearly, why universities

      12      should be at the forefront of rethinking building,

      13      not tagging behind, looking for dollars, which is

      14      where we are right now.

      15             It takes money to be at the forefront of

      16      environmental redesign of stable and renewable

      17      energy of carbon-neutral building.

      18             Here we have a center of thinking about just

      19      those topics, the center of research.

      20             We should be drawing, the State should be

      21      drawing, on those centers, and putting universities

      22      as exemplars of how to rethink and rebuild, rather

      23      than always having to say, Could we please have a

      24      few dollars to fix the elevator?

      25             But I do want to get the elevators fixed, so


       1      I am going to speak a little bit about that too.

       2             But I hope that you will carry to your

       3      colleagues and to the leadership the idea that

       4      universities should be a place to generate a new

       5      thinking about building.

       6             And we have the incubator right there.

       7             We also have an opportunity to work with our

       8      unionized colleagues in the building sector, and

       9      other sectors, to produce green jobs.

      10             And I think this is something that the State

      11      should take the lead on.

      12             I also want to say that I know today is about

      13      capital budget, but I can't speak to senators about

      14      budget without mentioning the operating budget.

      15             I know you've done other hearings on that,

      16      but, as you know, that is absolutely urgent.

      17             We did not come out with substantial new

      18      funding.  We barely broke even last year in the

      19      operating funds.

      20             And we're counting on you this year because

      21      the operating funds are at the daily center of what

      22      we do.

      23             The PSC supports CUNY's request for

      24      additional capital funding.

      25             We'd note that there hasn't been a five-year


       1      capital plan since 2008.

       2             That is a big problem, because it means

       3      constant -- constant on-the-spot planning,

       4      rethinking, not able to undertake some big projects.

       5             And I'm sure people from the CUNY

       6      administration can speak to that better than I can.

       7             But we support their request and would

       8      actually propose more funding.

       9             When we've gone back to our campus leadership

      10      at each campus, they've said, yes, the request is

      11      good, but we actually need more.

      12             CUNY has requested, I think, $1.031 billion

      13      for the first year of a five-year plan, and then,

      14      over five years, it would be $4.5 billion.

      15             That's, I believe, what's in their capital

      16      request.

      17             We support that.

      18             We also urgently need funds for critical

      19      maintenance.

      20             As you know, you've been there, a lot of the

      21      CUNY buildings are old buildings.

      22             Some are really beautiful old buildings, but

      23      they are, literally, crumbling when we touch them.

      24             I have been recently to some buildings where

      25      you touch the wall and it falls apart.


       1             That is unsafe, and it's not good.

       2             And, I guess I would say, most urgently, that

       3      it sends a message, not just a symbolic message, but

       4      a material message, to our students, that New York

       5      doesn't care about your education, because if you

       6      are in a building where they're, literally, propping

       7      up ceiling tiles like these with a broom handle

       8      stuck into a bucket, so that, when it rains, the

       9      water will sort of travel down that broom handle and

      10      go into the bucket rather than flooding the

      11      classroom.

      12             When you go into a bathroom at any CUNY

      13      senior campus, or community, and see that two of the

      14      three stalls have plastic bags over them because

      15      they don't work, where the sinks don't work, where

      16      we've had problems with safe water, the water coming

      17      out brown, what does that tell our students about

      18      how the State values their education and them?

      19             If you walk in every day and see that, you

      20      are seeing the message:  Your education doesn't

      21      matter, you don't matter, because all we've got for

      22      you are buildings that are untenable.

      23             And it is an issue of racial and economic

      24      justice, as my colleague said.

      25             CUNY student body is 74 percent people of


       1      color.  The majority of our students come from

       2      family incomes below $30,000 a year.

       3             When they get to their colleges, they are

       4      seeing more poverty than they saw in their

       5      high school funding.

       6             That is the wrong message.

       7             And not only is it a message, it's a reality,

       8      because you cannot study well, if you're watching

       9      the drippings coming down; if you are watching,

      10      worried, that there are droppings from vermin.

      11             You cannot study as well as you should.

      12             You cannot teach as well as you should.

      13             And all of those conditions actively

      14      undermine the project of teaching and learning.

      15             The fact that so much does go on so

      16      successfully is pretty miraculous, despite the

      17      conditions.

      18             But we should not have to work despite the

      19      conditions.  And above all, our students should not

      20      have to study despite the conditions.

      21             The conditions should support, not undermine.

      22             So I just want to say a word about

      23      two campuses, just to give you an idea, and then

      24      turn it over to Sharon, if I may.

      25             I just wanted to look at Brooklyn College,


       1      where there's been an active website going for

       2      several years, called "Broke-lin College," where

       3      people post to "Broke-lin College."

       4             You get the idea.

       5             I'm sure you've looked at it, where there are

       6      hundreds of pictures of these minor, and sometimes

       7      major, problems on the campus that people send in.

       8             And there's an awareness on the campus that

       9      the college president is working on things, but,

      10      without the money, it is very difficult to do it.

      11             This should be a year capital funding, as we

      12      know, is easier to do than operating funds.

      13             There's -- this is a good year to do movement

      14      on capital funding.

      15             So the -- from Brooklyn, I have a response

      16      from our chapter leadership.

      17             "The total request, as big as it is, is not

      18      nearly enough to address the facilities and

      19      infrastructure needs of the campus.

      20             "We have woefully outmoded science labs and

      21      teaching facilities, crumbling ceiling tiles,

      22      floors, and walls, an old HVAC system that breaks

      23      regularly, and many other challenges.

      24             "We have managed, with a dedicated new VP for

      25      finance, to patch together fixes for emergencies,


       1      and a talented new president has raised private

       2      donations for specific capital projects.

       3             "But the college cannot fundraise and

       4      Band-Aid its way out of this mess of hundreds of

       5      millions of dollars in deferred maintenance.

       6             "At the last meeting they had with the

       7      college president, we were told that the ADA lift

       8      serving Whitehead Hall" -- one of their buildings --

       9      "is tested three times a day, and gets mechanically

      10      impaired just from the testing procedure.

      11             "It will cost $20 million to replace, we are

      12      told, so the administration is arranging a new

      13      maintenance contract, hoping to keep it somewhat

      14      functioning."

      15             That's one example.

      16             There are many, many others all around CUNY,

      17      where there are these patched-together Band-Aid

      18      solutions because the overall solution is lacking.

      19             And you keep doing that over and over again,

      20      and you have a building that does not function.

      21             At Hunter Campus, I think you know, the

      22      longstanding issue, there had been a great hope with

      23      the partnership with Sloan-Kettering, that they

      24      could finally build a better facility for nursing

      25      than the Brookdale Campus now.


       1             Brookdale is the one where I went, literally,

       2      where the walls are crumbling.

       3             There was supposed to be a partnership with

       4      MSK.

       5             The ribbon cutting on the Sloan-Kettering

       6      building was, I think, last week, they're finished.

       7             And there's nothing that has happened on the

       8      CUNY building.

       9             I know that's a joint project, and -- but it

      10      would be really important.  Our nursing program is

      11      terrific.

      12             There's a shortage of nurses.

      13             And when they have to study in a completely

      14      unacceptable campus, it undermines the program; it

      15      undermines the validity of the program.

      16             And you'll hear other things from Sharon, but

      17      I would ask you to keep in mind:

      18             The testimony from UUP about long-term goals

      19      that must translate into short-term goals;

      20             About the fact that people have to study in

      21      conditions that are unsafe, unhealthy, untenable,

      22      unsupportable, I think, by this state.

      23             And the solution has to be revenue.

      24             We will be with you.

      25             This shouldn't be a year where we can't get


       1      new taxes.

       2             I'm tired of hearing that.

       3             There is support for that.

       4             And we will be there to support you for a

       5      fair taxation system, so that there is the money

       6      there, so that the students who go to CUNY, and

       7      SUNY, but I'm speaking about CUNY now, have decent

       8      resources; otherwise, the message they take is:  We

       9      do not want you to succeed.

      10             We're trying to change that message, and

      11      I know you are too.

      12             So thank you very much.

      13             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

      14             You will provide copies of your written --

      15             BARBARA BOWEN:  Yes.

      16             SENATOR STAVISKY:  -- yes.

      17             BARBARA BOWEN:  Thank you.

      18             SHARON PERSINGER:  Thank you, Senators, for

      19      the opportunity to speak.

      20             I would like to be able to be forward-looking

      21      and talk about the importance of building for

      22      sustainability, for implementing new technologies,

      23      for providing a transition to clean energy on our

      24      campuses, but I think, in the reality of the campus

      25      that I've spent my career working on, I really have


       1      to be kind of dismal.

       2             I think that CUNY really -- what CUNY needs

       3      is the funding to maintain what it has.

       4             CUNY's been severely underfunded for decades.

       5             Bronx Community College, the campus where

       6      I teach, has been underfunded for decades.

       7             You can see it in the lack of basic

       8      maintenance on our campus, in the degradation of the

       9      infrastructure we have.

      10             If you have not visited our campus, I urge

      11      you to.

      12             It was built by the architects, the big

      13      architects, of the time.

      14             The campus was originally built for NYU,

      15      starting in 1900.

      16             So we have McKim, Mead & White buildings, and

      17      then, from the 1960s, we have Marcel Breuer

      18      buildings, that people come to the campus to take

      19      pictures of.

      20             Our newest big structure was built by

      21      Robert A.M. Stern.  It is a LEED-certified building,

      22      a lovely building, that I worry about, because

      23      I worry where the money is going to come from to

      24      give it the attention that it needs.

      25             What you find in -- in our buildings are:


       1      Leaky roofs.  The broken bathrooms that Professor --

       2      President Bowen talked about.  And, rodents and

       3      insect infestations.

       4             I just want to tell you about a couple of

       5      specifics in the last year.

       6             I have a catalog from the 20 years that I've

       7      been there, about all of the major problems that

       8      we've had.

       9             But just in the last year, January 2019, and

      10      what was the coldest weekend of the winter, there

      11      was a failure of a pump in the heating system in

      12      Colston Hall, one these Marcel Breuer buildings.

      13      It's where the English department and the English

      14      faculty offices and a large collection of classrooms

      15      are.

      16             Water collected in the pipes because it

      17      wasn't being circulated.  The pipes froze.

      18             When heat came back on, all those pipes were

      19      burst, the building was flooded.

      20             Several pipes through the building broke.

      21      There was flooding in a lot of different locations;

      22      in classrooms, in departmental offices, and faculty

      23      offices.

      24             It meant that, when the semester started just

      25      within a week, there were over 500 classes that had


       1      to be relocated.

       2             And it took weeks for the building to be

       3      reopened.  And then a longer time after that before

       4      people could actually get into all of their

       5      classroom spaces.

       6             This was a real disruption.

       7             It probably meant that there were students

       8      who didn't come back to Bronx Community College

       9      because they were afraid that something like that

      10      would happen again.

      11             And, I'm -- I can say that, I'm not sure we

      12      can say that it won't happen again.

      13             One of the things that came out when the

      14      engineer did a report on this, was that the heating

      15      parts that burst had been installed in 1984, and

      16      were supposed to have a life expectancy of 20 years.

      17             So they should have been replaced 15 years

      18      previously.

      19             We need funding for this basic kind of

      20      heating-system maintenance; for the equipment

      21      upgrades that would be required for, for the staff

      22      to see that those system run correctly.

      23             And then a really mundane, but basic kind of

      24      thing that happened, that you have to tend to every

      25      day, because of our -- because we don't have the


       1      funding, our custodial staff has been cut.

       2             So that means that, again, just this basic

       3      stuff, the trash isn't being taken out, which means

       4      you get bugs and rats.

       5             My colleague in the English department said

       6      that, just a week ago, her -- the departmental

       7      assistant came in to find rat droppings all over her

       8      desk.  And she was told that she should leave them

       9      there so that the exterminator, who was coming the

      10      next day, could investigate.

      11             So that meant that she sat in an office with

      12      rat droppings for a day.

      13             You know, we need better than this; our

      14      students do, the people who work there with our

      15      students.

      16             And -- and it's -- it's -- it's depressing

      17      and demoralizing to work in an environment like

      18      that, whether you're faculty, staff, or student, and

      19      find, as President Bowen said, that it just doesn't

      20      seem that -- somewhere, at some level, someone

      21      doesn't think that what you're doing is important

      22      enough to be funded.

      23             And we just need that to change.

      24             SENATOR STAVISKY:  What do you estimate the

      25      cost of remediation?


       1             Are you talking critical maintenance, or

       2      tearing the building down, and --

       3             SHARON PERSINGER:  Well --

       4             BARBARA BOWEN:  Oh, no, we don't want to tear

       5      the buildings down.

       6             SHARON PERSINGER:  -- yeah, no, I think these

       7      are critical maintenance issues.

       8             But --

       9             BARBARA BOWEN:  Well, CUNY -- I mean,

      10      probably (inaudible) -- probably want to look at

      11      CUNY's capital request.  And then they put the

      12      critical maintenance, some of it in the operating

      13      request.

      14             But they have requested funds for community

      15      colleges because, as we know, the State does

      16      50 percent of the capital funding for community

      17      colleges.

      18             They have requested $703 million for the

      19      community colleges in the first year of a five-year

      20      plan.  And some -- that, I think is pure capital new

      21      investment.  They've also got a request for

      22      infrastructure broken out by college.

      23             I don't know if they've got it down to

      24      individual colleges, but, for critical maintenance,

      25      it's -- I mean, I think we should look there in the


       1      request, but also, as Sharon said, on the personnel

       2      side.

       3             I shortened the piece from the colleague at

       4      Brooklyn, but he also said they now have half the

       5      number of facility staff that are required by good

       6      practices.

       7             And I'm sure that's true at some SUNY

       8      colleges too.

       9             So there's -- the number would be contained

      10      in the personnel request as well as the critical

      11      maintenance request.

      12             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Because CUNY received, if

      13      my memory is correct, 284 million in critical

      14      maintenance in the April budget that was enacted.

      15             And I must say, the original building at

      16      Bronx Community College, when it was first founded,

      17      was the high school that I attended.

      18             SHARON PERSINGER:  How did it look then?

      19             SENATOR STAVISKY:  It was old.  It had -- it

      20      was old when I went there.

      21             And I'm not talking the new building.

      22             This was an old building.  They turned it

      23      over to -- they got a new building near

      24      De Witt Clinton, I'm talking about science.  And the

      25      building then became Bronx Community College, and


       1      that was a long time ago.

       2             So I understand.

       3             And my first teaching job, incidentally, was

       4      at what is now John Jay College.

       5             But back in the '60s, it was -- there was a

       6      single building there called Heron High School.  And

       7      that had been De Witt Clinton.

       8             So we have, I guess, recycling is not always

       9      appropriate.

      10             But thank you for your testimony.

      11             BARBARA BOWEN:  Thank you, Senator.

      12             SENATOR JACKSON:  So, it's shameful to listen

      13      to some of the testimonies regarding some of the

      14      conditions that exist in our classrooms.

      15             And I would tend to agree with you -- I --

      16      not intend to -- I agree with you, if those that

      17      have the power to make the changes do not do it, and

      18      the conditions are getting worse, the message is

      19      loud and clear:  We don't care about your education.

      20             Especially, as the treasurer, Ms. Persinger,

      21      indicated about a professor coming in and seeing rat

      22      droppings all over her desk, and being told you that

      23      should leave it there for the staff that deals with

      24      rodents can come and investigate, well, I don't

      25      think you should leave them there because they're


       1      rat droppings.

       2             If anything, take a picture.

       3             What is there to investigate?

       4             You want to find out how they got in the

       5      building? how they got in the classroom?

       6             Well, then, look at all of the places where

       7      any rodent would get in, and behind the cabinets and

       8      under sinks and -- and could, basically, where the

       9      water pipes come in, that's where it is.

      10             I mean, you don't need to be a research

      11      scientist to understand that.

      12             So it is shameful.

      13             And as you know, I've been fighting the

      14      system for just primary education, but, really,

      15      education overall.

      16             But the lawsuits that we filed on behalf of

      17      the children of New York State and New York City,

      18      and the fight still goes on.

      19             Obviously, in looking at the situation in

      20      this coming budget, people are saying, especially in

      21      the Governor's office, that we're facing a

      22      $6.2 billion deficit, and $4 billion of that has to

      23      do with Medicaid.

      24             And my understanding, in reading the papers,

      25      and what have you --


       1             And as I know, everything we read is not

       2      absolutely always true, we know that for a fact.

       3             -- but they said that, about 1.6 or 1.8 was

       4      rolled over from the previous year.

       5             And that's what we, and our colleagues both

       6      in the Assembly and the Senate, and the Governor,

       7      has to deal with.

       8             And as you know, we, at the Governor's

       9      urging, passed a property-tax cap of 2 percent in

      10      New York State, with the exception of New York City.

      11             And, obviously, by doing so, we, from a

      12      property-tax point of view, is going to limit the

      13      amount of income that's going to come into the state

      14      coffers.

      15             And then, not by law, but by my understand,

      16      by the Governor's order, executive order, or the

      17      Governor's direction, or whatever you want to call

      18      it, and I don't really know --

      19             And, Matthew, I need to find out exactly.

      20             -- is this the Governor saying, This is what

      21      we are going to do?  Is it by executive order?

      22             Because I know it's not by law, because we

      23      didn't pass it and no one said it's the law, a

      24      spending cap of 2 percent.

      25             Well, if that's not enough money to,


       1      basically, feed the family, and when I say "feed the

       2      family," need CUNY and SUNY from an operating point

       3      of view, feed SUNY and CUNY from a

       4      critical-maintenance point of view, because the

       5      critical maintenance means, we can't -- you know, we

       6      are not talking about building a new building.

       7             This is stuff that needs to be done, like

       8      indicated with those pipes broken and 500 classes

       9      had to be reverted elsewhere, and so forth and so

      10      on.

      11             And, obviously, I -- I'm a -- I sit on every

      12      education committee in the Senate, Higher Education

      13      Committee, the Education Committee --

      14             SENATOR STAVISKY:  I serve on the Education

      15      Committee.

      16             SENATOR JACKSON:  I know.

      17             And Toby serves on the Education also.

      18             -- and the New York City Department of

      19      Education, those are the three committees that deal

      20      with education.

      21             But, also, I'm a member of the caucus, the

      22      Black, Puerto Rican, Latino, and Asian caucus.

      23             And these are all issues and concerns that

      24      you're discussing, that we hear in every committee

      25      that we're on, including the Finance Committee in


       1      which Liz Krueger chairs.

       2             But, then, there's a way out.

       3             The question is:  Are we willing to take that

       4      way?

       5             Are we willing to go through that door, open

       6      that door, and deal with it?

       7             As you know, the Fiscal Policy Institute,

       8      which many unions help start many years ago, and are

       9      involved in that, they have ways in order to

      10      increase revenue.

      11             And the question is:  Are we going to attempt

      12      to increase revenues to deal with all of the issues

      13      that we're being dealt with?

      14             Not only in CUNY and SUNY as far as

      15      operating, and I've been told by one of my

      16      constituents, that it's active in CUNY.

      17             He said, when you go up to Albany, please

      18      talk to your colleagues, that we must have the

      19      increase for the contract that you just agreed to in

      20      the budget, because, if it's not in the budget, it

      21      has to come out of the college.  And the colleges

      22      can't afford it.

      23             And, clearly, one of my neighbors that lives

      24      on the same floor where I live at, he's an adjunct

      25      professor.  And he runs to different classes and


       1      different colleges in order to try to just get a

       2      certain standard of living.

       3             And I'm not talking about way up there

       4      (indicating).  I'm talking about the average

       5      individual living in New York City, dealing with

       6      rent, because they don't own, they rent in the same

       7      building that I rent, and all the other things that

       8      come with being a New York City resident.

       9             So I say that to say to all of you, that I'm

      10      glad that our Chairman -- our Chairperson has held

      11      these hearings around.

      12             And I've been told, not only as far as higher

      13      education, but, education, and budget, and revenue,

      14      and all of those hearings that have been held, that

      15      this is like light being shined on the problems,

      16      because these type of hearings never took place

      17      before in the numbers that they're taking place now.

      18             And it takes time and energy, of not only the

      19      members of the state Senate that are chairing the

      20      various committees, like Senator Stavisky, and the

      21      staff, but it's extremely important.

      22             And I've said, when it comes to the

      23      education, I'm thinking about, okay, this gives us

      24      more ammunition.

      25             And I said, no, no, no.  Let me not use that


       1      term because, because the "ammunition," to me, it

       2      relates to guns and weapons.  And we don't want to

       3      use that.

       4             This gives us more documentation to support

       5      the ask of the Senate leadership, Toby and

       6      Higher Education, Shelley Mayer in Education,

       7      John Liu in New York City Education, and helps us to

       8      document for those that believe that the budget is

       9      enough to deal with it, this is more documentation

      10      that the needs are greater than, really.

      11             And, especially, you hear people talk about

      12      the federal government, that our president did,

      13      "SALT," you know, state and local taxes, that

      14      situation.

      15             So I'm just happy that I'm on -- a member of

      16      the state Senate, trying to fight on behalf of all

      17      of you, and the constituents that I represent.

      18             And I thank Toby for leading; someone that

      19      has the experience and the knowledge, especially

      20      like she said, of the campuses that she went to, and

      21      she knows those buildings were old then.

      22             And I'm glad that you, Mr. Spardon [sic],

      23      Richard, from SUNY ESF, and the UUP activists, when

      24      you said that you're not going anywhere.

      25             We don't want to you go anywhere.


       1             We need people like you, with your knowledge

       2      and your expertise, to help the youngbloods.

       3             And I'm not that young, but --

       4             RICHARD SMARDON:  You mean I have to stick

       5      around some more?

       6             SENATOR JACKSON:  Yes, yes, we need you.

       7             And I thank you, I thank all of you, for

       8      coming in.

       9             But I just had one question.

      10             You mentioned about how many SUNY colleges

      11      were involved in that consortium, or --

      12             RICHARD SMARDON:  Consortium, yes.

      13             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- yeah, and you only

      14      talked about, like, 12 or 15.

      15             And I'm saying to myself, wait a minute.

      16             There are 64 SUNY campuses.

      17             So what numbers are we talking about, you

      18      mentioned?

      19             RICHARD SMARDON:  Yeah, there's 60 -- there's

      20      16, and then 4 private colleges, with the consortium

      21      for higher ed, to buy this aggregate of renewable

      22      energy.  Right?

      23             But if you look at the STAR system, you got

      24      64 campuses, and only 11 of these have ratings.

      25      Right?


       1             Another 14 are listed.

       2             And the rest of SUNY, 41 campuses, are not

       3      listed in the STAR system.

       4             So maybe they have inventories of what

       5      they've done, maybe they don't, but we don't know.

       6             So the question is:  How much work do they

       7      need relative to the other campuses?

       8             SENATOR JACKSON:  I would think, in my

       9      opinion, that if I was the president of a SUNY

      10      campus, and especially if I'm aware -- I don't

      11      assume that everyone is aware of that, but

      12      considering the fact that this is not just your

      13      campus, this is a statewide action, that I should be

      14      aware of it, at least I should express some interest

      15      in it, to want join that, because that would be the

      16      benefit of all.

      17             I'm just throwing that out for whatever it's

      18      worth.

      19             RICHARD SMARDON:  It's a major recruiting

      20      tool, literally.

      21             Those campuses that rank high are the ones

      22      the some of the students want to go to.

      23             SENATOR JACKSON:  It's frustrating.

      24             BARBARA BOWEN:  Agreed, agreed.

      25             SHARON PERSINGER:  Agreed.


       1             SENATOR JACKSON:  But I think that we -- so

       2      I'm just (indiscernible) -- and let me finalize this

       3      (indiscernible), I'm sorry.

       4             Let me just say this to you:

       5             That, in the papers, when it talked about the

       6      6.1- or 6.2-billion-dollar deficit, with $4 billion

       7      for Medicaid, I've heard people say, Don't worry.

       8      The Governor always does that.  It's going to be

       9      taken care of.  We're going to find a way.

      10             Then, again, I hear in that -- you know, as

      11      what the papers reported, that the Speaker of the

      12      state Assembly saying, that he'd rather raise taxes

      13      rather than make the cuts first.

      14             That's a choice.

      15             And so I am hoping that, collectively, we in

      16      the state Legislature will say, Let's raise the

      17      revenue to do what we have to do.

      18             And the constituents that we may hear from,

      19      complaining about raising taxes, or, hearing from

      20      constituents, they're saying, you're doing the right

      21      thing, we must make sure that the money is well

      22      spent, and accountable, for everyone, so when we

      23      stand up, we can stand up and say, the money is

      24      being well spent.

      25             That's what I have to say.


       1             Thank you, Madam Chair.

       2             BARBARA BOWEN:  Senator Jackson, if I could

       3      just say, you mentioned Carl Heastie, the Assembly

       4      Leader, and also others, on the issue of taxation.

       5             I think we would be united in asking you to

       6      go to the Leader of the Senate and --

       7      Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and ask for her

       8      leadership and support on increased taxation,

       9      following the Fiscal Policy Institute plan.  There's

      10      also a revenue coalition that's pushing for a

      11      super-millionaire's and billionaire's tax.

      12             The number of millionaires in the state has

      13      grown 74 percent since the passage of the

      14      millionaire's tax.

      15             So the idea that we're losing millionaires is

      16      been proven completely false.

      17             And it would be powerful if the Senate Leader

      18      took the position that you just described, saying,

      19      there is a way to do fair taxation.

      20             We're undertaxed in this state because it's

      21      not really a progressive taxation system.

      22             And that, in fact, if you asked people, would

      23      you rather spend $9.14 more so that CUNY could

      24      survive, and take that out of your tax bill, they

      25      would say yes.


       1             That's one figure that we've seen.

       2             Sometimes we'd have to work out, really, the

       3      figure for now.

       4             But I think it's really important, as you

       5      said, the 2 percent spending cap, which is an

       6      artifice, and it gets -- it gets dropped for -- in

       7      certain arenas.  And we're concerned about that.

       8             There needs to be more spending, there's a

       9      lot of ground to make up.

      10             And we hope that you will bring that message,

      11      and that Senator Stewart-Cousins will feel

      12      supported.

      13             I mean, she was very bold in putting through,

      14      you know, really huge changes last year, that you

      15      supported, and you brought changes on non-fiscal

      16      items:  On the Voting Act.  On Dreamers -- well

      17      Dreamers had a fiscal component.  On women's rights.

      18      On the rent laws.

      19             But none of those really pierced the

      20      austerity funding of the state budget.

      21             So we hope the Senate will be as imaginative

      22      this year on fiscal issues, and have the leadership

      23      on the fiscal side, that you showed last year in the

      24      majority on the non-fiscal side.

      25             SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, I say to you that


       1      we've had discussions.  And the Leader is clearly

       2      aware, and, obviously, focusing on what we have to

       3      do to make sure that we're in line with the people

       4      that we represent.

       5             That's for sure.

       6             And, obviously, I've said to people, not in

       7      the Senate, because we all -- but I said to people,

       8      understanding, please understand, our Leader and all

       9      senators that have been there for a long time, Toby,

      10      and Gustavo for eight years, and others, this was

      11      the -- is the first year that they're in leadership.

      12             So, in essence, they're new in the

      13      leadership.

      14             And understanding we had so much pressure the

      15      first year of our two-year term, and we survived

      16      that.

      17             And we're going to improve that even more so,

      18      with the goals and objectives of making sure that we

      19      continue to do what's best on behalf of the people,

      20      not only of New York City, but New York State.

      21             And that's why Toby and others have held

      22      hearings around the state in order to hear what they

      23      have to say.

      24             So, for sure.

      25             SENATOR STAVISKY:  And let me just add to


       1      that, that Senator Stewart-Cousins has -- obviously,

       2      is aware of the problem.

       3             But she -- we are all looking at

       4      alternatives, in term -- that are more equalizing

       5      than the property tax, for example.

       6             We have a task force looking at the property

       7      tax, how education is funded, foundation aid, these

       8      are all issues -- the pied-à-terre tax, which sort

       9      of fell off the table right at budget time, these

      10      are all issues that are open for discussion.

      11             We just had a retreat, last Monday and

      12      Tuesday, and these are all issues.

      13             We spent a lot of time on the health-care

      14      issue.

      15             We spent time on higher education.  I did a

      16      quick presentation.

      17             And we're looking at all of those issues.

      18             But I thank you all very much.

      19             And, hopefully, we will have a better budget

      20      come Jan -- come April.

      21             I was going to say January because that's,

      22      presumably, when we'll see the executive budget.

      23             But, thank you all for coming.

      24             BARBARA BOWEN:  Thank you so much.



       1             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Next we have four

       2      individuals.

       3             There are a number of additional people in

       4      the room.

       5             But, throughout the hearings we've held, I've

       6      said that the stars of all of the hearings, with all

       7      due respect to Dr. Kowal, have been the students.

       8             And, we welcome the students:

       9             Austin Ostro, the president of the SUNY

      10      Student Assembly;

      11             Timothy Hunter, president of the CUNY

      12      University Student Senate;

      13             Fay Yanofsky, USS vice chair of fiscal

      14      affairs;

      15             And Sakia Fletcher, SGA president (SUNY

      16      Government Association president) of Medgar Evers.

      17             And I have seen each of you at previous

      18      hearings, and we thank you again, and we thank you

      19      for your testimony, because, to me, the students are

      20      the clients.

      21             And the testimony, I must tell you, and most

      22      of you have been at all -- almost all of the

      23      hearings that we've held.

      24             I must tell you, when -- I don't remember

      25      which student government president testified and


       1      described how he lived in a car for six weeks.

       2             That, to me -- or, another student government

       3      president testified as being a single parent, and

       4      trying to study and support a family and be part of

       5      the student leadership.

       6             That was really telling to many of us.

       7             And we thank you.

       8             Austin, who wants to go first?

       9             AUSTIN OSTRO:  Thank you so much,

      10      Chairwoman Stavisky, for your leadership.

      11             And I know the CUNY and SUNY folks have

      12      really enjoyed, as well, all of the hearings.

      13             I think they've shined a light on a lot of

      14      important issues, and I'm so glad that we can

      15      continue the conversation on capital today.

      16             So, my name is Austin Ostro.  I am the

      17      president of the SUNY Student Assembly, which

      18      represents the 1.4 million students at the

      19      State University of New York.

      20             I am also the student member of the SUNY

      21      Board of Trustees, and a grad student at the

      22      University at Albany.

      23             We, as the student body of SUNY, primarily

      24      want two things.

      25             We want SUNY to be affordable.


       1             And I want to again thank the leadership of

       2      the Senate Higher Education Committee in hosting

       3      conversations on affordability throughout the fall.

       4             I think a lot of great ideas came from all of

       5      the various SUNY stakeholders that participated in

       6      those hearings.

       7             But we also want SUNY to be high-quality.

       8             We want to have top academic programs that

       9      attract the best and brightest students from around

      10      the state, country, and the world.

      11             We want to have strong student-support

      12      services, including academic advisement and

      13      mental-health services, so that students can thrive

      14      while they're pursuing their higher education.

      15             And, also, just as importantly, we need

      16      world-class facilities where students and faculty

      17      can work and learn and live in environments that

      18      foster academic success.

      19             A SUNY degree isn't just affordable, and it's

      20      not just essential that it be affordable, it's

      21      essential that it be valuable.

      22             And investing in the experience of students

      23      within SUNY is the best way to increase the value of

      24      our degree.

      25             Capital, unfortunately, has been somewhat


       1      neglected in recent years.

       2             Multiple years of funding at levels not

       3      adequate for critical maintenance, let alone new

       4      projects, has left some of our buildings,

       5      unfortunately, to rot.

       6             At Nassau Community College, where we hosted

       7      our Senate Higher Education Hearing a few months

       8      back, water was, literally, dripping from the

       9      ceiling onto Senators and witnesses.

      10             And I think it very --

      11             SENATOR STAVISKY:  (Inaudible.)

      12             AUSTIN OSTRO:  Maybe that's why they chose

      13      that building.

      14             -- I think it very deliberately showed how --

      15      how important this issue is in a way that was

      16      crystal-clear to everyone in the room, including Tim

      17      and I.

      18             We need that kind of investment in order to

      19      build on what we offer already.

      20             Some of our buildings -- it's not just

      21      dripping water from the ceiling that might be

      22      annoying.

      23             Some of our buildings are becoming unsafe,

      24      and have to be shut down, can't be used for classes,

      25      can't be used for dormitories, throughout a


       1      semester.  And that limits what campuses can offer

       2      because our campuses are recruiting students from

       3      around the world.

       4             And we need to have the space to offer

       5      academic programs and support services to them, and

       6      house them and feed them.

       7             And if buildings are shut down, that's

       8      limiting the space that's available for those

       9      purposes.

      10             Who, when they go on a tour of a campus, is

      11      going to want to attend the school if they see

      12      things, like, caution tape across buildings,

      13      sidewalks closed off, not being guaranteed housing

      14      because a major dormitory is shut down for a

      15      semester.

      16             Those aren't the ways to attract talent.

      17             Those aren't the ways to offer a valuable

      18      degree to everyone across the state.

      19             Of course, another component of this is

      20      sustainability.

      21             We want to ensure that SUNY's infrastructure

      22      of the public buildings, 40 percent of the public

      23      buildings in New York State that we own and operate,

      24      are sustainable.

      25             Because SUNY is such a large part of


       1      New York's public infrastructure, it really is the

       2      case that investing in making SUNY more sustainable

       3      is a real investment in making New York State more

       4      sustainable.

       5             And given how much of a priority offsetting

       6      New York State's carbon footprint has been for the

       7      Legislature and the Governor, we think an

       8      appropriate way to invest in a carbon-free future is

       9      by investing in a carbon-free SUNY right now.

      10             We can foster that sort of sustainability

      11      development, we can foster that kind of world-class

      12      infrastructure, through sustained five-year capital

      13      plans that offer predictability in terms of funding

      14      for projects.

      15             We recently, on the SUNY Board of Trustees,

      16      passed our budget request to the State, which calls

      17      for a $100 million increase in critical maintenance

      18      funding, and $200 million for new projects which

      19      will be matched by private philanthropy.

      20             I was proud to vote in support of that

      21      capital budget because I think that increased

      22      investment can really go to enhance the experience

      23      that students have on their campuses.

      24             We can't wait another year for this kind of

      25      funding.


       1             We need to start SUNY on the track to having

       2      the kind of infrastructure that attracts talented

       3      students, that attracts students from all walks of

       4      life, to our campuses and offers them an affordable,

       5      high-quality degree.

       6             And I urge the Senate Higher Education

       7      Committee to champion the cause of that investment

       8      in SUNY throughout the legislative session.

       9             Thank you.

      10             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Who wants to go next?

      11             Tim?

      12             SAKIA FLETCHER:  Hello, good afternoon.

      13             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay.

      14             SAKIA FLETCHER:  Thank you, Senators, for

      15      having us today.

      16             I just want to say, thank you for just

      17      holding these hearings, and really getting to really

      18      let the students tell their point of view.

      19             And also want to thank Tim and USS, the

      20      leadership -- student leadership, for continuing to

      21      advocate on behalf of students on CUNY students.

      22             So my name is Sakia Fletcher.  I am the SGA

      23      president of Medgar Evers College.

      24             Medgar Evers College is the only HBCU senior

      25      college in CUNY.  It is located in Central Brooklyn,


       1      Crown Heights.

       2             The student population is 86 percent

       3      African-Americans; 73 percent female; 43 percent

       4      female, single-parent households, head of

       5      households.

       6             80 to 83 percent of the student population

       7      lives below the poverty line.  And the remainder of

       8      the student populations are considered working poor;

       9      individuals living paycheck to paycheck.

      10             Medgar Evers College -- Medgar Evers College

      11      students, like myself, represent a disenfranchised

      12      minority student population who have attended a

      13      corrupt and segregated K through 12 grade

      14      New York City Board of Education public school

      15      system.

      16             After completing high school, those same

      17      disenfranchised students now enter into Medgar Evers

      18      College.

      19             Upon entering, it becomes evident very

      20      quickly that educational segregation also exists in

      21      the CUNY system.

      22             This is evident by the second-rate

      23      infrastructural consistence -- conditions, or lack

      24      thereof, in comparisons to other CUNY college

      25      campuses.


       1             Medgar Evers College is the only public

       2      college in CUNY that utilizes -- that utilizes

       3      portable trailers due to lack of classroom space.

       4             So I know some of you ask:  What is "portable

       5      classroom trailers"?

       6             By way of, "portable classroom

       7      trailers" are demountable, relocatable classroom

       8      portables.

       9             And it is a type of building installed at a

      10      school to temporarily and quickly provide additional

      11      classroom space where there is a shortage of

      12      capacity.

      13             On the other hand, what are portable

      14      classroom trailers by way of Medgar Evers College

      15      students?

      16             Portable classroom trailers are too hot, too

      17      cold, the temperature is never quite right;

      18      uncomfortable, ugly, despicable, degrading, inferior

      19      box infrastructures that, unfortunately, both

      20      high school and college students have to take

      21      classes in.

      22             More importantly, what do these

      23      portable-trailers classrooms represent?

      24             They represent 20 years of disappointment and

      25      failure; failed leadership from the president of our


       1      college who neglects opportunities to campaign and

       2      acquire new building space, as well as seek capital

       3      investments to build new college infrastructures.

       4             These portable classroom trailers represents

       5      lying elected officials who say they care about

       6      Medgar Evers College students in their district;

       7      however, when given the opportunity to transform

       8      Bedford -- Brooklyn Bedford Armory public land into

       9      permanent new classroom -- new classroom and

      10      educational infrastructures, instead, they approve

      11      for this land to be privatized.

      12             These portable classroom trailers represents

      13      educational racism and segregation that still exists

      14      in CUNY.

      15             They remind students of color that the City

      16      is not willing to invest in educational

      17      infrastructure expansion for Black students.

      18             Ultimately, the Medgar Evers College

      19      students' classroom portable trailers represents the

      20      State's blatant disregard and neglect in funding

      21      capital projects and new infrastructure investments

      22      at predominantly Black institutions in

      23      New York State.

      24             So what is the impact of portable classroom

      25      trailers at Medgar Evers College?


       1             The impact is a legacy of caged dreams and

       2      hopes.

       3             For Medgar Evers College students who have

       4      classes in portables, they internalize an

       5      inferiority complex that reminds us that it doesn't

       6      matter if you made it to college, but you're still

       7      not quite good enough.

       8             Sorry, sorry.

       9             SENATOR STAVISKY:  That's okay.

      10             SAKIA FLETCHER:  The portable classrooms,

      11      they whisper in my ear every day that I have classes

      12      there:

      13             Kia, you're too cold.

      14             Kia, you're too hot.

      15             Kia, the temperature is never quite right.

      16             You're uncomfortable.

      17             You're ugly.

      18             You're despicable.

      19             You're degrading.

      20             You're inferior.

      21             And no matter how hard you try to get out,

      22      you will remain in a boxed-cage infrastructure.

      23             But God, I am here.

      24             I am here today, as a woman on a mission, to

      25      once and for all, eradicate portable classroom


       1      trailers at Medgar Evers College, but I need your

       2      assistance.

       3             The legacy of hope is tied to your capital

       4      investments.

       5             The ideals of academic empowerment is

       6      connected to you approving new campus

       7      infrastructures at Medgar Evers College.

       8             And, finally, ladies and gentlemen, if you

       9      approve to end the use of portable classroom

      10      trailers at my college, it will lead us down the

      11      path of social justice for past, present, and future

      12      Medgar Evers College students.

      13             Thank you.

      14             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

      15             I suspect you're preaching to the converted,

      16      but, nevertheless, we thank you, and we will send

      17      that message.

      18             Who wants to go next?

      19             FAY YANOFSKY:  I'll go next.

      20             Good afternoon.

      21             My name is Fay Yanofsky, and I'm the Brooklyn

      22      College main delegate to the University Student

      23      Senate and the vice chair of fiscal affairs.

      24             We greatly appreciate that you will be

      25      listening to our concerns in addressing capital


       1      improvements in the proposed budget.

       2             We have not received money from the State

       3      since 2013, and I will be dedicating the rest of my

       4      time today to showcase some photos of what's been

       5      going on around the CUNY campuses.

       6             So some of those photos include mold, pipes,

       7      open wires, a broken sidewalk and its effects on

       8      wheelchairs, a broken elevator, and notice of

       9      asbestos.

      10             So this photo right here -- can you see

      11      that? -- has -- it's a ceiling tile.  And it

      12      demonstrates a ceiling with mold all over it.

      13             So this is from Brooklyn College.

      14             See that photo?

      15             Okay.

      16             This photo demonstrates a broken ceiling,

      17      with pipes and wires really bursting -- bursting

      18      outside of the ceiling.  And this is from

      19      Brooklyn College as well.

      20             This photo demonstrates wires that are just

      21      completely open, and this is from City College.

      22             This photo was taken in Queens College.  What

      23      happened was, there was a broken sidewalk, and then

      24      a wheelchair got stuck in the sidewalk.  So the

      25      wheel -- the wheel was broken by the broken


       1      sidewalk, right there.

       2             Here in Brooklyn College we have a broken

       3      elevator, so sometimes it opens, and sometimes it

       4      closes like this.

       5             Here at Queensboro Community College, and

       6      these notices often do go up in other colleges as

       7      well, there is a notice of asbestos abatement.

       8             So that is from Queensboro Community College.

       9             This photo from Brooklyn College demonstrates

      10      that the wall is kind of falling apart at the bottom

      11      of it, if you see that right there?

      12             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Go back to the Queensboro

      13      asbestos abatement.

      14             FAY YANOFSKY:  Yes.

      15             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Have they encapsulated the

      16      area so that, the asbestos, has it been cordoned off

      17      with tape -- with canvas -- those big sheets of

      18      canvas that they put down?

      19             FAY YANOFSKY:  So we don't know.

      20             When these signs go up, so we had these signs

      21      up at Brooklyn College as well, and I'm sure they're

      22      everywhere.

      23             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Because asbestos is

      24      different.

      25             FAY YANOFSKY:  Yes, I agree.


       1             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Asbestos, when it's

       2      exposed, is very dangerous.

       3             FAY YANOFSKY:  Yes, so --

       4             SENATOR STAVISKY:  And you don't know it.

       5             When it's friable, it's very dangerous.

       6             FAY YANOFSKY:  So this is really, when we see

       7      signs like this --

       8             SENATOR STAVISKY:  That happens to be in my

       9      district.

      10             FAY YANOFSKY:  Right.

      11             SENATOR STAVISKY:  And believe me --

      12             FAY YANOFSKY:  Queensboro --

      13             SENATOR STAVISKY:  -- I will call and find

      14      out the status of that asbestos.

      15             FAY YANOFSKY:  -- and when these signs go up,

      16      it's really scary, because these are really

      17      health -- health issues as well.

      18             So -- you know, asbestos, I was looking it

      19      up, it causes cancer, things like that.

      20             So people should not be risking their health

      21      by going to school.

      22             So that's why it's important to share that

      23      one.

      24             This Brooklyn College photo represents the

      25      wall, the wall just falling apart.


       1             At Brooklyn College as well, we have some

       2      bathrooms with no water.  They got the -- the -- the

       3      yellow caution tape, saying it's broken, so we can't

       4      come into that.

       5             And then just some, at Brooklyn as well,

       6      we've got the ceiling just falling apart, crumbling.

       7             So I just wanted to provide today a visual

       8      representation of some of the things that students

       9      see as an experience on the day-to-day, because a

      10      picture is really worth a thousand words.

      11             And we appreciate that you're taking the time

      12      for capital improvements.

      13             I know that, originally, the Maintenance of

      14      Effort Bill was 3 billion, but we're transitioning

      15      to capital improvements.

      16             But, like I previously have stated before,

      17      the Amazon deal, the $3 billion did not go through,

      18      and they came anyways.

      19             So that money is really, we believe, on the

      20      table for us.

      21             So we would really appreciate if we can have

      22      some investments in our schools.

      23             So I want to say thank you very much for

      24      listening, and for the opportunity to testify and

      25      represent the students.


       1             Thank you.

       2             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

       3             Tim.

       4             TIMOTHY HUNTER:  So, first, I would just like

       5      to take the time out to just say a special thank you

       6      to all those who came out, especially the student

       7      leaders that I have here to my right, and to my left

       8      coming from SUNY.

       9             But these -- these two women that I have next

      10      to me, in my opinion, are some of the most

      11      passionate student leaders that we have in CUNY.

      12      And I think that they -- they are just living

      13      representation of, like, our current, you know,

      14      like, status here.

      15             Like, you have students that are trying to

      16      take this university and use it to make the best of

      17      themselves.  But, unfortunately, because of, like,

      18      the current learning conditions that we're in, it's

      19      kind of hard to do that, when you have, like, you

      20      know, notice of asbestos all over.

      21             I have it on my campus.

      22             I'm pretty sure Brooklyn College has it,

      23      Queensboro has it.

      24             It's, pretty much, all over.

      25             And, you know, when -- even you just


       1      mentioning that things are supposed to be covered

       2      up.

       3             Like, you know, things like that --

       4             SENATOR STAVISKY:  More than just covered up.

       5             TIMOTHY HUNTER:  It's supposed to be sealed

       6      off; right?

       7             SENATOR STAVISKY:  "Encapsulated" is the

       8      word.

       9             TIMOTHY HUNTER:  Yeah, that, I didn't know.

      10             I mean, I walk out of the building and I see

      11      the sign every day.

      12             And since I see it on so many campuses, like,

      13      it's just, like, second-nature things.

      14             You know, like, you just think that, this is

      15      the norm that we experience here.

      16             And it's kind of sad that that has become the

      17      norm.

      18             I mean, you look at someone like

      19      Medgar Evers, (indiscernible) who was, like, a

      20      leader in the Civil Rights Movement, who they named

      21      this college after in CUNY, a public school, meant

      22      to, kind of, like, you know, take us to the next

      23      socioeconomic level, and it seems as if, like, those

      24      students are, like, now not receiving what I think

      25      Medgar Evers would want them to receive here,


       1      because of the horrendous things that they've been

       2      having to go through on a regular basis.

       3             I think that, especially as we look at the

       4      portable trailers, which, me, as a high school

       5      student, I actually -- no, sorry, in middle school,

       6      I actually did a STEM program in these portable

       7      trailers.

       8             This is, like, six, seven years ago, and

       9      they're still there.

      10             You know, and, like, just knowing that, you

      11      know, and know, having my mom be a graduate of that

      12      same school as well, like, I have my own personal

      13      ties to Medgar.  And knowing that, like, you know,

      14      they go through these things on a regular basis, and

      15      in my opinion, it's really disheartening.

      16             They also -- I'm not sure if you noticed, and

      17      I think Sakia didn't mention in their testimony,

      18      there's actually a homeless shelter as well, right

      19      next to the school.

      20             So, you know, like, it's just the amount of

      21      things that you're going through on a daily basis,

      22      just thinking, this is a public higher-education

      23      institution, and that you're going to go and receive

      24      the education that you need to, like, succeed, and

      25      you're not receiving it.


       1             One thing that wasn't brought up yet was also

       2      York's Performing Arts Center.

       3             I'm not sure if you all are aware of what

       4      happened there, but, they had to shut down the whole

       5      entire building due to mold.

       6             And, Jumani Williams just did a walk-through

       7      of York the other day, witnessed student

       8      government's funding computer labs, when the student

       9      government's, like, you know, like -- like,

      10      literally, libraries were like -- like empty book

      11      shelves.

      12             All these things that happened, like York

      13      doesn't even have a cafeteria right now.

      14             And I know that's not capital budget-related,

      15      but you just looking at all these things, and that's

      16      not something you see in a report, with a bunch of

      17      numbers.

      18             All you see is what they're gonna do.  You

      19      don't see what's happening currently.

      20             So we, as the students, are always going to

      21      come out and let you know what we're living as our

      22      reality, because we know you guys are in Albany,

      23      you're in your districts.  It's hard to take a

      24      walk-through of all these schools on a daily basis.

      25             But I just want to, like, you know, applaud


       1      Senator Stavisky and Senator Jackson for making

       2      these rounds and these public hearings.

       3             But I think the next step is, taking a look

       4      at the colleges themselves, and doing a walk-through

       5      there, just trying to identify exactly what these

       6      problems are, because we've noticed that, like, you

       7      know, we have these huge class sizes.

       8             You know, we have, like, you know, one

       9      professor, or even an adjunct in some case, that

      10      isn't getting paid adequately teaching these

      11      classes.

      12             And not only that, you're dealing with a

      13      leaky ceiling.  Or, you're going to the bathroom,

      14      and then, like, at a place like CSI, I think that

      15      they're on the process of fixing it now, but there's

      16      no hot water.  They only have cold water.

      17             And then you're seeing all these other things

      18      that are happening, and it makes you really

      19      question, like, in a public higher education, like a

      20      university, this is what we're going to have to deal

      21      with just to get the adequate education that we

      22      need, is this really something that -- that I should

      23      be dealing with?

      24             Right?

      25             Like, people are taking out loans, and


       1      leaving.

       2             And we're here, trying to, like, make the

       3      best of a bad situation.  And it seems like there's

       4      just no help.

       5             You know, and I know that, like,

       6      Senator Stavisky said, we're preaching to the choir

       7      here.  But I think that there are some other people

       8      that need to be converted; there's other senators

       9      and Assembly members that need to hear these things,

      10      and they need to see them for themself.

      11             I just want to, like, you know, like, those

      12      senators that did come out to the hearings, and some

      13      of the Assembly members, that stayed and they

      14      listened to the students, I applaud them for being

      15      the champions.

      16             But like, you know, Barbara Bowen had said,

      17      like, you know, it's up to you all to also let

      18      leadership know, because, to my knowledge,

      19      leadership went in the room with the Governor, and

      20      that's what happens at the end of every single

      21      executive session.  And sometimes they come out and

      22      it seems like higher education isn't always there

      23      when they come out.

      24             And I think that that's just something that

      25      we have to rectify.


       1             Let's take them.

       2             I have no problem giving them a tour of a

       3      CUNY school, and I'm sure Austin has no problem

       4      giving them a tour of a SUNY school, and letting

       5      them see what exactly these learning conditions is

       6      like.

       7             'Cause, you know, Albert Einstein once said,

       8      he's, like, I never -- he never teaches his pupils.

       9      He provides the conditions in which they learn.

      10             So, is this the conditions that the State

      11      wants to provide for their students?

      12             We just talked about two senior colleges, one

      13      that has trailers, and another one that had a

      14      building shut down due to mold.

      15             Which, to my knowledge, the State -- you

      16      know, I think the State's, pretty much, I think what

      17      Barbara said, (indiscernible) 50 percent, I think,

      18      the State's handling of the capital budget there.

      19             Is this the learning conditions that we want

      20      to provide for our students?

      21             Right?

      22             Is this the narrative that we want to set?

      23             Because it's not a narrative that's just this

      24      year.

      25             We're talking about, like, you know, maybe


       1      your children, or your grandchildren, or our

       2      grandchildren, experiencing this, like, you know,

       3      type of university that we're in.

       4             And, again, I think that, you know, I am like

       5      nothing without this team that we have here.

       6             Fay just came on, like, a couple weeks ago,

       7      and she's been doing an amazing job.

       8             She just put together our whole budget for

       9      the year, and now she's here testifying.

      10             This is her second time testifying.

      11             She testified in front of Senator Gounardes,

      12      Senator Salazar, two great, in my opinion, champions

      13      for us as well.

      14             And I think that the next step is just having

      15      another meeting with all of us, you know, all the

      16      stakeholders -- the students, the faculty --

      17      figuring out what it is that the priority should be.

      18             And, you know, these hearings are great

      19      because we get a chance to voice our concerns, but

      20      we don't want the buck to stop here.

      21             We want to be really involved in everything

      22      that's going on.

      23             If there's anything that you think we should

      24      be doing, I'd appreciate, like, you know, an e-mail

      25      or, anything, to let us know, because we're the


       1      students and we can organize as well.

       2             So, you know, we appreciate what's been

       3      going.

       4             Of course, we can always do more.

       5             And I just hope that, in the future, we can

       6      continue to be champions for our public higher

       7      education across the state.

       8             So thank you so much for your time.

       9             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you for coming

      10      again.

      11             Let's hope that we celebrate in the future,

      12      rather -- I hope this is the last hearing we have to

      13      hold, let's put it that way.

      14             Okay.

      15             Thank you.

      16             SENATOR JACKSON:  No, I just wanted to ask a

      17      couple of questions, if you don't mind.

      18             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

      19             SENATOR JACKSON:  That's okay.

      20             So -- so I thank you all for coming in,

      21      representing.

      22             Now, you indicated your campus.

      23             What school do you attend?

      24             TIMOTHY HUNTER:  Sorry, I didn't even

      25      introduce myself.


       1             I go to New York City College of Technology,

       2      so that's downtown.  But we actually just got a new

       3      building, actually.

       4             SENATOR JACKSON:  Is that in downtown

       5      Brooklyn?

       6             TIMOTHY HUNTER:  Yeah, and I'm not sure if

       7      you guys have seen it yet, there's a new building

       8      that we have there.

       9             And I apologize if I'm going back into a

      10      testimony here, but I think that, looking at that

      11      building --

      12             Which, it used to be another building before.

      13      They had, like, completely tore it down and they

      14      rebuilt it up.

      15             -- I see firsthand the impact that a new

      16      building can have on a -- on a -- at a college.

      17             What I mean by that is, all of our labs and

      18      everything were completely outdated.

      19             And I'm pretty sure Senator Stavisky and

      20      Senator Jackson have heard about, like, you know,

      21      probably President Hotzler come to speak to you all,

      22      to try to secure that new building, secure funding

      23      for it.

      24             They finally secured it, and even though,

      25      like, it took us like, what, 15 years or so, they


       1      finally got the building up.  And now we have all of

       2      our, like, labs, and everything, it's completely

       3      like a new STEM building, with labs, dental hygiene,

       4      radiology technology.

       5             So, like, it gives the colleges an

       6      opportunity to now, like, you know, push in the

       7      direction of STEM, and create, like, you know,

       8      fields and jobs, that they're getting them like the

       9      most high high-tech technology, and they can get a

      10      chance to use that, to better the infrastructure and

      11      the economy of New York, and the whole state of

      12      New York.

      13             I (indiscernible) -- I'm pretty sure next

      14      time you get your teeth cleaned, or next time you

      15      get an X-ray, you ask that -- that, you know,

      16      radiologist, where they graduated from, and I can

      17      guarantee you, the person graduated from the

      18      New York City College of Technology -- right? --

      19      because this is an opportunity to kind of create the

      20      workforce of tomorrow here.

      21             And the minute that we're not, kind of, like,

      22      providing that -- like, you know, that opportunity

      23      for them, they're not gonna get that opportunity to

      24      succeed in the future.

      25             However, we do have other buildings.


       1             I think Voorhees building as well.

       2             We have, I think, five of them.

       3             One of them we're renting out, we're renting

       4      out a whole floor.  So the college is spending money

       5      to, kind of, like, rent.

       6             And this is happening in other places, like

       7      Guttman Community College, they're actually paying

       8      money to a private, like, whoever owns the building,

       9      to rent it out.

      10             So we're using taxpayer dollars to put

      11      students in a place to learn.

      12             Like, that, in my opinion, is crazy too.

      13             And, again, I'm sorry if I'm, like, rambling

      14      a little bit.

      15             But then, also, we have Voorhees building,

      16      which used to be a bomb shelter, to my knowledge.

      17      And now we have, like, students, our architecture

      18      majors and civil-engineering majors there.

      19             And we have our Nam building, which has the

      20      asbestos abatement, that's right on the door.

      21             I think when I leave out the side entrance on

      22      Johnson Street, that's when I usually see it, the

      23      sign, it's right there.

      24             But, you know, I think that's pretty much it.

      25             And they're, kind of, like, revamping some of


       1      it.

       2             But those are all, like, small tweaks and

       3      fixes that don't stop the operational problems that

       4      we're still dealing with on a regular basis as well.

       5             And even though we're here talking about

       6      capital budgets, some of these problems are

       7      operational, that we also need to take a look at,

       8      you know.

       9             But I think that that's, you know, when you

      10      all get into your conference and your session, when

      11      you talk about those things, but I think that it's

      12      something that we can't overlook.

      13             SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, I want to thank you

      14      for -- you weren't rambling.  You were giving us

      15      details that I didn't know about.

      16             So, I'm aware of that.

      17             And the more information and knowledge that

      18      I have, then, in the various forums, whether it's in

      19      conference, or anywhere else, I can communicate from

      20      the position of being at a hearing where the student

      21      assembly leaders gave testimony, and that's very,

      22      very important.

      23             One of the things that I would recommend, for

      24      all of the student leaders around every campus, is

      25      to document, with photographs, dates, and things


       1      like that, and then present those to the -- either

       2      the Senate and Assembly members for that area, so

       3      they will have that, so they can look at that and

       4      see the situation.

       5             Because, one thing is saying it, and another

       6      thing is saying it, somebody hearing you, and also

       7      seeing also.

       8             And then to be able to take that, either to

       9      the Assembly, or when they're discussing in

      10      conference, about capital money, they can say, you

      11      know, look at -- look at the situation that exists.

      12             And actually show them like you showed us.

      13             And so they may not know this from a visual

      14      point of view, you know, and they may not have heard

      15      it, but they can actually see it.

      16             So that's very important.

      17             So I would recommend, SUNY President and

      18      CUNY Chair, that all of your campuses document

      19      everything --

      20             SENATOR STAVISKY:  That's a really good idea.

      21             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- dates and times and

      22      pictures.

      23             And, also, as far as, at New York Tech, you

      24      say you're leasing space?

      25             TIMOTHY HUNTER:  Yeah.


       1             SENATOR JACKSON:  Find out what type of space

       2      you're leasing, and how much does it cost.

       3                (Inaudible witness speaking.)

       4             SENATOR JACKSON:  Yeah, I know.

       5             Document that, and how much are you leasing

       6      it for.

       7             Is it for a 5-year lease, a 10-year lease, a

       8      20-year lease, or 1-year lease?  Or -- and how much

       9      does it cost to leasing it every year?

      10             So let's assume the cost, like, over the

      11      course of 10 years, $15 million.

      12             Okay, how much does it cost to build a

      13      building?

      14             Why can't we then invest in that?

      15             Because, you know, when you're talking about

      16      capital, you're talking about long-term investment.

      17             So, to all of you, that's important.

      18             I would think part of each campus leader

      19      should document that.

      20             And, Sakia, so, you were very emotional, and

      21      you shed tears, at speaking about your campus and

      22      the situation that exists.

      23             And you had said in your opening statement,

      24      that 86 percent of the students are Black.

      25             And looking at your testimony, it says


       1      96 percent.

       2             Which one is it: 86 or 96?

       3             SAKIA FLETCHER:  It's -- I re-edit it.

       4             It's actually 96.

       5             SENATOR JACKSON:  96?

       6             SAKIA FLETCHER:  Yes, it is.

       7             SENATOR JACKSON:  And I'd say to you, that,

       8      part of the lawsuit that we filed on behalf of the

       9      children of New York City, part of the agreement

      10      was, that they would get rid of trailers, all of the

      11      trailers in the New York City public school system.

      12             And I say to you that, I believe, even as of

      13      today, there are certain schools that still have

      14      trailers in the yards.

      15             I know, at George Washington High School

      16      campus, those trailers are being used now in the

      17      yard by a charter school.

      18             But I had -- I took exception to when you

      19      said that, and I'll read this, "Medgar Evers College

      20      students, like myself, represent a disenfranchised

      21      minority student population who have attended."

      22             Now, I don't disagree with anything you said

      23      just then.

      24             You attended a corrupt and segregated K to 12

      25      grade in New York City Department of Education.


       1             I agree that the schools are segregated,

       2      based on ZIP code and where you live.  And even

       3      reports have said that.

       4             I don't necessarily agree with being corrupt,

       5      so I take exception to that.

       6             I think that some of the leaders in our

       7      education systems may not make the best decisions

       8      that you would make.

       9             And if any of them are corrupt, then they

      10      should go to jail, and charges need to be brought

      11      about that corruption.

      12             So, I somewhat take exception to that.

      13             But, (indiscernible) you're feeling it,

      14      you're there, and so this is how you feel.

      15             And I accept how you feel even though

      16      I disagree with that aspect.

      17             And then, when that same page says, "These

      18      portable classroom trailers represent lying elected

      19      officials," I would hope that your elected officials

      20      that represent you are not lying, because, if they

      21      lie, you can then counter that with facts, or, as

      22      you know, these days, you know, so many people are

      23      on videotape or audiotape.

      24             And so you say, No, you're lying.  This is

      25      what you said.  Here, listen to it yourself.


       1             But I hope that your elected officials are

       2      not lying.

       3             I do believe, based on everything that

       4      I know, that Zellnor Myrie is the state senator for

       5      your area.

       6             And let me say this to you:  I think that

       7      he's working very, very hard, on many fronts, to

       8      represent you and the people of your area, based on

       9      my personal knowledge of being with him and working

      10      with him.

      11             And I think you have an excellent

      12      representative in Zellnor Myrie from a state Senate

      13      point of view.

      14             And maybe you were -- maybe you were also

      15      maybe very happy, or not happy, with the

      16      representative before him.

      17             But the bottom line is, as you know, in 2018,

      18      the voters decided a change needed to happen.

      19             And it happened, regardless.

      20             And that not only happened in where you are,

      21      but it happened in my area, and four other areas.

      22             So, where people feel that a change needs to

      23      happen, they make the change by voting people out of

      24      office, if necessary.

      25             So -- and I -- I -- believe me, I understand


       1      your situation.

       2             I say to you:

       3             I went to SUNY New Paltz under the EOP

       4      program (the Educational Opportunity Program).

       5             My family, I grew up poor, family of nine on

       6      welfare, which they now call "social services."

       7             I remember coming home on weekends, and there

       8      were no heat and hot water, and we had to sleep in

       9      all of our clothes.

      10             And I said to mom and my brothers and

      11      sisters, I'm sorry, I'm going back to school where

      12      there's some heat.

      13             So I understand some of the situations, as

      14      far as rodents in the apartments, and roaches, and

      15      all of that type of stuff.

      16             And that's not the environment that should be

      17      for anyone.

      18             And we have to work hard to make sure.

      19             So when you were talking about the education

      20      conditions at Medgar Evers, I was thinking about

      21      children in Mozambique, and other countries, and

      22      seeing, 60, 70 students in a classroom, sitting on

      23      the floor with whatever books that they have.

      24             And you know one thing?

      25             You got to fight to get a good education.


       1             You gotta fight, and don't give up.

       2             And so get involved in the political process.

       3             And one of the thing I ask all of you to do,

       4      is to make sure that all of your students know who

       5      their elected public officials are.

       6             I was at a union meeting --

       7             I'm not going to say which union, it doesn't

       8      really matter.

       9             -- a political action, and I asked them, How

      10      many of you know who your elected public officials

      11      are?  Raise your hand.

      12             And in the room, not everyone raised their

      13      hand.

      14             Maybe, let's say, half raised their hand.

      15             So I told them, and all of them in

      16      New York City:  Go to (the League of

      17      Women Voters New York City dot org), and put in your

      18      address, and you will get to see, by the picture,

      19      who your representatives are at the local, state,

      20      and federal level, and, also, where their offices

      21      are located.

      22             And that's very important from a

      23      political-power point of view, as far as,

      24      constituents, you know, knowing who their

      25      representatives are, writing to them, e-mailing to


       1      them, going to their office, and pushing them to do

       2      the right thing.

       3             Is that right, Josh?

       4             JOSH:  Happy birthday, Senator.

       5             SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you.

       6             So I want to thank you all for coming in.

       7             The documentation is very important.

       8             So, pictures, just like you did there.

       9             Okay?

      10             Thank you.

      11             God bless you.

      12             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

      13             And thank you, Senator Jackson, for your


      15             I've got to stand up for a second.

      16             SENATOR JACKSON:  Stand up for a minute?

      17             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah.

      18             SENATOR JACKSON:  We're going to stand up and

      19      stretch for minute, I hope you don't mind.

      20             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Oh, I should call the

      21      next --

      22             SENATOR JACKSON:  The next panel?

      23             SENATOR STAVISKY:  -- the next panel.

      24             Mary Beth Labate, president of CICU;

      25             Charles Kruzansky, assistant vice president


       1      for Governmental -- Government Relations, Cornell;

       2             And Cecil Scheib, chief sustainability

       3      officer, NYU.

       4             SENATOR JACKSON:  Toby, can you give me

       5      two minutes?

       6             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Sure.

       7             We'll take a two-minute.

       8             (The hearing stands in recess.)

       9             (The hearing resumes, as follows:)

      10             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay, the first person on

      11      this panel is --

      12             There's one brief panel after this, and then

      13      we will adjourn.

      14             -- the Commission on Independent Colleges and

      15      Universities, Mary Beth Labate.

      16             And let me thank you for coming, and for your

      17      guidance over the years, answering my questions, and

      18      so on.

      19             The same is true of our other panelists, but

      20      I appreciate your help.

      21             MARY BETH LABATE:  Certainly.

      22             Thank you.

      23             Thank you, Chairperson Stavisky, and

      24      Senator Jackson, and thank you for giving me this

      25      opportunity to speak on behalf of New York's


       1      100-plus private not-for-profit colleges and

       2      universities.

       3             I'm happy to be joined by my colleagues from

       4      Cornell and NYU, two institutions that are on the

       5      cutting-age -- -edge of infrastructure

       6      sustainability.

       7             Higher ed, as you know, in New York is really

       8      part of a -- is a three-legged stool, with private

       9      not-for-profit colleges working hand in hand with

      10      SUNY and CUNY to offer students a diversity of

      11      experiences and choices unprecedented in

      12      higher-education arena, globally.

      13             Educating 40 percent of college students

      14      in -- in the state each year, nearly four --

      15      500,000 students, and awarding 50 percent of

      16      bachelor's degrees, private not-for-profit colleges

      17      and universities are a critical part of the

      18      equation.

      19             And we are also an immense contributor to the

      20      economy of the state.

      21             We generate $88.8 billion in economic

      22      activity annually, and support more than

      23      415,000 jobs, almost half of them in New York City.

      24             Construction spending by private

      25      not-for-profit colleges and universities totaled


       1      about 2.2 billion in 2018.

       2             Because we are such a major player in

       3      educating the students that you care about and the

       4      workforce that our employers demand, I am

       5      particularly grateful to be here to talk about -- to

       6      take part in the important conversation regarding

       7      capital investment and sustainability.

       8             Our campuses are at the forefront of research

       9      into sustainability and the environment.

      10             In every corner of the state, our campuses

      11      are engaged in groundbreaking research, without

      12      which our shared goal of reducing the global carbon

      13      footprint simply would not be possible.

      14             One way this research manifests itself is

      15      through the State-supported Centers of Excellence,

      16      and Centers for Advanced Technology, better known as

      17      "CATS."

      18             Five private-college campuses, Rensselaer

      19      Polytechnical Institute, Clarkson, Cornell, RIT, and

      20      Senator Stavisky's alma mater Syracuse, operate

      21      facilities with a sustainability focus.

      22             Existing state support for CATS and COEs

      23      helps to support New York being on the cutting-edge

      24      of carbon reduction, but it's, frankly, insufficient

      25      to keep pace with the demand for research and the


       1      services that these centers receive each year.

       2             We -- the only way to make ourselves more

       3      carbon neutral is to bring technologies to the

       4      forefront.

       5             And our schools are at the forefront of

       6      developing those technologies.

       7             And programs that you support, like CATS and

       8      COEs, are vital to that.

       9             At the same time, we educate the

      10      environmental and sustainability problem-solvers of

      11      the future.

      12             38 of our members offer degrees in

      13      environmental science, environmental engineering,

      14      conservation, and related fields.

      15             The work that is being done on our campuses

      16      is helping to lead the global conversation.

      17             Buildings, old and new, on our campuses

      18      present a huge opportunity for carbon and waste

      19      reduction.

      20             Private colleges have a commitment to invest

      21      in greener infrastructure, replacing or

      22      rehabilitating old, inefficient buildings to, meet

      23      today's and tomorrow's environmental standards.

      24             I'd like to share just a very small sampling

      25      of the types of things that are going on on some of


       1      our CICU-member campuses.  It's by no means

       2      exhaustive.

       3             Colgate University became the first

       4      institution of higher education in New York State to

       5      achieve carbon neutrality.  It was the culmination

       6      over a decade of work.

       7             Wagner College on Staten Island has taken

       8      funds from the state's higher-education capital

       9      assistance (HECap) program to build a new facility.

      10      The facility will feature state-of-the-art glass and

      11      geothermal technology to heat and cool the building

      12      without carbon emission.

      13             Bard College in the Hudson Valley has

      14      partnered with Project Drawdown, a research

      15      organization, to put 100 comprehensive

      16      climate-change solutions into action on the

      17      Bard campus and the surrounding area.

      18             Fordham University, with campuses both in

      19      The Bronx and Manhattan, is one of New York's

      20      private colleges that has committed that all new

      21      buildings on campus will be designed to stringent

      22      LEED environmental standards.

      23             Already, Fordham has used funds from the

      24      HECap program to help finance the construction of

      25      two such buildings.


       1             56 CICU members participate in NYSERDA's,

       2      which is the state's energy authority, REV Campus

       3      Challenge, which promotes clean-energy efforts by

       4      recognizing and supporting colleges and universities

       5      around New York that implement clean-energy

       6      solutions on campus, in the classroom, and in the

       7      communities.

       8             Recently, CICU signed an MOU with NYSERDA to

       9      support sustainability efforts across our sectors.

      10             We will be creating an energy committee to

      11      help NYSERDA identify best practices and common

      12      challenges in the march to reduce carbon -- to

      13      achieve carbon reduction and sustainability.

      14             So, what can the State do to continue

      15      supporting the leadership that is showcased at

      16      independent colleges?

      17             First, continue supporting the state's

      18      Higher Education Capital Assistance Program,

      19      better known as "HECap."

      20             We know that, in the long term, building

      21      green makes sound economic sense and is an

      22      environmental imperative, but getting there can be a

      23      stretch for the budgets of many of our campuses.

      24             HECap helps campuses make investments.

      25             HECap has required a 3-to-1 match, prevailing


       1      wage, and MWBE standards.

       2             Currently, the HECap program receives

       3      $30 million in State funding.

       4             The Governor proposed to zero it out in the

       5      current-year budget, so we so appreciate your

       6      steadfast support in seeing that the funding was

       7      restored.

       8             We know it was a tough year, and our members

       9      were incredibly grateful that you kept HECap on --

      10      on your list of priorities.

      11             I'll point out, however, that 30 million

      12      pales in comparison to the 6.1 billion in new

      13      capital appropriation that SUNY and CUNY are slated

      14      to receive over the next five years.

      15             But, for private colleges that must depend on

      16      tuition revenues to maintain its infrastructure,

      17      that 30 million is a welcomed and important source

      18      of funding.

      19             I would argue strongly that a $30 million

      20      investment is a small price to pay to help support a

      21      sector that educates more students than either SUNY

      22      or CUNY.

      23             Second, understanding that one of the biggest

      24      barriers to making college campuses more sustainable

      25      and environmental friendly is financial.


       1             The State should create new funding streams

       2      similar to HECap, but focus exclusively on

       3      sustainability.

       4             Perhaps it's a bond act.  Perhaps it's a

       5      program using the various revenue streams that are

       6      generated through the utilities.

       7             But I think, as we're looking to really meet

       8      the goals that are -- are -- were established in

       9      your very ambitious plan that you put forward, and

      10      that you enacted, we will need new forms, all large

      11      institutions are going to need new forms, of funding

      12      to help.

      13             And we encourage that to be part of the

      14      discussion in this year's budget.

      15             Lastly, I encourage everyone to think

      16      holistically.

      17             For years, and including in my former life in

      18      the state budget division, I heard many requests to

      19      build new buildings on our public institutions.  And

      20      sometimes it's -- and oftentimes it's required.

      21             But, before launching into an expensive

      22      endeavor, and, particularly, in the face of a

      23      $6 billion deficit, I encourage the State to invest

      24      in commonsense partnerships that leverage the

      25      existing assets on both public and private campuses.


       1             New York State has an amazing asset; they

       2      have a strong public system in both SUNY and CUNY,

       3      and they also have a strong private system.

       4             Let's figure out how we can work together to

       5      stretch our dollars further, and ensure our common

       6      goal of ensuring that every New Yorker who wants to

       7      go to college has a quality experience, whether that

       8      is at a public or private institution.

       9             And I think, by partnering together, that's

      10      how we're going to get there, particularly as the

      11      State grapples with a -- a -- one its -- the largest

      12      deficits that it's seen in a very long time.

      13             With that, I'm going to hand it over to my

      14      colleagues.

      15             I want to thank you again for allowing us to

      16      testify, and really for this forum, and for your

      17      commitment to higher education.

      18             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

      19             And thank you for your service as budget

      20      director.

      21             MARY BETH LABATE:  Thank you.

      22             CECIL SCHEIB:  Want to take questions

      23      individually, or at the end?

      24             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Let's do all the questions

      25      at the end.


       1             But let me just say that, I particularly

       2      appreciate Mr. Kruzansky, and I've said this many

       3      times, but, my father was an immigrant, and, no

       4      money, obviously, poor, and with lots of siblings.

       5             And he went to what was then the College of

       6      Agriculture, and Cornell gave him a free education.

       7      And when he graduated, he went to New York

       8      University and received a master of science in

       9      geology.

      10             So, I thank the two institutions for doing

      11      what the public colleges have done, although the

      12      Cornell experience was at a statutory college.

      13             CECIL SCHEIB:  Well, thank you very much,

      14      Senators.

      15             My name is Cecil Scheib.  I am the chief

      16      sustainability officer at NYU.

      17             And I know -- I just can't believe what you

      18      all do to sit and listen for all these hearings.

      19             I'm going to try to keep my comments

      20      interesting, and not just read through the

      21      testimony.

      22             NYU is truly committed to be one of the

      23      greenest urban campuses in the country.

      24             Since we started our efforts in 2007, we have

      25      cut our carbon -- carbon intensity by 30 percent;


       1      so, that's saving about $15 million a year.

       2             And most of the things we did had a one- to

       3      four-year payback.

       4             This is the -- this is, roughly, equivalent

       5      to planting all of Manhattan and all of Brooklyn in

       6      forest, that's the carbon that we're saving every

       7      year.

       8             And I believe the things that we've done can

       9      be done by just about any institution.  I don't

      10      think we did anything magical.  I just think we did

      11      what's out there already.

      12             And I really wanted to thank both you

      13      senators for the CLCPA.

      14             I know it's sometimes tough to see if things

      15      are making an impact, but, right away that started

      16      to let us have our thinking evolve, and change our

      17      thinking.

      18             Once we knew that we could start to rely on

      19      the state grid to be cleaner, now we can look at a

      20      whole new way about getting rid of fossil fuels, and

      21      turning loads over to electric loads and buildings

      22      once we can really rely on the state grid being

      23      cleaner.

      24             So it had an impact right away, and thank

      25      you.


       1             NYU, as you may know, we're really, you know,

       2      like a city in miniature.  Right?

       3             We have apartment buildings, offices, labs,

       4      gyms, street-level retail.  We're in multiple

       5      boroughs.  We have 19 different schools.

       6             It's a very complex place, and we're big.

       7             NYU by itself is .43 percent of all of

       8      New York City building emissions.

       9             And if you count our friends and partners up

      10      at NYU Langone Health, 1 percent of the city's

      11      emissions.

      12             Capital projects play a big part of our

      13      forward carbon planning.

      14             A couple of examples, one in terms of student

      15      residences.

      16             We had a first-year dorm at Broadway and

      17      East 10th Street, when we were able to do it.  And

      18      this is -- I think, is a special role we can play in

      19      higher ed.

      20             We have the opportunity to empty out our

      21      buildings while we work on them.  Let's say, like a

      22      student dorm, you can leave it empty for a semester

      23      or a summer, at least; whereas, a normal apartment

      24      building, that's very hard to do.  Right?

      25             So we have the chance to go deep.


       1             That cut its needs of fossil fuels for

       2      heating by 81 percent.

       3             Not 8 percent, or 18 percent, cut.

       4             An 81 percent cut in its need of fossil fuels

       5      for heating.  It's also just a lot more comfortable.

       6             In terms of academic buildings, 370 Jay,

       7      which is the former MTA headquarters in downtown

       8      Brooklyn, instead of ripping off the facade or

       9      tearing down the building and putting up a whole new

      10      thing, we were able to keep the existing facade, but

      11      carefully air seal the windows.  So that building is

      12      tight, and it's comfortable, and quiet.

      13             We have studios in there for music study and

      14      recording.  They really love that it's quiet.

      15             And it's saving the same energy it would if

      16      it were brand new, but you save all that carbon that

      17      comes from the construction of redoing the whole

      18      facade.

      19             And so -- and I think that actually saved us

      20      money.  Right?

      21             There's a common misconception that, you

      22      know, to be green, it's going to cost green.

      23             And I think it's important to look very

      24      carefully at how these things are done.

      25             If you look at it right, you can get a -- you


       1      can get a great building and not spend more money.

       2             But often it does, or, even, you know, the

       3      capital costs of any building are high.

       4             And we thank our partners at the -- DASNY,

       5      you know, dormitory authority, for their ongoing

       6      effort.

       7             We also subscribe to the LEED standard for

       8      all new construction.

       9             And, with DASNY, we were recently able to

      10      release a green bond for the building at 370 Jay,

      11      and other LEED-certified projects.

      12             And it's great to see, sort of, the broader,

      13      you know, community say, like, yeah, we want to

      14      invest in a greener building.

      15             We know this is a better bet for the future,

      16      and it's what our world needs.  And it lets us, sort

      17      of, expand the pool of people that we can reach out

      18      to.

      19             NYSERDA, really, you know, an ongoing

      20      partner, not just in terms of the execution, but in

      21      terms of the planning.  And I'll talk more about

      22      that.

      23             So we've had these great successes that

      24      I think have a great business case for our first

      25      step, which is the incremental savings -- right? --


       1      the 30 percent savings.

       2             So our forward goal is a 50 percent overall

       3      savings by 2025, and be carbon neutral by 2040.  And

       4      we're serious about that.  We'd like to do it

       5      without offsets as much as possible.

       6             We're trying to really save the energy on

       7      campus, and then use the state's green grid.

       8             But, you know, fossil fuels are cheap.

       9             Just the energy savings is not necessarily

      10      going to pay over time for the capital investment

      11      that's going to be required.

      12             So the partnership with the State we think is

      13      really important.

      14             As an example:

      15             NYSERDA has a fantastic buildings of

      16      excellence program, where they're giving away cash

      17      awards to buildings that demonstrate these truly

      18      deep energy retrofits.

      19             But it's currently only available for certain

      20      market sectors.  And, basically, higher ed is not

      21      eligible.

      22             You can't do a commercial building or an

      23      academic building, you can't do a student residence

      24      or a dorm.

      25             That's fine, everyone has to start somewhere,


       1      and they targeted some sectors.

       2             But we'd love to see that program expand so

       3      that we could participate.

       4             NYSERDA gives a lot of rebates, which are

       5      great, but -- and rebates are great for operational

       6      efforts -- right? -- because I can show that on my

       7      budget.

       8             Hey, I bought some better lighting and we got

       9      a rebate for it.

      10             So, there we go, you know, that year's, you

      11      know, expense budget wasn't so high.

      12             But for capital planning, it's tough,

      13      because, when you get the rebate, it doesn't

      14      necessarily line up with when you need to commit to

      15      spending the money.

      16             So it would be fantastic for us to have the

      17      State looking at grants, lowers your interest at

      18      loans, on-bill financing, you know, these things

      19      that really align more with how, you know, the

      20      capital planning is made.

      21             There are some new types of technology that

      22      are going to come on that we need to have in order

      23      to best use the state green grid and get off of

      24      fossil fuels.

      25             We've got to go to heat pumps.


       1             Well, that's new technology.

       2             And so, you know, in addition to them costing

       3      more now, and they cost more to operate, because

       4      they're more expensive than the fossil fuels, but

       5      there's -- also, there's a risk, because they're

       6      new.

       7             You can see, I got a job to do.

       8             And so programs like Recharge New York may be

       9      a thread, and that could be, hey, what are you doing

      10      in terms of these new technologies, or in terms of

      11      energy savings, in terms of carbon savings?

      12             You can tell there's a thread here about,

      13      look at the existing programs.  And the State shows

      14      what's important to it by where it puts funding.

      15             And I just want to point out that funding

      16      from the State serves sort of two different purposes

      17      for us.

      18             Yes, the money helps, it always helps.

      19             But it's a real strong validator, that -- to

      20      internal stakeholders.

      21             Hey, if the State is putting money on the

      22      table, this must be important.  And smart people

      23      must have looked at it and said, yeah, this is

      24      something worth looking into, and we're really

      25      encouraging people to do it.


       1             So it's quite important to us when the State

       2      puts that forward.

       3             I'll second Mary Beth's comments about HECap,

       4      and maybe a funding stream within HECap, that would

       5      support these types of projects that focus on energy

       6      emissions or low-carbon projects.

       7             And then, finally, just in terms of the

       8      renewables, like, it's great that there's a state

       9      law that says we'll get to a 70 percent clean grid

      10      by 2030, and a fully clean grid by 2040, but,

      11      there's a lot, you know, in between here and there.

      12             And looking at the offshore wind, looking at

      13      the hydropower, and that line, it's we -- you know,

      14      we really encourage the State to keep working on

      15      that.

      16             So, we always look forward to our partnership

      17      with the State.

      18             Our faculty are very involved with looking at

      19      what can be done, everything, from the technical

      20      perspective, to, like, the regulatory perspective.

      21             We'd love to share what we're doing with

      22      other institutions, you know, including CUNY and

      23      SUNY; how can we share our things?

      24             And, actually, I'll say one thing:

      25             There was a lot of comments earlier about


       1      freezing, and the leaks that come from freezing.

       2             And just a reminder that, when you better

       3      insulate a building, it doesn't just make it more

       4      comfortable, it doesn't just save energy, but it

       5      reduces your risk of freezing of pipes, which is a

       6      huge cost, and huge disruption, to the academic

       7      effort.

       8             So looking for those synergies, and way one

       9      project can, sort of, pay back, you know, in several

      10      different ways.

      11             But these people don't really talk to each

      12      other.  Right?

      13             You know, like, the insurance person who pays

      14      for the frozen pipes isn't looking at the energy

      15      budget.

      16             So just part of what you need to do is get

      17      everyone in the same room to really look at all the

      18      savings.

      19             So we look forward to helping.

      20             And, if you have any questions, I'd be happy

      21      to answer.

      22             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Mr. Kruzansky.

      23             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Hello, there.

      24             Thanks for having us.

      25             SENATOR STAVISKY:  How are you?


       1             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Good.

       2             Senators, just the -- first, the big applause

       3      for the climate bill.

       4             It's been said, that really sets the table so

       5      that we can know that the grid will be cleaner, but,

       6      also, we know that things will be rolled out to help

       7      us get to where we want to be.

       8             We at Cornell, by 2035, we're serious about

       9      being carbon neutral, so we're a little bit ahead of

      10      the State's goals.  We're actually halfway there,

      11      counting from where we started.

      12             So we've made a lot of progress, but, the

      13      hard part is now.  You know, the second half is much

      14      harder to achieve than the first half.

      15             The student panel was so impressive, and it

      16      reminds me to talk about, that's why -- that's the

      17      business we're in: students.

      18             And Mary Beth said it, you know, our faculty

      19      and our students, that's the future.  They'll be

      20      helping solve these problems.

      21             I'll mention just four -- it's in my

      22      testimony, a few of them -- some Cornell grads that

      23      are, sort of, big in this -- in this realm.

      24             So, Willis Carrier was an engineering student

      25      at Cornell.  He invented the air conditioner.  He


       1      installed the first one in Brooklyn in 1802.

       2             Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Cornell grad,

       3      environmental decisions, the Supreme Court as a

       4      federal judge.

       5             Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," is the -- one of

       6      the most -- the most, sort of, accurate proponents

       7      of climate change and the effects of it, he's an

       8      engineering grad at Cornell as well.

       9             And U.S. Senator Ed Muskie, who is the author

      10      of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act,

      11      sponsored both bills.

      12             So what's happening at our campuses today are

      13      affecting these students.

      14             We don't know who is going to go where, but

      15      they're -- these are their formative years, they'll

      16      be at our campuses.

      17             They can be in trailers, horrible conditions,

      18      you know, not really seeing the benefits of

      19      technology, not being able to open their minds and

      20      create a better future; or, they can be at campus

      21      settings where some real dramatic improvements are

      22      being done.

      23             And a lot of these students, we involve

      24      them -- I know you do too -- and across our

      25      campuses, we involve our students in our planning


       1      and our decision-making.

       2             And, you know, I can tell you, from Cornell,

       3      when they're -- when they're -- when they're not

       4      involved and don't see enough action, they shut our

       5      buildings down and they make us deliver.

       6             That's why, at Cornell, 25 years ago we

       7      signed on to the Kyoto Protocols.  Our students led

       8      the charge, and they made us -- that was the first

       9      big action we took at Cornell:  Let's sign on to

      10      those protocols.  The U.S. government isn't doing

      11      it, but we have to, our students are demanding it.

      12             And they're our customers; we do what they --

      13      what they -- what they're demanding.

      14             And since then, and even before then, we were

      15      involving them.

      16             So, a lot of -- we're here for the students

      17      and for the future.

      18             The -- Mary Beth said it as well, the

      19      technologies, some of our campuses, we've -- we have

      20      a lot of work being done in, we need storage, we

      21      need better storage, we need more storage, of clean

      22      electricity.

      23             We have a lot of battery and fuel-cell work

      24      going on, and Mary Beth said it up front.

      25             We have Centers for Advanced Technology.


       1             We've got these matching awards.

       2             The state -- the state government, is a small

       3      program in Empire State Development Corp that helps

       4      us win federal research awards.

       5             And we've been using that little program to

       6      win these big federal awards so that our researchers

       7      can make these breakthroughs on batteries and fuel

       8      cells, to make better capacitors, super-capacitors,

       9      and fuel cells, so that we can store this clean

      10      electricity.

      11             And I'll just mention one project that we're

      12      working on with -- it sounds crazy, but it's true:

      13             We have particle accelerators for big

      14      science.  These things use a lot of electricity.

      15             And there's a scientist at Cornell who, in

      16      1965, came up with an idea of how to make one of

      17      them energy-efficient.  And, he's still around from

      18      1965.

      19             And they -- we got some money from the State,

      20      through NYSERDA, clean -- REGI money,

      21      greenhouse gas-initiative money, because it's energy

      22      conservation.  And they built it at Cornell.

      23             And with Brookhaven, National Lab is going to

      24      use it for their next generation.

      25             And it saves 99.8 percent of the electricity


       1      used in a particle accelerator.

       2             And so particle accelerators around the world

       3      are going to be using this technology.

       4             It's called an "energy recovery system,"

       5      where you recover the energy used.

       6             These things use a lot of electricity, so

       7      it's a breakthrough.

       8             Like Mary Beth said, we're coming up with

       9      breakthroughs so that we're not just doing

      10      everything we can to save energy, but, also, coming

      11      up with new technologies to reuse, save, and, in

      12      other ways, become more energy-efficient.

      13             Another one at Cornell, I'll just mention,

      14      the campus, couple of projects like that, of that

      15      scale, we use the lake water to cool the campus.

      16             We reduced our electricities for cooling by

      17      86 percent.  We turned that on 15 years ago.

      18             Some people thought we were crazy.

      19             But, it's a technology that actually isn't

      20      new, but it's a much bigger scale that we do.

      21             And there are benefits.

      22             When one of our campuses -- and this goes for

      23      SUNY and CUNY -- when we do something positive, we

      24      (indiscernible) -- we often share.

      25             So, during the summer, we have teachers and


       1      students from K-12 schools throughout the state on

       2      our campuses, learning chemistry, biology.

       3             These are our campuses.  They're also in

       4      these buildings, and they're learning about these

       5      improvements we've made.

       6             And so it doesn't stop there.

       7             We're training a lot of teachers, who, again,

       8      are using our labs, like has been said, some of

       9      these new technologies.  And these scientists were

      10      coming up with it.

      11             They're on our campuses, and they're helping

      12      teachers learn the next generation of science.

      13             So we know, if we stand still, somebody else,

      14      probably in another country, they're going to eat

      15      our lunch, and the students there will learn these

      16      things faster than we will.

      17             And so another dramatic improvement we're

      18      trying to make is, we know we can't electrify

      19      everything, it's too much electricity.

      20             If we just went to clean electricity, we

      21      couldn't have enough -- we couldn't generate enough

      22      electricity if we got off of fossil fuel that way.

      23             So we're looking at, we call it,

      24      "earth-source heat"; going down very, very deep into

      25      the earth to heat the campus the way we cool the


       1      campus.

       2             And so we've done a lot of the background

       3      testing.  It costs a lot of money to do it.

       4             It's been done in Paris.  That's how they

       5      heat a part of central Paris.  They go down

       6      two miles and they bring up very hot water.

       7             They put down water, bring hot water up.

       8             And so we're serious about doing that at

       9      Cornell with these very deep wells.

      10             It's very expensive up front.

      11             Cornell Tech, so we have the benefit of

      12      building a new campus on Roosevelt Island.  And when

      13      you do something new, you can do it the way you want

      14      it to be rather than retrofitting.

      15             And it costs money, though.

      16             And so we demolished that old hospital.  And

      17      we -- somebody came up with the idea of using the

      18      demolition material -- a lot of it had asbestos in

      19      it, of -- instead of, you know, carting it away

      20      and -- and -- and burying it as toxic waste, they

      21      encapsulated it on the site, raising the building

      22      site above the flood stage, so that even if sea

      23      levels rise in the future, it's -- it's -- they

      24      raised the whole site.  And then they built these

      25      new buildings with all the heat pumps.  But, those


       1      are traditional heat pumps that -- that -- you know,

       2      it took 86 heat pumps for one big building.

       3             And, again, that's -- that's the traditional

       4      heat pumps.

       5             So we're looking at the -- you know, the deep

       6      geothermal, seeing if we can go much deeper, and get

       7      much hotter water, and heat the campus that way,

       8      because we just know -- know it's not feasible to

       9      electrify everything.

      10             And so we're looking -- again, our scientists

      11      are working closely with us as well, to see what the

      12      effects on the deal of everything is.

      13             So those are just some of the things that

      14      we're working on.

      15             I just think it leads to a conversation about

      16      a bond act.

      17             I just think it's natural, that to talk -- we

      18      talk about the state budget.  I think we're at a --

      19      at a different point.

      20             There's so much -- so many capital needs, a

      21      lot of it around climate.

      22             And there are benefits to retrofitting.

      23             There are dollars savings, productivity

      24      savings.

      25             We find that people work better and harder in


       1      healthy buildings.  They come to work, faster.  They

       2      spend more time at work.

       3             Because we heard previous panels, in some of

       4      these buildings, you can't get anything done.

       5             In these buildings that are built well,

       6      retrofitted well or built new, people get more done,

       7      and students want to study there.  And much -- just

       8      a better learning environment, teaching environment.

       9             We just think, you know, that it may be time

      10      to go outside the normal budgeting process to make

      11      some of these investments because, you build a

      12      building, you retrofit a building, you know, even if

      13      you say it's a 20- or 30-year retrofit, it -- we've

      14      been using these buildings for many, many, many,

      15      many years.  A lot of our buildings are 1860s at

      16      Cornell.

      17             And then our average age, I think, is

      18      44 years of our buildings.

      19             And so we use these buildings intensively,

      20      like I said, not just us, but teachers and students

      21      from K-12 from around the state.

      22             And it would be just good to have a

      23      conversation about doing something different instead

      24      of just trying to catch up and dealing with this

      25      crisis or challenge in normal processes.


       1             But I'm happy to answer any questions,

       2      talking about Cornell, or students, or anything

       3      else.

       4             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

       5             And, thank you.

       6             I had the tour of Cornell Tech with

       7      Senator Stewart-Cousins.

       8             I just said to Senator Jackson, it's amazing.

       9             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  It's different.

      10             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Not like anything else

      11      you've --

      12             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  That's right.

      13             SENATOR STAVISKY:  -- ever seen.

      14             But I have one question.

      15             The folks from SUNY spoke about a consortium

      16      of working with the private colleges toward

      17      sustainability issues.

      18             And I've always said, and I've said this to

      19      you many times, that I think there ought to be more

      20      cooperation between SUNY and CUNY, perhaps,

      21      geographically.  That's an area, I know which there

      22      are a lot of SUNY and private colleges in the

      23      North Country, particularly.

      24             But I notice there are only -- one, two,

      25      three -- four institutions from CICU who have signed


       1      that letter of sustainability?

       2             Can you -- and I asked that question

       3      previously.

       4             MARY BETH LABATE:  Yeah, no, I think we have

       5      four now.

       6             It's on -- we've started having discussions.

       7      And I wish I had -- we had discussions about

       8      eight months ago with SUNY, with Karren who was

       9      here, on how we can encourage more.

      10             I think we're now at that stage where we're

      11      going to be able to encourage more of our schools to

      12      get involved.

      13             And we hope that our -- with the MOU

      14      that we just signed with NYSERDA, we hope that

      15      will help bring everybody to the table

      16      (parties cross-talking) --

      17             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  We're part of that.

      18             MARY BETH LABATE:  -- (parties

      19      cross-talking) --

      20             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yes, you are.

      21             It's Bard, Cornell, Ithaca, and Skidmore.

      22             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Yeah, we're part of the

      23      consortium.

      24             I think a lot of schools are, frankly,

      25      waiting to see how it -- what -- how it works, if it


       1      works, because we have to put a bid together and get

       2      people to agree, you know, somebody to come in and

       3      build this, probably, solar.

       4             And I think a lot of people are on the

       5      sidelines, wanting to see the details.

       6             And, we're big, and we have a lot of

       7      expertise in it.

       8             We've done a big -- we built a big -- very

       9      big solar project recently.  It was a lot of work,

      10      but we did it.

      11             And I think if we do it, if we do things

      12      together --

      13             SENATOR STAVISKY:  I think that's --

      14             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  -- it can be really

      15      powerful.

      16             SENATOR STAVISKY:  -- working, for example,

      17      with ESF --

      18             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Exactly.

      19             SENATOR STAVISKY:  -- because they certainly

      20      have the ability also, and not just in environmental

      21      issues.

      22             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  No.

      23             SENATOR STAVISKY:  I've said this many times,

      24      on other issues as well.

      25             Perhaps you can get lower cost -- low costs


       1      will result.

       2             MARY BETH LABATE:  Right.

       3             And, Senator, that was my last point in my

       4      testimony, was, you know, we -- we do not view SUNY

       5      and CUNY as competitors.  We think of them as, we

       6      need to do this together.

       7             What I've encouraged my members to do, and

       8      when -- and I really encourage SUNY and CUNY to do,

       9      they have capital needs.

      10             When they need -- when they think they need a

      11      new building, do they talk to each other, do they

      12      talk to us, and say:

      13             Hey, I need dorms.  Do you have dorms, any

      14      dorm space?

      15             I need an engineering building.  Could I have

      16      a partnership with you where my students can get

      17      access to your lab?

      18             I think, particularly, given the State's

      19      finances right now, the State should be encouraging

      20      those conversations before -- before immediately

      21      assuming that, you know, a new building needs to be

      22      funded, a new dormitory needs to be funded.

      23             There may be capacities there that we're just

      24      not leveraging.

      25             SENATOR STAVISKY:  And in -- also in terms of


       1      purchasing, the collective power I think should be

       2      utilized.

       3             I said the same thing to SUNY.

       4             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Yeah, I'll just say,

       5      think of HECap.

       6             I think HECap's a winner, because think of it

       7      in terms of purchasing, where the State has a

       8      budget.  And for that amount of money, you're

       9      purchasing a good, a building renovation, very

      10      often, saving energy, as has been said, at a college

      11      or university.  And look at the value.

      12             I know the HECap projects we've done at

      13      Cornell, that much HECap, we've gone out and raised

      14      money for the rest of it, and we've gotten a big

      15      project done.

      16             It's a good way of looking at it, as a joint

      17      purchasing.

      18             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Synergistic.

      19             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  There you go, exactly.

      20             SENATOR JACKSON:  Can I --

      21             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yes, Senator Jackson.

      22             SENATOR JACKSON:  So, I appreciate you coming

      23      in from the perspective of the private non-profit

      24      institutions.

      25             I guess, we talk about LEEDs, LEED


       1      certification, and you talked about building --

       2      building to LEED's certification.

       3             As you know, that there's certain levels.

       4             What is the highest level of LEED

       5      certification?

       6             CECIL SCHEIB:  Platinum.

       7             SENATOR JACKSON:  Platinum.

       8             CECIL SCHEIB:  Yes.  Certified, silver, gold,

       9      platinum.

      10             SENATOR JACKSON:  And so you talked about NYU

      11      building buildings.

      12             All of them are being built at what level?

      13             And give me a couple examples.

      14             CECIL SCHEIB:  So we have, currently, about

      15      20 LEED projects, either completed or in process.

      16             They represent over 2 million square feet of

      17      built area.

      18             We have committed to silver as a minimum.

      19      And some of them have gone all the way back up to

      20      platinum.  I think four have gone all the way up to

      21      platinum.  And, there's a mix.

      22             SENATOR JACKSON:  If -- if -- if you know,

      23      and I don't really know, is there a basic -- I know

      24      you're doing more when you're going up.

      25             Is there a cost factor between, let's say,


       1      silver and --

       2             The next one is, what?

       3             CECIL SCHEIB:  Gold.

       4             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- gold, and then, gold, is

       5      platinum?  Is that correct?

       6             CECIL SCHEIB:  Yes.

       7             SENATOR JACKSON:  All right.

       8             Is -- what type of financial investment to

       9      move from one level to the next?

      10             If you know, or give me some not very

      11      specific, or give me a general category.

      12             CECIL SCHEIB:  So one thing, I mean, I will

      13      answer the question, but I will say that, I work

      14      very hard within NYU to get people not to think

      15      about it that way.

      16             SENATOR JACKSON:  (Inaudible.)

      17             CECIL SCHEIB:  Well, what I try to do is get

      18      people to focus on:  What can we do in this project

      19      that will be of value to our academic mission?

      20             Right?

      21             We're not buying points.  What's the cheapest

      22      way to buy more points?

      23             Hey, you can get a point if you put in bike

      24      racks.

      25             Do our students need bike racks?


       1             If the answer is, oh, yeah, our students will

       2      use bike racks if there's bike racks.

       3             Then put in -- then put in the bike rack.

       4             And then, so, did that point cost anything if

       5      it's something you really needed?

       6             And I don't want us doing things, you know,

       7      to be, basically, chasing points.

       8             Well, what's the cheapest point we can get?

       9             You know, that said, if you have a ground-up

      10      project, I mean, the costs of LEED, I would say, are

      11      very, very small, or, at this point, are on cost

      12      parity, 'cause it's about the design choices you

      13      make, and the decisions, not extra.

      14             You don't need to put solar panels on the

      15      building to be a LEED-certified.

      16             You don't need to put a green roof on the

      17      building to be green-certified.

      18             But also keep in mind, in the city now, it's

      19      the law, you're gonna have to put on a green roof if

      20      you do a new major project.

      21             Right?

      22             So more and more of these things are starting

      23      to become typical -- typical, you know,

      24      construction.

      25             I would say, LEED Silver, that's just sort of


       1      our building default.  There's no extra cost there.

       2             If you go up to platinum, you've done

       3      something; whether it's the solar, or the green

       4      roof, or super-insulation, or something.

       5             And there will be some modest cost delta, but

       6      you might be talking in the low single-digit

       7      percent, if that.  A very small cost.

       8             SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.

       9             And then, I'm sorry, I'm thinking about, for

      10      example, NYU, I would assume, but NYU has a huge

      11      endowment, versus, for example, City College, or

      12      some other SUNY, like SUNY New Paltz, where I went

      13      to school.

      14             And, obviously, when they're talking about

      15      building, obviously, I would assume that everyone

      16      wants to have a LEED-certified building, you know

      17      what I mean?

      18             But then how much fund -- especially when

      19      SUNY depends mainly, and CUNY, on State monies, how

      20      much money do they have to build a project, just

      21      like anyone else?

      22             Do you know what I mean?

      23             CECIL SCHEIB:  Well, I can't compare to the

      24      state institutions off the top of my head.

      25             I can say that, NYU does not -- is not able


       1      to rely on its endowed funds for the capital plan.

       2             We are -- we are primarily a

       3      student-tuition-funded school.

       4             And while our endowment might seem large, and

       5      I think it's, like, the 39th, or something like

       6      that, among the private schools in the country, I'm

       7      not sure of the exact number, but it's in that

       8      range, we are the nation's largest private

       9      university.

      10             And so, on a per-student basis, we're down in

      11      the 100s.  We're not even close.

      12             So, actually, compared to our size, we do not

      13      have a large endowment.

      14             SENATOR JACKSON:  Uh-huh, uh-huh.

      15             MARY BETH LABATE:  (Inaudible.)

      16             SENATOR JACKSON:  Go ahead, Mary Beth.

      17             MARY BETH LABATE:  There's something that

      18      I've learned in this job now.

      19             Endowments are a funny thing.

      20             The State highly regulates how our schools --

      21      how much of an endowment our schools can use.

      22             I've actually had presidents who said, I want

      23      to do something transformational.  I want to use

      24      part of my endowment, but I need the approval of the

      25      State.


       1             And I think the State is involved for good

       2      reason.

       3             I like to think of an endowment as comparable

       4      to the state's pension system, which I hold the

       5      state's pension system near and dear to my heart

       6      because I'm a recipient of it.

       7             It's sitting on $50 billion.

       8             You guys have a very tough budget coming up,

       9      but I don't think anyone would suggest, let's dip

      10      into the pension system to close this year's budget,

      11      because a pension, like an endowment, is really the

      12      commitment to future generations.  It's kind of the

      13      evergreen.

      14             We have made a commitment to you, at NYU, at

      15      Cornell, has made a commitment to higher education,

      16      that they are in it for the long haul.

      17             And I think it's similar if I -- it's similar

      18      to a pension system.  We have made a commitment to

      19      state employees, as to municipal employees, that

      20      we'll be in it for the long haul.

      21             So, I would love for endowments to be larger

      22      than -- and more flexible than people think they

      23      are, but they're just not, for any -- any number of

      24      reasons.

      25             SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.


       1             And when you were responding to me, and

       2      I appreciate that, because, obviously, you know,

       3      from your experience, and you know about that, and

       4      I'm learning in that respect --

       5             MARY BETH LABATE:  I had no idea that they

       6      couldn't just come and take as much of their

       7      endowment as they wanted.

       8             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- and I know that --

       9      I know that some labor union leaders in New York

      10      City, and constituents, would want the New York City

      11      pension fund to build affordable housing because of

      12      the situation that the homeless population is

      13      increasing.  And we need, in our city, affordable

      14      housing for people who work here and live here.

      15             And some of their money in the pensions

      16      should be invested in that so that everyone can live

      17      in New York City, and not just the wealthy and

      18      super-rich.

      19             So, I appreciate understanding what you just

      20      said.

      21             Just have a question for you, Mr. Kruzansky.

      22             With respect to Cornell, we're talking about

      23      the campus on Roosevelt Island.

      24             And you said, rather than cart away and send

      25      the landfill, the building material, you


       1      encapsulated it, and then put that part of the

       2      foundation?  Is that correct?

       3             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Under the foundation,

       4      that's right.  They raised the site of the -- of the

       5      build -- of the -- where the building is, because,

       6      again, sea-level rise is real.

       7             And, there was concern, you know, again, when

       8      will it rise, by how much?

       9             And, it was a very cost-effective solution

      10      because, the only way to get it off the island would

      11      be by -- by -- with, you know, barges.

      12             And so they used it as a way to raise the

      13      building site.

      14             SENATOR JACKSON:  And so they encapsulated

      15      that in, like, I would (parties cross-talking) --

      16             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Some kind of solid --

      17      yeah, I don't (parties cross-talking) --

      18             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- steel, sort of, like --

      19             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  -- maybe within concrete,

      20      that's often how they do.

      21             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- I see.

      22             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  I know they use a -- at

      23      least low-level radioactive waste --

      24             SENATOR JACKSON:  Right.

      25             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  -- out in West Valley.


       1             They, basically, built cement logs, so that

       2      it will -- you know, no water, nothing, can change,

       3      you know, the temperature.

       4             But they may have done that.

       5             I'm not sure how they did it, but some kind

       6      of a process, where they -- they made it this solid,

       7      that then lifted the (parties cross-talking) --

       8             SENATOR JACKSON:  And did they use all of the

       9      material, or did they take some of the material out?

      10             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  I don't know all, but

      11      most.

      12             SENATOR JACKSON:  Most.

      13             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Most.

      14             Also, and then one thing related, I want to

      15      mention, we've talked a lot about energy:

      16             Water is also a resource we have.

      17             We're lucky in New York.

      18             The rest of the world is short clean water.

      19             We have drinking water, and abundant

      20      supplies, because of the -- mostly, because of the

      21      Great Lakes.

      22             And so that's something we have.  It's a

      23      strategic asset, if you think about that, for

      24      New York State and New York City.

      25             Look at our water supply for New York City.


       1             The geniuses who put that together, who built

       2      that, the first engineer was a woman Cornell grad,

       3      from -- engineering grad.  First engineer of the

       4      New York City Water System, 120 years ago.

       5             So -- but we're lucky, you know, we have it.

       6             And, you know, that's something also to think

       7      about, when we think about the climate, and the

       8      energy, and I know that, as part of LEED-certified

       9      buildings, this reusing water, it's using less

      10      water.

      11             Very important to also have that in the

      12      conversation when we talk about energy and the

      13      environment.

      14             But -- so, on that site at Roosevelt Island,

      15      we're collecting all the stormwater.  We're using

      16      that stormwater as just a -- you know, again, we're

      17      not short water yet in New York City, but, we don't

      18      want to be -- we don't want to be close to the edge.

      19             So I think everything we do on water is also

      20      really, really wise.

      21             SENATOR JACKSON:  You talked about drilling

      22      two miles down in order to get --

      23             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Heat.

      24             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- heat.

      25             Was that done on this project --


       1             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  Not at all.

       2             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- at Roosevelt Island?

       3             Okay.

       4             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  So -- right.

       5             So that was -- those wells are about 500 feet

       6      deep.  That's very traditional on Roosevelt Island.

       7             SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.

       8             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  That's traditional, it's

       9      500 feet.  That's about the depth you go for just a

      10      normal heat pump.

      11             SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.

      12             CHARLES KRUZANSKY:  So the one that we're

      13      talking about doing, that was done in other

      14      countries.

      15             And, actually, for oil wells, they go down

      16      deeper than that.

      17             But for what we want to do, it's never been

      18      done, you know, just for the -- just for the -- just

      19      for the heat, just from water.

      20             SENATOR JACKSON:  Sure.

      21             I think, clearly, those examples, you know,

      22      around the world, and here in the United States,

      23      obviously, when you -- when industry, or with

      24      organizations, or countries, see that it actually

      25      works, and then you can follow that, you know,


       1      follow the lead.  I mean, it's already happened,

       2      it's already working.

       3             And so, you know, people visit, where's it

       4      at.  Whether it's in Europe or Africa or China, you

       5      go and see, and do the research, so you say, it can

       6      be done there, it can be done here.

       7             So -- but to get back to the funding that you

       8      referred to:

       9             As you indicated, even though it's

      10      $30 million, that's an investment, in order for the

      11      non-profit institutions to understand that we're

      12      invested in ensuring that the number of students and

      13      the facilities that you have will continue, in order

      14      so that people know they have a good institution

      15      coming to.

      16             So I wanted to thank all of you for coming

      17      in, from my perspective.

      18             I mean, the Senator has been around for a

      19      while.

      20             And this is my first time as a state senator,

      21      hearing all of this, so -- even though I was on the

      22      city council for 12 years.

      23             MARY BETH LABATE:  And I just want to --

      24      I want -- again, I want to thank both of you, and,

      25      particularly, because Senator Stavisky has been


       1      doing this for a while.

       2             We've had our back up against the wall

       3      several times.  And, each time, we have gone and

       4      made our case to the Senator about the students we

       5      serve, and about the income diversity and makeup of

       6      the students we serve.

       7             And, each time, she stepped up for us.

       8             So I really, really do appreciate that.

       9             SENATOR STAVISKY:  It's been the Democratic

      10      Conference, really.

      11             I think that -- thank you.

      12             Incidentally, in the interest of full

      13      disclosure:

      14             I believe UUP was here earlier, Fred Kowal.

      15             And he had a proposal for an endowment

      16      program of, something in the neighborhood of

      17      $2 billion for SUNY.

      18             That's available online, and I was reading

      19      it.

      20             And we ought to have, I believe, both private

      21      and public endowments.

      22             I know there are restrictions on what you can

      23      spend the money on.

      24             And, at one point, I was thinking, and

      25      I think we discussed this, of having HECap based


       1      upon the endowment, because some of those colleges

       2      may have a problem with a 3-to-1 match.

       3             And that was something that we were --

       4      I forgot what the problem was, but, we didn't do it.

       5             MARY BETH LABATE:  Some of our schools, it's

       6      just difficult, right.

       7             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah.

       8             But I think that also has to be taken into

       9      account, because not everybody has (hits

      10      microphone) -- not everybody has Cornell or NYU's

      11      endowment.

      12             Okay?

      13             Well, thank you very much.

      14                (All witnesses say "Thank you.")

      15             And the award for patience goes to

      16      Santana Alvarado, the chairperson of NYPIRG.

      17             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Hello.

      18             I promise this is better than like the stress

      19      that is tangible on campuses for finals.

      20                [Laughter.]

      21             SANTANA ALVARADO:  I'm grateful to be here,

      22      thank you for having me.

      23             SENATOR STAVISKY:  And thank you, NYPIRG.

      24             I have worked very closely with your folks

      25      for many, many years.


       1             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Yes, and we're grateful.

       2             Good afternoon.

       3             My name is Santana Alvarado, and I am the

       4      chairperson of the New York Public Interest Research

       5      Group (NYPIRG), and a Hunter College student, and

       6      Bronx Community College alumna.

       7             NYPIRG is a student-directed, non-partisan,

       8      not-for-profit research and advocacy organization.

       9             Consumer protection, environmental

      10      preservation, public health, health-care quality,

      11      higher-education affordability, and governmental

      12      reforms are our principal areas of concern.

      13             NYPIRG has campus chapters across the state

      14      at SUNY, CUNY, and some private institutions, from

      15      Buffalo to Long Island.

      16             We appreciate the opportunity to testify

      17      before the Senate Committee on Higher Education on

      18      the need for a five-year higher-education capital

      19      plan.

      20             Much of our testimony will be centered on the

      21      environmental footprint of the college campuses, and

      22      the importance of environmental leadership at

      23      colleges across the state.

      24             NYPIRG has testified before this Committee on

      25      several occasions during the past year.


       1             In those testimonies we focused primarily on

       2      State funding for higher education.

       3             Since the implementation of CUNY SUNY 2020,

       4      public college students have contributed

       5      $2.5 billion to a system that has stagnated due to a

       6      lack of State funding.

       7             We are glad to be able to have a conversation

       8      today that is focused on further ways in which

       9      New York's public universities can benefit from a

      10      long-term capital plan.

      11             Students deserve a safe and healthy learning

      12      environment, with well-maintained classrooms;

      13      functioning, accessible infrastructure, like

      14      elevators and escalators; and state-of-the-art

      15      technology.

      16             With the support of a robustly-funded

      17      five-year capital budget, New York public colleges

      18      could do this, while, at the same time, executing

      19      cutting-edge sustainability plans, a dual benefit,

      20      aiding student success and tackling the climate

      21      crisis.

      22             Institutions of higher education should be

      23      paradigms of environmental stewardship, both, to

      24      model behavior for students, and because these

      25      institutions make up a large portion of


       1      New York State's economy.

       2             According to a report from

       3      Rockefeller Institute, SUNY alone has an economic

       4      impact of $28.6 billion.

       5             Additionally, New York's private institutions

       6      have an economic impact of $88.8 billion as of 2017.

       7             When institutions of higher education adopt

       8      good environmental practices, they have the

       9      potential to shape the economy and drive good

      10      environmental practices forward elsewhere in this

      11      economy.

      12             In the face of the global climate crisis,

      13      there is a moral imperative for institutions of

      14      higher education to lead the path for a more

      15      sustainable future.

      16             New York's colleges and universities should

      17      be models for the rest of the state, and country, to

      18      follow.

      19             NYPIRG offers the following as of ways for

      20      New York's colleges and universities to become these

      21      models, outlined further in our testimony:

      22             Reducing food waste by adopting measures to

      23      prevent putting out more food than what will be

      24      consumed, by donating food, and by composting;

      25             Reducing plastic waste, by eliminating


       1      single-use cutlery, straws, and cups, and by not

       2      selling single-use water bottles;

       3             And leading the climate change by

       4      retrofitting buildings to be more energy-efficient,

       5      electrifying buildings, investing in renewables, and

       6      switching to electronic and electric vehicles.

       7             Throughout each of these areas, students

       8      should be involved in college and university

       9      processes in shaping these policies.

      10             In each of NYPIRG's chapters, we regularly

      11      hear about the collapsing infrastructure and

      12      facilities that make the struggle to get an

      13      education that much harder.

      14             New York's student leaders know best what

      15      projects are most urgently needed.

      16             These leaders should be consulted every step

      17      of the way in order to ensure a capital plan that is

      18      collaborative and serving the most students

      19      possible.

      20             In New York City alone, CUNY's fiscal-year

      21      2020 request of $6.2 billion underscores the breadth

      22      of critical maintenance and infrastructure projects

      23      needed.

      24             Climate change is widely considered the

      25      greatest environmental threat facing the planet.


       1             The accumulation of carbon dioxide and other

       2      greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is causing

       3      climate instability, warmer temperatures, and rising

       4      sea levels.

       5             If left unabated, this will likely have

       6      devastating impacts on world economies,

       7      infrastructure, public health, coastal areas, and

       8      natural ecosystems.

       9             And I must say that, as a student, in the

      10      face of climate crisis, like many students across

      11      the world, this is something I'm thinking about when

      12      really measuring and prioritizing my future.

      13             According to the United Nations'

      14      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

      15      October 2018 report, the world needs to limit global

      16      warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, instead of the

      17      previously-stated 2 degrees, if catastrophic results

      18      are to be avoided.

      19             Additionally, the world must aggressively

      20      move to clean, renewable energy in order to cut

      21      global carbon emissions in half by 2030 in order to

      22      reach this goal.

      23             Limiting global warming to

      24      1.5 degrees Celsius will require rapid,

      25      far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all


       1      aspects of our society, which can be scary, but is

       2      also very exciting.

       3             To align with the IPCC's findings,

       4      New York State adopted the Climate Leadership and

       5      Community Protection Act into law in 2019.

       6             The CLCPA establishes several goals,

       7      including:

       8             85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas

       9      emissions from 1990 levels, and net zero emissions

      10      by 2050;

      11             70 percent renewable energy for electricity

      12      by 2030, and zero emissions by 2040;

      13             6 GW of solar by 2025, 9 GW of offshore wind

      14      by 2035, and 3 GW of energy storage by 2030, as well

      15      as energy efficiency goals of one point -- of

      16      185 trillion BTU reduction from 2025 projections.

      17             The adoption of this law comes at a critical

      18      time, and we are so grateful for it.

      19             Scientists have declared 2018 as the

      20      fourth-hottest year on record.  And each of the

      21      four -- of the past four years have made up the

      22      hottest years on earth since recording began in the

      23      nineteenth century.

      24             July 2019 was declared the hottest month ever

      25      recorded.


       1             New York State must move rapidly in order to

       2      meet these goals.

       3             Colleges and universities in New York State

       4      can help New York achieve these goals.

       5             NYPIRG has long advocated for kicking off

       6      implementation of climate policies immediately on

       7      State-owned facilities and properties.

       8             SUNY alone makes up 40 percent of

       9      New York State's-owned facilities.

      10             New York can jump-start efforts to make the

      11      state's climate goals by enabling SUNY and CUNY to

      12      retrofit their buildings to be more

      13      energy-efficient, to electrify their buildings, and

      14      to invest in more renewables and electric vehicles

      15      and EV infrastructure.

      16             SUNY has already made some positive policies

      17      leading toward this direction through the SUNY Clean

      18      Energy Roadmap.

      19             These initiatives should be fast-tracked, and

      20      considered by private universities as well.

      21             At SUNY and CUNY, it is critical that

      22      additional capital funding from the State is

      23      provided for such efforts.

      24             And as you know, Senators, NYPIRG is always

      25      here to be at your full disposal when working on


       1      these projects.

       2             Thank you.

       3             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

       4             Any questions?

       5             SENATOR JACKSON:  Sure.

       6              So, I don't know if I had your copy of your

       7      testimony.

       8             SENATOR STAVISKY:  No, it's not included

       9      (parties cross-talking) --

      10             SENATOR JACKSON:  So if you can submit --

      11             SANTANA ALVARADO:  We have them.

      12             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- you have them?

      13             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Yeah, yeah.

      14             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay.

      15             SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay, make sure that we get

      16      a copy.

      17             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Definitely.

      18             SENATOR JACKSON:  But -- so, I want to thank

      19      you for coming in.

      20             And, as the chairperson of NYPIRG, you said

      21      you're the chairperson.

      22             To me, you look so young to be a chairperson

      23      of an organization that's so progressive in trying

      24      to deal with our environment.

      25             So, congratulations to you as being the


       1      chair.

       2             And, obviously, you've talked about, you

       3      attended Bronx Community College, and, I think you

       4      attended, or are an alum, of Hunter, or you still

       5      are attending?

       6             SANTANA ALVARADO:  I'm graduating in May, and

       7      we're excited.

       8             SENATOR JACKSON:  Well -- so, I don't know if

       9      you were here, present, when the students were

      10      testifying.

      11             You heard about the situation at Bronx --

      12             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Yeah.

      13             SENATOR JACKSON:  -- Community College.

      14             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Close to home.

      15             I was working in another building as a tutor.

      16      And I remember students coming in so aggravated,

      17      that they couldn't find their classes, they were

      18      missing classes.

      19             And at Bronx Community College, we were

      20      already having trouble with students attending

      21      classes, and feeling empowered to really show up

      22      their full selves.

      23             And so I know that that was so devastating.

      24             And Colston Hall was like my building.

      25             So, it was hard.


       1             SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, and -- in your

       2      testimony, I was happy to hear, and I -- I --

       3      I practice this, as far as food, only take what you

       4      can eat.

       5             I tell you, I've attended many functions,

       6      especially at church functions, where they prepare

       7      their own food and they serve.  And I noticed that

       8      many, many people, maybe up to 50 percent, don't

       9      even eat everything that's on their plate.

      10             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Right.

      11             SENATOR JACKSON:  So, when I go to places,

      12      and I was at a Democratic club holiday party, and

      13      they were serve -- and they have some good food.

      14      They have mac and cheese, and rice and peas, and all

      15      of that.

      16             And I know, I was going to my nephew's house

      17      for dinner a little later.  And so I said, No, no,

      18      no.  Just half of that spoon, you know?

      19             Because one of the things I try to practice,

      20      and I try to communicate that all through my family

      21      when my children were growing up:  We don't waste

      22      food.  Food is so expensive.  And people around the

      23      city, and country, and the world, are starving.

      24             And so we have to understand that.

      25             And then you talked about, using -- stop


       1      using, you know, single-use plastic, you know,

       2      straws, what have you.

       3             But there's some plastic utensils, in my

       4      opinion, you can just wash them out and use them

       5      again, and they're not just a single-use.  But, you

       6      know, if it's -- I've seen good-quality, like,

       7      plastic forks and knives, and I'm saying, these

       8      things, you just rinse them, wash them off, and you

       9      can use them again.

      10             But, I hear you loud and clear with respects

      11      to that type of situation.

      12             And as you know, we talked about, there's

      13      going to be a $6.2 billion deficit, overall.

      14             And, dealing with, I guess, this -- the

      15      budget, and not even talking about the capital needs

      16      of SUNY and CUNY.

      17             And so I would assume that you would agree

      18      that the state Legislature and the Governor, in

      19      order to deal with that, have to either raise

      20      revenues.

      21             And, so, do you have any thoughts about that?

      22             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Raising revenue?

      23             SENATOR JACKSON:  Yes.

      24             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Well, I think what's

      25      really exciting about this capital plan, to speak on


       1      what you said earlier, is that it provides this

       2      opportunity, through bonds, to really implement

       3      policy, that then affects culture, because we're

       4      from a culture that, of course, you reuse plastic.

       5             Like, plastic spoons, my mom be putting

       6      plastic plates, in the dishwasher, to reuse them.

       7      And they're durable enough to sustain that.

       8             But that's a culture of, like, we don't

       9      waste.  We're not -- we shouldn't be wasting, for

      10      many reasons.

      11             And that's not the culture at CUNY.  And

      12      students oftentimes are thinking about, finals, and

      13      getting to class, and they're not thinking, let me

      14      save this in my backpack so I can use a fork later.

      15             But there's so many time when I've needed a

      16      fork, and have not had one.

      17             And so I think it's about the culture of,

      18      really -- and food waste too.

      19             Like, this is not even a system where, if

      20      there is a lot of food, you can give it away to all

      21      the homeless people that we see, especially at

      22      Hunter College, which food -- students are

      23      food-insecure.

      24             And, like, we're in a very rich and wealthy

      25      neighborhood of the Lower East Side or Upper East


       1      Side, but, you know, we see poverty on our doorstep,

       2      at the train.

       3             And so it's not even, like, oh, the food that

       4      we don't use, we can give away, and, therefore,

       5      we're not wasting, and the plastic that we're using,

       6      we're reusing.

       7             It's this culture of, I don't have time to

       8      think about anything but surviving.

       9             And so, I agree.

      10             And I think, as for revenue, I mean, I'm very

      11      progressive.  And I think there are people in

      12      New York City who have it like that, and who can

      13      give it like that.

      14             And it's important to lean on the people who

      15      are benefiting from the labor and the economy of

      16      New York City, through a wealth tax, through a

      17      millionaire, billionaire, tax, and really holding

      18      them accountable, because those are people taking

      19      private planes and jets throughout the world.  And

      20      that's not good for the environment either.

      21             So, how are they going to be held accountable

      22      in a way that students don't have to?

      23             I'm barely making ends meet with food

      24      insecurity, so I can't afford to think, oh, yes, a

      25      plastic spoon will be the difference.


       1             But really implementing these strategies in a

       2      way that targets those who have that time and have

       3      that luxury, and because they have that money.

       4             And then being, like, hey, students, I'm

       5      going to hold your hand through this, and I'm going

       6      to provide the means for us to start thinking about

       7      the environment in a way that prioritizes our

       8      future.

       9             Because (hits microphone) -- oh, sorry.

      10             I'm all excited.

      11             But I'm the one that's going have to deal

      12      with this.  And my children, if I have any, given

      13      these issues, are going to have to deal with this.

      14             So I think the students are ready, and we're

      15      willing to help, and advocate, and step up.

      16             And I'm sorry that the students couldn't be

      17      here today.

      18             But it really is about -- they were here.

      19             And we represent hundreds and thousands of

      20      students across the state who are, sadly, having to

      21      think about some harder issues.

      22             SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, thank you for coming

      23      in.  Appreciate it.

      24             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Thank you.

      25             SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.


       1             And, we are aware that NYPIRG is a

       2      student-run, student-oriented --

       3             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Yes.

       4             SENATOR STAVISKY:  -- organization that has

       5      been around for many years.

       6             SANTANA ALVARADO:  Yeah, and we're grateful

       7      for you hearing the student voices, because they are

       8      not heard enough.

       9             Thank you.

      10             SENATOR STAVISKY:  That's why we are

      11      student -- the Committee is also student-oriented.

      12             So, thank you.

      13             Thank you all for coming, and staying.

      14             It is 2:35, and the hearing is adjourned.

      15             Thank you.

      16                (Whereupon, the public hearing held before

      17        the New York State Senate Standing Committee on

      18        Higher Education concluded at 2:35 p.m., and

      19        adjourned.)

      20                            --oOo--