Public Hearing - February 07, 2022

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


 4             In the Matter of the
          2022-2023 EXECUTIVE BUDGET ON
 5               HIGHER EDUCATION
 6  ----------------------------------------------------

 7                              Virtual Hearing
                               Conducted Online via Zoom
                                February 7, 2022
 9                              11:02 a.m.
              Senator Liz Krueger
12            Chair, Senate Finance Committee
13            Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein
              Chair, Assembly Ways & Means Committee
              Senator Thomas F. O'Mara
16            Senate Finance Committee (RM)
17            Assemblyman Edward P. Ra 
              Assembly Ways & Means Committee (RM)
              Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick
19            Chair, Assembly Higher Education Committee
20            Senator Toby Stavisky
              Chair, Senate Higher Education Committee
              Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn
              Assemblyman Mark Walczyk
              Senator John C. Liu


 1  2022-2023 Executive Budget
    Higher Education 
 2  2-7-22
 3  PRESENT:  (Continued)
 4            Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon 
 5            Senator Diane J. Savino
 6            Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy
 7            Assemblyman Harry B. Bronson 
 8            Assemblywoman Rebecca A. Seawright
 9            Senator Pete Harckham
10            Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman 
11            Assemblyman Harvey Epstein
12            Senator Andrew Gounardes
13            Assemblyman John T. McDonald III
14            Senator James Gaughran
15            Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon
16            Senator Gustavo Rivera
17            Assemblyman Erik M. Dilan
18            Assemblywoman Judy Griffin
19            Assemblyman Victor M. Pichardo
20            Senator Robert Jackson
21            Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill
22            Assemblyman William Colton
23            Senator Sue Serino
24            Assemblyman Robert Smullen


 1  2022-2023 Executive Budget
    Higher Education 
 2  2-7-22
 3  PRESENT:  (Continued)
 4            Assemblywoman Vivian E. Cook
 5            Assemblywoman Phara Souffrant Forrest
 6            Assemblyman Garett Gandolfo
 7            Senator Jeremy A. Cooney 
 8            Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner
 9            Senator James Tedisco
13                     LIST OF SPEAKERS
14                                        STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
15  Deborah Stanley 
    Interim Chancellor                           
16  State University of New York            12        20
17  Félix V. Matos Rodríguez
18  City University of New York            131       140
19  Betty A. Rosa
20  NYS Education Department               210       216
21  Dr. Guillermo Linares
22  NYS Higher Education
     Services Corporation
23   (HESC)                                269       273


 1  2022-2023 Executive Budget
    Higher Education
 2  2-7-22
 3                     LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                       STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 6  Dr. James Davis
 7  Professional Staff Congress/CUNY
 8  Dr. Frederick E. Kowal 
 9  United University Professions
10  Andrew Sako
11  Faculty Federation
     of Erie Community College
12       -on behalf of-
    New York State United 
13   Teachers (NYSUT)
14  Christopher Lacosse
15  University Police Officers
     and Investigators-SUNY
16       -on behalf of-
    PBA of New York State                  299       313


 1  2022-2023 Executive Budget
    Higher Education
 2  2-7-22
 3                     LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                       STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 6  Donna Stelling-Gurnett
 7  Association of Proprietary 
     Colleges (APC)                        
 8       -and-
    Michael A. Molina
 9  President
    Association of Program 
10   Administrators for CSTEP and
     STEP, Inc. (APACS)
11       -and-
    Lola W. Brabham
12  President
    Commission on Independent 
13   Colleges and Universities 
14       -and-
    Samuel Rowser
15  Executive Director
    On Point for College                   342       358









 1  2022-2023 Executive Budget
    Higher Education
 2  2-7-22
 3                     LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                       STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 5  Sadiya Hoque
 6  Student Board of Directors
    New York Public Interest 
 7   Research Group (NYPIRG)
 8  Winston Berkman-Breen
    Policy Counsel and Deputy
 9   Advocacy Director
    Student Borrower Protection
10   Center
11  Carolina Rodriguez
12  Student Loan Workgroup
    New Yorkers for Responsible
13   Lending
14  Anna Anderson
    Supervising Attorney
15  Legal Assistance of NY
16  Bradley Hershenson
17  SUNY Student Assembly                  
18  Tydie Abreu
    Policy Analyst
19  Hispanic Federation                    
20  James Speaker
21  United Students Government at
     SUNY Buffalo State College            382       408



 1  2022-2023 Executive Budget
    Higher Education
 2  2-7-22
 3                     LIST OF SPEAKERS, Cont. 
 4                                       STATEMENT  QUESTIONS
 6  Max Kenner
    Executive Director
 7  Bard Prison Initiative
 8  Tawana Williams 
    Fortune Society
 9       -and-
    Romarilyn Ralston
10  Executive Director
    College & Community
11   Fellowship
12  Dia N. Bryant
    Executive Director
13  The Education Trust- 
     New York
14       -and-
    Sean Pica
15  Executive Director 
    Hudson Link for Higher
16   Education in Prison
17  Deidra Nesbeth
18  Fostering Youth Success
     Initiative                         421       439



 1                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Good morning.  

 2           I'm Helene Weinstein, chair of the New York 

 3           State Assembly's Ways and Means Committee, 

 4           cochair of today's hearing.  

 5                  And today we begin the seventh in a 

 6           series of hearings conducted by the joint 

 7           fiscal committees of the Legislature 

 8           regarding the Governor's proposed budget for 

 9           fiscal year 2022-2023.  And the hearings are 

10           conducted pursuant to the New York State 

11           Constitution and the Legislative Law.

12                  Today the Assembly Ways and Means 

13           Committee and the Senate Finance Committee 

14           will hear testimony concerning the Governor's 

15           budget proposal for higher education.

16                  So I'm going to introduce now the 

17           members of the Assembly who are here, and 

18           then turn it over to my cochair, Liz Krueger, 

19           to introduce her colleagues from the Senate.

20                  So we have with us our Higher Ed 

21           chair, Assemblywoman Glick; Assemblywoman 

22           Bichotte Hermelyn, Assemblyman Bronson, 

23           Assemblywoman Buttenschon, Assemblyman 

24           Epstein, Assemblywoman Seawright, 


 1           Assemblywoman Simon.  

 2                  And why don't I turn first to my 

 3           ranker, Ed Ra, to introduce the members of 

 4           his conference who are here.

 5                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Good morning.  

 6                  We are joined by Assemblyman Mark 

 7           Walczyk, our ranker on the Higher Education 

 8           Committee, as well as Assemblyman Smullen.

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Okay, and now 

10           to -- and I thought I saw Assemblywoman 

11           Gandolfo here a moment ago, but maybe not 

12           anymore.

13                  Senator Krueger, if you could 

14           introduce your colleagues.

15                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you very 

16           much.  Great.  

17                  So I want to introduce Senator Pete 

18           Harckham, Senator John Liu, Senator Jim 

19           Gaughran, Senator Jeremy Cooney, 

20           Senator Gustavo Rivera, Senator Andrew 

21           Gounardes.  Of course the chair of Higher 

22           Education, Toby Stavisky.  

23                  And I will turn it over to my ranker 

24           on Finance to introduce his conference, and 


 1           that is Tom O'Mara.

 2                  SENATOR O'MARA:  Thank you, 

 3           Chairwoman Krueger.

 4                  On our side of the aisle we are joined 

 5           by Senator Sue Serino and Senator Jim 

 6           Tedisco.  Thank you.

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Great.

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 9                  And we also have been joined by 

10           Assemblywoman Fahy.

11                  So I think most of the members have 

12           been in hearings before, but let me just go 

13           through the time limits, and also for the 

14           witnesses coming up.

15                  Governmental witnesses will have 

16           10 minutes to make a presentation.  They 

17           don't have to use all of their 10 minutes; we 

18           already have the testimony submitted.  

19                  Nongovernmental witnesses will have 

20           three minutes to present their testimony when 

21           we get to that.

22                  The chairs of the relevant committees 

23           for the hearing will have 10 minutes and a 

24           second round of three minutes if needed.  


 1           Ranking members of these committees will get 

 2           five minutes each, and all other members of 

 3           the relevant committees that are here, both 

 4           Assemblymembers and Senators, will get 

 5           three minutes each.

 6                  And as I mentioned, the written 

 7           testimony has been submitted, distributed to 

 8           the members and the Senators.  So there's no 

 9           need to read your testimony.  Summarization 

10           is always encouraged.  

11                  And just a reminder, really to the 

12           legislators, that the time limits are for 

13           both the question and please leave more than 

14           a second or two for the witnesses to answer.

15                  With that, I'd like to now welcome our 

16           first witness.  This hearing is being 

17           conducted with the Assembly as the main 

18           sponsor of today's -- or the first sponsor of 

19           the hearing.  So after the first witnesses -- 

20           after witnesses testify, we'll go to the 

21           Assembly and then to the Senate, and back and 

22           forth until we have -- are either exhausted 

23           or have exhausted all of the questions.

24                  So we go now to the State University 


 1           of New York, Interim Chancellor Deborah 

 2           Stanley.

 3                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Good 

 4           morning, Chairpersons Krueger, Weinstein, 

 5           Stavisky and Glick, as well as all members of 

 6           the Senate, Assembly and staff that are here 

 7           today.  

 8                  I am Deborah Stanley, and since 

 9           January 15th I have had the privilege of 

10           serving as the Interim Chancellor of the 

11           State University of New York.  I've come to 

12           know several of you over the course of my 

13           25 years as President at SUNY Oswego, and 

14           it's good to see you today.  

15                  On behalf of the Board of Trustees, 

16           I'm pleased to have this opportunity to 

17           discuss Governor Kathy Hochul’s vision for 

18           the SUNY system for both the 2022-'23 year 

19           and beyond, and to share the perspectives of 

20           our students, faculty, and staff on the 

21           proposed Executive Budget.  

22                  I'm joined today by both Bob Megna, 

23           SUNY's interim Chief Financial Officer and 

24           President of the Rockefeller Institute of 


 1           Government, and Cheryl Hamilton, SUNY's 

 2           Student Advocate and Executive Director of 

 3           the Educational Opportunity Program, who 

 4           heads our work on many of the most important 

 5           issues that ensure student success.  

 6                  Before I begin my budget remarks, I'd 

 7           like to take a moment to thank all of you and 

 8           our other partners in the Legislature, 

 9           Governor Hochul, the Division of the Budget, 

10           New York State Department of Health, and 

11           New York's federal Congressional delegation. 

12                  As you can imagine, the past two years 

13           have been an extraordinarily trying time for 

14           the SUNY community. Support from you and our 

15           other partners through formal guidelines and 

16           expert information, as well as financial 

17           infusions, made it possible for our campuses 

18           to keep their doors open, for students to 

19           safely return to campus to continue their 

20           academic and extracurricular activities, and 

21           for our institutions to contribute to the 

22           battle against COVID-19, especially our 

23           hospitals.  

24                  This was done through caring for 


 1           COVID-19 patients, producing groundbreaking 

 2           research, as well as hosting mass testing and 

 3           vaccination sites on our campuses.  

 4                  In terms of the Executive Budget, it's 

 5           important to note the atmosphere in which 

 6           it's proposed.  The pandemic came at a time 

 7           of major change for higher education.  It 

 8           brought into even greater light concerns over 

 9           access and affordability that have been 

10           expressed in the general public, as you know, 

11           and by prospective students, especially those 

12           from underserved communities.  

13                  This is a particular concern of mine, 

14           and one I know you share, as SUNY is 

15           respected as one of the greatest institutions 

16           for creating upward social mobility.  In 

17           addition, the pandemic accelerated enrollment 

18           challenges for many institutions of 

19           postsecondary education, including in SUNY.  

20                  However, I'd like to point out that 

21           not every sector was affected equally.  In 

22           fact, our University Centers and many 

23           four-year degree-granting institutions kept 

24           enrollment stable and maybe even had modest 


 1           growth in the number of students they serve.  

 2                  Finally, the pandemic hastened changes 

 3           needed in how higher education serves these 

 4           students.  Studies indicate that by 2027 -- 

 5           and you know that's almost upon us -- 

 6           70 percent of all new jobs created in the 

 7           United States will require postsecondary 

 8           education.  And the students of today also 

 9           tell us that they seek a different approach 

10           to receiving their education.  I want you to 

11           know that SUNY is on the forefront of 

12           delivering.  

13                  I share these realities because they 

14           are central to understanding Governor 

15           Hochul's vision for making SUNY the greatest 

16           comprehensive system of public higher 

17           education in the nation.  We share her vision 

18           and know that with the right assets, 

19           investments, and partnerships, we can achieve 

20           it.  SUNY cannot continue with the same 

21           policies and practices of the past.  

22                  We are on a path to continue SUNY's 

23           academic leadership in the world.  And as we 

24           move forward, we recognize that many of the 


 1           changes will need your partnership, because 

 2           they will need to be supported by  

 3           legislative action.  

 4                  Given how comprehensive and complex 

 5           SUNY is, with 64 colleges and universities, 

 6           including research and doctoral-granting 

 7           institutions, four-year and master's-granting 

 8           institutions, 30 community colleges, three 

 9           hospitals, a law school, a veterans' home, 

10           and partnership with a national laboratory, 

11           change does not come overnight.  

12                  Recognizing this, the Governor has 

13           directed SUNY and its partners to work 

14           collaboratively across the sectors to develop 

15           a wide-ranging and detailed action plan. 

16           Objectives include increasing enrollment and 

17           redesigning our academic models to meet the 

18           needs of every student, including not only 

19           students straight out of high school but also 

20           the returning professionals who need 

21           flexibility and affordability to earn a 

22           certificate or degree to advance or change 

23           their career.  

24                  This year's Executive Budget is the 


 1           foundation to begin that work, and it is a 

 2           strong foundation.  This proposed budget is 

 3           the most significant Executive proposal of 

 4           investment into public higher education in 

 5           more than 20 years, and it underscores the 

 6           Governor's understanding of and commitment to 

 7           the ways that SUNY is inextricably linked to 

 8           the well-being of New York's economy, its 

 9           workforce, its healthcare system, and so much 

10           more. 

11                  This is something which those of us 

12           who have worked with Governor Hochul know she 

13           has been interested in over the years.  

14                  We respectfully urge the Legislature 

15           to support all funding provisions pertaining 

16           to public higher education in the Executive 

17           Budget proposal, including:  

18                  Elimination of the TAP gap this year, 

19           in '22-'23.  We were delighted to see action 

20           in the last budget to close the TAP gap 

21           within three years.  The TAP gap drains tens 

22           of millions of dollars annually from campus 

23           budgets, and we applaud the Executive's 

24           proposal to close it for good this year.  


 1                  Funding maintenance and new capital 

 2           projects.  To attract students and provide 

 3           the excellence that allows our graduates to 

 4           compete with graduates from across the state 

 5           and the country, our campuses need the 

 6           classroom and lab space that other 

 7           institutions provide.  The Executive's plan 

 8           will provide SUNY campuses with the resources 

 9           necessary for much-needed and shovel-ready 

10           projects.  

11                  Increasing faculty.  Just as SUNY 

12           needs physical assets, we need the ability to 

13           attract world-class faculty who reflect the 

14           diversity of this state.  

15                  Implementing the 100 percent community 

16           college floor.  Our greatest enrollment 

17           challenges are in the community college 

18           sector, where enrollment ebbs and flows in 

19           New York State as it does nationally.  This 

20           will stabilize funding.  

21                  Establishing a real Part-Time TAP 

22           Program, and also reinstating TAP for 

23           incarcerated individuals.  This expansion 

24           will provide financial assistance to those 


 1           part-time students juggling work and 

 2           childcare needs, and will also help 

 3           incarcerated individuals reduce recidivism.  

 4                  Expanding the opportunity programs. We 

 5           did great work last year creating 1,000 new 

 6           spots in EOP, establishing medical EOP, and 

 7           increasing financial support for every 

 8           student.  The 10 percent increase this year 

 9           will give us even more opportunity for 

10           students to succeed.  

11                  Reforming the academic program review 

12           process is important for us to get our work 

13           done.  

14                  Providing SUNY hospital and mental 

15           health workers a "Heroes Grant."  It's 

16           imperative to show our appreciation.  

17                  I look forward to working with the 

18           Governor and the Legislature to find 

19           collaborative ways that we can implement this 

20           vision for SUNY and ensure continued and 

21           increased success of the SUNY system.  

22                  Before I close to take your questions, 

23           I'd like to note that this year’s SUNY alumni 

24           legislative class is one of the largest in 


 1           history.  In all, 63 of you and your 

 2           colleagues in the Senate and Assembly 

 3           graduated with one or more SUNY degrees. 

 4           Several more have taken courses at our 

 5           campuses.  Your success is something we're 

 6           very proud of.  Thank you for all you do in 

 7           support of our students, our faculty, and our 

 8           staff.  

 9                  I'd be happy to discuss the Executive 

10           Budget proposals previously noted, and any 

11           other items of interest to you, in greater 

12           detail.  Thank you.

13                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  And 

14           thank you for -- we got the time clock to 

15           work, and thank you for staying within our 

16           prescribed time limit.  That hopefully will 

17           be a message all will observe.

18                  So now we go to our Assembly Higher Ed 

19           chair, Assemblywoman Glick.

20                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

21           much for the opportunity to discuss some 

22           issues with you.  And I'll try very hard to 

23           just use the 10 minutes and not come back.

24                  But the Governor's budget offers an 


 1           increase in operating aid for the purpose of 

 2           increasing full-time faculty, which we know 

 3           is key to supporting students and seeing that 

 4           they get out of school in a timely fashion.

 5                  But it funds -- after years, I'd say 

 6           decades of disinvestment, it funds 340 

 7           full-time faculty.  It's a huge system.  If 

 8           you looked at it, 64 campuses, you might get, 

 9           I don't know, five or six per campus.

10                  I'm wondering what we would need to do 

11           to dramatically increase the operating aid in 

12           order to ensure that you could hire and be 

13           competitive with other schools in hiring the 

14           best.  

15                  And how many professors are you short 

16           at this -- overall?

17                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, we 

18           are very grateful for the $53 million call in 

19           the budget.  It is incredible for us to see 

20           that included.

21                  However, it also includes the fact 

22           that the campuses will have to undertake the 

23           fringe benefits.  And that will reduce the 

24           number of faculty that we can of course 


 1           afford.  As you rightly make the computation, 

 2           that it would be about 340 new full-time 

 3           faculty.  I have a couple of issues here.

 4                  So if in fact the Legislature could 

 5           see your way clear to take that provision 

 6           away about paying for the fringes, I think we 

 7           could probably move up full-time faculty 

 8           somewhere near 500.  That would give us a 

 9           really good chance to do the things we need 

10           to do with new program development, but 

11           especially in attracting underserved 

12           faculty -- underrepresented faculty to our 

13           midst.

14                  As you know, our students have risen 

15           across the system, in underrepresented 

16           students.  And they tell us very clearly, 

17           often, that they want to see in the 

18           classrooms people who have succeeded but 

19           people who look like them, people who have 

20           done the work that they intend to do.

21                  And we are trying very hard.  It's 

22           going to take enormous work, but we have in 

23           fact a brilliant program at SUNY right now 

24           called PRODiG that has hired, to date, 


 1           136 new faculty.  And it will continue to 

 2           hire underrepresented faculty and women into 

 3           the sciences and STEM programs.  But we need 

 4           more work.

 5                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

 6                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  We need 

 7           to look at the pipeline issues.  And --

 8                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.  You 

 9           know, my time is going to evaporate, so I 

10           want to go on to a couple of other areas, and 

11           maybe I will come back.  

12                  You talked about the capital, but we 

13           don't now have a five-year plan.  Is SUNY 

14           going to propose that the action plan include 

15           a five-year capital plan like we do for the 

16           MTA in the downstate region?

17                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  We hope 

18           so, yes.  Right now it calls for $550 million 

19           a year.  We know that when we look at 

20           deferred maintenance and the backlog of 

21           projects, that it's more -- the need is more 

22           like $850 million a year.  

23                  So with the proposal this year to take 

24           monies that have been in dormant programs and 


 1           move them into the capital program for this 

 2           year, we believe that will be a much-needed 

 3           infusion and it will bring us a long way to 

 4           satisfying the need this year.

 5                  But we would like to see that happen 

 6           for all five years, to have it be a five-year 

 7           program.

 8                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

 9                  The Climate Leadership and Community 

10           Protection Act requires that agencies 

11           implement strategies to reduce greenhouse gas 

12           emissions and review all decisions to see how 

13           they are consistent with the pollution 

14           reduction goals and ensure that those 

15           decisions don't disproportionately burden 

16           disadvantaged communities.

17                  So I am wondering, where is SUNY -- 

18           since we have been told many times that SUNY 

19           has 40 percent of the state's buildings, 

20           where is SUNY on these requirements?  Because 

21           they actually are requirements of state 

22           agencies.  And, you know, while you are a 

23           higher education -- broad-based higher 

24           education institutions, you still are viewed 


 1           budgetarily as a state agency.

 2                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, we 

 3           are certainly looking at the plan just 

 4           released, the scoping plan for that act, and 

 5           we're looking at that very carefully.

 6                  But SUNY is really ahead on this game.  

 7           And yes, we do have 40 percent of the 

 8           physical assets of the State of New York, but 

 9           we also have requirements of plans from the 

10           campuses for every proposed project.  Every 

11           new building proposed, every major 

12           restoration proposed must meet carbon zero, 

13           net zero requirements before it gets the 

14           green light to go forward.

15                  We have -- we're working with NYSERDA 

16           on training issues to look at geothermal 

17           wells and heat pumps usage on campuses, to 

18           reduce the need for electricity as we move 

19           forward.

20                  So we have many strategies in place 

21           right now, and have had for many years, to 

22           reduce greenhouse gases and reduce energy 

23           usage.  So we've reduced energy usage over 

24           the last 30 years, and greenhouse gases have 


 1           been reduced about 20 percent in the last 

 2           10 years.

 3                  You know, most presidents in the SUNY 

 4           system are signatories to the college and 

 5           university presidents climate initiative, and 

 6           that's a national initiative that has more 

 7           than 600 schools signed on, with requirements 

 8           of reporting every year what you do on campus 

 9           to reduce your carbon footprint.  And it's 

10           pretty -- pretty strict.  As you go forward, 

11           you want to see how you line up with other 

12           campuses.  And we're all, I think, competing 

13           with each other to be the best in class.  

14                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Well, that's 

15           very good to hear, and we will look forward 

16           to more information on that.

17                  You know, the Governor has indicated 

18           that she wants to expand the healthcare 

19           cohort within the state -- you know, really 

20           generate 20 percent more people working in 

21           healthcare.  A lot of that will be nurses.  

22           And our nursing programs, which SUNY has 

23           many, usually have to turn people away.

24                  How oversubscribed are you?  And 


 1           what's the demand?  And I believe the 

 2           restriction is largely on nurse educators, 

 3           the limit of nurse educators.  Where do you 

 4           think you are, and what do we have to do in 

 5           order to help the Governor's goal of 

 6           increasing healthcare professionals?  

 7                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, I 

 8           know the answer about what we need.  I don't 

 9           know the details about numbers, of exactly 

10           where we are.

11                  But you're right about nurse 

12           educators.  It's pretty difficult to get 

13           nurses to -- into the programs.  We are going 

14           to have to incent that pipeline a lot better 

15           than we do to get them into the programs.

16                  But one of the problems has been with 

17           accredited programs and getting those 

18           programs approved through the state processes 

19           and the professional processes..

20                  So we've taken a look at that.  Some 

21           of the processes have changed, and we need to 

22           make sure that we can get our campuses 

23           developing programs to train nurse educators 

24           and that those programs will be approved.  


 1           Once they're approved we can, I think, span 

 2           it across the state and incent more nurses to 

 3           go into additional education to become nurse 

 4           educators.  

 5                  That will help us have the faculty 

 6           available to train more nurses.  Without 

 7           that, we're not going to get to where we need 

 8           to get to in the state.  

 9                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  We would also 

10           like to know -- it's great that we've been 

11           able to increase EOP.  We would like to know 

12           what is the demand.  We don't expect you to 

13           have that at your fingertips, but if your 

14           folks could get us the information.  

15                  How many applications do you get that 

16           you have to turn away?  

17                  And I will cede my 6 seconds and come 

18           back for a brief three.  Thank you.  

19                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Great.  We've 

20           been joined by Assemblyman McDonald.  

21                  And now to the Senate.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

23                  We've been joined by Senator Diane 

24           Savino and Senator Robert Jackson.  I think 


 1           that's it since last time.  

 2                  And our first questioner will be our 

 3           chair of Higher Ed, Toby Stavisky, for 

 4           10 minutes.

 5                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Sorry, I was muted.  

 6           Which is a hard thing to do, I think, except 

 7           on a computer.

 8                  President -- I think of you as 

 9           president.  But Chancellor, congratulations 

10           on your appointment.  And I'm one of those 

11           folks who's known you for many years.  I was 

12           up in Oswego about 10, 12 years ago for a 

13           hearing.  And we really all of us thank you 

14           for your service.

15                  Very quickly, because -- you talked 

16           about full-time faculty.  What is the 

17           percentage of full-time faculty at SUNY?

18                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I think 

19           we have about 52 percent full-time faculty 

20           right now.  

21                  Over the past 10 years it's really 

22           flipped from -- we're kind of even, but high 

23           40s about 10 years ago, now a little bit over 

24           50 percent.  And it used to be part-time 


 1           faculty were a little bit greater than 

 2           full-time faculty, but it's flipped right 

 3           now.

 4                  We know that, you know, we provide 

 5           excellence when we have more full-time 

 6           faculty.  When you look at the numbers in the 

 7           different sectors it gets a little skewed, 

 8           though, because we look at the doctoral 

 9           campuses and they show that they have a great 

10           many full-time faculty and not many part-time 

11           faculty.  They have a lot of graduate 

12           assistants.  So it is a little bit different 

13           there, and so we may not be comparing the 

14           right apples to apples.

15                  But in fact I think we're making 

16           advances.  And with the new funding that the 

17           Governor has proposed, we will make great 

18           advances on the campuses.

19                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Great.  Thank you.  

20           One other -- a couple of other questions.

21                  Chancellor, last week you published an 

22           op-ed in the Empire Report, and it talked 

23           about how applications for SUNY have been 

24           down about 20 percent or so -- which is the 


 1           largest decrease in SUNY's history, I 

 2           suspect.

 3                  Is this trend being supported and 

 4           reported by -- at all of the SUNY 

 5           institutions?  Or are there some that have 

 6           seen increases in applications?  And is there 

 7           any -- are these demographic or geographic 

 8           applications from various areas?  In other 

 9           words, do you see any trends here with the 

10           decline in applications?

11                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, we 

12           certainly had seen a trend even before the 

13           pandemic, that there was a falling off of 

14           applications.  That's not necessarily true in 

15           every sector.  Certainly the 

16           doctoral-granting institutions are up 

17           significantly.  Every other sector is down.  

18           But of course the community colleges are down 

19           rather significantly.

20                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Very significantly.

21                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yes.  We 

22           look at both ends of our spectrum there.  

23                  The demographics of the State of 

24           New York have something to do with that.  We 


 1           know that because it was not necessarily 

 2           related to the economy, it was not 

 3           necessarily related to the pandemic.  But we 

 4           also believe that just the changes in the 

 5           thoughts about higher education have been 

 6           impacting that.  And the changes in the way 

 7           higher education is delivered have also been 

 8           impacting whether or not, especially at the 

 9           community college level, students believe 

10           that they need that two-year education or 

11           that they should be right into college right 

12           from high school.

13                  So we have a lot to look at.  It's a 

14           complex issue.  It's not only about 

15           marketing, it's not only about programs, it's 

16           not only about full-time faculty, it's not 

17           only about where was the success that you had 

18           before.  It's looking at a full spectrum of 

19           data and working sometimes with 

20           professionals, but also working in the 

21           artificial intelligence realm and bringing to 

22           bear some of the software that can help us 

23           understand where we are.  

24                  So we're trying very much to 


 1           understand this and move forward.  We have a 

 2           task force that we're going to be putting in 

 3           place, it's been being developed as we speak.  

 4           We have the rubric already designed at SUNY; 

 5           we did it in the last two weeks since I've 

 6           been at SUNY.  It's a task force that brings 

 7           together many people from around the 

 8           university and outside of the university, so 

 9           that we can approach this issue and start to 

10           work on it so that we can see results.

11                  Hopefully the Legislature will be part 

12           of it as well.

13                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Hopefully.  I'll 

14           get back to that issue in a moment.

15                  But I understand that the Executive 

16           Budget is increasing the spending authority 

17           for the SUNY hospitals, the three SUNY 

18           hospitals, by 250 million.  But they haven't 

19           reinstated the SUNY hospital subsidy that was 

20           discontinued a number of years ago.

21                  How has this impacted the SUNY 

22           hospitals?  And are you going to be seeking 

23           additional help from the Legislature -- I 

24           think it was something in the neighborhood of 


 1           87 million or something that was never 

 2           restored.  And I hate to use the word 

 3           "restored" because this is a budget of 

 4           expansion, not retraction.  

 5                  But how are the SUNY hospitals going 

 6           to continue to stay healthy, in a sense, in 

 7           light of inadequate -- to me, what I think is 

 8           inadequate funding?

 9                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, we 

10           hope they stay healthy because they have been 

11           the heroes throughout the pandemic.  We are 

12           so proud of --

13                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  That's why I'm 

14           asking the question, yes.

15                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  -- of our 

16           hospitals.  

17                  I'm going to turn to our CFO and ask 

18           him to comment on that question.

19                  SUNY INTERIM CFO MEGNA:  Yeah, I think 

20           the members of the committee know that in the 

21           past there was a significant subsidy for both 

22           debt service and fringe benefits, which I 

23           think originally started out around the year 

24           2000 at about 150, 160 million, and then I 


 1           think went down to about 76 million.  And I 

 2           think that was phased out in 2017-'18.  

 3                  And so I think the debt service 

 4           component now is about $70 million.  And so I 

 5           think one of the things that will be a huge 

 6           advantage to SUNY is the debt service on 

 7           hospital construction.

 8                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  But in addition to 

 9           the debt service, which the state pays for 

10           every other state agency, there were 

11           additional subsidies that were phased out a 

12           number of years ago, and that is of concern.  

13                  Because as you said, the SUNY 

14           hospitals really were on the frontline of the 

15           last two years during the pandemic.  And it's 

16           sort of frustrating when you see certain 

17           advantages paid to other hospitals and not to 

18           the SUNY institutions, particularly at 

19           Downstate, but also at Upstate and 

20           Stony Brook.

21                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  

22           Particularly.  And they have been -- of 

23           course Downstate, as you mentioned, was 

24           designated as a COVID-only hospital during 


 1           the pandemic, and it performed brilliantly as 

 2           a COVID-only hospital and we're very proud.  

 3           But it has had some lasting effects from that 

 4           designation that have resulted in lost 

 5           revenue, which have multiplied the problems 

 6           with the hospital.

 7                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  All right, let me 

 8           quickly get to another topic, which is sort 

 9           of related to the first question that I 

10           asked.

11                  Your decline in enrollment obviously, 

12           I think, has been affected by high school 

13           students who somehow got lost in cyberspace 

14           or something because they never enrolled in 

15           the four-year or two-year institutions.  And 

16           that I think is rather pronounced, especially 

17           at CUNY but also at SUNY.

18                  Have you been working with either the 

19           State Education Department or the local 

20           school districts -- or some way -- to find 

21           those students and perhaps have them 

22           enrolling in some sort of program either at 

23           the four-year or two-year institutions?

24                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  


 1           Absolutely.  I think of -- during the 

 2           pandemic, most of the high schools were not 

 3           open.  Students were remote.  They were not 

 4           really face-to-face with their guidance 

 5           counselors.  

 6                  So what we noticed throughout all the 

 7           of that -- and it really became a reality in 

 8           our application base -- that students were 

 9           not on the same course that they had been on 

10           before, they were not getting the same 

11           advice, because they were not physically 

12           present, they were not queuing up in the same 

13           way, they were not completing their 

14           coursework the same way.  Tests were not 

15           being given that got them to the next level 

16           in the same fashion.  So everything was 

17           really out of whack to get students ready for 

18           college.

19                  But certainly our community colleges 

20           have stepped up and stepped into this breach 

21           very strongly with -- with thinking through 

22           ways to serve students when they come into 

23           the community college system, to reduce 

24           remediation courses so that students can see 


 1           themselves as learners that are proceeding, 

 2           that are really making advances on their 

 3           degree.

 4                  It's also dealing with Early College 

 5           High School and SUNY REACH -- there are other 

 6           programs that deal with a little bit older 

 7           learners that have been funded.

 8                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you -- 

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Toby, I'm 

10           sorry --

11                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  I don't want to get 

12           yelled at, Chancellor.

13                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  -- but your clock 

14           is off.  So we're going to give you three 

15           minutes for follow-up later on, okay?

16                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay, I'll do that 

17           later.

18                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you so 

19           much.  

20                  Assembly.

21                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to the 

23           ranker in Higher Ed, Assemblyman Walczyk.

24                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Thank you, 


 1           Madam Chair.  

 2                  And Chancellor, wonderful to see you 

 3           once again.  Enjoyed your leadership at SUNY 

 4           Oswego and look forward to working with you 

 5           here.

 6                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Thank 

 7           you.

 8                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  A quick question 

 9           that's non-budgetary.  

10                  COVID community testing sites, are you 

11           still doing those on campuses and residential 

12           halls and gymnasiums and that kind of thing?  

13           And if so, when does that stop?  When do you 

14           anticipate those will be off your campuses?

15                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  When does 

16           it stop, did you ask?

17                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Yup.

18                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, 

19           we're -- testing, of course, is still going 

20           to be very important to us into the future.

21                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Yeah, 

22           Chancellor, I mean specifically community 

23           testing sites, not just for your students.

24                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Okay.  


 1           I'm not clear that there is an actual stop 

 2           date for any of the community -- the 

 3           community testing sites.  So no stop date has 

 4           been issued.  And we will continue to do that 

 5           in collaboration with our local departments 

 6           of health, especially.  It's been very 

 7           important to our communities, especially with 

 8           Omicron, to go forward.

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Thanks.

10                  The Excelsior Scholarship, is that -- 

11           did Governor Hochul continue that or have we 

12           finally -- you know, right across the board, 

13           I haven't heard a lot of great things 

14           consistently about Excelsior.  Is that still 

15           in her presented budget or are we going to 

16           finally get rid of it?  

17                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  We have 

18           about 20,000 students in Excelsior programs 

19           across the system.  And yes, she's continuing 

20           it.  As a matter of fact, she's brought it up 

21           to date.

22                  So, you know, Excelsior paid a certain 

23           amount toward tuition which, when it was 

24           originally proposed, was a little bit under 


 1           the tuition that SUNY actually charged.  And 

 2           now the Governor is proposing to bring that 

 3           to a match to the tuition that SUNY is 

 4           charging.  So it will be better for our 

 5           campuses, it certainly will be great for our 

 6           students.  

 7                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  The -- and 

 8           Chair Stavisky made the point enrollment is 

 9           down significantly.  Is out-of-state tuition 

10           something you would consider if we got a 

11           piece of legislation, for example, for SUNY 

12           Potsdam, to allow them to recruit some 

13           Canadian hockey players?  Is that something 

14           that you think that we could do in the future 

15           or in this budget?

16                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  And 

17           compete with Oswego? 

18                  (Laughter.)

19                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Of course.

20                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, 

21           I'll have to think about that one.  I'm not 

22           sure.  But -- but yes, you know --

23                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  The question is 

24           really about out-of-state tuition incentives 


 1           that would allow some of the --

 2                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yeah, 

 3           it's always been possible.  So the border 

 4           state issue, of course, it's always been 

 5           possible for campuses to deal with the 

 6           differential on their own.  But it's a little 

 7           bit difficult if you don't have the reserves 

 8           or the revenue in place to be able to do so.  

 9           I think it bears looking at over and over and 

10           over again.

11                  We certainly are -- one of the 

12           strategies for dealing with our enrollment 

13           issues is to look out of state.  And as we 

14           look out of state, we're going to be 

15           comparing what do we charge the students who 

16           come in as out-of-state students.  Is this 

17           something that is a barrier to students 

18           coming in?  How does that compare to their 

19           in-state tuition in the states they reside 

20           in?  

21                  Those are the kinds of issues we're 

22           going to be looking at.  It's also going to 

23           be true for international students.  

24                  So looking clear across the board, I'd 


 1           say the issue is really going to be -- hockey 

 2           aside -- it's really going to be about what 

 3           will literally incent those students to come.

 4                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Great.  And I 

 5           look forward to a continuing dialogue on 

 6           that.  I appreciate your comments.

 7                  Chair Glick asked about something 

 8           that's I think going to be critically 

 9           important, and that's the master's-qualified 

10           nurses pipeline to get some nursing trainers 

11           into your institutions.  And I know that's 

12           something that's important to you and the 

13           Governor moving forward.  

14                  I notice the Governor had 53 million 

15           in incentives for faculty and recruitment.  

16           How do we anticipate that that's going to 

17           square up with collective bargaining and 

18           incentives for -- how do you anticipate that 

19           that's going to be used to get those 

20           master's-qualified nurses so we can fix the 

21           nursing pipeline?  

22                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'm not 

23           sure how it would be affected by collective 

24           bargaining.  How would it -- we will -- we 


 1           will be -- certainly we have to have the 

 2           programs in place before we hire the faculty 

 3           for them and we opened it up for enrollment 

 4           in the nursing professions.  

 5                  But I -- could you explain that a 

 6           little bit more?

 7                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Probably not in 

 8           25 seconds, because I had one more question 

 9           that I wanted to ask, and it was to echo 

10           Chair Glick's five-year capital plan.  Do you 

11           anticipate -- and I know you just got on the 

12           job.  But do you anticipate that you'll put 

13           one out?

14                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  We hope 

15           so.  The five-year capital plan?  Yes.

16                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Thanks so much.

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

18                  We've been joined by Assemblywoman 

19           Forrest.  

20                  And we send it back to the Senate.

21                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

22                  Next we have Senator John Liu.

23                  SENATOR LIU:  Thank you, Madam Chair. 

24                  Thank you, Madam Chancellor, for 


 1           joining us.  

 2                  I want to just piggyback off of what 

 3           my chairperson, Senator Stavisky, asked 

 4           about, which is the declining enrollment.  

 5           You cited a whole host of reasons why 

 6           enrollment at SUNY might be declining.  I ask 

 7           you this question.  Is it possible that the 

 8           cost of tuition is a factor in that declining 

 9           enrollment?  

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, I 

11           think it bears looking at.  But in fact there 

12           are declines in enrollment clear across 

13           sectors.  In fact, also for private 

14           institutions across New York State.  And the 

15           private institutions charge much more.  They 

16           certainly can discount those tuitions, but 

17           they charge much more.  So they're not 

18           declining --

19                  SENATOR LIU:  I understand that, Madam 

20           Chancellor, that private institutions charge 

21           more and they have declining enrollment.  But 

22           I would -- I think, as a matter of basic 

23           economics, there's going to be some price 

24           sensitivity even for potential SUNY students 


 1           which, you know, clearly SUNY is not nearly 

 2           as costly as some private institutions.  

 3                  But I would think that there's some 

 4           price sensitivity.  And it -- as you say, I 

 5           agree with you -- it bears looking at.  The 

 6           former chancellor said that SUNY was looking 

 7           into it, and I wonder if there's any progress 

 8           made.

 9                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Always 

10           bears looking at.  Tuition is a factor that 

11           every family looks at when they make a 

12           decision and every student looks at.

13                  SENATOR LIU:  Then please have your 

14           team look at the price sensitivity.

15                  And this goes to my real question, 

16           which is that as we all know, the tuition has 

17           been supporting more and more and more of 

18           SUNY's ever-expanding operating costs.  And 

19           so SUNY tuition costs have risen in excess of 

20           other budgetary items, including the amount 

21           of state aid that's given to SUNY.  

22                  So what we need to do is reverse the 

23           decades of disinvestment in SUNY and bring 

24           tuition levels back to where they were.


 1                  Now, look, I went to SUNY when it was 

 2           $675 a semester.  Granted, that was a hundred 

 3           years ago, but at some point in time SUNY 

 4           tuition just skyrocketed, just took off, 

 5           just, you know, left -- even left the 

 6           stratosphere.  

 7                  So what we need to do is get more 

 8           investment into SUNY.  And it would be 

 9           helpful if you could have your team look at 

10           the price sensitivity and also at what point 

11           in time -- was there some kind of time 

12           correlation between the rapid increase in the 

13           tuition and the percentage of the operating 

14           costs paid by tuition and the decline in 

15           enrollment?  

16                  I think it would be helpful to see 

17           that kind of pattern if it exists.  I believe 

18           it does exist.  But SUNY for a long time now 

19           has been talking about looking at that.

20                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, I 

21           think you're right about data, that data can 

22           inform our decisions.  Looking at that will 

23           be important and -- important factors for us 

24           to consider as we consider all the factors 


 1           around enrollment.  So we take to heart your 

 2           advice, and we will certainly roll that into 

 3           our computations.

 4                  SENATOR LIU:  I'm heartened to hear 

 5           your comments about the proposed budget by 

 6           the Executive, and I'm heartened to see our 

 7           new Governor looking to put more money into 

 8           SUNY.  I think it's desperately needed.  

 9                  At the same time there are legislators 

10           I know of in both chambers that are concerned 

11           about SUNY's management.  And I want to thank 

12           you for -- you were about to start enjoying 

13           your retirement and then they kind of like 

14           dragged you back in two weeks into your 

15           retirement.  Congratulations, and thank you 

16           for that.

17                  My question, and please don't take 

18           this personally --

19                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Senator, excuse 

20           me.  So we're having a problem with the time 

21           clock, but I've been using my sturdy watch 

22           and the three minutes has expired a short 

23           while ago.  So I think we're going to --

24                  SENATOR LIU:  Madam Chair, I was just 


 1           getting to the fun stuff.  I didn't even know 

 2           I -- I felt like 45 seconds had transpired.

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  No, she was 

 4           correct, John.  I was watching my watch as 

 5           well.  Sorry.

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I think the 

 7           clock is fixed.  For your next question, 

 8           you'll be able to really see the clock.  

 9           Hopefully it's fixed now.  We've been having 

10           problems all day.

11                  SENATOR LIU:  Thank you.

12                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So we go now to 

13           the Assembly, actually for five minutes to 

14           Assemblyman Ra.  Can we put -- got it.  Okay.

15                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Thank you, Chair.  

16                  Good morning.  I wanted to just get 

17           into a couple of different issues, starting 

18           with -- so the community college base aid and 

19           the proposal to fund it at 100 percent of the 

20           2021-'22 amount.  Obviously it's better than, 

21           you know, dealing with perhaps more of a 

22           reduction due to the decreasing enrollment.  

23           And obviously it's an increase over the 

24           98 percent last year.  


 1                  But I know there are proposals out 

 2           there to look at other years -- you know, 

 3           '19-'20, I think I saw one proposal.  Others 

 4           have advocated for going and utilizing the 

 5           2018-2019, which was really the last year 

 6           unaffected by the pandemic.

 7                  So can you comment on that and what, 

 8           you know, these numbers actually mean in 

 9           terms of money in the system?  Because if 

10           we're basing it on a really down year that 

11           really is the culmination of years of 

12           enrollment decreases, I don't know that 

13           that's sustainable funding for those 

14           institutions.

15                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yeah, we 

16           definitely are interested in moving that 

17           benchmark year back to pre-pandemic.  I think 

18           that it will be more rational and it will be 

19           related more to reality if we move it back 

20           and look at 100 percent.  

21                  And it will really restore the 

22           community colleges to be able to look 

23           forward.  If we move back to the 2018-2019 

24           year, that's about a $37 million delta.  So 


 1           we -- we would -- we're proposing that.  And 

 2           we're hoping that that will be the case so we 

 3           can remove the pandemic from funding levels. 

 4                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  That would be great.  

 5           I know community colleges all over the state 

 6           would greatly benefit from utilizing that 

 7           benchmark.  Certainly we would in 

 8           Nassau County, where I'm from.

 9                  The other thing I wanted to ask about, 

10           and this has been a concern for many years, 

11           the -- and it's great to see the Governor 

12           investing in this area, the childcare centers 

13           on campuses.  And obviously in a budget where 

14           we're investing in part-time TAP, you know, 

15           this a central piece, I think, to that that 

16           goes along with that, so that those part-time 

17           students have access to that childcare that 

18           they need to go to class.

19                  So do we know, you know, or have a 

20           list somewhere that could be provided of what 

21           campuses would benefit from this increased 

22           funding in terms of starting childcare 

23           centers that don't currently have them?

24                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  So this 


 1           is start-up costs for about $600,000 to start 

 2           a childcare center.

 3                  I don't have the list off, you know, 

 4           the top of mind here, but I'm sure we can get 

 5           the list of those campuses.

 6                  Yes, you are absolutely right.  

 7           Students benefit greatly from this, 

 8           especially single-parent households benefit 

 9           greatly from this.  And we're interested in 

10           seeing this happen.

11                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Okay, great.

12                  And then the last thing I just 

13           would -- in my remaining time -- obviously we 

14           are now several years into the pandemic and 

15           we have students who have finished their high 

16           school years under these circumstances.  I'm 

17           just curious what SUNY is doing and what 

18           maybe the Legislature ought to be looking at 

19           in terms of providing resources to ensure 

20           that that transition is going as well as 

21           possible given that, you know, these students 

22           either ended high school during a pandemic 

23           and probably missed out on a lot of the 

24           opportunities you normally have to make that 


 1           transition into college.

 2                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, we 

 3           do see students come in with some emotional 

 4           problems and mental health issues, and it's 

 5           greater than it's ever been before.  So 

 6           certainly the dollars that we will be 

 7           spending out of the federal stimulus and 

 8           other dollars put to this will be sorely 

 9           needed in order to help our students make the 

10           transition and to succeed throughout their 

11           college careers.

12                  We also are looking at academic 

13           deficiencies, but we don't have those data 

14           yet.  We have not amassed anything that shows 

15           us that there is a great distinction between 

16           students before the pandemic and after the 

17           pandemic.  So it is something we're looking 

18           at, but we don't actually know the 

19           differences yet.

20                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Thank you, 

21           Chancellor.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  To the Senate.

23                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Apologies.

24                  Next is our ranker on Higher 


 1           Education, Phil Boyle.

 2                  SENATOR BOYLE:  Thank you, 

 3           Madam Chair.

 4                  And thank you, Chancellor, for joining 

 5           us today and also for this responsibility 

 6           you've taken on.  

 7                  Just two quick points.  One's a kind 

 8           of a comment, the other's a question.  The 

 9           idea of having SUNY flagships, including 

10           Stony Brook, I think is a tremendous idea.  

11           I've advocated this for a long time, and I 

12           think it would go a long way to improving and 

13           helping the entire system for doing that.

14                  My question regards what we see -- I 

15           guess whether it's called cancel culture or 

16           the silencing of open debate on our college 

17           campuses, that's really been a tremendous 

18           concern of mine over the past couple of 

19           years.  

20                  Have you -- I don't know what you did 

21           at Oswego or with your other colleagues to 

22           make sure that everybody is allowed to say 

23           what they are for an open and honest 

24           discussion without being concerned about 


 1           losing their job as a professor, getting 

 2           canceled as a student.  And regardless of 

 3           which side of the political spectrum they're 

 4           on, to have an open, honest debate.  

 5                  And how would you see yourself or any 

 6           ideas about some policies that may protect 

 7           our professors and our students in these 

 8           difficult times?

 9                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, 

10           college campuses are a place where there's a 

11           marketplace of ideas.  Free speech is 

12           absolutely essential to learning.  Academic 

13           freedom is also part of this.  What goes on 

14           in the classroom is very important.

15                  You know, we're always pushing the 

16           limits.  This is higher education.  Higher 

17           education at its best is always at the end of 

18           the envelope, you know?  Faculty members as 

19           well as students want to get to what can I do 

20           and how far can I take it?  So it's a great 

21           place to be.

22                  I think our campuses are really good 

23           at this.  Our campuses in SUNY are excellent 

24           at kind of threading this needle of making 


 1           sure that the campus is safe, providing for 

 2           safety for lectures and presentations and 

 3           such and making sure there won't be anything 

 4           happening that could have the campus be 

 5           unsafe for our students or for any of our 

 6           visitors, but also allowing free speech, 

 7           allowing students to have the speakers they 

 8           want, allowing students to have the debates 

 9           that they want, and faculty members to 

10           express themselves inside and outside of the 

11           classroom.  

12                  There are limits, of course, and 

13           that's when -- that's when -- you look at it 

14           more carefully, the press looks at it more 

15           closely and we all get to decide one way or 

16           another.  Sometimes it ends up in court, 

17           sometimes it doesn't.  But in fact I think 

18           even that is an expression of what our 

19           country's all about.  We go at different 

20           opinions in different ways.  This is what we 

21           need to do in higher education.  

22                  So as long as we are allowing people 

23           to present their ideas, debate their ideas, 

24           that's where we should be.


 1                  I know at Oswego -- it's not always 

 2           easy to do.  You know, you stand up generally 

 3           for the underdog.  But sometimes you've got 

 4           to go the opposite direction because free 

 5           speech demands it.  And then your campus is 

 6           not quite as understanding.  

 7                  We have some outside agencies that 

 8           take a look at what's happening on the 

 9           college campuses, like FIRE, and give us kind 

10           of a grade or a ranking as to how we're 

11           doing.

12                  So we have many factors we take into 

13           consideration when we're moving forward.  

14                  Is there a particular issue you wanted 

15           to talk about?

16                  SENATOR BOYLE:  No, just generally, 

17           you know, on campuses around the country I 

18           see many times when, say, a conservative 

19           speaker is going to -- was invited to speak 

20           and then the students break the windows and 

21           they -- you know, whatever they do in terms 

22           of getting the point across that they don't 

23           want that speaker on campus, and suddenly the 

24           invitation is revoked.  


 1                  I have not seen that at SUNY, I'm 

 2           happy to see that.  But the mob mentality 

 3           cannot hold sway.  And it's the same -- true 

 4           with a liberal speaker.  I think everyone 

 5           should have an opportunity to come and speak 

 6           and not be canceled or disinvited if what 

 7           they're going to say may not be too popular 

 8           among the masses.  

 9                  So I'm glad to hear that you feel that 

10           way, and I'm sure that you're going to show 

11           us great leadership in protecting all open -- 

12           ideas on all sides going forward.  So I 

13           appreciate it very much.

14                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Thank 

15           you.

16                  SENATOR BOYLE:  Thank you, Madam 

17           Chair.  

18                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

19                  Back to you, Assembly.

20                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblywoman 

21           Bichotte Hermelyn for three minutes.


23           Thank you so much, Chair.  

24                  How are you, Chancellor?  Thank you 


 1           for being here.  I am a proud SUNY alum, 

 2           Buffalo State College and Buffalo University.  

 3           So I'm happy to have seen over the years that 

 4           we've had some progress, especially around 

 5           the elimination around TAP gap, maintenance 

 6           of effort, issues being addressed in a higher 

 7           budget to hire more professors.

 8                  I do have a few questions that I'd 

 9           like to ask, once, and then you can answer it 

10           in order.

11                  The first one is around recidivism.  

12           And I know you talked a little bit about the 

13           TAP program for incarcerated individuals.  

14           And you know that it's commonly understood 

15           that college access dramatically decreases 

16           recidivism.  And there's actually a new study 

17           out of Yale University focusing on this.  

18                  Can you describe your understanding 

19           and how and whether these programs impact 

20           recidivism?  And how will it be implemented 

21           in the State of New York SUNY systems?  

22                  My second question is around the 

23           childcare centers.  For the 18 campuses that 

24           do not have childcare centers, can you just 


 1           expand on what's the plan for that?  And 

 2           where do you plan to build the centers.  

 3                  And then lastly, on the capital -- the 

 4           five-year capital plan, do you have -- will 

 5           your five-year capital plan include MWBE 

 6           efforts, which is minority and women business 

 7           enterprise.  

 8                  But the first question is around 

 9           recidivism, if you can answer that.

10                  Thank you.

11                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I don't 

12           have statistics, but I've been around a long 

13           time so I remember when SUNY was in the 

14           prisons before.  And so there's been a break, 

15           we haven't been there.  We're going back to 

16           be able to teach in the prison system.

17                  And I know it was successful to a 

18           certain degree before.  I expect it to be 

19           successful again.  It is -- you know, when 

20           you talk about human rights, when you talk 

21           about treatment of prisoners, when you talk 

22           about all of the reforms that you've been 

23           seeing about incarceration and about what it 

24           means to be incarcerated, who should be 


 1           incarcerated -- this is the right thing to 

 2           do.  This is part of SUNY's mission.  You 

 3           know, we lift all boats, we -- access to 

 4           excellence, access to a new life.  This is 

 5           the threshold that students can cross.

 6                  So we're very much in favor of this.

 7                  I think we can get back to you with 

 8           additional information.  I don't know if we 

 9           have that information right now.  Do we have 

10           anything that we could --

11                  STUDENT ADVOCATE HAMILTON:  So we do 

12           know that 21 of our SUNY campuses are now 

13           working with the correctional facilities and 

14           we're currently serving 500 students who are 

15           incarcerated.  So the goal is certainly to 

16           increase those numbers moving forward.  

17                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  So did 

18           you hear that?  We have over 20 campuses now 

19           and 500 students.  We want to increase that.  

20                  And we'll be keeping data about -- 

21           information about how they do in the years 

22           following their time earning degrees, 

23           hopefully, from SUNY.

24                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  The 


 1           time has expired.

 2                  If you could respond -- you know, and 

 3           there probably may be some other questions 

 4           that members have that there won't be time to 

 5           respond to at the hearing.  If you could 

 6           respond in writing to both myself and Senator 

 7           Krueger's office, and we will distribute it 

 8           to all members who are participating so they 

 9           can hear the answer.

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  We will.

11                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So now we go to 

12           the Senate.

13                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Senator Jim 

14           Gaughran.

15                  SENATOR GAUGHRAN:  Thank you, 

16           Madam Chair.  

17                  And as others have said, Chancellor, 

18           thank you so much for stepping up during 

19           these very challenging times.  We're very 

20           grateful for that.

21                  I want to get back to the three SUNY 

22           hospitals.  I'm very concerned about the need 

23           for much more support.  And in terms of -- 

24           we've already raised the issue of the debt 


 1           service, and I'm just hoping that, you know, 

 2           you can help us in really advocating for 

 3           getting rid of that, because it really makes 

 4           no sense that, you know, everybody else is 

 5           relieved of this.  And our hospital -- these 

 6           hospitals have stepped up, in addition to 

 7           being, obviously, important safety net 

 8           hospitals, they are the institutions that 

 9           this state uses to make sure that we're 

10           getting our best and brightest doctors, 

11           nurses and healthcare professionals ready for 

12           tomorrow.  And, you know, the Governor has 

13           put a big focus on more of this.

14                  So what do you think could be done 

15           to -- you know, basically taking this off the 

16           plate of the three hospitals?  And also 

17           the -- you know, the huge fringe costs that 

18           they have and the competition, you know, that 

19           they have with recruiting other people.  How 

20           can we just eliminate this so that they have 

21           these funds available for educational and 

22           health services?

23                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  So the 

24           funds -- certainly the hospitals need an 


 1           infusion of funds.  All of the hospitals are 

 2           not exactly alike.  They have different -- 

 3           they have expressed their missions in 

 4           different ways and they have different 

 5           situations, given through the pandemic that 

 6           they've done different things.

 7                  SUNY Downstate, as we've said before, 

 8           was a COVID-only hospital, and they have in 

 9           fact some lasting effects from that, of lost 

10           revenue.  And of course SUNY Stony Brook has 

11           served a great many patients during the 

12           pandemic, often up to I think 6,000 patients 

13           in a week.  So we have had a great impact on 

14           that hospital.

15                  Upstate, of course, has been involved 

16           in research.  They've developed the saliva 

17           test.  They are part of the Pfizer -- they're 

18           investigators, principal investigators for 

19           the Pfizer vaccines.  So they're --

20                  SENATOR GAUGHRAN:  No, I agree.  I 

21           appreciate that.  

22                  But I just want to ask you one quick 

23           question before my time clock runs out, and 

24           that is the Governor -- there's this huge 


 1           $10 billion overall in healthcare in addition 

 2           to the education budget.  Have there been 

 3           some discussions -- and can there be -- that 

 4           these three SUNY hospitals also get, you 

 5           know, a significant share of that money as 

 6           well?

 7                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  We are -- 

 8           we are assuming that they will get a 

 9           significant share of that money as well for 

10           faculty and staff, yes.

11                  SENATOR GAUGHRAN:  Maybe 

12           infrastructure?  So if you could maybe 

13           provide more details on that to us --

14                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  We will.  

15           We will.

16                  SENATOR GAUGHRAN:  -- that would be 

17           great.  I appreciate that.

18                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'm sorry 

19           that I don't have that at my fingertips, but 

20           we will provide it for you. 

21                  SENATOR GAUGHRAN:  No, that's fine.  I 

22           appreciate it.  Thank you so much.

23                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

24                  Assembly.  


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

 2           Assemblyman Smullen, three minutes.

 3                  ASSEMBLYMAN SMULLEN:  Thank you very 

 4           much, Chair.  I really appreciate it.

 5                  Chancellor, nice to see you.  

 6                  Now, the Governor is proposing to move 

 7           the College of Nanoscale Science and 

 8           Engineering from SUNY Poly to SUNY Albany.  

 9           And a couple of quick questions there.  

10                  Why does the Governor feel this move 

11           is necessary at this time? 

12                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, we 

13           don't know exactly why the Governor feels 

14           it's necessary.  We're looking at all of the 

15           issues surrounding it.  

16                  It sounds and looks pretty good to put 

17           a research institute with the research 

18           College of Nanoscience and Engineering.  But 

19           also SUNY Poly of course has a great deal to 

20           connect with those endeavors as well.  So 

21           we're looking at the scope of all of it, and 

22           for our students, for our research base, for 

23           or connections to industry.  All of these 

24           things will be very important as we move 


 1           forward.  

 2                  I assume that that's what the Governor 

 3           looked at, that, you know, as we elevate 

 4           it --

 5                  ASSEMBLYMAN SMULLEN:  Excuse me.  

 6                  Now, you didn't suggest this, this 

 7           came from the second floor?

 8                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yes.

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN SMULLEN:  Okay.  So the 

10           second question on that.  I represent 

11           Herkimer and Oneida counties.  Will there be 

12           any impact of this relocation on the local 

13           economy in the Utica area?

14                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  We hope 

15           not.  We know that -- you know, we are all 

16           SUNY and we share programs, we share ideas, 

17           we work together, we collaborate.  We believe 

18           the same collaborations that are in place 

19           today will be the collaborations that will be 

20           in place no matter what happens with the 

21           formal connections that will be made.

22                  ASSEMBLYMAN SMULLEN:  Okay.  But this 

23           isn't part of an overall, then -- a 

24           reorganization of the SUNY system, this is 


 1           something to make it easier for an 

 2           administrative reason?

 3                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Not 

 4           administrative reasons.  I think it really 

 5           has to do with responding to industry need.  

 6           It has to do with responding to the needs of 

 7           research.  We have premier institutions here.  

 8           And as we highlight them and we move them 

 9           forward, we're not leaving SUNY Poly behind.  

10                  We haven't sat down to look at all of 

11           the factors yet.  And we want to bring all of 

12           the institutions to the table to take a look 

13           at what this will mean and make it additive 

14           for every campus so that there will not be 

15           any loss.

16                  ASSEMBLYMAN SMULLEN:  That's great.  I 

17           really appreciate that.  We want to get the 

18           organization right.  We want the institution 

19           to really -- to prosper and to really take 

20           things into the 21st century.  So, you know, 

21           at least from my perspective we're fully 

22           supportive of efforts to make it the very 

23           best we can for New York.

24                  Thank you.


 1                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Thank 

 2           you.

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Back to the 

 4           Senate.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you very 

 6           much.

 7                  The ranker, Tom O'Mara.  Finance 

 8           Ranker Tom O'Mara.

 9                  SENATOR O'MARA:  Good morning.

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Hello.

11                  SENATOR O'MARA:  And welcome.  And 

12           thank you for your service at SUNY Oswego.  

13           You did an outstanding job there for many 

14           years.  And congratulations on your 

15           appointment here.

16                  Are you seeking the full appointment 

17           to this position?

18                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'm 

19           seeking sunshine, relaxation.  I think my 

20           husband is listening in on this broadcast, 

21           and -- no I am not.  I am not.  I am not.  

22                  But I love SUNY, and I'm happy to 

23           serve.  I'm here for a particular purpose.  

24           And I'm thrilled to be able to play that 


 1           role.

 2                  SENATOR O'MARA:  Well, I'm glad you 

 3           are.  And I wish you were looking to stay on 

 4           as well, but I fully understand.

 5                  With regards to the expansion of TAP 

 6           for part-time students, is this going to 

 7           include non-credit career and technical 

 8           workforce development programs for 

 9           individuals taking those?

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'm not 

11           sure if it does include the non-credit.

12                  It potentially will include the 

13           non-credit.  We haven't -- I don't think 

14           we've actually looked at it yet.

15                  SENATOR O'MARA:  Okay.  Well, I would 

16           certainly advocate that it is included and 

17           that you further encourage the workforce 

18           development needs that we have across 

19           New York State.  And I think that would be a 

20           help in doing that.

21                  With regards to the Excelsior program, 

22           are there any changes being made or any 

23           leeway given to those students in the 

24           Excelsior Scholarship Program with regards to 


 1           either full-time status or GPA maintenance 

 2           requirements due to COVID and the impact that 

 3           has had on some students?

 4                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Last year 

 5           there was accommodation for full-time status.  

 6           I don't think that will go forward with the 

 7           Excelsior program.  I think we'll get back on 

 8           track with it.

 9                  You know, if you look at the 

10           graduation rates for Excelsior, they're very 

11           good.  They are higher if you are an 

12           Excelsior student or if -- than those who are 

13           not Excelsior students.  The retention rates, 

14           first year to second year, are higher for 

15           Excelsior students.  So we're looking for 

16           Excelsior to maintain those good averages.

17                  SENATOR O'MARA:  Well, no, I am as 

18           well.  I've just heard from some students in 

19           my district that have concerns over either 

20           some poor performance because of COVID around 

21           exam time or whatever.  So I hope there's 

22           some accommodations being made for those that 

23           were impacted by that.  

24                  The capital budget for SUNY.  How much 


 1           is in the capital budget for the movement, 

 2           under New York's Green New Deal -- for the 

 3           lessening of emissions from all buildings, 

 4           certainly including SUNY buildings?  What's 

 5           in the capital budget for that?

 6                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'm not 

 7           sure I know that.  Bob, do you?

 8                  SUNY INTERIM CFO MEGNA:  I think it's 

 9           nested within our overall budget that we take 

10           in those requirements.  There's no specific 

11           piece, but we are subject to all of the same 

12           requirements that other state construction 

13           projects are subject to.

14                  SENATOR O'MARA:  Do you have any 

15           estimates or cost studies, feasibility 

16           studies for the conversation of SUNY 

17           buildings to zero emissions?

18                  SUNY INTERIM CFO MEGNA:  Yeah, we'll 

19           certainly provide those.

20                  I think, again, this is something that 

21           happens over time.  Right?  So there's a 

22           process that begins we make sure that we're 

23           hitting the guidelines we're supposed to hit 

24           now.  And I think it's built into our 


 1           estimates of how much we're going to need for 

 2           critical maintenance in future years to 

 3           continue to hit what we have to hit.

 4                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  And 

 5           they're usually rolled right into the 

 6           project.

 7                  So what happens is -- you know, a few 

 8           years ago we would kind of break out what 

 9           would the project be without geothermal 

10           wells, what would the project be with 

11           geothermal wells?  And you would kind of make 

12           a decision, are you going to go for that 

13           carbon-neutral and get into the higher rate 

14           for the project, or are you not?  

15                  And right now, because SUNY is 

16           requiring that we take a -- and we make a 

17           plan for moving to net zero carbons that we 

18           roll those into the project and we don't take 

19           them out as stand-out costs.  So it's 

20           difficult to break them out --

21                  SENATOR O'MARA:  I think that 

22           New Yorkers who are footing the bill for what 

23           are going to be outrageous expenses in these 

24           conversions deserve to know, and I advocate 


 1           that that be set out and what the costs are 

 2           going to be going forward.  

 3                  So my time is up.  Thank you very 

 4           much.  

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, Tom.  

 6                  Assembly?  

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

 8           Assemblyman Epstein.

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you, 

10           Chair.

11                  And thank you, Interim Chancellor.

12                  I know I only have three minutes, so 

13           if we could -- a couple of questions we could 

14           do quickly.

15                  Can you commit to getting publicly 

16           available charging stations on all SUNY 

17           campuses?

18                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I beg 

19           your pardon?  Can you say that again?

20                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Can you commit 

21           to getting publicly available charging 

22           stations for E-vehicles on all SUNY campuses?

23                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, it 

24           sounds like a great idea.  I think a lot of 


 1           campuses already have charging stations on 

 2           them.  I'm not sure how many campuses have 

 3           them, though.  So we'll get back to you on 

 4           that --

 5                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you.

 6                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  -- and 

 7           see what the feasibility would be of having 

 8           them on every campus.  

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Can you commit 

10           to ensuring that as you're interim 

11           chancellor, that all new vehicles that you 

12           buy for the SUNY system will be EV or, you 

13           know, low-carbon?

14                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'd like 

15           to commit to that.  I'm going to take a look 

16           at what that is.  We are looking at a lot of 

17           initiatives on low-carbon, and it will be one 

18           that I look at.  I'm not going to commit to 

19           it today, but I will get back to you on it if 

20           I do.

21                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Okay, I'd love 

22           to hear back from you about it.  Because 

23           obviously this is -- we're all part of our 

24           CLCPA goals, including our SUNY system.  So 


 1           I'd appreciate it.

 2                  So we saw that $2 million for students 

 3           with disabilities was included in the 

 4           Governor's proposed state budget, but you 

 5           know, the SED requested $15 million for 

 6           students with disabilities.

 7                  I'm hoping we can work with you to 

 8           increase that number from the 2 million 

 9           currently in the budget to the 15 million 

10           that the State Education Department needs for 

11           our students with disabilities.  Can we work 

12           with your office on that?

13                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yes.  

14           It's not released by SED at this point, the 

15           $2 million, but we of course have need and 

16           would be able to use that.

17                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Wonderful.  

18           That's wonderful.

19                  So there's been an issue with the 

20           student activities fee.  Students have really 

21           relied on their budget through SUNY and CUNY 

22           as a separate set-aside for student activity 

23           dollars so the Student Assembly can, like, do 

24           the activities they need to do statewide.


 1                  Can we have a conversation offline 

 2           around trying to have a set-aside student 

 3           activity fee for the Student Assembly so they 

 4           can get the resources that they need?

 5                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'm 

 6           sorry, I didn't catch that.

 7                  (Off the record.)

 8                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Sure.  I 

 9           mean, we are -- we're in contact with the 

10           Student Assembly, we're looking at their 

11           needs.  We just made available to them a 

12           full-time staff person that will help them 

13           with their administrative duties that we are 

14           paying for on the SUNY side.  

15                  So, you know, we're interested in the 

16           Student Assembly being successful.  It's 

17           really important for students to have a voice 

18           and a conduit.

19                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  And one last 

20           question just on the TAP dollars for 

21           incarcerated folks.  

22                  Can we get a sense of where you are 

23           around the nonprofit schools like Bard Prison 

24           program and other programs versus, you know, 


 1           there might be for-profit colleges, other 

 2           ones who might want to work with that 

 3           population?  I want to make sure that we 

 4           commit to really degree-granting programs if 

 5           we -- as we move forward to TAP for people 

 6           who are incarcerated.  

 7                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'm 

 8           sorry, can you say that again?

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Yeah.  So we're 

10           going to make --

11                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  There's a 

12           little bit of a wobble in the voice.

13                  (Off the record.)

14                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  And making sure 

15           that they have degree-granting programs like 

16           Bard Prison Program and other institutions, 

17           versus some for-profit institutions or online 

18           colleges that, you know, may want to try to 

19           get access to the student population.

20                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  So we 

21           will have certainly degree-granting programs 

22           available for incarcerated individuals.  

23           We're going to be working on what's most 

24           appropriate and what would be most sought 


 1           after.  And we will be, you know, hopefully 

 2           working on a cohort basis to get students 

 3           through those programs so that they can have 

 4           the -- whatever the certificate is or the 

 5           credential that's associated with it.

 6                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you.

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 8                  Back to the Senate.

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you very 

10           much.  

11                  We have Robert Jackson, Senator RJ. 

12                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Yeah, I'm here.

13                  Chancellor, good afternoon.  So I have 

14           only three minutes, so I'm going to try to 

15           move pretty quick.  

16                  I've heard that -- whoa.  I'm so 

17           sorry.  Can you hear me?

18                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Yes.

19                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yes.

20                  SUNY INTERIM CFO MEGNA:  Yes.

21                  SENATOR JACKSON:  So I've heard from 

22           students that one of the reasons why children 

23           are not enrolling in colleges is because of 

24           the debt that they're going to incur when 


 1           they finish school.  Have you heard that at 

 2           all?  What are you hearing about that?

 3                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I think 

 4           it's possible.  Certainly it's a scary 

 5           proposition for many individuals that they 

 6           would have to leave school with debt.

 7                  So, you know, we're looking at this in 

 8           a lot of different ways.  But we should 

 9           know -- and I think we never talk about the 

10           fact -- that almost 50 percent of our 

11           students leave SUNY with a credential, a 

12           degree in hand, without any debt.  So I think 

13           we should be aware of that.  

14                  For those individuals who do leave 

15           with debt, though, it is about an average of 

16           $24,000 total.  And that's pretty steep for 

17           students.  So we're attacking this in many 

18           ways, trying to deal with it up-front and 

19           talk with students about financial matters 

20           before they even do that.

21                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Chancellor, I'm 

22           sorry to cut you short.  I'm just trying to 

23           get two questions in before my time is up, if 

24           you don't mind.  I'm not trying to be rude to 


 1           you at all, okay?  Please understand that.

 2                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Okay.

 3                  SENATOR JACKSON:  But during the lower 

 4           education hearings, upstate and downstate 

 5           school district leaderships voiced their 

 6           concern with SUNY as a charter authorizer.  

 7           Do you believe that SUNY should have 

 8           authority over charter schools within 

 9           New York City when CUNY is the state 

10           institution system for that reason?  Does 

11           SUNY speak with local districts when 

12           reviewing charter school requests to see 

13           potential impact on local schools?  

14                  That's the question.

15                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, I 

16           leave this in the hands of the Board of 

17           Trustees.  The trustees have been dealing 

18           with this for almost 20 years.  And I know 

19           they know much more about it than I at this 

20           point.  And so I will leave that question in 

21           the hands of the trustees.  And if you need 

22           more information, we'll get back to you.

23                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Got it, thank you.  

24                  And my last question, the Governor 


 1           proposed to prohibit withholding transcripts 

 2           for failure to pay student-related debt.  An 

 3           institution in violation of this will be 

 4           subject to a $500 fine per violation.  

 5                  What is the average debt per student 

 6           within your system?  And do institutions 

 7           withhold transcripts for minor debts such as 

 8           parking tickets and library fees?  

 9                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  The 

10           average debt that students leave campus with 

11           is about $24,000.  

12                  But I totally agree that we should not 

13           be withholding transcripts, we should not 

14           keep students from registering, we should not 

15           keep them out of extracurricular activities.  

16           We should not use the SUNY cudgel in order to 

17           keep students away from proper activities 

18           while they are still students if they owe 

19           minor amounts of money while they're 

20           students.  

21                  We certainly have the right to collect 

22           those debts, but we shouldn't use an undue 

23           influence or heavy bargaining power in order 

24           to get those debts paid.


 1                  And I'm 100 percent in favor of what's 

 2           happened with the transcripts.

 3                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you, 

 4           Chancellor.  My time is up.  I appreciate 

 5           you.

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, 

 7           Robert.

 8                  Assembly.

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes, we go to 

10           Assemblywoman Fahy next.

11                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Hi.  I think I'm 

12           on.  Chancellor, wonderful to see you.  Thank 

13           you.  Thank you for stepping in and, as was 

14           commented, coming out of retirement.  

15                  And a huge thanks to the Governor as 

16           well for what is a very encouraging budget.

17                  So I have just a few comments, and I 

18           have two questions.  So I just want to weigh 

19           in -- I know you've been hit with a lot, but 

20           I want to weigh in so that I'm echoing some 

21           of what you heard today.

22                  Operating dollars for SUNY are 

23           incredibly important, and we do hope to see 

24           more.  So pleased with the TAP gap, the 


 1           part-time TAP.  And TAP for the incarcerated, 

 2           very pleased.

 3                  The five-year plan matters to us.  I 

 4           need to put in a huge plug for the 20 million 

 5           for the UAlbany engineering building that 

 6           we've been asking for for probably a half 

 7           dozen years now.  I'm hoping this is the 

 8           year.  The building is -- I'm a little tired 

 9           of seeing the fence up around what is an old 

10           Albany high school -- old Albany high school, 

11           the Schuyler building, and would really 

12           reinvigorate an entire neighborhood.

13                  Absolutely support your comments and 

14           appreciate your comments on new faculty and 

15           trying to get to 500.  Pleased again with the 

16           EOP increase and the community -- I think 

17           it's very important that we have a community 

18           college floor.  I wouldn't be here without 

19           the community college I attended as a 

20           first-generation American.  So I do think 

21           it's important that we have those avenues as 

22           well as some of the certificate programs that 

23           you yourself mentioned.  

24                  And a couple of things.  The flagship.  


 1           Pleased with the proposal for a flagship on 

 2           two of the colleges, on Stony Brook and 

 3           Buffalo.  But as you know, we think it's a 

 4           great idea.  We want to expand it to four.  

 5           We think it's absolutely essential that it be 

 6           four.  UAlbany and Binghamton have always 

 7           been university centers.  Why not showcase, 

 8           as we showcase all of SUNY, but why not 

 9           continue to showcase those four university 

10           centers.

11                  Question.  We are pleased with the 

12           proposal for re-merging CSNE, the Nano 

13           College, with UAlbany.  The question is how 

14           can we make this a win/win?  We're certainly 

15           not trying to -- a lot of effort has been put 

16           into SUNY Poly in Utica.  We recognize the 

17           potential there for some semiconductor 

18           businesses near Syracuse.  How can we make 

19           this a win/win?  

20                  I know you can't maybe answer that in 

21           20 seconds, but we want to continue that 

22           conversation because we support it.  But I'll 

23           try to give you those few seconds.  Thank 

24           you, Chancellor.


 1                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I 

 2           think -- thank you.  I think what we can do 

 3           is bring Poly to the table and listen 

 4           carefully about what will make it a win/win.  

 5           We need to roll their opinions into this 

 6           strategy to see what will make this happen 

 7           and happen in the best way possible.

 8                  As I said, we're looking for additur, 

 9           we're not looking to hurt any of our fine, 

10           wonderful institutions.

11                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

12                  To the Senate.  

13                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN FAHY:  Thank you, Chair.  

14           Thank you, Chancellor.

15                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, 

16           Assembly.

17                  Next up is Senator Sue Serino.

18                  SENATOR SERINO:  Thank you, 

19           Chairwoman.  Hello, Chancellor.  You know, 

20           we've had a lot of discussions about mental 

21           health throughout all of these hearings.  And 

22           I apologize if somebody had asked you this 

23           already, but I was just wondering what's 

24           included in the budget to help address the 


 1           mental health challenges I think that our 

 2           SUNY and CUNY students face today.

 3                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  In the 

 4           budget -- well, you know that we have a lot 

 5           of -- we are charged to use, on our campuses, 

 6           some of the federal stimulus money for mental 

 7           health on our campuses.  So $24 million will 

 8           be applied to mental health from the federal 

 9           stimulus packages, and $1 million will be 

10           continued from the budget.

11                  So we're going to put all of that 

12           together.  It's -- you know, we've been 

13           moving forward on these issues.  We've had a 

14           task force in place for the last two years, 

15           and it finally reported out.  I was one of 

16           the cochairs on that task force, with 

17           Dr. Wayne Riley from Downstate Medical.  

18           COVID -- COVID made us wait a bit to get our 

19           final recommendations in place, but once we 

20           got our final recommendations in place, we've 

21           been moving forward.

22                  You know, we have moved forward on 

23           telehealth, it's been very successful.  It 

24           was with Upstate Medical and now we will also 


 1           have a location in Downstate Medical.  And 

 2           that's a 24/7 counseling service that is a 

 3           remote counseling service that students 

 4           absolutely love and take advantage of to the 

 5           maximum.  

 6                  So we're going to expand that.  That's 

 7           going to be really wonderful for our 

 8           students.  We're of course going to hire --

 9                  SENATOR SERINO:  That's great, 

10           Chancellor.  Oh, sorry.  Because maybe I can 

11           follow up with you on that, because I'm going 

12           to run out of time and I want to make sure I 

13           can ask you -- I have two more questions, if 

14           you don't mind.  But I would love to continue 

15           the conversation with you, because this is 

16           something that's really important to me.

17                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Okay.

18                  SENATOR SERINO:  But my other question 

19           is, you know, while higher education of 

20           course is very important, it's not 

21           necessarily the path that every student wants 

22           to take.  

23                  Do you think that SUNY could play 

24           maybe a bigger role through partnerships in 


 1           bolstering Career and Technical Education?  

 2                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I think 

 3           so.  I think with P-TECH and Early College 

 4           High School I think that we are playing a 

 5           bigger and bigger role.  And with 

 6           apprenticeships we are playing a bigger and 

 7           bigger role.  And certainly the community 

 8           colleges are stepping up into these roles.  

 9                  We have graduated more than 

10           300 students with P-TECH degrees.  They 

11           identify in high school.  It's a six-year 

12           program.  They go right into careers that are 

13           designated.  This is an important piece for 

14           an educated populace.

15                  SENATOR SERINO:  Thank you.  And I 

16           also -- you know, recently I heard from EMS 

17           first responders in my district who complete 

18           their continuing education through Dutchess 

19           Community College and who are opposed to the 

20           booster mandate.  

21                  You know, these individuals have been 

22           on the frontlines since the start of the 

23           pandemic, and they are currently vaccinated.  

24           You must wear masks to attend.  The program 


 1           they attend would bring them to campus for 

 2           about three to five sessions, and classes are 

 3           usually only about 10 students.  So for these 

 4           reasons, they feel the booster requirement is 

 5           kind of onerous, especially at a time when 

 6           COVID numbers are rapidly declining.  

 7                  And at a time when faculty and vendors 

 8           are exempt from this booster requirement, how 

 9           do you justify requiring it for attendees of 

10           programs like this that are so vitally 

11           important?  

12                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, 

13           we're relying on the experts.  We have an 

14           expert panel in SUNY that has helped us come 

15           to our decisions about what we require and is 

16           made up of researchers and doctors.  They 

17           guide us in making our decisions.  So we're 

18           relying on that going forward.

19                  Hopefully we -- and we reassess it.  

20           So we will be reassessing as the numbers of 

21           perhaps Omicron come down, or if we move to 

22           no variant in the near future, we hope, we 

23           will make some changes in what we require.  

24           But for now the booster requirement stays.


 1                  SENATOR SERINO:  It's kind of like a 

 2           slap in the face that faculty doesn't have 

 3           to, yet the people that are coming here for 

 4           these vital services do.  So I could hope 

 5           that it's reconsidered.  

 6                  And I know I ran out of time.  Sorry, 

 7           Senator Krueger.

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  That's okay.  You 

 9           were pretty close.  Thank you.  

10                  Assemblywoman.  

11                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman 

12           Bronson.

13                  ASSEMBLYMAN BRONSON:  Good afternoon, 

14           Chancellor.  How nice to see you.  And want 

15           you to know that we miss you tremendously at 

16           SUNY Oswego.  

17                  My question was just asked by the 

18           Senator.  As you know, I'm very involved in 

19           mental health issues, and you and I have 

20           spoken about that in connection with Oswego.  

21           So I'm glad to see the $24 million of federal 

22           stimulus dollars.  A little bit disappointed 

23           that there's only 1 million in state funds.  

24           As we go forward, we need to increase that.  


 1                  But could you just tell us a little 

 2           bit more about the task force and some of the 

 3           findings to help us meet the needs of mental 

 4           health services for our students?

 5                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, the 

 6           task force was eye-opening.  I mean, we 

 7           really set about trying to assess where were 

 8           there services on campuses for mental health.  

 9           And we found it's really uneven throughout 

10           SUNY.  

11                  Some of the campuses have no SUNY 

12           services, they rely on the municipal services 

13           or county services around them.  But they do 

14           have good coverage from those services, and 

15           they have great collaboration with those 

16           entities.

17                  So we saw that there is a possibility 

18           for every student to have an avenue to mental 

19           health.  But we needed to put in place a lot 

20           of things.  We wanted to take away the stigma 

21           for gaining mental health counseling.  We 

22           wanted to increase the counseling itself.  We 

23           wanted to make it just in time, 24/7, 

24           students being able to contact and have 


 1           services remotely.  We wanted to be able to 

 2           assess the students.  

 3                  So we have what we call -- we have put 

 4           in place Thriving Campus, which is a program 

 5           across the university that is a triage 

 6           program that connects students with services 

 7           in their communities, so -- with providers in 

 8           their communities.

 9                  So we're trying to cover the map as 

10           far as mental health services are concerned.

11                  We're also seeing the need for 

12           training on college campuses, for faculty and 

13           staff to become more aware of what is 

14           necessary.  The QPR training for suicide 

15           prevention -- question, persuade and refer -- 

16           which is incredibly important, has really 

17           covered the map.  I mean, there are thousands 

18           of people within SUNY who have been trained 

19           in the QPR training at this point.  And we 

20           continue to do that.

21                  But we need to do more.  We need to 

22           keep on it.  We need to make sure the 

23           funding's available.  And we need to ask for 

24           funding every year on this matter.


 1                  ASSEMBLYMAN BRONSON:  Yeah, I 

 2           certainly will be with you asking for 

 3           additional funds, because meeting the needs 

 4           of mental health for our students is one of 

 5           those wraparound services that are essential 

 6           for them to be successful, to get their 

 7           degrees and to move forward.

 8                  So thank you so much, Chancellor.  So 

 9           nice to see you.

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Nice to 

11           see you too.

12                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Back to the 

13           Senate.  

14                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you very 

15           much.

16                  Hi, Chancellor.  Nice to see you.  

17           I've just been asked by a couple of people 

18           who aren't on the committees whether I can 

19           ask a few questions for them.

20                  The first one -- and you partly 

21           answered before, but I didn't quite put it in 

22           context.  Question one, has the -- and I 

23           don't know that you'll know this, in which 

24           case please just get back to Chair Weinstein 


 1           and I, and we'll pass the information along.

 2                  Has the ratio of administrators to 

 3           full-time faculty changed dramatically in the 

 4           last 10 years?  There seems to be a belief 

 5           that both university systems have really 

 6           upped the number of administrators while not 

 7           upping the number of faculty.

 8                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I don't 

 9           know if I have that number exactly.  I -- I 

10           don't think so.  We'll get back to you with 

11           it.

12                  I will tell you that I was a faculty 

13           member for 11 years.  I believed that as 

14           well.  And that was back in the eighties.

15                  But -- so it is --

16                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  If we go back 20 

17           or 30 years, it's probably a little harder, 

18           yeah.

19                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yeah.

20                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I didn't mean to 

21           cut you off, sorry.

22                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  No, 

23           that's -- you know, we need to know.  I know 

24           we know it.  I don't know it at this point.


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Okay.  I 

 2           appreciate that.

 3                  And then following through also, 

 4           several of my colleagues have asked you about 

 5           the costs of universities and whether that 

 6           has an impact on the students coming or not 

 7           coming.

 8                  But do we think or does research show 

 9           that the ratio of full-time-equivalent 

10           faculty to students actually impacts the 

11           reasons people go to SUNY or not?  I know 

12           that private colleges market themselves based 

13           on the ratio of faculty to students.  So I 

14           think they think it matters.  And I'm curious 

15           what you think.

16                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  You know, 

17           I don't think there's data that shows that 

18           students come or don't come because of that 

19           ratio.

20                  We do know there are some data points 

21           that show that students are retained or 

22           graduate more on time or find themselves in 

23           the careers of their choice due to more 

24           full-time faculty.


 1                  So we're moving on those quality 

 2           issues, those student success issues, as well 

 3           as whether or not they come to the 

 4           institution because of full-time faculty.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  And it's been a 

 6           pet peeve of mine for many years that even 

 7           the least-qualified proprietary schools -- 

 8           I'm not attacking all proprietary schools, 

 9           before I get yelled at again.  But there are 

10           unqualified proprietary schools that are 

11           drawing down a large sum of student money and 

12           then don't give them the education they need.  

13                  And when you ask students why they 

14           would head into those programs only to not 

15           get the education they need and lose the 

16           money they have, they tell you it's because 

17           they were so helpful on the front end, having 

18           them fill out the paperwork for them, 

19           promising them they would direct them through 

20           to make sure they took the right classes.

21                  Are there lessons we ought to be 

22           learning here for SUNY and CUNY, that if we 

23           are more helpful at the front end, helping 

24           people maximize, you know, the benefits that 


 1           they're eligible for and decrease the costs 

 2           and help direct students, particularly 

 3           first-generation Americans or first 

 4           generation going to college who have no one 

 5           at home to advise them -- that if we did a 

 6           better job at the front end advising, we 

 7           would get more students and more students who 

 8           actually headed into the right classes?  

 9           What's your opinion?

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  

11           Absolutely, I agree with you.

12                  I think you'll see that the pandemic 

13           really hurt us in this regard.  I think some 

14           of the programs of where we had either 

15           admissions counselors or faculty connect with 

16           prospective students and help them understand 

17           what the programs are about, what the careers 

18           are at the end of the programs, how you 

19           maximize your time at the institution, how 

20           you can work with individuals to leap over 

21           those barriers to get into the institution -- 

22           a lot of those things fell away from SUNY.  

23                  So they are in play as we start to 

24           look at what are the factors that are 


 1           impacting our enrollment at this point.

 2                  I've worked with a professional over 

 3           the last year and a half on enrollment 

 4           issues, and one of the things we attacked for 

 5           SUNY Oswego was this -- as you say, this 

 6           personal contact and having this feeling of 

 7           confidence that someone will help them when 

 8           necessary.  It made quite a bit of difference 

 9           in the number of applications that we 

10           received for the institution.  And 

11           establishing that contact again, making that 

12           connection, made all of the difference.

13                  So it will be one of the things we 

14           really look at very carefully.  We're looking 

15           for best practices.  We're looking for what 

16           really yields not only applications, but 

17           students who will make deposits and come to 

18           the institutions.

19                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  And 

20           thank you for being willing to jump into this 

21           very important and challenging position when 

22           at least rumor has it some members of your 

23           family thought you had another plan in mind.

24                  Thank you.  I cede back my time.


 1                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Thank 

 2           you.

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

 4           Assemblywoman Simon.

 5                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Thank you.  

 6                  Good morning, Chancellor, and thank 

 7           you again for your service and your 

 8           willingness to step up at this critical time.

 9                  I have a couple of questions.  First 

10           of all, let me just say, in the spirit of 

11           full disclosure, I did not go to SUNY -- but 

12           my sister did.  And, you know, she was a 

13           neonatal intensive-care nurse.  And so I know 

14           the issue of nursing education and capacity 

15           and nursing educators is one that we're all 

16           concerned about.  And I'd like to ask your 

17           thoughts on that.  

18                  I also want to address a couple of 

19           issues about technology, which is largely 

20           capital issues.  So the issue about 

21           technology is that we are now needing to 

22           really step up our pace, it's really an issue 

23           for access.  And I'd like to encourage you 

24           and CUNY and the independent colleges to work 


 1           together to kind of influence product 

 2           development so that it becomes more 

 3           accessible because of the power of the joint 

 4           purse that you have to drive that market.  

 5                  I also want to support the $15 million 

 6           for students with disabilities.  And I'd love 

 7           to talk to you offline about our teacher 

 8           education programs.

 9                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Okay.  

10           With technology, I totally agree with you.  

11           One of the major issues during the pandemic 

12           is that students went home and did not have 

13           the technology to access their remote 

14           courses.

15                  So many students actually came back to 

16           campuses, and we helped them with lending 

17           them laptops and of course allowing them on 

18           the infrastructure, the internet 

19           infrastructure, in order to be able to take 

20           their remote classes from the residence halls 

21           if necessary.  It was a very difficult time 

22           for many students.  

23                  We need to be on top of this.  We need 

24           to make sure that our students are capable 


 1           and have the technology in their hands to be 

 2           able to access what they need in their 

 3           curriculum.  It will help them in the future.  

 4                  We also need to up-skill, up-skill 

 5           students who are not only in our curriculum 

 6           at this point, but those students who have 

 7           graduated from our institutions.  Many of us 

 8           are now getting in the business of working 

 9           with alumni to bring them back to campus to 

10           up-skill them in certain ways for their 

11           placement in their careers and for 

12           credentialing them to move up in their 

13           careers.  It's really important to them.

14                  So technology is going to be, you 

15           know, more and more important as we move 

16           forward.

17                  I'm sorry, was there another question?

18                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Well, no, I just 

19           want to, if I can, just piggyback on that and 

20           encourage a view as well of up-skilling or 

21           upgrading, for example, the programs that are 

22           being used.  

23                  I think a lot of -- if you talk to 

24           anybody, Blackboard is not anybody's favorite 


 1           program.  It's very difficult, it's clunky, 

 2           it's difficult to use for anybody and it's 

 3           particularly inaccessible for a lot of people 

 4           with disabilities.

 5                  So I think that we can, you know, use 

 6           that influence that we have in the market to, 

 7           you know, make a Blackboard 2.0 or 3.0 or 

 8           some other program that, you know, works much 

 9           better as a platform for everybody.

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I think 

11           we're migrating off of Blackboard as we 

12           speak.

13                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Good.

14                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  There is 

15           a faculty group, a faculty and administrative 

16           group that is compromised of people from 

17           across the system that keep an eye on what 

18           learning systems we use, learning platforms 

19           we use.  And I believe that we're migrating 

20           off of Blackboard at the end of this year, 

21           but I'm not positive of the date.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

23                  We go back to the Senate.

24                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Just 


 1           double-checking no other Senator has snuck in 

 2           for a first-time ask.

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I see Senator 

 4           Cooney.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Oh, Senator 

 6           Cooney, are you here with your hand up?  Yes, 

 7           you are.

 8                  SENATOR COONEY:  I am, Chair, thank 

 9           you.

10                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Okay.  Thank you, 

11           Assemblywoman, for helping me.

12                  Senator Jeremy Cooney.

13                  SENATOR COONEY:  Thank you, Chairs.  

14                  And thank you, Chancellor, for your 

15           testimony today.

16                  I'll build off of the conversation 

17           that my colleague mentioned with technology.  

18           But sometimes technology can become harmful.  

19           And we know that a number of schools and 

20           institutions are facing the threat of 

21           cyberattacks and could find themselves 

22           endangering not only their institutions, 

23           their students and their faculty, but the 

24           long-term viability of their institution 


 1           because of some of these terrible ransomware 

 2           attacks that we read about in the paper.

 3                  And so my question to you is, what 

 4           resources does SUNY have available to protect 

 5           institutions and campuses from these types of 

 6           attacks?  And if resources are unavailable, 

 7           what type of investment does the State of 

 8           New York need to make to prevent these 

 9           cyberattacks from occurring?  

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, I 

11           won't know exactly what resources are 

12           available.  But I do know it's a 

13           collaborative effort across all of SUNY that 

14           when one institution has a problem, everyone 

15           is on it.

16                  I also know that we have to keep 

17           making the investments.  That once you make 

18           an investment and upgrade, it becomes old 

19           pretty fast.  It's an anachronism 

20           immediately, and we have to move on to the 

21           next to protect the system.  

22                  It's worthwhile to protect the system.  

23           I think last year all our eyes were opened 

24           clear across the system for all of the 


 1           attacks that were tried.  Many of them failed 

 2           because we were prepared across the system.

 3                  It's a -- I think that SUNY does a 

 4           great job in making sure everyone knows 

 5           what's happening across the system and how to 

 6           provide for security.  We're also testing it 

 7           out all the time.

 8                  So I can't say we're immune, that we 

 9           would always be immune.  But at this point I 

10           think we've been able to weather most of 

11           these storms.

12                  SENATOR COONEY:  Well, I appreciate 

13           that, Chancellor.  And of course I'm not 

14           surprised that SUNY is prepared.  But I also 

15           would just close by saying that I am 

16           concerned not just for our public 

17           universities, but also for our private 

18           universities.  That I think as these types of 

19           technology evolve, there could be risks of 

20           losing private information for our students 

21           and our faculty members.  

22                  And it's something that I would ask 

23           that we continue to actively monitor so that 

24           we can uphold the integrity of our public 


 1           higher educational system.  

 2                  So thank you for your time today.

 3                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Thank 

 4           you.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Assembly?  

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So before we go 

 7           to the next questioner, I just want to 

 8           acknowledge a number of Assemblymembers who 

 9           joined us over the -- while the chancellor 

10           was speaking:  Assemblywoman Hyndman, 

11           Assemblyman Dilan, Assemblyman Cahill, 

12           Assemblywoman Joyner.  I think that may be 

13           it.

14                  And now we go to Assemblywoman Forrest 

15           for three minutes.

16                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN FORREST:  Thank you, 

17           Chair.  

18                  And thank you, Chancellor, for being 

19           here.

20                  I wanted to first of all echo the 

21           importance of providing funding to SUNY 

22           Downstate, which functioned as a safety net 

23           hospital during the pandemic.  It's 

24           absolutely critical to support our safety net 


 1           hospitals.  I'm very excited about that.

 2                  I do have a question.  As a product of 

 3           educational opportunity programs, I do 

 4           wholeheartedly believe in the service that 

 5           they're providing.  Do you believe that 

 6           expanding the opportunity programs will be 

 7           enough to serve the students who are 

 8           currently receiving aid, in addition to 

 9           adding new students?

10                  If not -- or what do you think?  Would 

11           you support expanding that funding beyond 

12           10 percent?

13                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, I'm 

14           grateful for the 10 percent.  I will always 

15           support expanding the funding beyond 

16           10 percent.  

17                  I want to tell you a story about an 

18           individual who I've worked with who 

19           retired -- he actually did retire about three 

20           years ago.  I worked with him, he was a SUNY 

21           Oswego student in 1970.  He came in as one of 

22           the first classes of EOP in SUNY Oswego.  And 

23           he's a writer.  He stayed on for many and 

24           various administrative jobs.  Eventually I 


 1           asked him to be my executive assistant, and 

 2           he stayed with me in the president's office 

 3           for 20 years.  His name is Howard Gordon.  

 4           He's a published writer.  He was an amazing 

 5           partner for me in the president's office.  

 6                  And one day I asked him about the EOP 

 7           program.  And I said, you know, when it was 

 8           so new, what was important to you?  Why 

 9           did -- you know, he would tell me about some 

10           of the discriminatory actions of 

11           student-to-student on campus and things that 

12           faculty members said that might be considered 

13           microaggressions today.

14                  I said, "How did you get through?"  He 

15           said, "You know what?  The EOP stipend that I 

16           got made me know that New York State was 

17           pulling for me.  I knew that it was 

18           important."

19                  So EOP for me is real.  EOP for me 

20           makes a difference.  And I will always fight 

21           for more.

22                  We're going to do what we can.  We're 

23           going to add maybe more premed or more 

24           preprofessional programs in EOP.  And we're 


 1           going to hopefully increase the stipends for 

 2           existing students and perhaps add students to 

 3           the EOP mix.  

 4                  Am I missing anything, Cheryl?

 5                  STUDENT ADVOCATE HAMILTON:  No, we're 

 6           certainly grateful for the 10 percent 

 7           addition that's in the Executive Budget.  We 

 8           feel that any additional support can make it 

 9           possible to increase our students' success 

10           rates.

11                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN FORREST:  I'm sorry, I 

12           couldn't really hear.  But I do echo your 

13           sentiments.  And thank you for your support 

14           for more beyond 10 percent.  Thank you.  

15                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So Senator 

16           Krueger, do you --

17                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  We have one more.  

18           We have three minutes for Toby Stavisky, a 

19           second round for her.  And then I believe 

20           we're done.

21                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

22                  Real quick, because it's sort of like 

23           a football game and I don't want to get a 

24           delay-of-game penalty.


 1                  Can you compare -- I asked a question 

 2           earlier about the full-time-student 

 3           enrollment decline.  Can you provide us a 

 4           campus by campus breakdown so that we can 

 5           take a look at further information on that 

 6           score?

 7                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yes.

 8                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah.  

 9                  Secondly, let me just really quick 

10           mention a source of student potential 

11           enrollment, and that's the international 

12           students.

13                  As the COVID rate goes down, I think 

14           there should be real outreach to the 

15           international students.

16                  My two questions really concern 

17           improving on-time graduation and retention.  

18           And second -- well, let's see if we can do 

19           this one in a minute.

20                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Improving 

21           on-time graduation and retention?

22                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  In other words, how 

23           is -- what are the trends in on-time 

24           graduation and the retention of students, not 


 1           having them drop out or go someplace else?

 2                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, you 

 3           know how we measure the six-year graduation 

 4           rate, the four-year graduation rate?

 5                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Right.

 6                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  SUNY is 

 7           ahead of the state rate, and SUNY is ahead of 

 8           the national rate on both counts.  So we're 

 9           doing pretty well there.  But we are 

10           making -- we are making movement constantly.

11                  The retention rate is very important.  

12           It's important to make progress toward 

13           degree.  We have to look at the COVID 

14           numbers, and that has impacted retention.  So 

15           we're -- you know, I don't know if I could 

16           give you the numbers this year on what the 

17           retention is yet.  But it certainly has 

18           suffered since COVID.

19                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  If you could get 

20           back to us with that.

21                  And the other part of my question is 

22           it bothers me that SUNY and CUNY are spending 

23           money on remediation.  How much are you 

24           spending on remediation and doing what the 


 1           high schools should have done in the -- in my 

 2           opinion, in the first place?

 3                  You can get back to me because there's 

 4           really -- I'm running out of time.

 5                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I don't 

 6           know exactly the dollar amount, but I do know 

 7           that we are trying to move away from 

 8           remediation totally.  And the community 

 9           colleges are making great strides in math 

10           pathways and corequisite English, so that 

11           students will not be placed in remediation 

12           courses.

13                  We have not moved away from them 

14           totally at this point, and I don't know 

15           exactly the amount of money that we're 

16           spending on them, but we can certainly get 

17           back to you on that.

18                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Good.  Thank you.

19                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Assembly, I think 

20           it's yours, because the Senate's done for 

21           now.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Okay.  So 

23           Assemblywoman Seawright for three minutes.

24                  (Pause.)


 1                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  I'm having 

 2           trouble unmuting here.  

 3                  So thank you, Chairs Weinstein and 

 4           Krueger.  

 5                  Chancellor Stanley, first as a parent 

 6           of two SUNY graduates who are currently 

 7           graduate students at your campus, I want to 

 8           thank you for bringing your stellar academic 

 9           and administrative record to the SUNY system 

10           at this critical time for the hundreds of 

11           thousands of families served by this higher 

12           education institution.

13                  Here's my question.  President Biden 

14           has tried to persuade Congress to move in the 

15           direction of providing free tuition at 

16           community colleges, but without success thus 

17           far.  With all of the community colleges -- 

18           do you think the Governor's Executive Budget 

19           goes far enough in addressing greater access 

20           to our community colleges, which are on the 

21           frontlines of higher education democracy here 

22           in New York?

23                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  So I 

24           didn't catch all of that, but you're talking 


 1           about free community college?  

 2                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  So President 

 3           Biden has tried to get Congress to support 

 4           greater access for community colleges and 

 5           free tuition.

 6                  Do you think the Governor's Executive 

 7           Budget goes far enough in advocating for 

 8           greater access to our community colleges?

 9                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, I 

10           think we can always go beyond where we are 

11           for access.  You know, I think we certainly 

12           could look at free tuition.  But that has 

13           not -- if you look at all of the factors on 

14           free tuition, it does not necessarily impact 

15           enrollment to the extent that we might think 

16           it does.  

17                  We support part-time Pell.  We 

18           support -- many of the graduates in community 

19           colleges graduate debt free.  So at this 

20           point we're looking at a pretty good model in 

21           the community colleges.  And the part-time 

22           Pell we think -- and the part-time TAP -- 

23           will help a great deal.

24                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  So President 


 1           Biden has tried to encourage Congress to 

 2           provide free tuition to our --

 3                  (Zoom connection lost.)

 4                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  You're 

 5           breaking up quite a bit, so it's hard to 

 6           hear.

 7                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  Let me turn 

 8           off my video and you can hear me better.

 9                  Can you hear me now?

10                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes.  You have 

11           30 seconds, Rebecca.

12                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  I just want 

13           to echo my colleague Harvey Epstein in 

14           support of --

15                  (Zoom audio dropped.)

16                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So we've lost 

17           Rebecca, but she agrees with Harvey.

18                  So we will go to the next -- 

19           Assemblymember Buttenschon.

20                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN BUTTENSCHON:  Good 

21           morning.  Or good afternoon, excuse me.  Good 

22           afternoon, Chairs and Chancellor.  Thank you 

23           all for your leadership.  

24                  I come from a family of SUNY graduates 


 1           and understand the importance of all that you 

 2           do.  Many of my colleagues have brought many 

 3           topics and issues that I support regarding 

 4           maintaining our community college floor, 

 5           childcare, EOP, students with special needs 

 6           concerns and the challenges that they have 

 7           brought forward.

 8                  You spoke of SUNY's mission and 

 9           highlighted the rubric of importance of 

10           utilizing data and expanding partnerships.  I 

11           have the honor to represent Mohawk Valley 

12           Community College, Herkimer College, and 

13           SUNY Poly.

14                  Over the last two years SUNY Poly has 

15           increased its student population, has vibrant 

16           partnerships at the federal -- as well as 

17           industry and business.  On the federal level, 

18           the Air Force Research Lab; industry with 

19           Wolfspeed, that has dedicated 1.5 million for 

20           hiring and retaining faculty; and endless 

21           business partnerships.  

22                  One of my colleagues had brought up 

23           the issue regarding possibly making some 

24           changes in the SUNY system that would reflect 


 1           negatively with SUNY Poly.  I would ask if 

 2           you could advise me clearly if data as well 

 3           as many of the -- that is incorporated within 

 4           the SUNY mission is considered before any 

 5           changes are made at this time.

 6                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  

 7           Absolutely it will be.  And of course it will 

 8           be appropriate data that -- certainly 

 9           enrollments, as you talk about; partnerships, 

10           public-private partnerships; research 

11           opportunities -- all of these things will be 

12           looked at when we're talking about what 

13           happens and the end result of this proposal.

14                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN BUTTENSCHON:  Again, I 

15           appreciate that answer.  I know that it is so 

16           important that we look at strategic planning 

17           with changes that are made within the SUNY 

18           system.  

19                  I've had the honor prior to serve 

20           20 years within the SUNY system, starting as 

21           a student intern and finishing my career as a 

22           dean.  So I do understand the importance of 

23           strategically looking at changes that need to 

24           be made.


 1                  And again, I would just request that 

 2           any discussion looks at SUNY Poly as a model 

 3           of everything that you've talked about today 

 4           in regards to the ability to be a leader and 

 5           just continue that leadership within the SUNY 

 6           system as we approach the importance of 

 7           affording our students so many opportunities 

 8           in so many parts of the great State of 

 9           New York.

10                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  You have 

11           my assurance.

12                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN BUTTENSCHON:  Thank you, 

13           Chancellor.

14                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

15                  We go to Assemblywoman Griffin.

16                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Okay.  Thank 

17           you, Chair Weinstein and Chair Krueger.  

18                  And it's nice to meet you, Chancellor 

19           Stanley.  I appreciate all the work you've 

20           done so far.

21                  I am also a SUNY graduate, as well as 

22           my husband.  So I really admire all that SUNY 

23           does and how SUNY has grown.  Every decade 

24           SUNY has, you know, been that much more of an 


 1           education institution.  

 2                  And I completely agree with a lot of 

 3           the things mentioned by my colleagues, with 

 4           expanding childcare, mental health services, 

 5           you know, making strides in services for 

 6           students with disabilities.  And I have 

 7           Nassau Community College where I represent, 

 8           Nassau County in Long Island, and 

 9           Nassau Community College is a great school, 

10           great place for students to go for two years, 

11           maybe go on from there to stay local, save 

12           money.  So I am all behind anything we can do 

13           to make that more affordable and increase the 

14           floor funding for that college -- those 

15           colleges, community colleges.

16                  I just -- I don't know if this was 

17           asked, and forgive me if I missed it, but I 

18           wanted to ask about the Excelsior 

19           scholarships.  I've been in office -- this is 

20           my fourth year, and I have yet to meet one 

21           constituent that is a recipient of the 

22           Excelsior Scholarship.  So I'd just love that 

23           information, love to find out how many 

24           students does the Excelsior really help.  And 


 1           is it something we should look for increasing 

 2           access, increasing the salary that a family 

 3           has to make to get that scholarship.

 4                  And I just wondered if you could maybe 

 5           impart some of your opinion on the Excelsior, 

 6           its success, you know.  And also if you can 

 7           provide a current -- not now, you know, but 

 8           provide a current list of Excelsior 

 9           recipients, perhaps by district, so we would 

10           know how many students in our district take 

11           advantage of Excelsior.

12                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  I'm not 

13           sure that that list would be available due to 

14           privacy issues, so we probably could not 

15           provide you that list.

16                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  I don't 

17           mean -- I'm sorry --

18                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  But we 

19           could provide you gross numbers -- we could 

20           provide you probably gross numbers.

21                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  I meant to say 

22           the numbers.

23                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Okay.  

24           Yes, we could certainly provide you gross 


 1           numbers.

 2                  Excelsior I think has about 20,000 

 3           students right now that are being helped by 

 4           that scholarship program.  And actually I was 

 5           looking at data about Excelsior, and it looks 

 6           as if the retention rates are higher for 

 7           students who are on -- of course it's built 

 8           into, it's kind of baked into the Excelsior 

 9           plan that you have to have 30 hours every 

10           year, you have to be making progress on your 

11           degree.  So the retention issues -- and you 

12           can't stop out or you lose any ability to go 

13           forward with Excelsior, and it may make the 

14           previous payments a loan.

15                  So it's a good way of kind of 

16           attaching students to their degree progress 

17           and making them go forward.  So the retention 

18           rates are higher and the graduation rates are 

19           higher.

20                  So I think those things are very 

21           positive items for students.  So I -- this 

22           year Governor Hochul has increased the amount 

23           of the Excelsior scholarship to match better 

24           the SUNY charge for tuition, and she's 


 1           proposed that.  I think that would be a very 

 2           good thing.

 3                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Okay.  Thank 

 4           you so much.  Thank you.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 6                  We go to Assemblyman Cahill, three 

 7           minutes.

 8                  ASSEMBLYMAN CAHILL:  Thank you very 

 9           much.  

10                  And welcome, Chancellor.  It's good to 

11           see you.  It's good to have a person with a 

12           background at our comprehensive colleges at 

13           the helm, at a time when our comprehensive 

14           colleges are facing such serious challenges.

15                  I'd like to ask you just to give your 

16           view on the Governor's proposal for flagship 

17           universities and "national university" status 

18           for certain of our schools, and in particular 

19           to discuss how that might work interacting 

20           with the comprehensive colleges.

21                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Well, we 

22           don't know much about what the flagship 

23           designation means.  I mean, we all have our 

24           ideas about what "flagship" means by looking 


 1           at other states at this point.

 2                  We believe that all of our 

 3           doctoral-granting institutions, especially 

 4           our four doctoral centers, are magnificent 

 5           schools and they all do a wonderful job.  

 6           They all have great research programs, they 

 7           are all certainly awarding doctoral programs 

 8           {sic}, they have very good statistics on the 

 9           type of students they bring in and how they 

10           graduate those students.

11                  So as far the flagship designation is 

12           concerned, we're looking at it.  What does it 

13           mean?  The Governor's budget has not actually 

14           been reflective of what a flagship means.  

15           There's nothing attached in the budget 

16           numbers that shows us any differentiation of 

17           a flagship designation.  So as we go forward, 

18           we will have to think about that carefully.  

19                  What does it mean for the 

20           comprehensives?  Well, I think it does mean a 

21           distinction, and it has -- but I can't say 

22           that I think it's a distinction that hasn't 

23           already been made.  There has always been a 

24           distinction between the doctoral-granting 


 1           institutions and the comprehensives as far as 

 2           whether or not students want a particular 

 3           type of institution to study at.  And some 

 4           students are on the fence, they don't really 

 5           know which one they want to study at.  But 

 6           there are differences in those institutions, 

 7           and I'm not sure flagship makes a difference 

 8           in that respect.

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN CAHILL:  Thank you.  I'm 

10           going to run out of time, but I want to cover 

11           a few other things very quickly.  One of the 

12           things I would ask that there be a greater 

13           focus on -- and I saw and I was very happy to 

14           see the Governor include a significant amount 

15           of funding for new faculty lines across SUNY 

16           and CUNY.  But 340 lines divided amongst all 

17           of our campuses doesn't really add up to 

18           enough to overcome the years of neglect that 

19           SUNY has suffered under when it comes to 

20           restoring full-time faculty.

21                  I would urge you and also my 

22           colleagues to make it our business to do all 

23           we can to restore funding for more full-time 

24           lines, particularly at our comprehensive 


 1           colleges.  You know, our president of our 

 2           local college said, you know, we have an 

 3           obligation to be a steward of place, but you 

 4           are primarily an institution of education.

 5                  I'm going to run out of time, but I 

 6           want to also draw your attention to some of 

 7           the issues surrounding our community colleges 

 8           in the state and the fact that a significant 

 9           number of people who participate in them do 

10           not matriculate, graduate, get the courses 

11           that they need and are unsuccessful at the 

12           end of it, so -- but I have run out of time 

13           and I will look forward to an opportunity to 

14           see you face-to-face and have that 

15           conversation.

16                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Yes.  

17           Thank you.

18                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We've been 

19           joined by Assemblyman Colton and 

20           Assemblywoman Cook.  

21                  And our final questioner is 

22           Assemblywoman Glick for her second round of 

23           three minutes.

24                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 


 1           much.

 2                  We've talked a bit about the Excelsior 

 3           scholarship.  I'd just like to just for a 

 4           moment mention the STEM scholarship.  This 

 5           provides for any student who graduates in the 

 6           top 10 percent of their high school, anywhere 

 7           in the state, and is studying in the STEM 

 8           disciplines, a scholarship, you know, a free 

 9           tuition at SUNY or CUNY.

10                  It comes with a little bit of a hook 

11           that says if you do not get a job in your 

12           chosen field, it will revert to a loan.  

13           Which I think is sort of a, you know, a dirty 

14           trick if somebody is looking to go back home 

15           in an area that doesn't have as much STEM 

16           commerce but they want to go home to where 

17           their family is or whatever.

18                  What is SUNY doing to assist students 

19           so that we retain them in the state and they 

20           do not have that scholarship turn into a 

21           loan?

22                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  You know, 

23           we actually retain a lot of students in the 

24           state.  We retain over 85 percent of the 


 1           students that graduate in the state.  But of 

 2           course they may not be in -- they either are 

 3           in higher education or in careers.  They may 

 4           not be in the career of their choice right 

 5           away when they graduate.

 6                  So what is SUNY doing?  Well, we 

 7           certainly all have career offices on our 

 8           campuses.  But career offices are changing a 

 9           great deal.  We're working with alumni.  We 

10           are working with corporations for internships 

11           and apprenticeships.  It's making that 

12           pipeline, it's making those connections while 

13           students are in school in order to place them 

14           in the careers that they're looking for and 

15           give them the practical experience that gives 

16           them a leg up when they get into those 

17           careers.  

18                  So we need to expand that to a greater 

19           extent clear across the system.  Most of the 

20           comprehensive institutions are doing this at 

21           a great clip.  Certainly the research 

22           institutions are doing that.  And they're 

23           doing that with their research as well.  When 

24           you have students in the lab, that certainly 


 1           helps.

 2                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Well, thank you.  

 3                  I would just say that Excelsior 

 4           requires somebody to stay in the state for 

 5           five years so that it doesn't become a loan.  

 6           But they could go home and do flower 

 7           arranging with mama and they are not 

 8           penalized.  So I think that, you know, the 

 9           STEM scholarship students need a little bit 

10           more help.

11                  And I just, in the moments -- I would 

12           just want to raise one other issue which you 

13           won't have time to respond to, but to get it 

14           on your radar.  Out-of-state colleges, the 

15           for-profits are doing a lot to recruit 

16           students to online courses.  So perhaps at 

17           some future point you can inform us of what 

18           the plan is to get SUNY into that business 

19           and make it as available to students as these 

20           other campuses that use a lot of money for 

21           advertising, which you don't have.  What's 

22           the plan for you to compete in that arena?  

23                  Thank you.

24                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Thank 


 1           you.

 2                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 3                  So we are finished with questions.  I 

 4           just want -- for you, and I want to thank you 

 5           for being here, Chancellor Stanley.  And I 

 6           think there may be a couple of questions 

 7           that -- where you may be sending us answers, 

 8           where there wasn't time to do that.  So just, 

 9           you know, a reminder to the members we will 

10           share -- the Senator and I will share those 

11           answers with you.

12                  Again, thank you for being here.

13                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Yes, thank you 

14           very much.

15                  INTERIM CHANCELLOR STANLEY:  Thank 

16           you.

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Next we're 

18           going to call in Chancellor Rodríguez, the 

19           chancellor for the City University of 

20           New York, CUNY.  

21                  And you will have -- there you are, 

22           Félix.  You will have 10 minutes to make a 

23           presentation.  We've already distributed your 

24           testimony, so feel free to summarize, and 


 1           then we'll go to some questions from members.

 2                  Thank you.

 3                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Thank you, 

 4           and good afternoon, Chairs Krueger, 

 5           Weinstein, Stavisky and Glick, and the 

 6           members of the Senate Finance, Assembly Ways 

 7           and Means, and the Senate and Assembly Higher 

 8           Education committees, staff and guests.  

 9                  I'm delighted to be here with you this 

10           afternoon.  I'm joined by our chief operating 

11           officer, Héctor Batista, and our chief 

12           financial officer, Matt Sapienza.  

13                  Thank you so much for the opportunity 

14           to testify this afternoon.  I am proud to 

15           share the many steps that CUNY has taken to 

16           assist in the state and the city's recovery 

17           and advance CUNY's mission of social 

18           mobility, education and knowledge creation.  

19           I also am extremely optimistic about the 

20           future and CUNY's priorities, plans and goals 

21           for the coming fiscal year and beyond.  

22                  I am extremely honored and humbled to 

23           lead the premier and largest urban public 

24           university in the United States, serving 


 1           about 260,000 degree-seeking students and 

 2           another 185,000 in adult and continuing 

 3           education programs, and with nearly 40,000 

 4           faculty and staff at our 25 campuses.  

 5                  On behalf of the entire CUNY 

 6           community, I want to thank Governor Hochul, 

 7           the State Senate and the State Assembly for 

 8           your steadfast and sustained support, which 

 9           has enabled CUNY to deliver strong results 

10           for our students and the citizens of New 

11           York.  Governor Hochul has been a long-time 

12           friend to CUNY and her commitment to higher 

13           ed is evident in her Executive Budget 

14           proposal.  

15                  In the past year, even though it was 

16           difficult, there were many triumphs for CUNY.  

17           We completed the 2020-'21 academic year and 

18           awarded 59,295 degrees -- the largest number 

19           of degrees in the 175-year history of CUNY. 

20           And that number represents a 5 percent 

21           increase over the previous year.  

22                  The ability of the CUNY community to 

23           reach this milestone in the face of 

24           unprecedented challenges exemplifies the 


 1           perseverance of the students, the 

 2           determination of the faculty and staff, and 

 3           the importance of our mission.  Among those 

 4           who received a diploma this year were the 

 5           first graduates of the Macaulay Honors Bridge 

 6           Scholars program, a new program that opened 

 7           the Macaulay experience to community college 

 8           transfer students.  

 9                  The federal Higher Education emergency 

10           Relief Funds were used to advance a number of 

11           initiatives that directly assisted our 

12           students -- among them, the expansion of 

13           mental health services to assist increasing 

14           numbers of students at CUNY struggling with 

15           the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We 

16           used $5 million from federal stimulus funding 

17           in each of the last two fiscal years, 

18           allowing colleges to reach more students with 

19           face-to-face online counseling and other 

20           remote and in-person wellness services.  

21                  Thanks to federal relief funds, CUNY 

22           made history by launching the CUNY Comeback 

23           Program, erasing more than $100 million in 

24           unpaid tuition and fees for more than 57,000 


 1           students through what we believe is the 

 2           country's largest debt-forgiveness initiative 

 3           of its kind.  

 4                  Additionally, the CUNY Comeback 

 5           Program granted relief in the form of 

 6           enhanced emergency grants for students who 

 7           did not accrue unpaid tuition and fee 

 8           balances during the period but experienced 

 9           financial hardship stemming from the 

10           pandemic.

11                  We also stopped the practice of 

12           withholding student transcripts due to 

13           failure to pay past or present tuition in 

14           August of 2021, a policy that was made 

15           permanent by our board at its past 

16           January 31st meeting.  And we congratulate 

17           the Governor for including this in her budget 

18           request.  

19                  CUNY oversaw the timely distribution 

20           of $455 million in emergency grants from 

21           three federal stimulus bills.  In the fall of 

22           2021, all degree-seeking students received 

23           funds from the ARPA allocation.

24                  And even with the challenges the 


 1           pandemic has created, prestigious national 

 2           organizations continue to signal the 

 3           phenomenal return on investment New Yorkers 

 4           get from CUNY.  Let me give you three quick 

 5           examples.  Ten of CUNY's four-year colleges 

 6           have been named among the top-performing 

 7           public schools in the Northern U.S. in 2021 

 8           by U.S. News & World Report rankings.  Ten of 

 9           our senior colleges also were among the top 

10           50 colleges in the nation, and two of our 

11           colleges were among the country's top 10, 

12           according to Third Way, a public policy think 

13           tank, using economist Raj Chetty's work to 

14           create an economic mobility index.  

15                  And not to be left behind, six of our 

16           community colleges were invited to compete 

17           for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community 

18           College Excellence, considered by many as the 

19           highest recognition for community college 

20           achievement in the nation.  And those six 

21           were the only ones in the entire State of 

22           New York to be invited to participate.  

23                  We are also providing direct 

24           assistance to the wider community in fighting 


 1           COVID-19.  Eight CUNY colleges across all 

 2           five boroughs hosted vaccination sites and 

 3           pop-ups, collaborating with the city, state 

 4           and federal governments to vaccinate over 

 5           520,000 New Yorkers on the grounds of our 

 6           campuses.  Also, more than 2,500 CUNY nursing 

 7           and medical students stepped forward to help 

 8           run vaccination sites all across New York 

 9           City.  

10                  In the fall of 2021, we increased also 

11           our in-person class offerings.  And this 

12           spring semester, a majority of our class 

13           offerings are in-person, while we're also 

14           offering more online and hybrid courses than 

15           we ever did before the pandemic began.  

16                  CUNY is also a research powerhouse 

17           where externally sponsored research and 

18           programs totaling over $500 million 

19           contribute knowledge and develop solutions 

20           for critical regional and national challenges 

21           including the climate crisis, energy, public 

22           health, and other public impact areas.  Just 

23           this fall, CUNY secured one of only seven 

24           national awards for an innovation hub through 


 1           a $15 million grant from the National Science 

 2           Foundation.  

 3                  Now let me comment briefly on Governor 

 4           Hochul's Executive Budget, which would 

 5           increase CUNY's operating budget by over 

 6           $171 million.  The Governor's proposal to add 

 7           $53 million to hire approximately 540 new 

 8           full-time faculty would fulfill a request 

 9           from CUNY built around student-centered 

10           priorities.  We know that full-time 

11           instructors have a particularly high impact 

12           in courses that have low passing rates, 

13           provide more consistent opportunities for 

14           faculty mentoring and advising, and have more 

15           time to focus on the development of new 

16           courses and the revision of existing ones.  

17                  Additionally, Governor Hochul's 

18           Executive Budget contains a number of welcome 

19           improvements to the TAP program.  The 

20           Executive Budget would increase state support 

21           to CUNY four-year colleges by $59.6 million 

22           to cover the so-called TAP gap; include TAP 

23           awards for part-time students enrolled in 

24           degree programs and in non-degree 


 1           state-approved workforce credentialing 

 2           programs; and also propose the repeal of 

 3           legislation banning incarcerated individuals 

 4           from receiving state financial aid.  

 5                  We have advocated for similar changes 

 6           in the past and thank the Governor for her 

 7           leadership in making these changes.  

 8                  We're also grateful for almost 

 9           $48 million in increased funding for CUNY’s 

10           fringe benefits budget.  Unlike state 

11           agencies, CUNY's fringe benefits are a 

12           line-item appropriation in our state budget. 

13           Annual funding increases are vital, as our 

14           fringe benefits costs account for almost a 

15           quarter of the university's total operating 

16           budget.  

17                  For the community colleges, the 

18           Executive Budget includes a 100 percent 

19           funding floor, equated to current-year 

20           funding levels.  This will assist our 

21           community colleges with budget stability and 

22           is something that CUNY advocated for in our 

23           budget request for 2023.  

24                  With respect to the capital budget, 


 1           the Executive proposal recommends 

 2           $792.8 million in new funding, $284.2 million 

 3           for critical maintenance, and $425 million 

 4           for expansion and improvements at the senior 

 5           colleges.  

 6                  The Governor's budget also adds 

 7           $44.8 million in matching funding for 

 8           community college projects that have already 

 9           received funding from the City of New York. 

10           These funds are needed to maintain our 300 

11           buildings, totaling 29 million square feet 

12           across 25 campuses, and to expand where 

13           needed.  And those dollars, as you know, for 

14           every million dollars in construction 

15           spending, we create 1,000 direct and indirect 

16           jobs for the local economy, and it allows us 

17           to continue to support our MWBE vendors.  

18                  I am extremely optimistic about the 

19           future of this great university, especially 

20           in light of the challenges we have overcome 

21           these past two years.  I thank you for your 

22           support.  

23                  And this concludes the abridged 

24           version of my testimony, but please note that 


 1           I have submitted a more comprehensive version 

 2           for the record.  I'm delighted to be here to 

 3           answer any questions that you have -- and 

 4           ended up with time to spare.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  You must have 

 6           sat with a timer to get it down to just the 

 7           10 minutes.

 8                  We go to our chair of Higher Ed, 

 9           Assemblywoman Glick.

10                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thanks.  We were 

11           having a little bit of trouble with the 

12           rodent mouse.

13                  Okay, thank you so much, Chancellor.  

14           It's always good to see you.  And as a CUNY 

15           grad, I'm very proud of all of the work that 

16           the university does.

17                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Thank you.

18                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  It got me and my 

19           sisters to where -- and their husbands -- to 

20           where we are today, and we're very grateful.

21                  The operating aid is very welcome 

22           news, but, you know, it's over a long period 

23           of time of disinvestment.  So what is the 

24           actual -- it's a nice bump-up, but you have a 


 1           large cohort of students, hundreds of 

 2           thousands.  So what's the actual deficit on 

 3           the number of full-time faculty that you 

 4           would really need in order to expand your 

 5           proper ratio for full-time faculty to 

 6           students and adjunct instructors?

 7                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, 

 8           thank you for that question.

 9                  The proposal of the 540 full-time 

10           lecturer lines that was included in the 

11           budget would actually significantly reduce 

12           our reliance on part-time faculty, going back 

13           to the point that you make.

14                  Our budget request had included 1,000 

15           new faculty lines, including the 540, so we 

16           could also fill in existing vacancies in 

17           other areas too.  So that was part of our 

18           budget request for 2023.

19                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Great.

20                  Now, again, on your capital needs, a 

21           lot of your buildings are, you know -- it's 

22           New York City, they're a little bit older 

23           than some of the campuses that might be in 

24           other parts of the state.


 1                  At the current rate that is included 

 2           in this budget, how long will it be for you 

 3           to upgrade the facilities that you have, and 

 4           how many proposed upgrades and new buildings 

 5           will it take -- how many years would it take 

 6           for you to get to where you want to be, at 

 7           this current support level?  Which is better 

 8           than we've had in the past, admittedly.  But 

 9           there are a number of -- I get the requests 

10           from various campuses, they need this, they 

11           need that.  

12                  Where does this get you, and how many 

13           allocations like this will it take for you to 

14           build out the campuses as you'd like?

15                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So thank 

16           you for that.

17                  And I forgot to begin by also bringing 

18           greetings to you, an alum, from the 727 CUNY 

19           students who are part of your district.  I 

20           always travel with all of them when I come to 

21           talk to all of you here, the Assembly and the 

22           Senate.

23                  I don't think that we've made the 

24           calculation in the way that you have 


 1           formulated your question.  We can certainly 

 2           do that and provide you that figure.  

 3                  But clearly we have a need for 

 4           additional critical maintenance support for 

 5           our campuses.  It is a great investment for 

 6           the City of New York.  You know, our campuses 

 7           are not just used by us, they're used by the 

 8           DOE, they used them during the pandemic when 

 9           they needed extra classrooms.  They're used 

10           for early voting.

11                  So any dollars that you invest in CUNY 

12           infrastructure is not just great for our 

13           educational mission, but the multiplying 

14           effects in the neighborhoods where our 

15           campuses are really, really significant.

16                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Let me just turn 

17           to -- we have, over the last 10 years, done a 

18           very good job of incrementally increasing our 

19           opportunity programs and providing more 

20           resources.  And we are grateful to the 

21           Governor for, you know, not -- for not only 

22           giving an increase, we are so thrilled we 

23           don't have to backfill.

24                  But I'm wondering if someone on your 


 1           staff at some point can inform us of how many 

 2           students apply that you cannot serve, based 

 3           on what you have allocated in this budget.  

 4           So we know that those programs get students 

 5           on track, keep them on track, and graduate 

 6           them on-time or close to on-time.  And we 

 7           assume that there are students that are 

 8           turned away, and through only the lack of 

 9           resources.

10                  So if we could get that number, that 

11           would be helpful.

12                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Certainly 

13           happy to provide that.

14                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I want to thank 

15           you for your debt forgiveness and transcript 

16           position -- that has been extremely 

17           important -- and for the emergency grants 

18           that I know that you worked very hard to 

19           raise funds for.

20                  I'm wondering about where -- when I 

21           went to school we did not have food 

22           insecurity issues.  We might have had 

23           cafeteria, you know, inadequacies, but we did 

24           not have the level of food insecurity.


 1                  What is the current status of campus 

 2           food pantries, and what kind of assistance is 

 3           being offered to students?  And how much more 

 4           could we be doing if you got additional 

 5           resources specifically for that?

 6                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So, I 

 7           mean, it's a huge issue.  And one of the 

 8           things that we're doing now, for example, is 

 9           a very aggressive campaign to get as many of 

10           our students who are eligible for SNAP to be 

11           able to qualify.  Because those are dollars 

12           that we can't be leaving on the table, which 

13           is additional support for students.  

14                  So we have an entire web page and a 

15           strategy and are working with some private 

16           funders to be able to secure and direct more 

17           students there.

18                  During the pandemic we learned a 

19           number of things.  Our food pantries became 

20           open to all CUNY students.  And I would argue 

21           that probably in the future, Assemblywoman 

22           Glick, it would be through partnerships with 

23           local community groups that we can better 

24           attack food insecurity, right?  Because if 


 1           our students are living in whatever community 

 2           they live, they should be able to access 

 3           their food there.

 4                  So I think that down the line a public 

 5           policy that connects us with other ones who 

 6           are engaged in food insecurity at the 

 7           neighborhood level will probably be a smarter 

 8           way from a public policy perspective.  We 

 9           will always have the food pantries and all 

10           those things, but it's much better to meet 

11           the students where they live, where they have 

12           the need.

13                  And that's where I would invest 

14           dollars, even if they didn't come to CUNY.  

15           But if they were going to the right community 

16           groups and agencies, then they were able to 

17           support our students where they live.  

18                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Well, perhaps we 

19           can have, with some of your staff, more of a 

20           conversation of what partners are out there 

21           and that you're currently working with --

22                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Yup.

23                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  -- and see what 

24           we can do about directing resources there.


 1                  Now, I think we're all very excited 

 2           about part-time TAP.  Where do you think you 

 3           will see -- do you think that will be most 

 4           helpful in our community colleges, or do you 

 5           think that that's going to be across the 

 6           board, that support?  And of course that 

 7           part-time TAP is targeted to undergraduates.  

 8           So what are your thoughts about how it will 

 9           help, where it will help, and any other 

10           thoughts you have about what more we could do 

11           in that arena?

12                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  It's a 

13           long-awaited change, and kudos for the step 

14           in the right direction.  And I think as we do 

15           more -- and you and I have spoken about 

16           this -- we'll see where the added need is and 

17           we can maybe allocate additional resources.

18                  Clearly our largest sector of 

19           part-time enrollment is at the community 

20           colleges.  And I think that that's where we 

21           will see, you know, the highest volume 

22           assisting.

23                  I also think that it's going to be 

24           very beneficial to the enrollment issue that 


 1           that sector has been experiencing, because I 

 2           think you have a lot of students that have 

 3           been affected economically, healthwise, in 

 4           their families, because of the pandemic, and 

 5           the idea of going full-time can be 

 6           intimidating.  And so by attending part-time 

 7           with support from TAP, we get them engaged, 

 8           we get them back into higher ed.  So I think 

 9           that this is, you know, one of the best news 

10           in the entire budget, this support for 

11           part-time TAP.

12                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  One of the 

13           things the Governor is very keyed in on is 

14           expanding our healthcare professions in terms 

15           of -- you know, from my point of view, 

16           nursing is one of the most important.  

17           Because if you're in the hospital, that's 

18           90 percent of who you're going to see, are 

19           going to be nurses.

20                  You have a lot of nursing programs.  

21           Perhaps somebody can tell us how many people 

22           you have to turn away and whether or not they 

23           are working with their students to explain to 

24           them that there are scholarships available, 


 1           through the state, for continuing their 

 2           education and focusing them on also thinking 

 3           about becoming nurse educators.  And 

 4           expanding those programs to perhaps find 

 5           nurses who have, maybe through this pandemic, 

 6           thought maybe they'd rather be teaching 

 7           rather than going back to hospitals.  

 8                  So perhaps we can work together on -- 

 9           and maybe your folks could get back to us on 

10           what you're doing with nursing programs and 

11           getting students to think about continuing 

12           their education in that arena.

13                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  We can 

14           send you that.  And thank you for raising 

15           that point, because to expand our capacity, 

16           one of the main issues is the shortage of 

17           teaching professionals in nursing.  So very 

18           much in line with your colleagues, and we're 

19           happy to provide the information that you 

20           requested.

21                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

22                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Thank you.

23                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to the 

24           Senate.  


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

 2                  And we go to our Higher Ed chair, Toby 

 3           Stavisky.

 4                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  I guess I have a 

 5           rodent problem too, with the mouse.

 6                  Chancellor, thank you.  And I 

 7           appreciate our conversations as recently as I 

 8           guess last week.

 9                  Real quick, you spoke about full-time 

10           faculty.  What is the ratio of full-time 

11           faculty at CUNY now?  

12                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  I don't 

13           know that number offhand.

14                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Will you have 

15           someone get back to us?  

16                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Yeah, 

17           absolutely.  Absolutely, yes.

18                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay.  

19                  The second question.  We passed the 

20           TAP expanding eligibility to DREAM students.  

21           How has that impacted CUNY?  Do you know how 

22           many students, Dreamers, have enrolled at 

23           CUNY?

24                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So we can 


 1           get you that information.  

 2                  We have about 5,500 undocumented 

 3           students, is our calculation, in the system.  

 4           And it's been a game-changer for them in 

 5           terms of some steady support.  So kudos to 

 6           the Senate and the Assembly for that support.  

 7           And if we can do more, I'm sure that those 

 8           students would continue to benefit from that.

 9                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  I think that's a 

10           terrific idea, frankly.

11                  A couple of other questions -- because 

12           many of them have been addressed.  I asked 

13           the chancellor of SUNY, and I want to ask you 

14           the same question.  I am concerned about -- 

15                  (Zoom interruption.)  

16                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Excuse me?  

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Go ahead, Toby.  

18           I'm sorry, I forgot my microphone was on.

19                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  I am concerned 

20           about the students who I think somewhere may 

21           have left high school, never made it to CUNY, 

22           and I think the community colleges are the 

23           perfect place for -- or the four-year 

24           colleges, either way.


 1                  But what have you been doing to reach 

 2           out to work with the New York City Department 

 3           of Education to find these students and to 

 4           have them enrolling in the community colleges 

 5           or the four-year colleges?  To me, that will 

 6           help any decline in enrollment very, very 

 7           dramatically.

 8                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So we've 

 9           done a great number of things.  

10                  And let me also bring you greetings on 

11           behalf of the 9,764 students of CUNY that are 

12           in your district, Senator.  

13                  SENATOR STAVISKY:   Are you talking 

14           about current students?

15                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Yup.

16                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Wow.  Okay.

17                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So we 

18           created a number of programs with the DOE.  

19                  We got support from the Petrie and the 

20           Bloomberg Foundation, for example, to create 

21           a program to have students at CUNY mentor, 

22           graduating kids, so that you wouldn't have 

23           the summer melt, it will stay with them, and 

24           make sure that they enroll and they came to 


 1           class.  And it provided internship money, a 

 2           stipend for our students, so a win/win in all 

 3           scenarios.

 4                  We also had the first community 

 5           college exclusive sort of marketing campaign 

 6           from the central office.  We were 

 7           particularly looking at African-American and 

 8           Latino students, because we saw that there 

 9           was a decline in those numbers, particularly 

10           the community college enrollment session.

11                  So we did a number of things to be 

12           able to work with the DOE and others to bring 

13           those students into CUNY, and we will 

14           continue to do more. 

15                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  The Governor's 

16           Executive Budget has various provisions for 

17           the so-called flagship four-year colleges of 

18           SUNY.  How do you feel about applying this 

19           concept to CUNY?  

20                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  We don't 

21           use the flagship term at CUNY.  I think -- I 

22           welcome the focus from the Governor in 

23           expanding research funding throughout the 

24           state, and we would like for CUNY to benefit 


 1           from that investment.

 2                  Research creates knowledge, but also 

 3           research funding attracts additional research 

 4           dollars.  So we want those dollars in 

 5           New York City.  We're talking about bringing 

 6           the city back.  It would be a great way to 

 7           have added support for research, because 

 8           that's going to multiply knowledge and it's 

 9           going to multiply grants into CUNY.  

10                  And also think about the equity issue.  

11           A lot of our researchers of color in the 

12           state, and the students, the graduate 

13           students, are in CUNY.  So we would like to 

14           be able to see an initial investment there 

15           too, and are delighted that the Governor is 

16           focusing on research overall for higher ed.

17                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  Because 

18           I too agree that CUNY has tremendous research 

19           potential, which I'd love to see in reality.

20                  You and I discussed the question of 

21           mental health support for your students.  

22           Would you comment on that issue and what 

23           you've done and what's there in the budget?

24                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Thank you.


 1                  So we have used stimulus funding, the 

 2           funding that's going to the colleges, 

 3           $5 million in each cycle, to bring in 

 4           additional in-person and virtual support and 

 5           mental health for the students.  

 6                  We would love to be able to get 

 7           additional support, we think about maybe 

 8           $8 million in the budget would be appropriate 

 9           for this, to continue those investments that 

10           we made.  And also to cover some of the 

11           schools that we were not able to provide any 

12           funding because they were not -- the students 

13           did not qualify for the stimulus funding.

14                  So -- and I want to thank also, 

15           because I know that you were key in getting 

16           that additional million last year in the 

17           budget, and would we like to have those 

18           things as baseline.

19                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  And you and I 

20           discussed what happened in reality when we 

21           did not increase tuition last year and this 

22           year, including the shortfall that may have 

23           resulted.

24                  How would you address that issue of -- 


 1           because I totally believe we must not rely on 

 2           the students to support higher education.  

 3           This is a state requirement.  And certainly 

 4           we're trying to reverse the trend.  But I 

 5           don't want to see CUNY or SUNY affected by 

 6           it.  

 7                  How has this no-tuition-increase 

 8           policy affected CUNY?  

 9                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  I mean, it 

10           is something that has been beneficial to our 

11           students.  We have also with the community 

12           colleges, as you know, not raised tuition for 

13           now over five years.  So we did it before it 

14           was something that was included in the 

15           budget.

16                  But we have mandatory costs that we 

17           have to meet.  Right?  And for example, in 

18           the -- and we're so appreciative for the 

19           filling of the TAP gap on this budget.  But 

20           that is based on the tuition about three 

21           years ago.  

22                  So those last two years and then this 

23           incoming year, going, those three years of no 

24           increases have left a gap of about 


 1           $133 million in our campuses, which we need 

 2           to cover the mandatory costs, the commitments 

 3           we made -- for example, the large significant 

 4           bump for adjuncts goes into this summer's -- 

 5           into this year's budget.  We'll be able to -- 

 6           sort of be able to fulfill all that with that 

 7           additional support of $133 million.

 8                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

 9                  Obviously, you know, we discussed this 

10           and I just wanted to -- everybody to hear the 

11           effect, because I am so totally committed to 

12           increasing the state support and reversing 

13           this terrible trend of requiring the students 

14           to pay for what the state should be doing.

15                  What have you been doing to improve 

16           student graduation rates?  In other words, 

17           coming closer to the traditional four-year, 

18           two-year graduation?  

19                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, 

20           again, I mentioned in my testimony that we 

21           broke the record of the number of graduates 

22           at CUNY in this year, and you would think 

23           that a year with so many challenges, right, 

24           that that would not have been the year in 


 1           which that would occur.

 2                  So -- and we were 5 percent over the 

 3           year before.  That was the second highest 

 4           number in our history.

 5                  So programs like ASAP, on the 

 6           community college side, keep improving the 

 7           overall numbers there.  Many of our 

 8           colleges are including different aspects of 

 9           those programs into the regular attainment, 

10           making sure that students take 30 credits in 

11           the year, they remain on pace to be able to 

12           graduate -- all those things that are best 

13           practices that most of our campuses have 

14           incorporated and we see that now in the 

15           graduation -- in the graduation rate.  

16                  Obviously additional financial support 

17           is important.  During the pandemic we also 

18           did the switching of -- for a year of 

19           courses -- the students had the option of 

20           taking credit/no credit courses to navigate 

21           their needs.  I think that was very helpful, 

22           and the students mentioned that flexibility 

23           as something that helped them.

24                  So we're taking a comprehensive look.  


 1           And actually we had a one-day conference two 

 2           months ago of best practices across the 

 3           system to continue to deliver on higher 

 4           graduation rates.

 5                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

 6                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Thank you.

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to our 

 8           ranker on Ways and Means, Assemblyman Ra, for 

 9           five minutes.

10                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Thank you, Chair.  

11                  Chancellor, thanks for being with us 

12           again.

13                  Just along the same lines of what 

14           Chair Stavisky was just talking about with 

15           regard to the tuition freeze.  I'm just 

16           wondering specifically -- you know, we know 

17           costs always go up.  Obviously with the 

18           record inflation we're experiencing, I would 

19           imagine there's any number of things that are 

20           perhaps going up even more so.

21                  So just wondering, you know, again if 

22           you can shed any light on that, how that has 

23           impacted the costs of the school relative to, 

24           you know, what we should be thinking about 


 1           when making investments in this budget.

 2                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, 

 3           thank you.  And again, greetings from the 

 4           189 CUNY students that are part of your 

 5           district.  So thank you for your support.  

 6                  And for us, clearly, being able to 

 7           keep the mandatory costs -- I mean, it was 

 8           really important for us, the covering of the 

 9           fringe benefit costs which as you know is 

10           something that we always have to add into the 

11           budget.  So we appreciate the fact that the 

12           Governor included it this year.  I mean, 

13           fringe benefits is, you know, about 

14           25 percent of our costs.  So that's a huge 

15           investment.

16                  And again, if we could get sort of 

17           that number that I mentioned, which is about 

18           133, which would have been if we had had 

19           tuition increases over the last three 

20           years -- which we didn't -- and it's probably 

21           doing the right thing for the students, 

22           right, in terms of what they need.  But we 

23           have made commitments in terms of our labor 

24           contracts, in the case of a number of other 


 1           things.  If we could get that support back, 

 2           it would be a huge advantage to us.

 3                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  I always love that 

 4           you have those statistics ready for us, 

 5           because it brings it all home about the 

 6           impact on our individual districts.  So thank 

 7           you for that.

 8                  The one other question I had, you 

 9           know, talking to Chancellor Stanley, you 

10           know, about the floor, the funding floor and, 

11           you know, the 100 percent of last year's 

12           number, which is -- which is good and 

13           provides some continuity.  But we know that, 

14           you know, given what we're coming through 

15           here, that perhaps looking back a couple of 

16           years, maybe even pre-pandemic, might be more 

17           beneficial.

18                  Do you know what that number would 

19           look like in terms of the difference in the 

20           funding at 100 percent if we're basing it on 

21           '21-'22, as opposed to if we went back to the 

22           last pre-pandemic year of '18-'19?

23                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So I don't 

24           have that offhand, but we can certainly make 


 1           that available for you.

 2                  And we -- the -- in our budget request 

 3           we asked for this funding floor, and in 

 4           addition $300 dollars in base aid.  But I can 

 5           certainly get those numbers to your office.

 6                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Okay, that would be 

 7           great.  Thank you, Chancellor.  

 8                  Thank you, Chairs.

 9                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Thank you.  

10                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to the 

11           Senate.  

12                  I think somebody may have their mic 

13           unmuted.

14                  The Senate?

15                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

16                  We go to John Liu, our chair of 

17           New York City Education, for 10 minutes.

18                  SENATOR LIU:  Thank you so much, Madam 

19           Chairs.  

20                  Thank you, Chancellor, for joining us.  

21           It's always a pleasure to see you.  Let's 

22           start with the pleasure before we get to the 

23           pain.

24                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Can we just have 


 1           whoever try to mute so that you're not 

 2           overlapping John Liu?  Thank you.

 3                  SENATOR LIU:  Thank you, Madam Chair.

 4                  I appreciate your testimony, 

 5           Chancellor, and the responses that you've 

 6           given to my colleagues before.  I guess, you 

 7           know, we're -- I feel like we're in some kind 

 8           of twilight zone when we're celebrating a 

 9           $124 million increase to CUNY.  Right?  I 

10           mean, it just doesn't seem like a lot to 

11           celebrate.  It's -- it might taste great, but 

12           it's less filling.

13                  So I've often posed this question to 

14           you, and I'll pose it again to you.  Right?  

15           What if somehow there was a lot more money 

16           for CUNY?  And I guess, more specifically -- 

17           I don't recall you talking about this 

18           recently.  You know, the PSC and students and 

19           a lot of CUNY advocates, myself included, and 

20           Senator Gounardes, they put forth this plan 

21           called New Deal for CUNY.  What do you think 

22           about the major components of this New Deal 

23           for CUNY?  And is it something that we should 

24           aim for?  Is it something that's in your 


 1           chancellorship's eyes?  Or is it just 

 2           something that -- are we going down a blind 

 3           alley here?

 4                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, 

 5           thank you always for your questions.  And, 

 6           you know, I also bring you greetings on 

 7           behalf of the 10,833 CUNY students that are 

 8           part of your district.  So thank you for your 

 9           support --

10                  SENATOR LIU:  I think it's down from 

11           12,000 last year.

12                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  My note 

13           says that is an increase.  But I can 

14           double-check that for you.

15                  SENATOR LIU:  Okay.

16                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  But 

17           there's still a kind of quite a sizable group 

18           there.

19                  But -- so again, many of the elements 

20           that are present in the CUNY New Deal are 

21           things, for example, that we included in our 

22           budget proposal, like the additional number 

23           of full-time faculty, additional number of 

24           personnel for mental health services.  


 1                  One element, for example, which is of 

 2           particular interest to me -- which is not 

 3           addressed directly in the CUNY New Deal -- 

 4           but is support for our infrastructure and 

 5           career services.  If we want additional paid 

 6           internships, if we want additional 

 7           connections to industry, if we want the 

 8           pipeline of our courses and curriculum to be 

 9           better aligned, we need to have the 

10           individuals who are out there connected with 

11           industry bringing that knowledge back, 

12           connecting our students.  And frankly, it's 

13           one area where in CUNY we have work to do and 

14           it's often not mentioned when we think 

15           about -- we talk about advising as a general 

16           category, and that's an important category, 

17           and academic advising is.  

18                  But the advisement of students to 

19           connect with the world of work, where half of 

20           our students come from families that do not 

21           have parents who have a college education, I 

22           think it's particularly, particularly 

23           important and would pay great benefits if we 

24           have added support in that arena.


 1                  SENATOR LIU:  That seems like a 

 2           relatively minor budget item, at least from 

 3           the advocates' point of view.  It's a 

 4           $28 million cost over five years.

 5                  So I guess that your -- that's the 

 6           first thing that you would mention as part of 

 7           the New Deal for CUNY that they didn't --

 8                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  I think I 

 9           mentioned before that in the budget request 

10           we included faculty and additional mental 

11           health support.  And I was saying something 

12           that was not part of the elements of the 

13           New Deal.  But I mentioned faculty and mental 

14           health support and the academic advisors too.

15                  So I was just signaling something 

16           which I think we don't include often and is 

17           moving forward a key element if we want to 

18           really succeed in connecting our students to 

19           the world of work.

20                  SENATOR LIU:  Sure, I appreciate you 

21           mentioning faculty.  It is certainly a huge 

22           part of the New Deal for CUNY, getting 

23           full-time faculty.  You know, it looks like 

24           CUNY is at half the national average with 35 


 1           full-time faculty per 1,000 students, as 

 2           compared to nationwide, which is more like 65 

 3           per 1,000 students.

 4                  So what do you think, do you think 

 5           students -- current students and potential 

 6           students care about the faculty/student 

 7           ratio?  Because the interim SUNY chancellor a 

 8           couple of hours earlier didn't seem to think 

 9           that students cared.

10                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, 

11           again, I did not listen to her testimony, but 

12           given her track record, I'm sure that that is 

13           not what -- I mean, I didn't hear, so I'm not 

14           going to comment on that.

15                  But, I mean, clearly when any of us -- 

16           right, you go to a reunion, you bring alumni 

17           back, they often remember a faculty member 

18           that was inspirational and important in their 

19           life.  It's one of the things that in all 

20           those places always matters.  

21                  So really -- and that's why we made in 

22           our request a big push for additional 

23           full-time faculty.  They're there for you for 

24           advisement, for mentorship.  They're there 


 1           year to year to year, right, so it gives some 

 2           consistency.

 3                  You know, because I know that you took 

 4           your teaching duties very seriously, and you 

 5           still do, they're also important for 

 6           reference letters, to be able to support you 

 7           when you're looking for jobs.  Right?  All 

 8           those things that having someone who is 

 9           consistently there for you matters.  

10                  So I think it's a key thing for 

11           universities.  It is a part of any student's 

12           success strategy.  And it's also part of our 

13           investment in research and the creation of 

14           knowledge and dissemination of knowledge, 

15           which is what -- you know, part of the core 

16           reasons for a university.  So absolutely.  

17           Absolutely.

18                  SENATOR LIU:  Okay, so you think that 

19           the faculty -- having a larger 

20           faculty-to-student ratio is something that 

21           students would like to see, and that having 

22           more full-time faculty, which is what the 

23           private colleges like to boast in their 

24           records, is also a good thing for students?  


 1                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  

 2           Absolutely.

 3                  SENATOR LIU:  All right.  And then a 

 4           big part of the New Deal for CUNY has to do 

 5           with tuition, curtailing the rise of tuition.  

 6           You talked about how there hasn't been an 

 7           increase for the last three years, which I 

 8           think is a great thing.

 9                  But can we do even more than that?  

10           And would it be a priority if the money was 

11           somehow there, to not only hold the line on 

12           tuitions but actually reverse the line on 

13           tuitions -- again, with this interim goal of 

14           getting the percentage of CUNY operating 

15           costs paid for by tuitions back down to what 

16           it was 20 years ago.

17                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So again, 

18           there's no doubt that a policy that would 

19           make tuition free for the students would be 

20           beneficial to the students.  Right?  

21                  The other part of that question is, 

22           are you going to have the resources so that 

23           the education that you're receiving and the 

24           experience that you receive is a quality one?  


 1           Right?  And that is the part that is often 

 2           not addressed in formulations about free 

 3           tuition.  Right?  

 4                  So I think that most people would say 

 5           that if you could have the resources 

 6           available to be able to have the highest 

 7           quality education possible and not charge 

 8           tuition, that would be a win/win scenario.

 9                  We are very proud of the fact that, 

10           you know, about 75 percent of our students 

11           graduate with no debt and about 66 percent of 

12           our students -- between the support from the 

13           state, which is very generous with TAP and 

14           Pell -- pay no tuition.

15                  SENATOR LIU:  Great.  Thank you so 

16           much.  I just have one last quick question 

17           for you, which is kind of a pet peeve of mine 

18           because I taught there for a little bit, and 

19           that is the -- at the Murphy School of Labor 

20           Studies.  And I believe CUNY, under your 

21           leadership, has given them a little bit more 

22           resource, an additional floor for them to 

23           have classes.  

24                  They have a great idea.  They want to 


 1           be able to use some of their classroom space 

 2           for some kind of a labor museum during the 

 3           daytime, when obviously they don't have many 

 4           students, because the students at Murphy are 

 5           all full-time workers.  So what do you think 

 6           of that idea?  

 7                  And, you know, they don't want you to 

 8           have to pay for the whole thing, but they do 

 9           need some kind of a slight lease expansion.

10                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  We are 

11           very proud to have supported their request, 

12           and they're getting about 50 percent 

13           additional space, not just for their 

14           classrooms but also for the library and some 

15           of their administrative needs.  So we're 

16           very, very supportive of that school as it 

17           continues to galvanize -- and I think that, 

18           again, we have many of our campuses that have 

19           exhibits in part of their space, and we are 

20           fully supportive of those kinds of 

21           partnerships.  

22                  I want to focus on really 

23           strengthening and solidifying our great 

24           School of Labor, and -- but any partnership 


 1           that they want to do, that they're going to 

 2           have with assisting space, it's music to my 

 3           ears.

 4                  SENATOR LIU:  Thank you.  

 5                  Madam Chair, see, I ended on time.  

 6           Like I always do.  Thank you.  

 7                  Thank you, Mr. Chancellor.

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, 

 9           Senator Liu.  

10                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

11           Assemblyman Epstein, three minutes.

12                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you, 

13           Chair.

14                  And thank you, Chancellor, for all 

15           your work and being with us today.

16                  You know, I wanted to talk to you 

17           about the struggles that we've seen with 

18           students who, you know, have food insecurity, 

19           transportation insecurity, housing 

20           insecurity, and how CUNY can be a better 

21           provider for them.  We've seen a lot of young 

22           people who haven't been able to continue 

23           their education.  And I know this is 

24           something that you hear regularly, and I hear 


 1           it as well, you know, part-time students 

 2           can't make it, they're dropping out.

 3                  What -- you know, I know you've done a 

 4           lot of expanding food pantries across every 

 5           campus and allowing people to go eat.  But 

 6           I'm wondering what you haven't done yet.  

 7           What are the -- where are the holes that we 

 8           need to start filling for all these young 

 9           people?

10                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, 

11           thank you for that.  As I mentioned in the 

12           questions from Assemblywoman Glick, I do 

13           think that we need to provide some core 

14           elemental support.  The food pantries in our 

15           campuses.  Make sure the students qualify for 

16           every possible benefit, right?  Those things 

17           are steps in the right direction.

18                  But I also think that moving forward, 

19           and I think the pandemic taught us a lot 

20           about supporting people where they are in 

21           food insecurity.  So I think that 

22           partnerships with some of the nonprofits that 

23           occupy this space might be the way to go in 

24           terms of really -- because those are the 


 1           neighborhoods where the students live, right?  

 2           Probably easier for them to shop in that 

 3           community, be around that community to get 

 4           their needs met.

 5                  So I think that that is work that we 

 6           want to do.

 7                  On the housing insecurity, we have a 

 8           couple of --

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Chancellor, can 

10           I ask you, what do you need to help make that 

11           work?  What do you need from us to allow 

12           those partnerships to flourish?

13                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  You know, 

14           I think that we should have -- I mean, and 

15           because food insecurity was such a key issue 

16           during the pandemic, right?  I mean, not that 

17           it was not before, but I think it drove it 

18           home.  I think that we should really sit down 

19           together with the folks who are doing 

20           innovative work in that space, because I 

21           think there's a lot of -- and we saw it.  

22                  We have, for example, deliveries of 

23           food that some of our campuses took in the 

24           pandemic because they were not coming to the 


 1           campus, right?  So it means that meeting them 

 2           where they are is the key thing.  And there 

 3           might be some institutions better suited than 

 4           we are in making that, and we use it to make 

 5           the connections.  

 6                  So I just want to be in the space of 

 7           not just doing the same things that we've 

 8           been doing, but try to be more innovative to 

 9           really meet the student where the need is.

10                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  That's great, 

11           chancellor.  And I'd really look to the 

12           Medgar model because I think they have a very 

13           comprehensive model of food, social worker 

14           support at Medgar Evers.

15                  And, you know, I'm happy to sit down 

16           with you, you know, past budget, just to 

17           really think this through more, because I 

18           think this is a critical thing that we 

19           haven't grappled with.

20                  And I know I only have, you know, 

21           30 seconds left, so maybe quickly on housing 

22           and quickly on transportation.

23                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So on 

24           housing, we have a number of pilots that 


 1           we're working with several nonprofits in the 

 2           Bronx that are very promising --

 3                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  What do you need 

 4           from us, Chancellor?  I'm sorry, I know what 

 5           you're doing.  I would love to know what you 

 6           need.

 7                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So, I 

 8           mean, on the housing front I would imagine 

 9           that since we don't provide housing, 

10           partnerships for us to work with the entities 

11           that provide housing to make those 

12           connections happen and make them lasting.

13                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  And how about 

14           transportation needs that students have?

15                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  I mean, 

16           I've -- you've heard this from me before.  

17           When you are in the DOE, right, you get your 

18           books, you get meals and you get 

19           transportation.  You graduate and three 

20           months later you show up in my campus -- in 

21           any of my campuses, and none of those things 

22           are covered.  

23                  So any additional support that we can 

24           get to support that -- ASAP has shown us the 


 1           difference that providing transportation 

 2           costs for the students makes.  So any 

 3           investment there would be well received. 

 4                  Thank you.

 5                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you, 

 6           Chancellor.  Thank you, Chair.

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 8                  To the Senate.

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

10                  And we're back to Robert Jackson.

11                  SENATOR JACKSON:  So good afternoon, 

12           Chancellor, and to your chief operating 

13           officer and chief financial officer.  

14                  Let me just say this to you.  I looked 

15           at your stats, and you said you had the 

16           highest number of graduates ever in CUNY, and 

17           I'm so proud of that.  How did you do it?

18                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  With 

19           thanks to the very dedicated faculty and 

20           staff that we have, and the tenacity of New 

21           York City students that wanted to persevere 

22           and they really wanted to make their 

23           education count during the pandemic.  So the 

24           students and our faculty and staff and the 


 1           entire team are the heroes in making that 

 2           happen.  Thank you.

 3                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, congratulate 

 4           them on my behalf.

 5                  But I have a question.  The PSC last 

 6           contract made substantial gains for adjunct 

 7           lecturers and professors.  Teaching a 

 8           three-credit course at CUNY will move them to 

 9           a single of $5,500.  However, they still do 

10           not have pay parity with full-time faculty of 

11           the same title.

12                  Would you support legislation that 

13           provides funding for CUNY to increase adjunct 

14           faculty pay to achieve parity with full-time 

15           lecturers?

16                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So in this 

17           budget proposal we have the high bump that we 

18           negotiated where adjuncts will go to $5500, 

19           which is a significant increase from where 

20           they are right now.  So I'm very proud of 

21           that increase.

22                  And so again, we're delighted to be 

23           supportive to do more for our adjuncts.

24                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, clearly when 


 1           you pay staff and you're paying them a decent 

 2           wage, they stay.  If you don't pay them well, 

 3           they leave.  And that -- we need continuity 

 4           of services provided, in order to increase 

 5           the graduation rate that you're doing now.  

 6           So please keep up the good work.

 7                  But do you think that expanding TAP 

 8           for five years and/or restoring eligibility 

 9           to graduate students, in addition to allowing 

10           optional semesters, quarters or terms 

11           eligible for awards, will have a similar 

12           result in enrollment, student achievement, as 

13           you stated for your part-time TAP expansion?

14                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  We have 

15           seen the difference that TAP makes in our 

16           students' lives.  So support for them, like 

17           the one that we see in this budget for 

18           part-time and for people that were 

19           incarcerated, are huge steps into bigger 

20           equity and having larger numbers of students 

21           take advantage of higher ed.

22                  SENATOR JACKSON:  So Senator Stavisky 

23           mentioned mental health professionals.  From 

24           my understanding, CUNY has chosen to hire 


 1           part-time temporary mental health counselors 

 2           to try to meet the needs of students.  With 

 3           increased funding, are you committed to 

 4           hiring permanent, full-time mental health 

 5           counselors during and after this pandemic?

 6                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So I'm not 

 7           sure that that -- about that statistic, about 

 8           just hiring part-time mental health folks, so 

 9           I'll double-check on that.  But that's why I 

10           made the point that we would like to make the 

11           money that we used from the stimulus dollars, 

12           that we used for two years, we'd like to make 

13           that permanent so we have a steady, regular 

14           support of in-person and online support for 

15           our students' mental health.

16                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, thank you, my 

17           time is up -- $253 million for CUNY and 

18           $253 million for SUNY.

19                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, Robert 

20           Jackson.

21                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Next up is 

23           Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright.

24                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  Thank you, 


 1           Chair Krueger and Chair Weinstein.

 2                  Chancellor, it's great to see you 

 3           today.  Thank you for your leadership as 

 4           chancellor of one of the largest public urban 

 5           university systems in the nation.

 6                  I know of your long-standing and 

 7           vigorous efforts to create opportunities for 

 8           students entering the healthcare professions, 

 9           but there's still a construction hole in the 

10           ground in my district at 74th Street and 

11           New York Avenue which should be a new Hunter 

12           college facility to serve nursing students 

13           and faculty, which we're in need of more than 

14           ever now with the pandemic.

15                  What can be done to help move this 

16           vital project forward?

17                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, 

18           thank you, Assemblywoman and alum.  And also 

19           I bring you greetings from the 1,225 students 

20           in your district.

21                  I forgot to mention the 6,800 in 

22           Senator Jackson's district.  So my apologies 

23           to him.

24                  You'll be very happy to hear that we 


 1           have issued a request for information to look 

 2           at potential partnerships that would allow us 

 3           to really move forward with that space in -- 

 4           that would support Hunter science and nursing 

 5           and other health faculty.

 6                  So we put out that request for 

 7           information.  We want to see what kinds of 

 8           partnerships are there so that we can 

 9           maximize resources and actually bring to 

10           fruition this space that we've been talking 

11           so long about.

12                  And there's been a lot of interest, so 

13           we're very, very enthusiastic about being 

14           able to move forward with that project soon.

15                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  Terrific.  

16           Thank you, Chancellor.

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Back to the 

18           Senate.

19                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  And to Senator 

20           Andrew Gounardes.

21                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  Thank you very 

22           much, Senator Krueger.  

23                  Hello, Chancellor.  Good to see you.

24                  I know we've touched on this a little 


 1           bit, but I want to go back to the proposed 

 2           funding levels in the Governor's budget this 

 3           year.  The CUNY Board of Trustees in October 

 4           had asked for an increase of an additional 

 5           $313 million in operating support to support 

 6           a whole host of investments in hiring staff 

 7           and some research and support services, 

 8           et cetera, but you're only getting about 

 9           $120 million of that.  That's a very, very 

10           big gap.

11                  Do you feel that with the funding that 

12           the Governor is proposing you can still meet 

13           the kind of goals and expectations that the 

14           Board of Trustees has laid out from their 

15           original budget request a few months ago?

16                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So thank 

17           you, Senator.  And again, greetings on behalf 

18           of the 10,370 CUNY students that are part of 

19           your district.

20                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  More than any 

21           other district.  I represent more CUNY 

22           students than any other district, I believe.

23                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Do you 

24           want me to --


 1                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  I want you to 

 2           answer the question.  We can talk more about 

 3           that later.

 4                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Our data 

 5           has to be high, Senator, comp -- so that -- I 

 6           don't want to create any competition here.

 7                  But again, this has been really one of 

 8           the best budgets from the Executive that CUNY 

 9           has had in a very, very long time.  We're 

10           very appreciative of that.  We also know that 

11           getting to sort of -- you know, longer-term 

12           gaps in funding is something that takes time.  

13           So this is definitely a step in the right 

14           direction.  We would like to see additional 

15           investment.  We put that out there in our 

16           request of additional full-time faculty, 

17           additional personnel in areas like mental 

18           health and career services.  But this is 

19           clearly a step in the right direction.

20                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  Thank you for 

21           that.

22                  And similarly, on the capital side, 

23           you know, the Board of Trustees had asked for 

24           437 million; the Governor is proposing 324.  


 1           That's a much smaller gap.  

 2                  I know you've answered a bunch of 

 3           questions about the capital, especially from 

 4           Assemblywoman Seawright.  What will that 

 5           324 million go towards?  What are the big 

 6           capital priorities that CUNY is laying out 

 7           that they want to tackle with this money 

 8           moving forward?

 9                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:   We are 

10           actually in the process of addressing, you 

11           know, what will we prioritize with those 

12           additional dollars.  

13                  Clearly there's a need for additional 

14           critical maintenance.  We all, for example, 

15           have seen how important things like 

16           ventilation that was not too sexy, for 

17           example, are so important as we deal with the 

18           pandemic.  So we'd like to be able to 

19           continue some of these investments that we 

20           have made in that area.

21                  We might be able also to invest in 

22           some new projects that we have not been able 

23           to in the past, in some of the campuses that 

24           have been able to address new or newer 


 1           facilities.  So we are in the process of 

 2           doing that analysis there.

 3                  And we'll be happy to receive your 

 4           feedback and your thoughts as we move forward 

 5           with that process.

 6                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  Thank you very 

 7           much, Chancellor.

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 9                  Assemblywoman.

10                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I actually have 

11           a question, Chancellor.  If nothing else, if 

12           you can tell me how many students I have, and 

13           then I have a real question.

14                  (Laughter.)

15                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Three 

16           thousand nine hundred and twenty-one in your 

17           district.

18                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  See, Senator 

19           Gounardes, and an Assembly district is much 

20           smaller than a Senate district.

21                  (Laughter.)

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So in all 

23           seriousness, Chancellor, I just was wondering 

24           about the CUNY School of Labor and Urban 


 1           Studies.  I know that it's really been doing 

 2           well in these past years and that they're 

 3           looking for additional classroom space and 

 4           have suggested or put forward a proposal for 

 5           a Labor Museum for New York City, a very 

 6           large labor city.

 7                  I was just wondering if you could give 

 8           us an update on the school and if that 

 9           proposal is something that may -- that you're 

10           looking to go forward with.

11                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, 

12           thank you for your question.

13                  We -- you know, we are very proud of 

14           the sustained growth that the School of Labor 

15           and Urban Studies has had over the past three 

16           or four years.  And we -- as I mentioned 

17           earlier, we've allocated additional resources 

18           to almost meet 50 percent of the space that 

19           they have now, so they can expand for their 

20           class offerings, and also space they needed 

21           for a library space and for some 

22           administrative space that we're in, you know, 

23           in need for.  

24                  So we're happy -- I think that's going 


 1           to be ready fairly -- fairly soon to do that.

 2                  And at CUNY we have a tradition of 

 3           working with a lot of museums and other 

 4           institutions utilizing our space for 

 5           galleries, for exhibits.  So fully supportive 

 6           if the School of Labor Studies wants to use 

 7           any of their existing space to collaborate in 

 8           having exhibits and things of that nature.  I 

 9           think it's a great partnership.

10                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I guess some of 

11           the issue is that it's been so successful, 

12           the school, that they need even more space.  

13           So that's certainly something we could talk 

14           about going forward, I would think.

15                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  

16           Absolutely.  Absolutely.  Thank you.

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

18                  So now we'll send it back to the 

19           Senate.

20                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you. 

21                  I see Brad Hoylman just popped up with 

22           his hand.  So Senator Brad Hoylman.

23                  SENATOR HOYLMAN:  Thank you, 

24           Chairwoman Krueger.  I just wanted to follow 


 1           up on Senator -- thank you, Senator Krueger.  

 2                  I want to follow up on Assemblywoman 

 3           Seawright's question about capital.  Why not 

 4           use capital that's already afforded in the 

 5           budget, allocated in the budget, Chancellor, 

 6           for any new construction at Hunter College, 

 7           in particular with the nurses' building?

 8                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So first, 

 9           greetings from the 2,949 CUNY students in 

10           your district.

11                  We have made no determination about 

12           how we're going to be using the new capital, 

13           right?  I mean, it actually still needs to be 

14           approved at the end of the budget process.  

15           Right?  So, you know, we're doing that as is 

16           now.  There's 25 campuses in the system, and 

17           many of them have needs for additional space 

18           too.  So we will put all those things at the 

19           end of the budget process and determine what 

20           are the best investments that we can do.  

21           There might be some areas also, Senator, in 

22           which we can leverage, in public-private 

23           partnerships and leverage our state dollars 

24           in capital to be able to do more.


 1                  That's why, for example, this request 

 2           for information is out there, to be able to 

 3           see what kinds of creative ways we can use to 

 4           leverage the good funding that we receive 

 5           from all of you in a way that it will 

 6           maximize money for Hunter and for other 

 7           campuses too.  

 8                  So we have not made any determination.  

 9           And clearly, if we were not interested in 

10           advancing the project, we would not have put 

11           the request for information out there.

12                  SENATOR HOYLMAN:  Okay.  Just -- I 

13           guess it begs the question we have, you know, 

14           hundreds of millions of dollars we dedicate 

15           to CUNY for capital, and it's a little 

16           frustrating that we as legislators don't know 

17           where that money's allocated.  But I guess 

18           you're telling me that it takes time -- in 

19           this case, I guess it takes decades -- to 

20           determine.

21                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Well, what 

22           I said was -- you were asking about the 

23           capital at a location that was proposed in 

24           the budget now, and that was what I responded 


 1           to, saying that we have not made a 

 2           determination because it hasn't been approved 

 3           yet, right?  

 4                  We can provide you with the 

 5           information about all the -- in every year 

 6           how we have allocated our capital funding 

 7           request.  That has been done.

 8                  SENATOR HOYLMAN:  Is it something you 

 9           support, the use of capital funding in the 

10           budget for this purpose?

11                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Whatever 

12           we're going to end up doing at Hunter, we're 

13           going to need to have a capital allocation, 

14           absolutely.  But we're also trying to be 

15           proactive and identify other possibilities, 

16           like a public-private partnership, that would 

17           leverage additional dollars that would allow 

18           maybe to even do more than we can do now, if 

19           we can bring a different partner in.

20                  So we're trying to be as creative as 

21           we can to be supportive of a great project 

22           and a great opportunity.

23                  SENATOR HOYLMAN:  And in my district, 

24           at the Brookdale Campus, too, on the 


 1           East Side, I just want to thank you for your 

 2           support of that and the Macaulay Honors 

 3           Program.

 4                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Assembly.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I believe we 

 6           have Assemblywoman Glick for her second round 

 7           of three minutes.

 8                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Very briefly, 

 9           Chancellor, I think a few members have 

10           mentioned the Murphy School of Labor, which 

11           the point is they do need some additional 

12           space.  The reluctance seems to be that some 

13           of that space would lie fallow part of the 

14           time.  The classroom space would be fallow 

15           during the day, and that's why they have 

16           suggested this alternative use, so that the 

17           space that they need, the additional space 

18           that they need could be acquired and that 

19           CUNY would not feel like it was being 

20           underutilized.

21                  So I just want to weigh in on that.

22                  My question -- my question is around 

23           sustainability.  Obviously it's a big 

24           question.  New York City is a large 


 1           metropolis, and there are lots of things that 

 2           are on the table.  So I'm just wondering what 

 3           things are CUNY -- what steps has CUNY 

 4           decided to take, what have they taken 

 5           already, and what do you see on the horizon?  

 6                  You know, the city is doing things 

 7           like getting rid of single-use plastics, 

 8           energy efficiency, all of those things that 

 9           reduce our carbon footprint and your 

10           expenses.  But obviously sometimes you have 

11           to spend money to make these improvements.  

12                  Where are you, what are your plans?

13                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So that is 

14           a very important priority for all of us.  And 

15           if you don't mind, I'd much rather maybe have 

16           your office -- and share with members here -- 

17           some of the things that we've done in a 

18           comprehensive way.  

19                  Because, you know, I can talk about, 

20           for example, a project at your old campus, 

21           Queens College, with NYSERDA, in which we're 

22           trying to see if we can store energy in 

23           electric vehicles that would serve as a 

24           backup for electricity on the campus but then 


 1           also fuel the -- you know, those vehicles 

 2           moving forward.

 3                  So we have, I mean, like this, many, 

 4           many initiatives.  And I'd much rather, 

 5           instead of using all your time, send you a 

 6           report on that and then, you know, talk about 

 7           the ones that you might find more 

 8           interesting.

 9                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I appreciate 

10           that.  

11                  And I just wanted to say at this point 

12           that the focus -- Borough of Manhattan 

13           Community College is in my district, and 

14           everybody seems to be weighing in on the 

15           capital needs around their campuses.  So I 

16           just would be remiss if I didn't plant a flag 

17           for the many needs at -- it is an 

18           enormously -- you know, it is so used -- day, 

19           night.  They have a number of capital needs 

20           that I hope will wind up on the list.

21                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Thank you.

22                  (Laughter.)

23                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thanks.

24                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Senator 


 1           Krueger, do you --

 2                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  Yes, 

 3           I have myself, and then I think I have --

 4                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We have an 

 5           Assemblymember.

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Yes, sorry.  

 7           Myself, then the Assemblymember, then Toby 

 8           Stavisky. 

 9                  So hello, Chancellor.  Nice to see 

10           you.  How many students do I have?  Come on.

11                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Two 

12           thousands, four hundred and twenty-six.

13                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  A lot 

14           more coming through -- I think I have three 

15           campuses of yours in my district.

16                  We've talked about this every time 

17           we've ever met, but it's already been raised 

18           by Assemblywoman Seawright and Senator 

19           Hoylman.  Just, again, we need a nursing 

20           school.  The one you've got is going to 

21           collapse underground soon.  It's not even a 

22           building you own anymore; the City of 

23           New York owns it.  And we just need to 

24           address the crisis ASAP.


 1                  I'm glad you have an RFP out on it.  

 2           I'm not telling you how you have to do it.  

 3           I'm just saying you all know that we have a 

 4           nursing shortage and it's just almost 

 5           untenable that we're not doing something to 

 6           speed along the creation of a new location to 

 7           train your nurses.

 8                  So I'm just not -- it's not even a 

 9           question, I'm just stating it as a fact 

10           there.

11                  I asked SUNY, so I'll ask you the same 

12           thing -- and I don't expect you to know now, 

13           but to get back to us all.  If we look over 

14           10 years, what's the ratio of administrators 

15           to faculty in the CUNY system?  Because 

16           there's a belief that the number of 

17           administrators keeps growing as the number of 

18           full-time faculty don't keep growing.  And 

19           that is a concern.

20                  But we'd like to see the numbers, and 

21           maybe we're wrong.  So I did ask CUNY the 

22           same question.  

23                  So then we'll jump into the shocking 

24           reduction in the number of students, 


 1           particularly at CUNY community colleges.  

 2           I've been here in the Senate long enough to 

 3           have been around the last recession that 

 4           almost collapsed the world, back in 2008, and 

 5           we saw a growth in students because when the 

 6           economy tanks, usually the pattern is to see 

 7           an increase in the number of people who go to 

 8           school, because there aren't really jobs 

 9           available.

10                  And yet in this crash -- granted, a 

11           different kind of crash, with a pandemic 

12           attached to it.  We've seen also a plummet of 

13           CUNY students -- and again, my understanding 

14           is primarily in the community colleges.  And 

15           yet at the same time, we've seen -- and my 

16           data may be wrong, but it's been reported to 

17           me that during the pandemic, the number of 

18           New Yorkers who went into the online 

19           out-of-state non-certified proprietary 

20           colleges doubled, from 45,000 to 90,000.

21                  Those are my least favorite models 

22           because they have accountability to no one, 

23           and the record shows that the outcomes for 

24           the vast majority of their students is 


 1           terrible.

 2                  So something's not jiving.  They're 

 3           not going to our schools, but they still want 

 4           to go to school, and they're pouring their 

 5           money into these online models that are going 

 6           to fail them, when I keep getting told by 

 7           CUNY and SUNY for years and years that we're 

 8           expanding our more successful, effective 

 9           online options.  

10                  So help me understand how this all is 

11           coming together the wrong way and how we can 

12           turn it around.

13                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So lots of 

14           things in that last question.  I'm equally 

15           concerned about the declining enrollment in 

16           the community colleges.  I do think that the 

17           pandemic brings a different kind of economic 

18           downturn than the others -- that speaks to 

19           mobility, to people's willingness to go 

20           places, to -- and so that might be part of 

21           the rationale for the increase.

22                  Some of the sectors where many of our 

23           students are employed part-time and full-time 

24           have not come back yet.  I think that that's 


 1           part of the explanation as to why there might 

 2           be some hesitancy in returning to school or 

 3           going to programs associated with those 

 4           areas.  That's why I think the part-time TAP 

 5           is going to be particularly helpful for 

 6           those.

 7                  I don't know that we know that the 

 8           students who are not coming back are the 

 9           students who are going online elsewhere.  

10           Right?  And what we need to do is to be the 

11           best choice for those students who want to do 

12           online, who think that that is their option, 

13           that we have the largest number of options 

14           for them.  

15                  And we are investing some of our 

16           stimulus money into creating fully online 

17           programs using the expertise that we have in 

18           our School of Professional Studies, which is 

19           ranked among the top 10 online schools in the 

20           nation, to use that expertise to assist our 

21           campuses to build more online programs for 

22           the students for whom that's the option that 

23           they want.

24                  So this will be a direct response to 


 1           the point that you're making, and we're 

 2           making those investments right now using some 

 3           of the stimulus dollars to be able to do 

 4           that.

 5                  And we're also revamping, on the 

 6           community college side, the applied 

 7           associate's degrees.  Those are the degrees 

 8           which are not made for you to transfer, 

 9           right?  That they say in this field there's 

10           demand, you should be able to come and get a 

11           job with an associate's degree.

12                  I've asked all my campuses to look at 

13           their menu and maybe do away with programs 

14           that maybe were good 30 years ago, now not so 

15           much, and double down on the ones that are 

16           effective.  

17                  Part of the things that we've been 

18           doing with the CEO Jobs Council that was led 

19           by Jamie Dimon has been to invest in a couple 

20           of new pilot associate's degrees that include 

21           apprenticeships, right, for our students.  

22           Because I think that those programs are going 

23           to be some of the programs that folks are 

24           looking for.  And if we have more of those, I 


 1           think we're going to be able to attract more 

 2           students back.

 3                  So those are some of the things.  I'll 

 4           be happy to sit down with you and your team 

 5           and discuss this more, because I do share 

 6           your concerns on two fronts -- on the 

 7           community college side, and on losing those 

 8           online students going elsewhere who should be 

 9           coming to options at CUNY and SUNY for 

10           online.

11                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  And 

12           I -- again, in my reading -- and I'm not the 

13           academic here.  But in my reading about 

14           what's working and not working with online, 

15           it's being careful that it's not just you 

16           turn on a computer and you stare at it, but 

17           interactive classes where you have actual 

18           faculty that have Q&A back-and-forth with the 

19           students.  That you may use, you know, your 

20           best lecturers to do the lecture part of 

21           classes and then break out into smaller 

22           subsections with adjuncts and others to do 

23           Q&A and follow-up on written assignments.  

24                  That, you know, what really doesn't 


 1           work is just telling a student:  Hand me some 

 2           money, now go start a computer screen for X 

 3           number of hours and then we'll call it a day. 

 4                  So I do urge you to look at, you know, 

 5           the models that seem to be the most 

 6           successful.

 7                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  And those 

 8           are -- if I -- that is exactly why we're 

 9           doing the investment we're doing with SPS as 

10           the lead, because that is exactly the kind of 

11           quality control that we want for our online 

12           programs.

13                  So you are quite the expert, and those 

14           are exactly the things that we want to 

15           replicate, not just open a Zoom and there's 

16           no quality there.

17                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Correct.  Because 

18           we're not doing any young people in New York 

19           a favor if we've got 90,000 of them signed up 

20           for crap online education with no standards 

21           applied.

22                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  Yup.

23                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  We're really not.

24                  Thank you.  I'm going to cede back the 


 1           rest of my time.  Assemblywoman?

 2                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

 3           Assemblywoman Simon, three minutes.

 4                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Thank you.  

 5           Thank you, Madam Chair.  And thank you, 

 6           Chancellor.  It's good to see you.  I have --

 7                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  And you.

 8                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Thank you.

 9                  I have one question about capital.  I 

10           know we've talked about it, but I'm curious 

11           what the CUNY system is doing in its analysis 

12           of its capital needs that are consistent with 

13           the CLCPA and the constitutional right to a 

14           clean and healthy environment.

15                  What are we doing to look at our CUNY 

16           capital about its carbon footprint and 

17           planning for the future?  So that's one 

18           question.

19                  And then the other is -- just maybe a 

20           comment on this issue about debt relief.  And 

21           I know that for our students, many of them 

22           end up not paying much in the way of tuition.  

23           But there is so much else that is about 

24           money.  And -- so I recommend, if you haven't 


 1           read it already, the opinion piece by Tara 

 2           Westover, who wrote the book "Educated."  And 

 3           what she talks about is when she got a Pell 

 4           grant is when she finally was able to take 

 5           care of her health, she was able to actually 

 6           become a student.  And that it wasn't about 

 7           financial -- it wasn't about money, it was 

 8           about financial security and freedom, the 

 9           freedom to actually plan her life.

10                  So it's something I think everybody 

11           should read, and I really would like to have 

12           further conversations about that issue.

13                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So thank 

14           you again for those questions.  

15                  You know, I also want to bring you 

16           greetings on behalf of the 1,385 students 

17           from CUNY in your district.

18                  We are -- I mean, ASAP is part of our 

19           model of a comprehensive approach to your 

20           point about supporting students in different 

21           kinds of needs.

22                  I think, moving forward, we need to do 

23           some of those things in-house, and we also 

24           need to be a better connector with some other 


 1           nonprofits and other ones who are doing those 

 2           services out there too, so it's not something 

 3           we have to provide but we just need to make 

 4           sure the student -- the student gets what 

 5           they need, right.  And that might be from us, 

 6           but that might be from an outside program, 

 7           government or nonprofit.

 8                  Let me, if you don't mind, allow our 

 9           COO, Hector Batista, to address a couple of 

10           your things about the carbon footprint, 

11           because that's a lot more in his immediate 

12           expertise.

13                  Hector?

14                  CUNY COO BATISTA:  Thank you, 

15           Chancellor.

16                  Assemblywoman, thank you for your 

17           question.  

18                  With regards to our capital projects, 

19           I mean we make it part of any procurement 

20           that we do, any construction project that we 

21           do, that at the forefront on all of those is 

22           to meet the carbon footprint goals that we 

23           have to meet.  And we're at 22 percent right 

24           now for a goal of 35 percent by the year 


 1           2025.  

 2                  So we feel very confident that 

 3           everything that we're doing at CUNY is going 

 4           to get us to that number, if not exceed that 

 5           number.  And part of that process is to make 

 6           sure that as we're thinking through capital 

 7           projects or construction projects, that the 

 8           environmental impact that that's going to 

 9           have not only in that campus, but in the 

10           community, is taken into account.

11                  I'm happy to report that we have, you 

12           know, a host of charging stations in our 

13           campuses and that we have launched a study to 

14           make sure that those stations and that 

15           footprint continues to have the impact that 

16           it needs to have, from solar panels and -- 

17           multiple around campus.  So, you know, it is 

18           a goal that the chancellor has charged us 

19           with, and one that we take obviously 

20           extremely seriously.

21                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Thank you.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Back to the 

23           Senate.

24                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  And I 


 1           believe the only Senator left -- always have 

 2           to be careful with us -- is Toby Stavisky for 

 3           a three-minute second round.  I believe I'm 

 4           correct.

 5                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  Thank 

 6           you.

 7                  And Chancellor, on behalf of the 

 8           wonderful two CUNY institutions in my 

 9           district, Queensborough Community College and 

10           Queens College, I thank you.

11                  And I wanted two things, real quick.  

12           I want to associate myself with what Senator 

13           Krueger said about the online out-of-state 

14           institutions.  These are very dubious 

15           institutions and I have grave misgivings, 

16           particularly when it comes to TAP for the 

17           incarcerated -- I just get a feeling that 

18           they see something here, and I do not want to 

19           see that happen.  I think CUNY and SUNY and 

20           the independent colleges could certainly do a 

21           better job.

22                  And as far as the Labor College is 

23           concerned, it is -- it's increasing in 

24           enrollment.  We've got to make sure that 


 1           those students stay.  They represent the 

 2           working men and women in New York City and 

 3           New York State, and it's really a wonderful 

 4           college.

 5                  Let me ask a couple of quick 

 6           questions.  We've been talking about virtual 

 7           learning.  Has there been any way to evaluate 

 8           the success or failure of the virtual 

 9           learning experience for the students?

10                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  So we did, 

11           in the first year of the pandemic, along with 

12           Ithaca, research on that effectiveness.  So, 

13           you know, I can make that study available to 

14           all of you.

15                  At the end of the day, right, what we 

16           want is different modalities that fit 

17           different students' needs.  If you learn 

18           better online, we want the best teaching 

19           available to you online for you to succeed.  

20           If it's in-person, in-person hybrid.  So we 

21           have to talk about quality instruction all 

22           across the modalities, right, and meeting the 

23           students where they need.

24                  I think that the pandemic has allowed 


 1           us to look more at the online.  We want to 

 2           continue to do that in a quality way.  But 

 3           again, we want quality teaching in whatever 

 4           modality, and to be getting data on student 

 5           success on them so that we can advise you 

 6           properly.

 7                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

 8                  And in terms of the childcare, 

 9           bringing the childcare program to campuses 

10           that don't have it right now, are you 

11           prepared to -- I think it's a great idea, so 

12           are you prepared to implement it?

13                  CUNY CHANCELLOR RODRÍGUEZ:  

14           Absolutely.  

15                  And if you would allow me, I'll be 

16           remiss -- and many of you will do this -- in 

17           that this might be the last budget hearing 

18           which we have our beloved colleague 

19           Matt Sapienza as a CFO, as he goes into new 

20           ventures beginning in February, so I want to 

21           give two seconds to Matt to address the group 

22           and for you to salute his great 

23           contributions.  

24                  I know that you have all loved working 


 1           with Matt over the years, and we've been 

 2           lucky to have him.  And I do want to 

 3           acknowledge him.

 4                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you, Matt.

 5                  CUNY CFO SAPIENZA:  Thanks so much, 

 6           Chancellor.  

 7                  And many thanks to all of our 

 8           colleagues here in the Assembly and Senate 

 9           for their great advocacy for CUNY and all of 

10           public higher education over the years.  It's 

11           been a pleasure serving, and certainly a 

12           pleasure working under our great chancellor, 

13           Matos Rodríguez.  So thank you very much.

14                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, Matt.

15                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you, Matt, 

16           for your service.

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

18                  So we end this portion of the hearing, 

19           and we will move on to the New York State 

20           Education Department.  And we welcome back to 

21           this hearing Commissioner Betty Rosa.

22                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Thank you.

23                  Good afternoon, everyone.  Let me 

24           start by thanking for this opportunity 


 1           Chairs Krueger, Weinstein, Stavisky, Glick, 

 2           and members of the Senate and Assembly here 

 3           today.  

 4                  I'm Dr. Betty Rosa, the commissioner 

 5           of Education, and I'm joined by Executive 

 6           Deputy Commissioner Sharon Cates-Williams, 

 7           Senior Deputy Commissioner Dr. Jim Baldwin, 

 8           Chief Financial Officer Phyllis Morris, 

 9           Deputy Commissioner Sarah Benson, and Deputy 

10           Commissioner Dr. Bill Murphy.

11                  I also want to thank Chancellor Young 

12           and our Board of Regents, including our 

13           chairs, who are watching today.

14                  The Regents and the department, as you 

15           know, have two strategic priorities.  The 

16           first is to create equity for all students to 

17           prepare for college, careers, and civic 

18           engagement.  And the second is to 

19           fundamentally shift to a service-and-support- 

20           oriented approach for our statewide 

21           educational community and the public.

22                  To achieve both priorities, the 

23           department needs the funding we requested to 

24           hire and maintain appropriate staffing 


 1           levels.  The severe spending and hiring 

 2           constraints imposed in April 2020 worsened 

 3           the impact of a long hiring freeze on the 

 4           department's capacity to achieve these 

 5           priorities.

 6                  The department's full-time equivalent 

 7           FTE staffing went from 3200 in 2008-'09 to 

 8           2500 in 2021-'22, a decrease of 22 percent.

 9                  In response to the Division of 

10           Budget's October 2021 call letter, the 

11           department requested funding for 302 

12           positions to rebuild our capacity.  We are 

13           encouraged that the Executive Budget includes 

14           funding for 134 of these positions, 

15           44 percent of the positions requested.  

16           however, full funding to support all 302 

17           positions is needed.

18                  There are several proposals in the 

19           Executive Budget we are very pleased with, 

20           including the expansion of the TAP program to 

21           part-time students, and restoring TAP for 

22           incarcerated individuals; the increase to the 

23           department's access and opportunity programs, 

24           which include Liberty Partnerships Program, 


 1           HEOP, STEP, CSTEP and Foster Youth; and also 

 2           the increase in the Readers Aid program by 

 3           $700,000.

 4                  However, there are Executive proposals 

 5           of concern that need your thoughtful 

 6           consideration.  

 7                  First, we strongly oppose transferring 

 8           oversight of 42 healthcare professions from 

 9           the department's Office of Professions, OP, 

10           to the Department of Health on January 1, 

11           2023.  

12                  OP ensures competent professional 

13           practice, aligning the state's system of 

14           educational preparation, licensure and 

15           professional oversight under the single 

16           umbrella of the Board of Regents, which is 

17           elected by the Legislature.  Allowing the 

18           agency that regulates healthcare facilities 

19           to oversee licensed practitioners results in 

20           conflicting objectives, and it's not in the 

21           public's best interests.

22                  Instead, fully funding and staffing OP 

23           each year would allow OP to be more 

24           responsive to the needs of our customers, 


 1           their employers, and the public.

 2                  Second, the department urges a 

 3           thoughtful and thorough review before 

 4           considering the Executive proposal to enter 

 5           New York State into the Interstate Medical 

 6           and Nurse Licensure compacts.  Our Board of 

 7           Regents has directed our staff to fully 

 8           examine these compacts to see what may be 

 9           possible and in what professions this may 

10           make sense.

11                  We have already started that process.  

12           We have been in conversations with the 

13           Department of Health, and we've been in 

14           conversations with the new, amazing Dr. Mary 

15           Bassett.

16                  It is important to note that these 

17           compacts require member states to adopt the 

18           same standards in law without modification.  

19           For example, compacts mandate applicants to 

20           submit a Social Security number and 

21           background checks.  Neither is currently 

22           needed for New York State licensure.  This 

23           could adversely affect foreign, DACA and 

24           low-income applicants and may also have 


 1           unintended consequences related to the "BSN 

 2           in 10" law, since this is not a compact 

 3           standard.

 4                  To address the concerns of enabling 

 5           out-of-state licensees to obtain New York 

 6           State licensure more quickly, the department 

 7           has developed and will roll out a new "Fast 

 8           Track" pathway for licensed nurses and 

 9           physicians.  This will maintain New York 

10           State standards for licensure and practice 

11           without ceding our authority to a 

12           nongovernmental agency.

13                  We oppose the Executive's proposal to 

14           allow new programs of study offered by 

15           certain not-for-profit colleges to be 

16           temporarily approved 45 days after submitting 

17           a completed application.  

18                  Currently most of these approvals 

19           occur within 30 days of receipt of an 

20           application by our staff, and 96 percent 

21           within 60 days.  This independent and 

22           objective review of the integrity of proposed 

23           degree programs is the single line of defense 

24           protecting the educational and financial 


 1           interests of students, and the investment of 

 2           taxpayers' dollars in financial aid programs.

 3                  The Board of Regents and the 

 4           department do not want to stand in the way of 

 5           innovation, but we do want to ensure that our 

 6           students and their time are invested in 

 7           quality higher education programs.

 8                  In conclusion, we request the 

 9           Legislature provide additional investments to 

10           enhance support and services for students 

11           with disabilities to ensure success in 

12           college and further equity for all.

13                  Thank you, and I look forward to your 

14           questions and providing any additional 

15           information that you so desire.  Thank you 

16           for this opportunity.

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you, 

18           Commissioner.

19                  Assemblywoman Glick, did you have 

20           questions?

21                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Yes.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

23           Assemblywoman Glick for 10 minutes.

24                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.


 1                  A couple of questions.  You refer to 

 2           your review period for program approval.  Of 

 3           the 134 lines that you have been authorized, 

 4           how many would wind up going to the program 

 5           approval division?

 6                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, first 

 7           of all, let me just start by saying, before I 

 8           ask Sarah, that it's not the approval of the 

 9           59 positions, right, that would go over.  And 

10           that's one issue.

11                  But I think the other issue is that 

12           the way that we found out about this was 

13           during a budget conversation.  So we've had 

14           no real exchange and opportunity to really 

15           understand the rationale, to really 

16           understand what's the thinking behind this.

17                  So I think the positions is one issue.  

18           The fact that the sweeps -- the 2.8 million 

19           sweeps have been of real concern, in order to 

20           really build our growing responsibilities, 

21           the freeze impact it demands.  And actually 

22           the last year, the reduction by 10 percent of 

23           our budget has really, really been critical.

24                  Sarah?


 1                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER BENSON:  Sure.  

 2           Thank you, Commissioner.

 3                  Assemblywoman, in terms of staff 

 4           dedicated to program review approvals, on the 

 5           OP side we did request 59 additional 

 6           positions, and some of them would go towards 

 7           professional licensure qualifying program 

 8           review.

 9                  Are you also asking about, on the 

10           higher ed side, the number of positions?

11                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Yes.  Let me 

12           preface it by saying that over a period of 

13           time the department has been systematically 

14           starved.  And as a result, there are either 

15           organizations like colleges and universities 

16           or professional groups that have requested 

17           different approaches from SED, including this 

18           rather strange one to remove all of the 

19           oversight and move it to DOH, which as far as 

20           I know does not have the capacity or the 

21           expertise at this point to handle it, while 

22           you have been building out a licensure 

23           renewal and electronic program.  

24                  So I'm just wondering if there are 


 1           going to be -- I believe the Governor has 

 2           included some new positions in the budget.  

 3           I'm wondering how that's going to be utilized 

 4           and what kind of shortfall that continues to 

 5           present to you.

 6                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Sure.

 7                  So in the proposed budget there were 

 8           11 positions that were in terms of looking at 

 9           our vacancies and nine -- right now we are 

10           backfilling 11 positions plus nine more for 

11           recruiting.

12                  But the fact of the matter is we also, 

13           as you know, have had to use our own funding 

14           for the 9 million for modernization to 

15           enhance the TEACH certification application 

16           system in order to reduce processing time.  

17           So the 11 positions that have been committed 

18           to are positions that obviously we will -- we 

19           have been raising our own funding.  

20                  And I'd like, at this time, Phyllis to 

21           give you -- and we will submit as well in 

22           writing -- the specific details of what it 

23           means in terms of those 11 positions.

24                  Phyllis?


 1                  NYSED CFO MORRIS:  So thank you, 

 2           Commissioner.  In terms of the office of 

 3           teaching initiatives, the 11 positions that 

 4           we asked for to help with teacher 

 5           certification processing, we -- the Division 

 6           of Budget has indicated that we are to use 

 7           our own -- the amount of money that was 

 8           provided, basically underspending in other 

 9           areas, to pay for those positions. 

10                  So that's not really a tenable way to 

11           fund those positions.  We need dedicated 

12           funding to be able to support those 

13           positions.

14                  I think your question might have had 

15           to do with OCUE, the Office of College and 

16           University Evaluation, with regard to the 

17           program approval question specifically.  And 

18           we did ask for four additional positions, and 

19           we did not receive funding in the Executive 

20           Budget for those four positions.

21                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Okay.

22                  NYSED CFO MORRIS:  And we can provide 

23           a comprehensive list of everything we asked 

24           for and what we did and didn't get.


 1                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I think that 

 2           would be very helpful.  I have heard from 

 3           obviously various colleges that they have 

 4           delays in getting responses.  But, you know, 

 5           I talked to the department and aside from 

 6           shortfalls in your personnel,  there are also 

 7           the realities that not all information is 

 8           always provided in a timely fashion.

 9                  So I think one thing that could be 

10           helpful is a more immediate response from the 

11           department to those who have submitted what I 

12           will refer to as insufficient information to 

13           allow you to do a full review.  So I think 

14           some of it is that kind of feedback loop 

15           being a little bit faster.

16                  The other thing that is deeply 

17           concerning to me is the Interstate Medical 

18           Compact.  I do not believe that New Yorkers 

19           tend to travel to various states with lesser 

20           standards for their healthcare, and I'm 

21           wondering why New York State would accept 

22           professionals from other states that may not 

23           have the same degree of training and 

24           education to practice here.


 1                  Is that exactly what is being 

 2           proposed?

 3                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  What's -- so 

 4           we've been -- just so you know, we have been 

 5           in extensive conversation and even through 

 6           the process from the Regents request, we have 

 7           been having conversations with the Department 

 8           of Health.  I know Sarah had a conversation 

 9           today that was scheduled.  I've been speaking 

10           with Commissioner Bassett over this issue and 

11           trying to find and discuss what are our major 

12           concerns with Social Security and some of the 

13           other issues in terms of adopting the 

14           standards and having a full understanding of 

15           what the implications are.

16                  As I said, we are open to have the 

17           discussion with just -- right now, and we 

18           don't believe that this would be in our best 

19           interest.  And so we are currently not 

20           supporting it without really seriously 

21           understanding what the benefits would be.

22                  And I know some people say there are 

23           40 other states that do this.  But, you know, 

24           we do have the issues with -- that we do not 


 1           require, as I said in my introduction, the 

 2           fingerprints and some of the other 

 3           situations.

 4                  But Sarah, I know we've been in 

 5           extensive conversation on this, so you may 

 6           want to add the latest issue in discussions 

 7           with DOH.

 8                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER BENSON:  

 9           Certainly.  No, I'm happy to.  I think that 

10           there's a lot of complicating -- and it's not 

11           things we're going to solve in a short 

12           conversation.  There's a lot of complicating 

13           factors.  There's a lot of information.  

14                  The fact that we do have different 

15           standards potentially creates two different 

16           pathways into licensure.  That is problematic 

17           administratively but also problematic in 

18           terms of qualifying two different sets of 

19           people to do the same job and get the same 

20           credential.  So I welcome an offline 

21           conversation about some of those details.  

22                  I would also say in my conversation 

23           today with the Department of Health, we are 

24           very mindful of the workforce shortage 


 1           concerns and the need to get more 

 2           practitioners into New York and the real, 

 3           very real challenges that are being faced.  

 4           But I think that there are some opportunities 

 5           to explore other ways to do that, including 

 6           potentially extending some of the executive 

 7           order provisions or variations on that, in a 

 8           way that may make more sense in terms of 

 9           addressing shorter-term solutions.

10                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.

11                  It's -- it would seem to me that the 

12           department has a very broad purview in the 

13           budget.  I'm just wondering whether or not 

14           your budget -- to what extent would you rate 

15           your budget request and what wound up in the 

16           budget?  Is that a B minus, a C?  Where are 

17           we in terms of seeing a -- a support for the 

18           department to do its multivaried tasks in a 

19           reasonable time frame?

20                  I think that's some of the complaints 

21           that we have heard over the years that I 

22           don't think are necessarily fair given the 

23           short deck with which you've been dealt.

24                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, thank 


 1           you.  I think that part of what we've been 

 2           trying to do is look at the fact that the 

 3           state is flush with cash at this time.  And 

 4           since we have been in many ways -- we have 

 5           experienced, as I said, growing 

 6           responsibilities, impacted by what I already 

 7           shared -- the freeze impact, the 10 percent 

 8           sweep -- you know, the sweeps that we've had 

 9           in OP for a long time, and not being able to 

10           invest that back into the hiring practices.  

11                  I would say that overall, and I'm 

12           going to do it on the P-20, because obviously 

13           we look at it across all the needs and all 

14           the demands, that I personally, along with my 

15           team, feel that the budget, when you think 

16           about 134 positions when we requested 302 to 

17           even get back to the 2008 number of FTEs of, 

18           you know, 3200 -- we really feel that this 

19           budget has not been responsive and as 

20           responsive as we obviously would be 

21           expecting, given the financial conditions.

22                  So I'm not ready to give it a number.  

23           As a good teacher I have to think about your 

24           question and look at the complete composite.  


 1           But I certainly would not give it anywhere in 

 2           the A category.

 3                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

 4           much.  My time's expired.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 6                  Back to the Senate.

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 8                  And first to Higher Education Chair 

 9           Toby Stavisky.

10                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  Thank 

11           you, Commissioner.

12                  First let me ask you about the shift 

13           in positions and the oversight from SED to 

14           the Department of Health.  What are the 

15           quality -- if you were issuing a job search, 

16           what are the qualities that you would put 

17           into that search for people to deal with 

18           oversight over the professions, the 

19           licensure, et cetera, that perhaps DOH may 

20           not have?

21                  I've heard the commissioner of Health 

22           testify that she was short -- she was 

23           understaffed, to use her phrase, and short I 

24           think it was 500 positions.  


 1                  So what are the qualities that SED 

 2           would look for?  That may not be present in 

 3           DOH.

 4                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  I think 

 5           that -- and again, for us the issue of the 

 6           standards that we set in place for what we 

 7           expect the public to have in terms of the 

 8           various professions is critical.  

 9                  I think the moral character of 

10           individuals is extremely -- our Regents meet, 

11           as you know, every month to deal with many of 

12           these issues that are sometimes looking at 

13           licensing issues in terms of restoration, 

14           revoking, all of the above.  We want the 

15           very, very best quality of individuals that 

16           can in fact support the public, support our 

17           various communities by knowing that these 

18           individuals, not only from an educational 

19           perspective and the quality of the practices, 

20           but also in terms of when we review the 

21           credentials, that we in fact can stand behind 

22           these individuals as they move forward to do 

23           the work.  Whether it's in nursing homes or 

24           it's in our hospitals, we know that we want 


 1           the very, very best individuals to do this 

 2           kind of work.

 3                  And I know Sarah has done an amazing 

 4           job working -- and still keeping the 

 5           service-oriented approach, working -- trying 

 6           to work with the Department of Health, they 

 7           have meetings ongoing monthly -- I did chair 

 8           those with Commissioner Bassett -- to really 

 9           find the kinds of solutions, the kinds of 

10           support that we maintain the integrity and 

11           the quality of our professionals.

12                  Sarah?

13                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Oh, did you want to 

14           add?  Okay.  

15                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER BENSON:  I would 

16           only add that our focus in the Office of 

17           Professions is always on public health and 

18           safety.  And with that focus, we have the 

19           luxury in some ways of not being as concerned 

20           about staffing numbers or reimbursement or 

21           financial concerns.  Our focus really is on 

22           preparing and making sure that the 

23           educational qualifications and the full 

24           preparation of those licensees ensures safe 


 1           practice.

 2                  And so in terms of what do we look for 

 3           and what is our focus, that is our focus.  

 4           And so I think our focus is a little 

 5           different than Department of Health.  And 

 6           those two things work well together as a 

 7           balance to ensure appropriate long-term needs 

 8           are met.  So I think there is a very 

 9           different viewpoint that we bring to that 

10           equation.

11                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

12                  Getting on to the program approval, 

13           the changes that the Executive made in her 

14           budget -- and I know that it does not apply 

15           to the professional licensure or the master 

16           plan amendments, et cetera, but other 

17           programs as well.  

18                  How would this affect the students in 

19           terms of needing courses to graduate, 

20           et cetera?

21                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Okay, on 

22           that one I'm going to tell you that of course 

23           it's going to affect the students in terms of 

24           meeting -- when we think about quantity, to 


 1           Sarah's point, versus quality, it is going to 

 2           have an effect on the training, on the 

 3           professional way that we prepare our 

 4           students.  

 5                  And some of this work we have been 

 6           having internal conversations, particularly, 

 7           you know, around our P-20 conversation.  And 

 8           I know Jim has been doing an incredible job 

 9           in looking at this, as somebody who formerly 

10           was involved in -- as president of a 

11           higher ed institution.

12                  Jim?

13                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER MURPHY:  Thank 

14           you,  Commissioner.

15                  Senator, the potential impact on 

16           students could be quite significant.  If a 

17           college were to submit a program and within 

18           45 -- after 45 days commence that program, if 

19           we were to subsequently find that the program 

20           could not be approved, those students, the 

21           time that they've invested, would have been 

22           wasted.  The initiative that they took to 

23           enroll in that program would have been 

24           misdirected.  


 1                  And while there is a requirement that 

 2           there be a refund of any tuition that was 

 3           paid, there would also be implications for 

 4           that particular student's financial aid 

 5           situation, assuming that they had taken a 

 6           loan or that they were in some other way 

 7           receiving taxpayer-supported financial aid.

 8                  So while it sounds like a good idea, 

 9           when you just step beneath that idea you 

10           realize that there are implications not only 

11           for the institutions -- because what it 

12           really does is deprive us and them of the 

13           opportunity to get answers to the questions 

14           that we pose when there are issues, and it 

15           also creates significant possible disruption 

16           in the educational process for the students 

17           who enroll in those programs.

18                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

19                  Let me get on to a totally different 

20           issue.  The Governor and the previous 

21           governor have issued a lot of executive 

22           orders allowing people to go way beyond their 

23           scope of practice, many of the professions to 

24           go way beyond their scope of practice.


 1                  How do you feel about requests that -- 

 2           certainly there are issues that have come 

 3           before the Higher Ed Committee -- that say, 

 4           well, there have been no bad things that have 

 5           happened, therefore let us continue and put 

 6           into statute the executive orders that were 

 7           issued by the Governor.  How do you feel 

 8           about that?

 9                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, I 

10           think we were obviously -- I don't know that 

11           we're out of the pandemic yet, although I 

12           think that some people would like to think 

13           that, you know, and be hopeful that we're 

14           around the corner from this.

15                  I always think when we have these 

16           kinds of situations that, you know, while 

17           some people may say having time for a 

18           feasibility study, having time to analyze the 

19           data, having time to really look at what 

20           worked and what didn't -- and that is 

21           critical in this kind of situation.  

22                  Rather than just to rush and say 

23           nothing happened, and therefore let's just, 

24           you know, adopt these decisions.  I don't 


 1           believe that that is -- that that is the 

 2           approach that I would certainly support or 

 3           recommend.  

 4                  I think that we really have to do a 

 5           real deep analysis of the process and in fact 

 6           look at a closer look as to, you know, what 

 7           actually did work and have the data support 

 8           those decisions.

 9                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  The pharmacists 

10           particularly have been a major area of 

11           expansion of the EO.  

12                  In the remaining 90 seconds, do you 

13           have any problems with the Collaborative Drug 

14           Therapy Management program and the expansion 

15           of their functions in the budget?

16                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, we've 

17           had conversations with some of the 

18           pharmacists.  Sarah -- and I'm going to use 

19           the quick couple of minutes to say what some 

20           of our conversations have led to.

21                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER BENSON:  So 

22           certainly, thank you.  I think the answers to 

23           those things may be different, Senator.  

24                  Certainly there's a variety of 


 1           proposals out there, and I think that each 

 2           one needs to be looked at individually to 

 3           determine whether or not pharmacists are 

 4           educated, tested and appropriate to do things 

 5           on a long-term basis that they may not have 

 6           in their current scope.  We welcome those 

 7           conversations with you.  Happy to participate 

 8           in that.  

 9                  I think as far as CDTM, the current -- 

10           making current -- making permanent the 

11           current provisions is nothing that we have 

12           any objection to.  Expansion is something we 

13           certainly should talk about and we're happy 

14           to collaborate on anything that is helpful to 

15           you.

16                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

17                  Well, there's only 15 seconds, so we 

18           thank you for your testimony today.  Thank 

19           you.

20                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, Toby.

21                  Assemblywoman.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

23           Assemblyman Walczyk, the ranking member, for 

24           five minutes.


 1                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Thank you, 

 2           Madam Chair.  

 3                  Commissioner, wonderful to speak with 

 4           you again.

 5                  Commissioner, the teachers are aging 

 6           out in our system and we're already facing a 

 7           teacher shortage.  This is one of the 

 8           questions that I didn't get to with the 

 9           chancellor.  But I was wondering what you 

10           could tell me about the Governor's budget in 

11           regards to, you know, assistance or 

12           incentives to incentivize, you know, high 

13           school kids to get into the teaching 

14           profession.  

15                  Because we know it's already an issue 

16           now, and everything that we've learned about 

17           our teaching colleges and comprehensives is 

18           telling us that it's going to just be an 

19           expounded issue in the future as we face a 

20           greater teacher shortage.

21                  So I was just wondering what you could 

22           tell me about the Governor's budget in that 

23           respect.

24                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Sure.


 1                  So first I think we have looked at the 

 2           issue even prior to the Governor's budget, 

 3           knowing that we are in a crisis, right, and 

 4           that we're in a crisis that has been really 

 5           exacerbated by COVID.  

 6                  And we also know that we're trying to 

 7           also, through DEI, as you know, trying to 

 8           create a diverse, you know, teaching force.  

 9           And we're trying to also -- really using all 

10           the different tools and resources, whether 

11           it's through My Brother's Keeper, engaging 

12           young high school students early in being 

13           interested in education -- we're working with 

14           different stakeholders to really address some 

15           of these issues, and with superintendents.

16                  We're also looking at -- for example, 

17           we know that there's some successful programs 

18           like the TOC II.  And while we were 

19           disappointed that the funding wasn't there, 

20           we're hopeful that that is one program that 

21           we do receive the $5 million that we really 

22           truly believe will expand the program.

23                  We have been also looking at 

24           residencies, right?  Teaching assistants.  If 


 1           you look, you will see that we've got to 

 2           create a pipeline, we've got to look to 

 3           places where we know that there's an 

 4           investment in teaching assistants coming into 

 5           the field.  Let's use the residency programs 

 6           to support those individuals with grants, 

 7           with ways that we can turn them into the 

 8           future teachers.

 9                  So I think looking at multiple ways, 

10           multiple pathways to support bringing people 

11           into the field, looking at individuals who 

12           have a particular core talent in this -- CTE 

13           teachers, teachers that are interested in 

14           working with students with special needs, and 

15           really working at trying to create 

16           flexibilities, as you know the department has 

17           done, and the Board of Regents.  But also 

18           creating very intentional ways of bringing 

19           them into the field and engaging them in 

20           working with our communities and our 

21           students.  

22                  So we're using multiple ways of 

23           addressing the shortages and multiple ways of 

24           engaging all of our communities and 


 1           stakeholders to really make sure that our 

 2           teachers -- our future teachers are coming 

 3           from high school students who go through, you 

 4           know, Teachers of Tomorrow, through My 

 5           Brother's Keeper, through residency, through 

 6           ways of incentivizing individuals that truly 

 7           want to come into the field by making -- 

 8           creating flexibility but also creating 

 9           opportunities for them to be successful in 

10           these spaces.

11                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Thank you, and I 

12           appreciate that.  I know it will be a 

13           continued dialogue.

14                  When are we going to allow schools the 

15           autonomy to make decisions on their 

16           day-to-day operations with their local health 

17           departments, instead of edicts from Albany, 

18           when it comes to masking, vaccination, 

19           testing policies, that kind of thing?  When 

20           are we going to put that onus back on the 

21           local school districts?

22                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, I 

23           think that you know that we have been engaged 

24           with trying to really work -- even before 


 1           Dr. Zucker exited, the department really took 

 2           a lead in trying to work with school 

 3           districts in terms of specific needs.

 4                  The pandemic obviously has very 

 5           specific mitigation strategies, that we're 

 6           all making sure that we follow the science.  

 7           At the same time, you know that the 

 8           Department of Health has also been working 

 9           with the local departments of health to 

10           ensure that the communities are safe.

11                  We have been asking for metrics, as 

12           you know, to ensure that we have a 

13           destination in mind, with a roadmap, and with 

14           the metrics to get us there.  And that has 

15           been for the department, for us, something 

16           very, very specific in terms of having that 

17           as a way of making sure that the field 

18           understands where we're going and how we're 

19           going to get there.

20                  ASSEMBLYMAN WALCZYK:  Commissioner, 

21           you know how to burn five minutes.

22                  Thanks, Madam Chair.

23                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

24                  Back to the Senate.


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

 2                  And we're joined now by Andrew 

 3           Gounardes.

 4                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  Thank you, 

 5           Senator Krueger.

 6                  Hello, Commissioner, how are you? 

 7                  I have two questions.  First, I want 

 8           to talk about SED's role in oversight over 

 9           the New York City Department of Education 

10           response to addressing its backlog of special 

11           education reimbursement cases.  I know that 

12           there has been some movement on this over the 

13           last couple of months, that this has been an 

14           ongoing thing for years.

15                  I have constituents who are -- 

16           literally have taken out $400,000 of debt 

17           waiting for their city to process their 

18           application, look at the application, and 

19           then get their reimbursement.  Four hundred 

20           thousand dollars for a working-class family 

21           is unconscionable.  

22                  What are we doing to make sure that we 

23           are addressing this problem from the state 

24           perspective?


 1                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Sure.

 2                  So we will send you additional 

 3           information because we have been, over the 

 4           last -- as you know, the backlog has been in 

 5           place for several years.  And we have been 

 6           trying through various chancellors and 

 7           mayors, right, trying to address this issue 

 8           of the backlog.  Working -- working with 

 9           advocates, working with the department.

10                  At the same time, as you know, last 

11           year thank God we had the opportunity to have 

12           a bill, the IHO and also OATH, and we've been 

13           having very extensive conversations with the 

14           city, both the mayor's office as well as the 

15           chancellor, to really make this a top 

16           priority to respond to not only the needs of 

17           our special ed students but also -- in terms 

18           of services and placement, but also to 

19           respond to, to your point, to make sure that 

20           these issues are addressed.

21                  And so they are working on full-time 

22           impartial hearing officers so we can move 

23           this backlog forward.  And I know --

24                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  Thank you.


 1                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  You know, I 

 2           will give you a report of the latest 

 3           conversation.

 4                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  I would appreciate 

 5           following up with you after this.  Thank you 

 6           very much.

 7                  My second question, shifting gears a 

 8           little bit, we have heard a lot during our 

 9           budget hearings this year about a pending 

10           crisis in our mental health system, and that 

11           we don't have the workforce to meet the needs 

12           of children and families and individuals who 

13           are seeking help.

14                  The last couple of decades there have 

15           been several exemptions that have been 

16           granted in several categories of mental 

17           health professionals to allow them to help 

18           step in and address this staffing crisis.  

19           But those exemptions are all expiring, I 

20           understand, this year.  

21                  There is some proposed legislation 

22           that I believe my colleague Senator Brouk has 

23           introduced to kind of help modernize all of 

24           these occupational requirements and licensing 


 1           credentials.  And I just want to get your 

 2           take as to whether you think that would be 

 3           sufficient and that will help us address the 

 4           staffing crisis that we're heading into by 

 5           trying to take this approach of modernizing 

 6           these professions.

 7                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, I 

 8           think that's one aspect of it.  But I think, 

 9           similar to education, we have to do a better 

10           job in recruiting, retaining, preparing, 

11           right, the profession. 

12                  And also one of the things that we've 

13           been -- we started to do early on was with 

14           the funding from the feds, we did suggest to 

15           the schools, along with working with the 

16           commissioner of Mental Health, to really 

17           invest, to really align and see the 

18           importance of trauma, the importance of 

19           mental health as part of the whole sphere of 

20           looking at the landscape of education and 

21           teaching and learning, so that it is a 

22           partner, it is a critical partner.

23                  And so we want not only the 

24           recruiting, but we also want the flexibility, 


 1           to your point.  But we need to increase the 

 2           footprint of these individuals in our 

 3           schools, in our community schools, and in our 

 4           communities.

 5                  SENATOR GOUNARDES:  Thank you.

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 7                  Assembly.

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

 9           Assemblyman Epstein, three minutes.

10                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you, 

11           Chair.  

12                  And always great to see you, 

13           Commissioner.

14                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  So, you know, 

15           two years into a pandemic, is that a point 

16           where we need to just get rid of standardized 

17           testing and Regents exams because they're 

18           just so hard to take at this point?

19                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, thank 

20           you for the question.  

21                  Since we did have a conversation with 

22           USDE last week, we are in the process of 

23           looking -- obviously, you know, we've been 

24           doing for over two years at this -- almost 


 1           two years, the grad measures to look at our 

 2           graduation, what our diploma signifies.  And 

 3           we are looking at assessment and the 

 4           importance of assessment and looking at 

 5           multiple ways of assessing our students.

 6                  So we are in conversation.  More than 

 7           glad to share with you our latest with the 

 8           department, USDE, and also internally some of 

 9           the suggestions -- and I know Jim even had a 

10           conversation with some of the superintendents 

11           on Friday.

12                  So we are definitely looking at 

13           multiple ways of assessing our students and 

14           making sure that we have a composite and not 

15           relying so heavily on our high-stakes -- and 

16           still maintaining the integrity of our 

17           standards work that you know is critical to 

18           student success.

19                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  And I appreciate 

20           that.  And I look forward to continuing to 

21           talk to you about this, because it's 

22           something, as you know, that I care about.

23                  So some of these schools that are CSI 

24           and TSI-designated institutions, you know, we 


 1           have really, really, really old data now.  

 2           And we've talked about pathways out.  Is 

 3           there a way we can do that now for these 

 4           schools that like have alternate assessments 

 5           and we need a pathway out for them?

 6                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  So thank you 

 7           for that, because that was the main piece of 

 8           this conversation, which is the 

 9           accountability part, which is what you're 

10           asking about.

11                  So the accountability discussion on 

12           Friday was exactly this, that we can't just 

13           turn the switch back on without, you know, 

14           data from 2019.  The kids didn't take the 

15           test in 2020.  Forty percent last year 

16           doesn't exactly tell us a great deal, and who 

17           was part of the test versus who was not.

18                  So we are -- as you know, we put out 

19           the waiver, we were denied, and we're still 

20           challenging the issue of the waiver.  And so 

21           our meeting on Friday was to continue to 

22           challenge this identification process.

23                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Well, whatever 

24           support I can provide, I'd appreciate.  I'm 


 1           happy to provide that.  

 2                  And the last question -- I know I only 

 3           have 30 seconds left -- is what institutions 

 4           of higher education might try to access some 

 5           of this TAP funding for students who are 

 6           incarcerated, and what oversight we're going 

 7           to have to ensure that anyone who has access 

 8           to it.  I know that's because you're going to 

 9           oversee the TAP.  But since you're going to 

10           oversee institutions, you know, I'm concerned 

11           that these are vulnerable students that are 

12           going to be maybe reaching at some straws -- 

13           how are we going to make sure that they're 

14           high-quality institutions that are working 

15           with them?

16                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Absolutely.  

17           I'm going to turn this to Jim, as we've been 

18           having some internal conversations about the 

19           importance, to your point, of making sure 

20           that we really put in place a system that 

21           monitors this.

22                  Jim?

23                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER MURPHY:  Sure, 

24           thank you.


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 2                  We're going to go back to -- the 

 3           time's expired.  We're going to --

 4                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER MURPHY:  We 

 5           will -- we'll get you an answer.

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Great, thank 

 7           you.

 8                  We're going to send it back to the 

 9           Senate.

10                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

11                  Next, Robert Jackson.

12                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you.

13                  Commissioner, good afternoon.  And to 

14           all of your executive staff, appreciate all 

15           the work you're doing.  

16                  Understanding what you had said, you 

17           put in a budget request for several hundred 

18           positions, and you only got about 30 percent 

19           of what you really needed.  Not good.

20                  But I have a couple of quick 

21           questions.  Do you support Tier 6 pension 

22           reform to help recruit and retain educators?

23                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  I will 

24           support -- and again, we have to look at 


 1           language, right?  But I will support any -- 

 2           any process that helps us to recruit and 

 3           retain teachers as well as social workers and 

 4           others.

 5                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.  That's a good 

 6           answer.

 7                  Then I have another simple question.  

 8           Do you support CUNY and SUNY being the main 

 9           providers in state facilities as TAP is 

10           restored for incarcerated students?

11                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Jim, since 

12           you've been dealing with the incarcerated 

13           conversation.  I think we're -- go ahead.

14                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER MURPHY:  Sure.

15                  I mean, I think we have to be 

16           sensitive to the fact that SUNY and CUNY can 

17           provide that service in many parts of the 

18           state, and may be interested in doing so.  

19           But we also have a number of not-for-profit 

20           institutions throughout upstate New York that 

21           are also certainly very well suited to 

22           providing those services in their regions and 

23           in their locales.

24                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.  And I can 


 1           appreciate your response.  I'm more concerned 

 2           about people in our state being employed and 

 3           carrying out the services.

 4                  So as long as it's within New York and 

 5           not going to another state and getting people 

 6           to come in -- huh-unh.  I'm not in favor of 

 7           that right now.

 8                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Absolutely.

 9                  SENATOR JACKSON:  And my third 

10           question is can you comment on your stance, 

11           Commissioner, against the healthcare workers 

12           licensure transfer from State Ed to the 

13           Department of Health?  

14                  Did the Governor consult with you on 

15           this proposal?  And have you spoken with the 

16           DOH about this proposal?  And what funding 

17           amount do you need to support your staff to 

18           enhance licensed accreditation?

19                  And I understand, based on your 

20           budget, that you're short-staffed, you didn't 

21           get the numbers that you wanted.

22                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  So no, there 

23           was no -- we found out during a budget 

24           briefing.  


 1                  And -- but I do have to tell you, 

 2           subsequent to that my conversations with the 

 3           commissioner -- you know, the commissioner of 

 4           Health has been amazing.  We have really been 

 5           sharing information and sharing our concerns 

 6           as to why we opposed the situation and the 

 7           staffing issue, and as well as the sweeps 

 8           that were taking place prior to that.

 9                  So Dr. Bassett and I have been in 

10           extensive conversations.

11                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you.  My time 

12           is up.

13                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

14           Assemblywoman Hyndman.

15                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN HYNDMAN:  Thank you, 

16           Chair Weinstein.

17                  Commissioner Rosa, good to see you.

18                  My question is of the -- you said you 

19           would lose 42 positions from OP to go to the 

20           Department of Health.  How much revenue does 

21           OP bring into SED?  And how much revenue do 

22           you stand to lose if these 42 positions go to 

23           DOH, to Health Department supervision?

24                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, there 


 1           are more than 40 positions.  

 2                  But I'm going to let Phyllis give you 

 3           the exact number and -- the 59, and then also 

 4           the issue of the 2.8 million sweep that will 

 5           also go over.  Which, by the way, we've never 

 6           been able to keep that.

 7                  So in terms of time, Phyllis.  And 

 8           then Sarah, if you want to add anything.

 9                  NYSED CFO MORRIS:  So what the 

10           Executive Budget proposes to do is eliminate 

11           the $2.8 million sweep that the commissioner 

12           has referenced, and also raise the 

13           appropriation and spending authority for OP 

14           so that they can spend all of the revenue 

15           that they bring in.

16                  And then there's language that talks 

17           about the ability for some portion of that 

18           revenue and the appropriations and the staff 

19           to be transferred.  And it's unclear exactly 

20           how much money would be transferred.  It's 

21           unclear how many staff would be transferred.

22                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN HYNDMAN:  How much 

23           revenue does that -- how much revenue does OP 

24           bring in?  That's what my -- my --


 1                  NYSED CFO MORRIS:  So it's over -- I 

 2           can get you the exact number.  It's over 

 3           $50 million per year, and a portion of that 

 4           is already transferred to DOH for certain 

 5           functions.  So this proposal would transfer 

 6           additional revenue over, presumably.

 7                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  And we can 

 8           get you the specifics.

 9                  The other thing is that you -- that I 

10           want you to -- I want everybody to know is 

11           that we're already in -- we have embarked on 

12           the modernization of OP, and there's been 

13           investment in that.  So it would be very 

14           challenging to all of a sudden have this 

15           modernization, and then what.  You know, 

16           we've made an investment already.

17                  So let us make the investment, let's 

18           work through what we need to work through, 

19           rather than taking these -- you know, this 

20           responsibility disposition over without any 

21           full understanding of what are the positive 

22           outcomes, potentially.

23                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN HYNDMAN:  Okay.  Thank 

24           you, Commissioner Rosa.  


 1                  I just want to say thank you to the 

 2           staff that always responds to the inquiries, 

 3           Jennifer Trowbridge.  Thank you very much.

 4                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Thank you.

 5                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN HYNDMAN:  As my camera 

 6           drops.

 7                  (Laughter.)

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Were you done?

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Senator 

10           Krueger.

11                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I hope we didn't 

12           actually lose the Assemblywoman, just the 

13           camera.  Thank you.  Oh, good, she's back.  

14           She's alive.  Good.

15                  Thank you, Commissioner Rosa.  I think 

16           I'm the only Senator left right now.  You 

17           know, it's extraordinary that you keep coming 

18           back here for different hearings and laying 

19           out for us other things that your department 

20           is supposed to be doing.  

21                  So I'm very torn between the 

22           Governor's proposal to move the health 

23           professionals to DOH or not to.  I hear you.  

24           I've been here.  You were underfunded 


 1           forever, so you didn't have the staff to do 

 2           what you needed to do.  I get that.

 3                  You've taken on more assignments for 

 4           yourselves since you became the commissioner 

 5           than I've seen SED ever try to do.  So I 

 6           worry that you're, you know, spreading 

 7           yourselves too thin without adequate staff.

 8                  But I know that when I look at 

 9           questions about responsibilities for 

10           physicians, physician's assistants, nurses 

11           licensing, particularly when it comes to is 

12           anybody tracking did they do anything wrong, 

13           should they not be issued a license, should 

14           they not be reissued a license, have they 

15           been caught up in criminal activity, sexual 

16           attack on their patients activity -- that 

17           both of you have some responsibility, DOH and 

18           SED, and people seem to fall between the 

19           cracks.  

20                  And I'm just wondering, if this wasn't 

21           really a question of your losing revenue and 

22           staff, would you actually objectively oppose 

23           having one agency that's responsible for the 

24           qualifications, licensing and investigations 


 1           of healthcare workers?

 2                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  I would 

 3           still -- Senator, I would still object.  

 4           Because I think when you think about the 

 5           department's authority and you think about 

 6           the responsibility of separating out quantity 

 7           and quality -- and as I said in my opening 

 8           remarks, to put it all under one umbrella 

 9           where you don't have the checks and 

10           balances -- and to also, when we think about 

11           the disciplinary issues that we do look at, I 

12           do believe that there's a role for both of us 

13           to play.  But we have to maintain the 

14           integrity of each other's work.

15                  And the fact that we've been able to 

16           do the kind of work we've been able to do 

17           without the financial support -- I think 

18           having the financial support I think will 

19           clearly have an incredible outcome, I think, 

20           for our profession and the field.

21                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  And again, from 

22           the perspective of patient/consumer safety, 

23           which is a serious one for me, you know, who 

24           has that responsibility for the website that 


 1           keeps track of have you been charged with 

 2           anything?  Are you currently being 

 3           investigated for anything?  Have you, you 

 4           know, lost 10 medical malpractice suits?

 5                  Is that you or DOH or is there -- is 

 6           that a dual role and everything doesn't 

 7           always get done?

 8                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Okay, 

 9           there -- to your question, I think that there 

10           are different situations.  When we get the 

11           information about these charges, we obviously 

12           work through with the Department of Health.  

13           And I'm going to ask Sarah, because this is 

14           one of these internal conversations that 

15           we've been having about -- the public safety 

16           is something that I would probably say is 

17           non-negotiable.

18                  But Sarah?

19                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER BENSON:  

20           Certainly.  So by law the oversight of 

21           physicians, physician's assistants, and 

22           specialist assistants, who we license, their 

23           disciplinary authority lies with the 

24           Department of Health.


 1                  The other 52 professions that we 

 2           license we also have the oversight and 

 3           disciplinary authority.

 4                  Pursuant to law, if there is an 

 5           investigation or a complaint, that is 

 6           confidential.  So to your question about who 

 7           posts information about a complaint, no one 

 8           does.  It's only once there's a finding and 

 9           the Regents have taken a final action that 

10           that information is posted on our website for 

11           the professions that we discipline.  The 

12           Department of Health, likewise, posts 

13           information about physicians.

14                  There are also some ancillary 

15           professions, not -- you know, what we would 

16           consider unlicensed persons, but people who 

17           may have certifications or other 

18           qualifications through the Department of 

19           Health, that they would also be responsible 

20           for.

21                  But we do work back and forth.  For 

22           example, if we have a finding of a nurse who 

23           is guilty of misconduct because of 

24           short-staffing or some other facility 


 1           consideration, our folks very closely reach 

 2           out to DOH and say, Hey, there may be a 

 3           problem with this nursing home or this 

 4           hospital because we're seeing, you know, 

 5           complaints come out of that location.  And so 

 6           there is some back and forth there.

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Okay.  Changing 

 8           topics, with your discussion about the 

 9           interstate compacts and whether this is a 

10           dimin -- it would decrease our oversight over 

11           these professions or whether it would expand 

12           our ability to get more healthcare 

13           professionals when we need them, tell me what 

14           your opinion is when it comes to telehealth.  

15                  Because there's lots of discussion 

16           about I think the potential for telehealth to 

17           expand, getting providers to where patients 

18           are, particularly, you know, upstate New York 

19           and Western New York.  But how does what we 

20           do with these compacts impact what we are 

21           able to do with telehealth?

22                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Sure.  So 

23           we'll start with the fact that we have seen 

24           some benefits, obviously, to the telehealth 


 1           that we clearly -- but they -- you know, 

 2           again, they do not take -- you know, it's 

 3           almost -- the telehealth is helpful and the 

 4           telehealth has its place, but there's nothing 

 5           like in-person.  Right?  I think we all would 

 6           agree to that.

 7                  Having said that, I think this is one 

 8           that, again, internally we have been doing 

 9           some serious exploration.

10                  Sarah?

11                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER BENSON:  Sure.

12                  So telehealth is already permitted in 

13           many -- many situations.  The criteria, 

14           though, is that you have to be licensed in 

15           New York.  So you can be anywhere as long as 

16           you're licensed in New York.

17                  Pursuant to executive orders, you 

18           didn't have to be licensed in New York.  I 

19           think the question with how that intersects 

20           with licensure compacts is an interesting and 

21           somewhat complex answer in terms of more 

22           people would be licensed in New York but 

23           would they have any other nexus to New York?  

24           Would they take business away from New York?  


 1           Would they charge less than a New York 

 2           practitioner would?  There's a lot of 

 3           considerations that I think need to be 

 4           thought through carefully before deciding 

 5           that's the answer to something that is a 

 6           valuable resource and certain something that 

 7           may need to expand under the right 

 8           circumstances.

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  Thank 

10           you both.

11                  See, I still am perplexed on both, but 

12           at least now I know they were complicated 

13           questions I was asking.

14                  With that, I turn it back over to the 

15           Assembly.

16                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So we have two 

17           Assemblymembers.  So we'll start first with 

18           Assemblywoman Simon.

19                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Thank you, 

20           Madam Chair.

21                  And welcome, Commissioner, good to see 

22           you again. 

23                  I have -- first of all, I just want to 

24           say I agree with Assemblymember Epstein in 


 1           the questions he was asking and the issue 

 2           about testing.  And one of the concerns I 

 3           have is what are we doing to address the fact 

 4           that a lot of the annual testing is federal.  

 5           And how do we deal with that, and how do we 

 6           advocate with the federal government for that 

 7           to -- for some fundamental change there?  So 

 8           I'd like to know about that.

 9                  I also want to know when the last time 

10           we modified the substance or the content of 

11           the teacher licensing test.  I know we went 

12           through the whole edTPA thing, but it's not 

13           clear to me whether it was just because of 

14           the Common Core, you know, and how that is 

15           working.  

16                  And then I just want to disagree on 

17           the OATH thing because we do not have to deny 

18           people and make people sue every year, and we 

19           didn't have to not pay our impartial hearing 

20           officers.  In a lot of ways we could resolve 

21           this besides what I believe to be an approach 

22           that is illegal if not highly problematic.

23                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Okay, so 

24           I'll start with the -- from the educational 


 1           perspective.  

 2                  We have been in communications, as I 

 3           shared and I will share with you and others 

 4           that are interested, this whole conversation 

 5           that we're having about assessment and 

 6           accountability on both parts.  And we still 

 7           continue to address not only the issue of our 

 8           participation in the assessment component, 

 9           but the implication that it has for 

10           accountability.

11                  So we've been really strongly, as you 

12           know, speaking to our stakeholders, but also 

13           speaking to the USDE about, specific to 

14           New York State, what our concerns are about 

15           the assessment. 

16                  And then so we can get that 

17           information to you.  I think that would be 

18           the best way to address this, because it 

19           is -- it's been ongoing.  We spent seven 

20           months just on accountability and how to -- 

21           you know, how do we help with this issue of 

22           identification, as you all know.

23                  On the OATH issue, we agree to 

24           disagree.  And I'd love to continue the 


 1           conversation with you privately to explain 

 2           how, by the way, it is making a difference in 

 3           the backlog.  It's already showing a 

 4           decrease.  But again, you know, we will be 

 5           more than glad to share that information with 

 6           you.

 7                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  What about the 

 8           edTPA or the content of the teacher test?

 9                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Sure.  Sure.

10                  The edTPA -- and I'm going to have 

11           Jim -- but we've done some amazing things 

12           with the edTPA because we've had 

13           conversations with the higher ed, we've had 

14           conversations about how to fold in the edTPA 

15           information into our design of higher ed 

16           programs. 

17                  And Jim, do you want to just 

18           quickly --

19                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER MURPHY:  Very 

20           briefly; I know the time is ticking.

21                  We have embarked upon a review of the 

22           teacher certification requirements.  We have 

23           already modified them.  We recognize that we 

24           have made it too complicated and too 


 1           expensive to become a teacher.  And we are 

 2           committed to moving that review forward.

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 4                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Thank you.

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I do not 

 6           believe there are any other Senators, so 

 7           we'll go to Assemblywoman Griffin for three 

 8           minutes.

 9                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Okay, thank 

10           you very much.  

11                  And thank you, Commissioner Rosa, for 

12           being here with us today.

13                  I had a question.  In your testimony 

14           you describe that we need much more services 

15           for students with disabilities, and I 

16           completely agree.  And I just wondered if you 

17           could briefly describe what services you 

18           would make available if you were -- if you 

19           got that much more funding for this group of 

20           individuals.

21                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Sure.  So 

22           you know that, for example, students with 

23           disabilities, I think particularly in -- you 

24           know, when we think about New York State 


 1           colleges and universities, we have 

 2           approximately somewhere about 80,000 

 3           students.  And when we think about a budget 

 4           of 2 million to support these students, it 

 5           comes out to something like $27 per student.

 6                  And we -- you and I know that this is 

 7           really a population that needs a tremendous 

 8           amount of support in order for them to be 

 9           successful.  They need all kinds of 

10           modifications, and they need -- a higher ed 

11           institution needs to have built-in support 

12           systems for our students with different 

13           disabilities to really -- to really, truly 

14           advance.

15                  And so, you know, we really support 

16           the opportunity of also -- when we looked at 

17           the request we made through the Board of 

18           Regents of 50 million -- you know, when you 

19           get 2 million, you're somewhat -- you're 

20           okay, but you're disappointed.  And we just 

21           really truly believe that enhancing 

22           supporting services for our students with 

23           disabilities is essential.

24                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Yeah, I 


 1           completely agree.  

 2                  And another question I have is in 

 3           regards to canceled programs where, you know, 

 4           the Governor's proposal is there's a refund 

 5           provided.  But it seems like a little 

 6           precarious because I know different students 

 7           have been at a school and they -- sometimes 

 8           arbitrarily a program gets canceled and 

 9           people might have been there, might be 

10           planning to go there.

11                  So what do you suggest -- what should 

12           be happening in this situation with 

13           programs -- like how should that work?

14                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Well, our 

15           concern is that -- as we indicated, and I 

16           know Jim spoke to this issue -- to have a 

17           program approval that, you know, 45 days into 

18           it that -- when in fact it's going to affect 

19           students.  Why not, you know, look to make 

20           sure that these are programs that we don't 

21           have to even be involved in refunding 

22           students?  

23                  But also not -- you know, it's the 

24           time that they spent.


 1                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Right.

 2                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  So it's not 

 3           just the financial refund, it's also very 

 4           frustrating for students to have to go 

 5           through this period of time and then find out 

 6           that the program is not approved. 

 7                  That, to me, is not a good use of what 

 8           we would consider students' time as well as 

 9           financial.

10                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Okay, thank 

11           you very much.  Appreciate it.  Thank you.

12                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

13                  Thank you, Commissioner Rosa, for 

14           being with us again this -- again today.  

15           There are no further questions from either 

16           the Assembly or Senate, so -- and we thank 

17           you.  

18                  Oh -- yes.  I got nervous, Liz, when 

19           you waved.

20                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  No, I'm so sorry, 

21           I just was going back on camera to wave.  

22           Thank you very much.

23                  NYSED COMMISSIONER ROSA:  Thank you.

24                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So thank you.


 1                  So now we're going to go to our final 

 2           government witness, our former colleague, 

 3           Dr. Guillermo Linares, from HESC, New York 

 4           State Higher Education Services Corporation.  

 5           Guillermo is the president.

 6                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Good 

 7           afternoon, Chairs Krueger, Weinstein, 

 8           Stavisky and Glick, and all my former 

 9           colleagues in the Senate and Assembly.  Thank 

10           you for the opportunity to speak today about 

11           the Governor's 2022-2023 Executive Budget 

12           recommendations that impact the New York 

13           State Higher Education Services Corporation, 

14           HESC.  

15                  I'm Dr. Guillermo Linares, president 

16           of HESC.  

17                  In 2020-2021, New York State's higher 

18           education institutions educated nearly 

19           1.2 million students, nearly one quarter -- 

20           or approximately 300,000 -- of whom received 

21           HESC-administered state financial aid.  

22                  The 2022-2023 Executive Budget 

23           recommendations reflect Governor Hochul's 

24           strong commitment and support for higher 


 1           education programs and offer a comprehensive 

 2           plan that will both continue to make higher 

 3           education in our state more affordable and 

 4           accessible and help two-thirds of New Yorkers 

 5           earn a post-secondary credential by 2030.  

 6                  Building on the more than two dozen 

 7           financial aid and college access programs 

 8           that in 2020-2021 provided more than 

 9           $900 million to support the higher education 

10           costs of approximately 300,000 New Yorkers, 

11           the 2022-2023 Executive Budget proposes to 

12           expand TAP eligibility for students enrolled 

13           in college part-time, authorize the use of 

14           TAP for workforce credential programs, and 

15           removes financial aid barriers to once again 

16           allow incarcerated individuals to get 

17           critical job skills.  

18                  Expanding access to part-time TAP.  

19           The Executive Budget includes $150 million to 

20           expand TAP to students enrolled in six or 

21           more credits at a SUNY, CUNY or 

22           not-for-profit college located in New York 

23           State.  The Executive recommendations remove 

24           the requirement for a year of prior full-time 


 1           study, which currently makes the program 

 2           largely unavailable to students studying 

 3           part-time, allowing the state to annually 

 4           support 75,000 additional New York State 

 5           students in their pursuit of a college 

 6           degree.  

 7                  Expanding TAP for high-demand 

 8           workforce credential programs.  

 9           Post-secondary education is crucial for 

10           economic success, with 70 percent of new jobs 

11           requiring some post-secondary credential.  

12           But roughly 2.4 million New Yorkers between 

13           ages 25 and 44 lack a post-secondary degree 

14           or credential, putting them at risk of being 

15           left behind as the job market continues to 

16           trend towards more skilled hires.  

17                  To make the state more responsive to 

18           these post-secondary workforce needs, the 

19           budget further expands part-time TAP to cover 

20           students enrolled in non-degree workforce 

21           credential programs in high-demand fields at 

22           CUNY and SUNY community colleges.  

23                  To ensure the program focuses on the 

24           highest-growth areas, Empire State 


 1           Development and the state's Regional Economic 

 2           Development Councils will recommend which 

 3           courses of sequence would be eligible for 

 4           state funding, based on an analysis of 

 5           regional industry trends, workforce needs, 

 6           and existing program offerings.  

 7                  Moving on to restoring the Tuition 

 8           Assistance Program, TAP, for incarcerated 

 9           individuals.  

10                  Since 1995, New York State law has 

11           prohibited incarcerated people from being 

12           eligible to receive state financial aid.  The 

13           2023 Executive Budget proposes to reverse 

14           this ban and expand educational opportunities 

15           within correctional facilities and help 

16           incarcerated individuals get critical job 

17           skills.  This legislation repeals the 

18           prohibition against awarding TAP to otherwise 

19           eligible incarcerated individuals.  

20                  In conclusion, Governor Hochul has 

21           proposed a whole new era for New York, one in 

22           which we work together to ensure that 

23           New Yorkers have both access to a college 

24           education and an understanding of their 


 1           financial aid options to support their 

 2           pursuit and attainment of a post-secondary 

 3           degree or non-degree credentialing.  

 4                  Under the Governor's leadership, 

 5           New York continues to lead the nation in 

 6           expanding access to a quality and affordable 

 7           college education.  The Executive Budget 

 8           includes a $619 million increase, or 

 9           8.3 percent, in funding for higher education.  

10                  The Governor's recommendations for 

11           higher education continue to fund programs 

12           that enable the neediest of New York's 

13           students to pursue their educational goals 

14           regardless of financial situation.  HESC is 

15           pleased to be an integral player in helping 

16           New York's students attain the economic and 

17           social benefits that accompany a college 

18           degree or non-degree credentials in 

19           high-demand fields.  

20                  Thank you, and I would be happy to 

21           answer any questions you may have.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes, so we go 

23           to -- thank you, Guillermo.  We go to our 

24           Higher Ed chair, Deborah Glick, for 


 1           10 minutes.

 2                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

 3           much for being here.  It's always a pleasure 

 4           to see you.

 5                  Can you inform us of how many students 

 6           have been assisted by the DREAM Act?

 7                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  I can provide 

 8           you the exact number.  

 9                  But we have been highly successful in 

10           ensuring that all of the students that have 

11           applied for the program, and qualify, have 

12           been admitted and have -- are benefiting 

13           currently from all our offerings, including 

14           TAP, the Excelsior Scholarship, and other 

15           scholarship programs that we have.

16                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.  So 

17           we'll get that number from you.

18                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Yes.

19                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  And when you say 

20           who have applied and who have been 

21           successful, what is the outreach that the 

22           department does in order to ensure that 

23           everyone eligible knows that they have that 

24           option?


 1                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Well, we work 

 2           closely with both CUNY and SUNY, but we also 

 3           rely, from the very beginning and inception 

 4           of the program, on a vast network of 

 5           nonprofit institutions that work closely with 

 6           Dreamers -- because they are trusted, they 

 7           were part of the effort to make the 

 8           legislation a reality, and they have been 

 9           instrumental in rolling out and the success 

10           that we've had with the DREAM Act 

11           implementation.  

12                  So we rely on them, but we also work 

13           closely with the department -- all the high 

14           schools, BOCES and superintendents throughout 

15           the state to ensure that where students may 

16           be out of status, they know that they have an 

17           opportunity to enter college and apply for 

18           financial aid through the DREAM Act.

19                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  How will the 

20           department structure and administer part-time 

21           TAP?  I know you said that it removes the 

22           one-year requirement, but if I read it 

23           correctly, you have to be taking at least six 

24           credits and no more than 12.


 1                  So how will -- and what is the -- 

 2           perhaps your staff at some point could tell 

 3           us what that would look like in terms of how 

 4           much support a student would receive if they 

 5           are in part-time status.  

 6                  So I don't know that you have a -- 

 7           usually there is sort of a chart of how much 

 8           somebody is eligible for based on their 

 9           family income and whether they're the only 

10           ones in their family going to school.

11                  So how are you going to structure that 

12           and administer it?

13                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Well, we'd be 

14           happy to follow up with you on some of the 

15           specifics.  

16                  But I can explain to you how excited 

17           we are that the Governor has proposed adding 

18           75,000 new students to have access to 

19           part-time TAP.  So this is welcome news, and 

20           we look forward to working with the key 

21           stakeholders, both CUNY, SUNY and the 

22           for-profit private institutions, to really 

23           engage on this effort, as we also intend to 

24           do with the State Department of Education.  


 1                  But we are excited, and we believe 

 2           that this will go a long way in, you know, 

 3           giving access to students that otherwise 

 4           could not have access to an education 

 5           because, you know, they have this impediment 

 6           with full-time -- one-year full-time.  We are 

 7           excited about this, and we're looking forward 

 8           to having a successful rollout.

 9                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Once the budget 

10           is passed, assuming that this is included, of 

11           course, how long will it take the department 

12           to develop regulations or procedures?  

13                  Do you anticipate being ready, 

14           assuming an April 1st deadline for the 

15           budget?  Will you be ready -- when will you 

16           be ready to take actual applications and 

17           review them?  Will it be for the fall 

18           semester?  Will it be available for summer?

19                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Well, I think 

20           we have some experience rolling out 

21           initiatives such as this one, even though 

22           this is quite a significant one.  

23                  But, you know, I took this position 

24           when we rolled out Excelsior, and we were 


 1           able to really get to the finish line in 

 2           terms of crafting the regs and also making 

 3           sure that we are prepared to reach out to all 

 4           those who will be interested.

 5                  And I think that we will be ready and 

 6           able to do that looking at the fall semester, 

 7           from past experiences, I can say.  But again, 

 8           we will be diligent in making sure that we 

 9           make this available as quickly as possible 

10           once the budget is approved.

11                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I'm of course 

12           among those that's very happy that the 

13           Governor has included TAP for the 

14           incarcerated individuals, which of course we 

15           had prior to the Pataki administration.

16                  So -- but obviously these are 

17           individuals who are in our prison system, and 

18           so is that going to be -- how is that going 

19           to be administered?  Obviously these are not 

20           individuals who have a particular income.  

21           And is this something that you will be 

22           working with individual colleges and they 

23           will be directing students to you?  Or what 

24           do you envision being the process that 


 1           incarcerated individuals who are interested 

 2           in availing themselves of this benefit -- how 

 3           will that proceed?

 4                  I believe it's important so we have 

 5           less recidivism, that people who are ready to 

 6           reenter society do so with some education 

 7           behind them.  We have had private colleges 

 8           that have raised money in order to do this, 

 9           and their success rate, in terms of once 

10           individuals have left the prisons, there is a 

11           great track record.  

12                  But it does seem to me that it's a 

13           little more complicated than people applying 

14           to you.  So I'm wondering what conversations 

15           you've had about how to administer it.

16                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Well, thank 

17           you for your remarks.  I share your, you 

18           know, enthusiasm in terms of the program.  

19           And I believe that this will be on the 

20           positive side of the equation in terms of our 

21           mission.

22                  The implementation of the program will 

23           be handled administratively by DOCCS, the 

24           Department of Corrections.  And we have 


 1           cleared the way for awards to be made within 

 2           Education Law moving forward.  And we will 

 3           coordinate with DOCCS and others that will be 

 4           involved in the process, partnering in the 

 5           process of identifying the institutions that 

 6           will be serving this population.

 7                  Clearly we have, you know, efforts 

 8           within CUNY and SUNY and with other in-state 

 9           institutions that have experience on this.  

10           But this is quite exciting to see that we're 

11           going to be able to do, by this population, 

12           giving them access to higher education.

13                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thanks very 

14           much.  One last question.

15                  You administer a lot of different 

16           scholarship programs; some of them perhaps 

17           did not get increases.  But there's one that 

18           is administered through the Department of 

19           Health, Doctors Across New York.  And I'm 

20           wondering why that is in DOH, where all of 

21           the other things that provide educational 

22           resources to students seeking to improve 

23           themselves, why Doctors Across New York is at 

24           DOH, that has no particular experience with 


 1           scholarship programs.

 2                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  It's 

 3           something that we'd be willing to look into.  

 4           But we do have programs, as we discussed in 

 5           previous hearings and with you directly, to 

 6           really help address the health needs of 

 7           New Yorkers.

 8                  So that's something that we can look 

 9           into and further discuss with you.

10                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Well, thank you 

11           very much.  And I have already requested that 

12           additional dollars go into the Pat McGee 

13           Nurse Educator Scholarship.  It seems odd 

14           that we are not providing more resources 

15           there.

16                  Thank you very much.

17                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Much 

18           appreciated.

19                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  To the Senate.

20                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

21                  Toby Stavisky.

22                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Dr. Linares, good 

23           to see you again.

24                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Same here.  


 1           Same here.

 2                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Welcome home.

 3                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Thank you.

 4                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Let me ask you 

 5           about a couple of the programs that HESC 

 6           administers, and that's the Excelsior, the 

 7           DREAM Act, and the Enhanced TAP awards.

 8                  In terms of the Excelsior, because 

 9           that seems to be on people's minds, what's 

10           been happening?  In other words, how many 

11           students are applying?  Have you found that 

12           students are defaulting?  Would you discuss 

13           it in terms of whether students are meeting 

14           the four-year requirement, the 30-credit 

15           requirement, how that has impacted the 

16           numbers?

17                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Sure.  Let me 

18           give you a quick overview.

19                  Currently we have 31,000 to 32,000 

20           students that receive the scholarship -- 

21                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Can you break that 

22           down by public and private?  I'm sorry, it 

23           doesn't apply.

24                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  It's 


 1           Excelsior, for CUNY and SUNY.

 2                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  For CUNY and SUNY, 

 3           right.

 4                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Yeah.  So 

 5           with that, you know, current number, if we 

 6           look at the past several years we see that an 

 7           average of approximately 45,000 students 

 8           apply every year.  This is on an annual 

 9           basis.  And of those who apply, about 

10           50 percent of them are eligible, found 

11           eligible to receive awards.

12                  This is similar to how we experience 

13           the process for TAP.  So overall I say this 

14           is looking very well.  I think we've seen a 

15           lot of positive outcomes with students 

16           participating in the program.  I think that a 

17           key element with Excelsior is an emphasis in 

18           getting students to complete their degree on 

19           time so that they can save money and not have 

20           to borrow, and at the same time be able to 

21           enter the workforce in a timely basis.  So 

22           that's a driver.

23                  And also the fact that so many 

24           families that would otherwise have to pay out 


 1           of pocket to cover tuition now have this 

 2           program to allow them to help pay, you know, 

 3           their students' -- or their kids' college 

 4           education through tuition.

 5                  So overall I say we see success in 

 6           terms of completing on time, we see success 

 7           in terms of the students that are able to 

 8           carry the 30 credits, given the 365 years -- 

 9           days that we give throughout the year for a 

10           student to be able to complement credit 

11           deficiencies they may have.  They can take 

12           spring or summer -- winter or summer breaks 

13           to be able to take those classes.

14                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  In terms of 

15           enhanced TAP for the independent colleges, 

16           how many colleges have agreed to accept the 

17           ETA awards?  And are they providing the 

18           requirement matching funds?  And how many 

19           students are using the ETA?

20                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Yeah, thank 

21           you for the question.

22                  In the last three years we've seen a 

23           reduction in terms of the number of 

24           participating colleges.  We have gone from 


 1           40 participating colleges down to less than 

 2           25 colleges.  That is the current number that 

 3           we have.  And when you have a smaller number 

 4           of colleges participating, a smaller number 

 5           of applicants, students, will participate.  

 6           And therefore you have even a smaller number 

 7           of students that are also receiving the 

 8           award.

 9                  But looking specifically at the 

10           numbers now, as they are, according to the 

11           2020-2021, there was just 2,600 students 

12           receiving awards, totaling 4.6 million that 

13           is matched by the participating colleges.  So 

14           the number has reduced primarily because of 

15           the number of participating colleges.

16                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  And how would you 

17           remedy that decline?  Or would you suggest 

18           that it's not cost-effective?

19                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Well, we -- 

20           there was a lot of enthusiasm in the 

21           beginning.  I think -- part of what I think 

22           is the biggest challenge for participating 

23           institutions is the fact that they have to 

24           come up with a match --


 1                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah.

 2                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  -- that they 

 3           have to put up to the funding that we 

 4           provide.  And that is something challenging 

 5           for some colleges, making it difficult.

 6                  If they didn't have the match, I think 

 7           that we could see a change in terms of growth 

 8           in the number of colleges participating.

 9                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah, some of the 

10           colleges are in danger of closing.  I know 

11           that.

12                  Let me ask you, in the remaining 

13           time -- the DREAM Act.  How many -- what are 

14           the numbers there, and where are they coming 

15           from?  And whatever you can tell us about the 

16           Dreamers, the students -- the undocumented.

17                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Well, the 

18           DREAM Act implementation has been a 

19           resounding success.  

20                  I said to Assemblywoman Glick that I 

21           would get back to her with the specific 

22           numbers that we have.  But I can tell that 

23           every single student that has come and 

24           applied and has qualified to receive the 


 1           support of all of the programs that we have 

 2           available for them, have received state aid 

 3           through the DREAM Act, thanks to the efforts 

 4           that we have in collaboration with CUNY, 

 5           SUNY, and also the private institutions, 

 6           higher ed institutions that we have.

 7                  And again, I highlight the close 

 8           collaboration that we have -- which is 

 9           ongoing, by the way -- with a vast network 

10           across the state of nonprofit institutions 

11           that serve immigrant populations and work 

12           very closely with Dreamers.  

13                  And by the way, we work very closely 

14           with the Dreamers themselves.

15                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Good.

16                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  It is a 

17           resounding success.

18                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  That to me is very 

19           important, coming from Queens County -- or 

20           representing a district in Queens County.

21                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Yes.

22                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Lastly, the 

23           Executive Budget holds harmless various -- 

24           some of the Excelsior financial programs.  


 1           How has -- have you found that the students 

 2           are receiving what they're entitled to 

 3           receive?  Did you need -- did you have to 

 4           create new proposals and so forth?

 5                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  No, we were 

 6           fortunate to have the flexibility necessary 

 7           for us to be able to hold harmless students, 

 8           particularly in the spring and fall of 2020 

 9           when so many students were impacted, the 

10           flexibility that the federal government and 

11           the state government, Department of 

12           Education, both levels, provided was 

13           instrumental in making sure that the vast 

14           majority of students were able to complete 

15           both terms and they were held harmless.

16                  And on top of that, the budget now 

17           includes another layer of support to make 

18           sure that any student that may have been 

19           impacted by the -- by COVID-19 would not lose 

20           eligibility of the awards that they're 

21           entitled to.  So we're in a good place in 

22           terms of the impact of the pandemic.

23                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.

24                  And with all due respect, the students 


 1           are in a better place.

 2                  (Laughter.)

 3                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Yes.

 4                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay, thank you 

 5           very much.

 6                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Thank you.

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Okay.  Assembly?

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

 9           Assemblyman Ra, our ranker, Ways and Means, 

10           for five minutes.

11                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Good afternoon.  

12           Always good to see our former colleague here.

13                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Same here.

14                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  I wanted to ask a 

15           question about a program that I've asked you 

16           about I think the last couple of years, the 

17           Child Welfare Workers Incentive Scholarship 

18           and the Child Welfare Worker Loan Forgiveness 

19           program.

20                  I know last year you were able to tell 

21           me that they were fully subscribed.  It is a 

22           relatively small program.  It's something 

23           that I would like to see expanded.  So would 

24           you be able to tell me if it is fully being 


 1           utilized this year?

 2                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  It is.  I 

 3           mean, every single penny allocated for it is 

 4           being utilized to -- according to my 

 5           information.  And I tell you that the 

 6           challenge we have is we would love to expand, 

 7           if we can, in the context of what's ahead.  

 8           And I think that this will be welcome news.

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Okay.  And if you 

10           could follow up, and if you have any 

11           information just regarding numbers in terms 

12           of how many people are applying for the 

13           program that might assist us in the 

14           Legislature that want to, you know, push for 

15           additional funding so that more people could 

16           take advantage, since we know there is 

17           absolutely a need to get people into this 

18           field.

19                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Absolutely.  

20           I'd be glad to follow up with you.

21                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Okay, thank you.

22                  The other issue I just wanted to 

23           mention is another -- well, a newer program, 

24           and I know -- I think the window to apply 


 1           just closed over the weekend -- but this 

 2           Nurses for Our Future scholarship.  

 3                  I'm just wondering how the 

 4           applications are going to be evaluated, 

 5           whether it's -- you know, is it income-based, 

 6           is it performance-based, is there some other 

 7           way that they're going to be evaluated?  And 

 8           specifically, do we know how much funding is 

 9           being allocated to this initiative?

10                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Well, the 

11           initiative has been a success.  We have 

12           received about 7,000 applications, 

13           approximately 7,000 applications.  

14                  And as soon as we proceed and have the 

15           process in place, we will be announcing the 

16           winners -- you know, it's a thousand of 

17           them -- via a lottery.

18                  So we're excited about the initiative.  

19           You know, 750 of those applicants, once 

20           they're selected, they will receive a 

21           scholarship to get a Bachelor of Science in 

22           nursing, and 250 of them will receive 

23           scholarships to get an associate's degree in 

24           nursing.  So we're excited about that.  


 1                  You know, in terms of what the budget 

 2           will be, I think that that's something that 

 3           we can follow up with you.

 4                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Thank you.

 5                  Thank you, Chairs.

 6                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Thank you.

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Back to the 

 8           Senate.

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

10                  I believe we're up to Senator Robert 

11           Jackson.

12                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Dr. Guillermo 

13           Linares, my long-time friend.  How's your 

14           family doing?  I hope they're doing well.

15                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  They're doing 

16           well, and I hope yours as well.

17                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Very well, thank 

18           you.  

19                  I've just got a couple of quick 

20           questions.  Do you have an opinion on UUP, 

21           United University Professions, and PSC, 

22           Professional Staff Congress, requesting about 

23           $253 million each in operating aid to support 

24           students, educators and their institutions 


 1           get to where they were and where they need to 

 2           be.  Basically they've been cut, cut, cut, 

 3           and now, instead of being cut, they're being 

 4           increased in the budget, but not enough for 

 5           them to bring back to where it was.

 6                  So they're requesting about 

 7           $253 million each, for a little bit more than 

 8           a half a billion dollars, understanding that 

 9           our Governor had said that she's proposing a 

10           budget surplus to put into reserves of about 

11           $15 billion.

12                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Well, I 

13           appreciate the question, Senator.  I -- you 

14           know, you and I go back a long, long way to 

15           the school board days and many other steps 

16           beyond that.  And I know your passion for 

17           education, especially funding.

18                  I believe, you know, looking at the 

19           times I was in the Assembly to recent years 

20           when I've been in this role, there's been 

21           always a struggle to try to increase the 

22           funding needs in higher education -- in K-12 

23           as well, but higher education in this 

24           particular case.


 1                  You know, I'm gratified to see that 

 2           notwithstanding all of the challenges we've 

 3           seen in the last two years, that Governor 

 4           Hochul is committing such a strong effort to 

 5           increase funding to new levels to help us 

 6           move in the right direction.  The needs are 

 7           great, but I think that this is a very firm 

 8           step in getting us to address critical needs 

 9           that we have.  And I'm glad to be part of 

10           that effort.

11                  I know that it's not going to get us 

12           where we want to be, but we can build from 

13           what this budget has presented under the 

14           Governor.  And I -- you know, I'm excited 

15           about that.

16                  SENATOR JACKSON:  I'm sorry, I only 

17           have 38 seconds.  I've got two quick 

18           questions.

19                  How much money does the higher 

20           education program that you work in award to 

21           private-institution students yearly, if you 

22           know?  And if you don't know, my team will be 

23           following up.  And how much is awarded to 

24           public-school-institution students?


 1                  So that's the questions that I'm going 

 2           to ask -- not to respond on that, but my 

 3           staff will follow up.

 4                  But do you think that extending TAP 

 5           for five years, restoring eligibility to 

 6           graduate students, and/or allowing optional 

 7           semesters, quarters, in determining 

 8           eligibility for awards will result in 

 9           enhanced student achievement, as you stated 

10           for part-time and incarcerated students of 

11           TAP programs?

12                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  I think any 

13           initiative that enhances the opportunity for 

14           students to get back into higher education, 

15           particularly at this time, is welcome and 

16           exciting, for New York State will benefit all 

17           around because of those initiatives.

18                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, thank you.  My 

19           time is up, sir.

20                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

21                  I believe the last questioner will be 

22           Assemblywoman Hyndman.

23                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN HYNDMAN:  Thank you, 

24           Chair Glick.


 1                  Hi, it's good to see you again.  I 

 2           just wanted to -- my questions are regarding 

 3           the -- you said post-secondary education is 

 4           crucial for economic success, but I notice 

 5           that in the Governor's budget, which you are 

 6           excited about, that the part-time TAP is only 

 7           going to SUNY, CUNY and not-for-profit.  

 8                  There are many institutions of higher 

 9           learning that exist in the State of New York 

10           that we regulate, but they've been excluded.  

11           Do you know why?

12                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  I couldn't 

13           answer you.  

14                  I can share with you that HESC, my 

15           agency, works very closely with the 

16           for-profit institutions that serve many of 

17           our students through our TAP program and 

18           other programs that we provide.  So we are in 

19           partnership with them, but I believe this 

20           particular context, while it's exciting, is a 

21           little bit above my pay grade.

22                  But again, we look forward to 

23           continuing to work closely with this 

24           particular sector.  And again, it -- it's 


 1           something that I, you know, would not comment 

 2           on at this point because it's been decided 

 3           that it is those three sectors, CUNY, SUNY 

 4           and -- and the for-profit colleges is 

 5           something that would have to be brought in 

 6           the context of the discussions moving forward 

 7           within the budget.

 8                  We work with all of the directives 

 9           that come from the process that involves the 

10           Governor and the Legislature, and we simply 

11           implement.  We would welcome any effort to 

12           work closely with any of our partners.  And 

13           that includes the for-profit colleges that 

14           provide services to our students.

15                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN HYNDMAN:  Right.  

16           because you audit institutions of higher 

17           education that receive state funding.  And if 

18           you found discrepancies or inaccuracies, they 

19           would be required to make payment, or 

20           sometimes if they can't do that, they close.  

21           And sometimes there are prosecutions.  So I 

22           know the scope of your work, I just thought 

23           you may have some insight into that.

24                  Thank you.  It's always good to see 


 1           you.  Thank you.

 2                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Sure.

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 4                  Senator Krueger, you have --

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Hello, nice to 

 6           see you, Guillermo.

 7                  I don't think we have any other 

 8           Senators asking questions.

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Okay.  Thank 

10           you for being here.

11                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Thank you 

12           very much.

13                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

14                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

15                  HESC PRESIDENT LINARES:  Thanks for 

16           the opportunity.

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We're going to 

18           be moving on now, just to remind members, to 

19           the public witness portion of the hearing, 

20           and we have it -- the rest of the hearing is 

21           arranged in several panels -- actually, four 

22           panels we have today, which will have a 

23           number of people in each panel.

24                  Each panelist will have three minutes 


 1           to present their testimony.  We already have 

 2           the testimony circulated to members, so you 

 3           don't have to read it exactly.  And then any 

 4           members who wish to ask a question of the 

 5           panel will have three minutes to ask both the 

 6           question and to be able to get the answer.  

 7           Because we really want to hear from the 

 8           panelists who are here and make sure we still 

 9           can pay attention when we get to the last 

10           presenter in the panel.

11                  So -- and you'll see the panels are 

12           sort of grouped by subject matter.

13                  So we start off with Professional 

14           Staff Congress of CUNY, James Davis, 

15           president; UUP, United University 

16           Professions, Dr. Frederick Kowal, president; 

17           NYSUT, New York State United Teachers, Andrew 

18           Sako, president of the Faculty Federation of 

19           Erie Community College; and University Police 

20           Officers, Christopher Lacosse, director.  

21                  So let's start with PSC.

22                  DR. DAVIS:  Thank you.

23                  Good afternoon, Senate Chairpersons 

24           Krueger and Stavisky, Assembly Chairpersons 


 1           Weinstein and Glick, and committee members.  

 2           It's good to see you.  Thank you for the 

 3           opportunity to testify today, and for your 

 4           stamina today and your support, as always, 

 5           for public higher education.  

 6                  The PSC comes before the committee 

 7           this year in a different situation than last 

 8           year.  We're entering year three of a 

 9           pandemic that continues to impact CUNY -- our 

10           students have been among the most hardest hit 

11           by COVID.  The communities in which many of 

12           them live were disproportionately affected.  

13           And CUNY's faculty and staff have worked 

14           tirelessly, as you know, to keep the 

15           university running.  

16                  We do have ongoing health and safety 

17           concerns, and course cancellations have 

18           impeded student progress in too many cases 

19           and left adjunct faculty without income and 

20           in some cases without health insurance.  But 

21           we appreciate you standing by our side during 

22           this difficult time.  

23                  To reverse the current enrollment 

24           trends at CUNY and to continue providing 


 1           high-quality education, we must offer 

 2           students the support they need and they 

 3           deserve in traumatic times.  And as you know, 

 4           our students have a distinctive profile:  

 5           Half of CUNY students come from households 

 6           with annual incomes below $30,000; 80 percent 

 7           of our students are people of color; 

 8           44 percent are the first generation in their 

 9           families to attend college; 13 percent are 

10           supporting children; and 35 percent are 

11           foreign-born.

12                  So an investment in CUNY is a matter 

13           of racial and economic justice, but 

14           investment in CUNY is also -- clearly pays 

15           clear dividends for the state.  Nearly 

16           80 percent of CUNY grads stay in New York.  

17           CUNY graduates working in New York State in 

18           2019 earned, in the aggregate, $28.6 billion 

19           more than they would have without a 

20           postsecondary degree.  And CUNY graduates 

21           working in New York State in 2019 paid an 

22           estimated $4.2 billion in state income taxes.  

23                  Last year the Brookings Institution 

24           ranked 12 CUNY colleges among the most 


 1           successful in the country at propelling 

 2           students into the middle class.  

 3                  Now we're very pleased that 

 4           Governor Hochul has taken public higher 

 5           education seriously in her Executive Budget.  

 6           Her approach to enhancing CUNY's academic 

 7           program without raising tuition is a welcome 

 8           departure, and the efforts that you all have 

 9           made to close the TAP gap, for example, and 

10           to stabilize community college funding are 

11           also reflected in Governor Hochul's 

12           proposals.  

13                  And so those commitments are 

14           essential, and we applaud them.  However, we 

15           believe that this is the year not only to 

16           fund public higher education, but to make it 

17           a key legislative priority.  So PSC is asking 

18           the Legislature this year to pass the 

19           New Deal for CUNY and urging you to enact a 

20           final budget that will begin to support the 

21           New Deal in fiscal 2023.  

22                  New Deal for CUNY is a five-year, 

23           $1.7 billion framework for reversing decades 

24           of underinvestment in CUNY.  It will 


 1           establish robust staffing ratios, 

 2           65 full-time faculty per 1,000 full-time- 

 3           equivalent students, one academic adviser for 

 4           250 full-time-equivalent students, one mental 

 5           health counselor for 1,000 

 6           full-time-equivalent students, and it will 

 7           create pay parity for adjunct faculty and 

 8           rebuild CUNY's aging infrastructure.  

 9                  And I see I have already exhausted my 

10           time.  

11                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I was about to 

12           ask if you could just, you know, complete --

13                  DR. DAVIS:  I will.  I'm going to cut 

14           directly to the chase.  

15                  We do feel this year is a unique 

16           opportunity to make these major investments 

17           in CUNY.  There's been a dramatic decline in 

18           funding since the recession in 2008 -- in the 

19           senior college operating aid, 18 percent 

20           alone.  We have a deeply committed faculty, 

21           and we have a student body that is driven to 

22           succeed whatever the obstacles.  

23                  So thank you again for the opportunity 

24           to speak with you today.  Appreciative of the 


 1           Governor's plan, which is a springboard, we 

 2           feel, to do even more and to seize the 

 3           political moment.  

 4                  Thank you, and look forward to your 

 5           questions.             

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 7                  Now we go to UUP.             

 8                  DR. KOWAL:  Chairperson Krueger, 

 9           Chairperson Weinstein, distinguished members 

10           of the Senate Finance Committee and Assembly 

11           Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate and 

12           Assembly Higher Ed Committee.  My name 

13           is Dr. Fred Kowal, and on behalf of the 

14           37,000 members of United University 

15           Professions, I thank you for the opportunity 

16           to testify today.  

17                  I would also like to thank you for 

18           your commitment to a fairer and more just 

19           New York.  I applaud your tireless efforts 

20           and steadfast support on behalf of our 

21           students and our patients.  

22                  The 2022-'23 Executive Budget is a 

23           step in the right direction to bolster the 

24           SUNY system as a cornerstone of New York's 


 1           communities.  Eliminating the TAP gap, 

 2           increasing funding for opportunity programs, 

 3           and committing to the hiring of full-time 

 4           faculty and staff are steps in the right 

 5           direction.  After 15 years of austerity 

 6           budgeting, such steps are long overdue.  

 7                  However, the resources SUNY campuses 

 8           need means that these steps fall short of 

 9           what is necessary.  The simple fact is that 

10           if funding for SUNY had been maintained where 

11           it was in 2007, accounting for inflation, 

12           SUNY would have $7 billion more for the 

13           teaching, research, and patient care that our 

14           state desperately needs.  

15                  It is a fact that with 15 years of 

16           underfunding, enrollment is down.  That is 

17           what happens when there aren't enough 

18           resources provided to educate and guide 

19           students through their college careers.  

20           Without funding, students aren't attracted to 

21           campuses.  They perceive that the costs they 

22           must pay are too high and, if they do attend, 

23           they far too often drop out before completing 

24           their degrees.  


 1                  In my written testimony I detail how 

 2           the decade and a half of underfunding can and 

 3           must be undone.  We know we can't get all 

 4           $7 billion, but what we do expect is the 

 5           funding needed for operating costs that 

 6           campuses face.  Consider it a down payment on 

 7           the $7 billion.  

 8                  More importantly, it's a down payment 

 9           on economic opportunity and social and racial 

10           justice.  Without the over $100 million SUNY 

11           campuses desperately need right now, the 

12           income and wealth gap that worsens daily in 

13           our state and nation will be exacerbated.  

14                  Worst of all, the Executive Budget 

15           remains silent regarding the SUNY public 

16           teaching hospitals.  None of us can allow 

17           another year to go by, another year of a 

18           global pandemic, and have New York State not 

19           fund these incredibly important institutions.  

20           The work that has gone on there has kept all 

21           of us safe from COVID.  

22                  UUP members have carried the burdens 

23           of care while also training the next 

24           generation of health care professionals.  The 


 1           financial burdens these hospitals have borne 

 2           over the past 15 years of budget cuts are 

 3           mind-blowing, and COVID has brought them to 

 4           the brink of ruin.  

 5                  SUNY Downstate, which Governor Cuomo 

 6           declared to be a COVID-only hospital, has 

 7           lost over $150 million due to their inability 

 8           to treat other patients, provide other 

 9           services, and maintain their full presence in 

10           Central Brooklyn.  Without funding 

11           immediately, Downstate will face a financial 

12           cliff as early as June.  

13                  SUNY'S other teaching hospitals are 

14           also stretched to the limit.  If we as a 

15           state truly want to face the healthcare 

16           staffing crisis in our state, and if we 

17           really want to ensure all New Yorkers have 

18           access to the highest quality health care, 

19           the state budget must respond to these 

20           challenges.  

21                  We're in a pandemic.  The needs are 

22           desperate.  If not now, when?  We have the 

23           resources, we have an obligation to each 

24           other and our common future.  I urge you to 


 1           take up the challenge of rebuilding our 

 2           SUNY system and make it viable for the 

 3           21st century.  

 4                  Thank you.             

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 6                  We now go to NYSUT.  There you go, 

 7           Andrew.             

 8                  MR. SAKO:  Oh.  Good afternoon 

 9           Chairperson Krueger, Chairperson Weinstein, 

10           and honorable members of the Legislature and 

11           distinguished staff.  

12                  I'm Andrew Sako, president of the 

13           Faculty Federation of Erie Community College.  

14           I want to thank you for the opportunity to 

15           testify today on the proposed Executive 

16           Budget for higher education.  I'd like to 

17           also thank you for your ongoing commitment to 

18           community colleges.  

19                  Last year's budget contained a funding 

20           floor of 98 percent, which gave community 

21           colleges an additional $4.4 million.  That 

22           was really a lifeline.  I can't think of what 

23           could have happened here at Erie Community 

24           College had we not had that.  


 1                  However, due to both COVID and 

 2           changing demographics, community colleges saw 

 3           a decrease in funding due to mostly lost 

 4           enrollment.  Most community colleges lost 

 5           well over 20 percent due to both COVID and 

 6           fears of COVID.  This has created the perfect 

 7           storm for community college funding.  

 8                  For nearly 50 years, the state has not 

 9           fulfilled its statutory obligation to provide 

10           community colleges the 40 percent in the 

11           statute.  To make matters worse, despite 

12           declining enrollments, our funding continues 

13           to be based on a totally inadequate 

14           full-time-equivalent funding model which does 

15           not insulate campuses from enrollment 

16           fluctuations like we've experienced in the 

17           past year.  

18                  Faced with declining and uncertain 

19           enrollments, community colleges are forced to 

20           either raise tuition or cut programs.  This 

21           is not -- this will not help us to attract 

22           students or continue our mission to be 

23           economic engines for our region.  

24                  This year's Executive Budget proposal 


 1           for community colleges contains 100 percent 

 2           of what we received in the 2021-2022 year.  

 3           While we are grateful for this support, it 

 4           does not resolve our issues.  By giving us 

 5           100 percent of the amount received in our 

 6           worst year, the problem is only going to get 

 7           worse.  We need to really think about other 

 8           ways.  

 9                  We are asking you to consider 

10           allocating 100 percent of the 2018-'19 

11           pre-COVID year, which would provide SUNY 

12           community colleges with an additional 

13           $37.5 million.  This would help us guarantee 

14           that our institutions will be recognizable 

15           and open for business to meet the needs of 

16           our students.  

17                  And that is the most important thing:  

18           Meeting the needs of these students.  We 

19           serve students, that it's their first chance, 

20           second chance, and sometimes last chance.  

21                  And I just want to say thank you for 

22           giving me the opportunity today to speak to 

23           you, and I want to thank you.  

24                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to the 


 1           last panelist, University Police Officers.  

 2                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  Good afternoon, 

 3           Madam Chairperson and esteemed board members.  

 4                  My name is Chris Lacosse -- and pardon 

 5           my voice, I'm just getting over a bit of the 

 6           flu.  My name is Chris Lacosse.  I'm a police 

 7           officer with the State University Police at 

 8           Albany.  I represent the 400-plus University 

 9           Police officers and investigators that work 

10           on the 29 State University campuses across 

11           the state.  

12                  I want to say thank you, first and 

13           foremost, to the Legislature for their 

14           overwhelming support last session, and the 

15           passing of our 20-year retirement bill.  That 

16           bill represented something that would have 

17           given us a very good leg up on the local 

18           municipalities and other state agency that 

19           currently has 20-year retirements.  That is 

20           something that is near and dear to our 

21           hearts.  

22                  Unfortunately we are in the middle of 

23           a very bad time in our existence.  We are 

24           losing very good members to agencies all over 


 1           the state to better retirements, better pay, 

 2           and that's what we're here to talk about 

 3           today.  

 4                  And New York represents a very large 

 5           population of police officers.  Approximately 

 6           97 percent of those do enjoy a 20-year 

 7           retirement with their agencies.  Currently 

 8           our agency has a 25-year retirement, although 

 9           it is an upgrade from what we had when I 

10           started my career 18 years ago.  

11                  It does not help keep people in our 

12           job.  They are coming in and leaving at an 

13           alarming rate, and to the point where we're 

14           having a hard time actually even answering 

15           the most routine of calls at times.  We do 

16           not have a small contingent of people that we 

17           police on a daily basis -- we're talking 

18           about some 1.5 million people in students 

19           alone.  So that is no small number.  

20                  We asked for the Legislature to help 

21           us seek the passing of this through the 

22           budgetary process this session.  The Governor 

23           was kind enough to offer that as a 

24           possibility, and we would be very grateful 


 1           and appreciative if that could be the case.  

 2           This could not only in the long run save the 

 3           SUNY system money, but actually draw more 

 4           qualified and well-trained officers into our 

 5           ranks.  

 6                  With that, I say thank you for having 

 7           me today, and I'd appreciate any questions 

 8           that you may have.             

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Okay, let's see.  

10                  Deborah Glick, why don't I call on you 

11           first as the chair of Higher Ed.             

12                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

13           much.  I will address a few of the panelists 

14           individually as quickly as I can.  

15                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I'd better 

16           explain to Helene -- I just see you --

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I'm sorry to 

18           interrupt.  We'll restart the clock.

19                  But the panel is only three minutes?

20                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  That is correct.

21                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Right.  So we 

22           have to -- I'm saying that out loud so our 

23           clock person, timekeeper, will hear.  They 

24           don't seem to be hearing me say that.  So let 


 1           me -- 

 2                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  There we go.  

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Okay, now 

 4           Assemblywoman.             

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  All right.             

 6                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Okay.  Quickly, 

 7           Jim, how many full-time faculty have been 

 8           lost over the past decade?  Do you have that 

 9           number?  If you don't right away, you can 

10           provide that to us.  

11                  And if in fact you're looking for a 

12           five-year plan, I -- as I understand it, you 

13           want certain ratios.  That's 1.5 billion 

14           additional each year of five years?            

15                  DR. DAVIS:  Sorry, I want to make sure 

16           I understood the second part of your 

17           question.  

18                  Thanks for the question, Chairperson 

19           Glick.  So we have approximately just under 

20           7,000 full-time faculty now in the CUNY 

21           system.  And if you go back to -- so we have 

22           a ratio now of approximately 35 full-time 

23           faculty for every 1,000 full-time-equivalent 

24           students.  


 1                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Okay.

 2                  DR. DAVIS:  So moving to the kind of 

 3           ratio where we have 65, which is closer to 

 4           the national norm -- 

 5                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Right.

 6                  DR. DAVIS:  -- will require that sort 

 7           of a major investment.  

 8                  Could you repeat the second part of 

 9           your question?            

10                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  In terms of your 

11           New Deal, you say it's a five-year plan and 

12           it adds to the operating budget 1.5 billion 

13           in order to achieve these different ratios?

14                  DR. DAVIS:  The piece that goes 

15           towards establishing the staffing ratios, 

16           we've costed it over five years at 

17           approximately 540 million for the full-time 

18           faculty and also creating pay parity for 

19           adjunct faculty.  

20                  And on the mental health counselors 

21           and academic advisors side, we've costed that 

22           around 78, 79 million over the five-year 

23           phase-in.  But of course there are many, many 

24           fewer mental health counselors and academic 


 1           advisers -- 

 2                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Right.

 3                  DR. DAVIS:  -- that need to be hired 

 4           to meet those ratios.             

 5                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Okay.  I'm 

 6           running out of time.  Let me just -- thank 

 7           you very much, Jim.  We'll be continuing to 

 8           talk.

 9                  Fred, if you could just tell me a 

10           little bit about obviously the school -- all 

11           of the schools' teaching hospitals lost 

12           elective surgeries and elective services.  Do 

13           you know what -- you referred to Downstate, 

14           but do you have the number or an aggregate or 

15           can you get us an aggregate for that for all 

16           of the hospitals?  

17                  DR. KOWAL:  Certainly can.  Yes.

18                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  And -- and if 

19           there was to be a debt, we're not picking up 

20           the debt service, right?            

21                  DR. KOWAL:  That's correct.  It was 

22           proposed by SUNY.  But yes. 

23                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  So if we picked 

24           up the debt service, would that come close to 


 1           assisting with what had been the subsidy in 

 2           the past? 

 3                  DR. KOWAL:  It would -- it's 

 4           approximately $87 million for that debt 

 5           servicing --

 6                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Okay.

 7                  DR. KOWAL:  So it's pretty -- it's 

 8           very close to where that subsidy was -- or we 

 9           call mission funding, yes.             

10                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Right.  Well, I 

11           think it was -- actually, when I started, it 

12           was 160 million.

13                  DR. KOWAL:  It was.             

14                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  But the last 

15           time I saw it, it was like 61, and then it 

16           vanished.             

17                  DR. KOWAL:  Correct.             

18                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you very 

19           much.             

20                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  We 

21           go back to the Senate.             

22                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  And 

23           we'll start with Senator Toby Stavisky.             

24                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah, I'd 


 1           appreciate the short answer and not the 

 2           essay.  

 3                  First, James, real quick, what is your 

 4           number one and two priorities on the 

 5           New Deal?            

 6                  DR. DAVIS:  Well, you know, that's a 

 7           difficult question to answer at this point.  

 8           Because, of course, what we would like to see 

 9           is each of the pieces.  And we understand 

10           there are so many competing demands on the 

11           Legislature at this point, and all of them 

12           are important.  We don't like to be pitted 

13           against health care, housing and the rest.  

14                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  I know.

15                  DR. DAVIS:  But the reason why I want 

16           to emphasize that the construct here is a 

17           five-year phase-in is so that the Legislature 

18           could work to move in each of the pieces -- 

19           the staffing ratios, the pay parity, and the 

20           movement towards returning CUNY to its 

21           tuition-free-for-undergraduates basis.             

22                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  

23                  Dr. Fred, you're -- one question.  

24           Aside from the debt service, which is paid 


 1           by -- for all the other agencies, you 

 2           mentioned the mission funding for the SUNY 

 3           hospitals.  And the hospitals we know have 

 4           been neglected for quite a while.  

 5                  Would you explain what the mission 

 6           funding would resolve in terms of helping the 

 7           SUNY hospitals through this difficult period?            

 8                  DR. KOWAL:  Yes, thank you, Senator.  

 9           It's -- what we're talking about is at least 

10           going back to where we were I would say 

11           approximately 2015, 2016, when what was then 

12           called the subsidy of $87 million would be 

13           reinstated.  

14                  In part, this would cover the fringe 

15           benefit costs, because the hospitals have to 

16           pay the fringe benefit costs, unlike any 

17           other campuses within SUNY.  They are unique 

18           in having those costs.  Furthermore, it would 

19           help to make up for the losses in those 

20           elective surgeries and those other important 

21           services that they have not been able to 

22           provide.  

23                  We need to get back to funding these 

24           important institutions for what they are.  


 1           They are public institutions who at present 

 2           are not getting public support.  It is 

 3           absolutely necessary that it be there.  And 

 4           that's why we want to see both the debt 

 5           servicing taken care of and critical mission 

 6           funding reinstated.             

 7                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  I know we've spoken 

 8           about Downstate and the hospital across the 

 9           street.  Would you compare what difficulties 

10           Downstate is facing?  

11                  DR. KOWAL:  Well, I did notice it was 

12           just several weeks ago that the new mayor 

13           announced that they were going to be pouring 

14           in over $100 million into the H+H hospitals, 

15           the public hospitals in New York City, which 

16           we applaud.  That's exactly what we need to 

17           have happen in terms of SUNY'S state public 

18           teaching hospitals, remember.  And it is a 

19           case where, you know, the resources this year 

20           are available and they need to be placed 

21           where they're needed.             

22                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you, and 

23           thank your members for their service.             

24                  DR. KOWAL:  Thank you.             


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Back to the 

 2           Assembly.             

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Assemblyman Ra.             

 4                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Thank you, Chair.  

 5                  Mr. Sako -- Sako -- I apologize if I'm 

 6           pronouncing that wrong.             

 7                  MR. SAKO:  No problem.             

 8                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  I'm just wondering 

 9           if -- do you know, specific to your 

10           institution, what your share of that 

11           $37.5 million would be?            

12                  MR. SAKO:  I would have to get back to 

13           you on that.  I do not.             

14                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Okay.  

15                  I'm down in Nassau County, and I think 

16           we're -- we're in the -- at least ballpark in 

17           terms of enrollment, so -- 

18                  MR. SAKO:  Yeah, we're about the same.

19                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  -- a similar number.  

20                  But I think your point is very 

21           important and, you know, I had the 

22           opportunity to raise it with the chancellor 

23           this morning, that it's great to have 

24           100 percent, but when you're basing it off of 


 1           a really rough time in terms of enrollment, I 

 2           think it's appropriate that we go back to 

 3           pre-pandemic.  

 4                  So thank you for that point.  And I 

 5           would be interested if you could get that 

 6           information.             

 7                  MR. SAKO:  Yes, I'd be happy to.  And 

 8           thank you for acknowledging that.  That's --

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN RA:  Well, you're back 

10           (inaudible overtalk).

11                  Thank you.             

12                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Right.  Quick.

13                  Senator John Liu.             

14                  SENATOR LIU:  Thank you, Madam Chair. 

15                  I thank the panelists for their great 

16           work for our students and state, and 

17           congratulations to James Davis for I guess -- 

18           is this your first budget hearing, or second?            

19                  DR. DAVIS:  It's the first of this 

20           joint committee.  Thank you, Senator.             

21                  SENATOR LIU:  Good to see you.  

22                  So rather than Senator Stavisky asking 

23           the question that we all wanted to ask -- 

24           which is, like, if you don't get the whole 


 1           New Deal, which part of it do you want the 

 2           most -- let me ask, when we say decades of 

 3           disinvestment in -- specifically in CUNY and 

 4           SUNY, so I guess this question is for you and 

 5           Fred -- what would be a vivid example of that 

 6           disinvestment by the state?            

 7                  DR. DAVIS:  Thanks, Senator, for the 

 8           question.  

 9                  Look, I mean, the bottom line -- I'm 

10           going to give the thumbnail version here, 

11           right?  We're talking about trying to match 

12           quality, educational quality to educational 

13           access.  Right?  We've done a decent job in 

14           New York State and the city on access.  We 

15           could do better.  But what we're also talking 

16           about is trying to enhance the quality of the 

17           student experience.  

18                  So a vivid example, you know, if the 

19           CUNY system were still funded today at the 

20           rate that it was funded in 1990 from the 

21           state, our senior colleges would have a 

22           billion dollars more in operating aid than 

23           they have today.  Right?  So there's been a 

24           38 percent decline in -- when adjusted for 


 1           inflation, in per FTE student, full-time- 

 2           equivalent student funding since 1990, and an 

 3           18 percent decline in that same category 

 4           since the recession.             

 5                  SENATOR LIU:  Okay.  That's helpful.  

 6           So if the state had kept up its rate of 

 7           support for -- this is just for CUNY, right?

 8                  DR. DAVIS:  Right, for the CUNY 

 9           central office and colleges.             

10                  SENATOR LIU:  -- the state allocation 

11           for CUNY should be $1 billion more today than 

12           it is, even with the Governor's proposal.             

13                  DR. DAVIS:  Correct.  The Governor's 

14           proposal is a good, good starting point for 

15           this year.  I'll be candid, we haven't seen a 

16           strong budget -- 

17                  SENATOR LIU:  Yeah.

18                  DR. DAVIS:  -- since the recession of 

19           2008-'09 coming out of the Executive.  So I 

20           want to be clear on that too.             

21                  But yes.  

22                  SENATOR LIU:  Yeah, I keep pressing 

23           CUNY for that number, but they just won't 

24           give it.  


 1                  How about you, Fred?  What would be 

 2           the equivalent for SUNY if the state had kept 

 3           up its pace of operating support for SUNY 

 4           since 1990?

 5                  DR. KOWAL:  Yeah, for 1990 I don't 

 6           have.  But I know that just since the 

 7           Great Recession, it's $7 billion, adjusted 

 8           for inflation.  That is billion with a B.  

 9                  And here's where I think --

10                  SENATOR LIU:  Wait, $7 billion 

11           additional per year?  Or $7 billion total per 

12           year?

13                  DR. KOWAL:  Total.  Over the time 

14           period of 15 years.  

15                  And where we see the real impact is in 

16           enrollment.  It is a false statement to say, 

17           Well, enrollment is down and so therefore the 

18           institutions don't need resources.  The 

19           causality is the other way.  If you don't 

20           invest in the institutions, students will not 

21           go.             

22                  SENATOR LIU:  Yeah, I don't know if 

23           you were -- I don't know, Fred, if you had 

24           seen the testimony this morning by the 


 1           interim chancellor.  She cited a whole host 

 2           of possible reasons why enrollment might be 

 3           down, but she didn't bring up tuition and the 

 4           fact that it's gone up quite a bit.  She also 

 5           didn't think that the faculty-student ratios 

 6           matter to students or potential students.             

 7                  DR. KOWAL:  Well, that's just false.  

 8           They do matter.  They matter extensively, as 

 9           does the ratio to professional staff that 

10           support the process of getting people through 

11           college.  

12                  It is absolutely necessary for the 

13           resources to be there to attract and then 

14           retain students throughout their careers.             

15                  SENATOR LIU:  Thank you.  Thanks for 

16           your information.  

17                  Thank you, Madam Chair.

18                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

19           Assemblyman Epstein.

20                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you.    

21           Thank you, Chair.  

22                  And thanks for sticking with us.  You 

23           know, I know it's already been a long day for 

24           you all.  


 1                  So I just want to just go further down 

 2           the line to what Senator Liu was asking you 

 3           about.  And obviously we want as much 

 4           resources as we can get to SUNY and CUNY.  

 5           And you know, what we have been hearing a lot 

 6           from students is how hard it is, you know, 

 7           how hard it is to keep staying in school, how 

 8           hard it is to, you know, stay as a full-time 

 9           student, to keep your grades up.  

10                  So I know we need to change the 

11           faculty, the staff ratio -- to student ratio.  

12           You know, we need to do more resources.  But 

13           I have also heard a lot around like mental 

14           health issues we're talking about, but also 

15           like food insecurity, housing insecurity.  

16                  Are you hearing that from the students 

17           as well?  Are there specific things besides 

18           just additional funding that we really need 

19           to target to ensure students can stay in 

20           school and get the help that they need?            

21                  DR. KOWAL:  I think absolutely, 

22           Assemblyman.  

23                  I think what we're seeing is two 

24           public university systems -- and I will 


 1           include in this the community colleges, that 

 2           really are just barely getting by.  We have 

 3           so many institutions in SUNY where I 

 4           represent the faculty and professional staff  

 5           that are in such dire financial situations, 

 6           and it's always blamed on demographics.  

 7                  It's not the case.  The case is the 

 8           situation where the resources have not been 

 9           there.  And students are really struggling.  

10           We have students who literally can't pay bus 

11           fare.  

12                  And there was an article about one of 

13           the students going up to SUNY Poly -- it was 

14           in the Washington Post last week -- was not 

15           going to be able to attend the start of her 

16           college career -- his college career -- 

17           because they didn't have the bus fare, okay?  

18                  And when there aren't the resources to 

19           support all aspects of a student's tuition 

20           but then also the fees, it means they're 

21           paying these other areas where then they 

22           can't meet their basic needs of food, 

23           housing, and so forth.  

24                  And that's what we're talking about.  


 1           That's why nationally 20 percent of 

 2           college-aged students choose not to go, 

 3           because they perceive it to be too expensive.  

 4           We are missing one out of every five students 

 5           because they can't afford to go.  And that's 

 6           because tuition and fees are too high.  

 7                  And so the resources are needed to 

 8           bring them in and retain them.             

 9                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  James, do you 

10           have anything to add?

11                  DR. DAVIS:  Thanks, Assemblymember.

12                  The only thing I would add -- I 

13           realize the time is short -- is that, you 

14           know, I was attentive to what the chancellor 

15           was describing about the mental health 

16           counseling investment that has already been 

17           made with the federal pandemic relief 

18           funding.  And I think that's been really 

19           important.  

20                  However, it's really critical that -- 

21           that's one-time money, and it's also -- it's 

22           only usable, you know, to hire people on a 

23           temporary basis.  And I think the investment 

24           that we need now is for full-time mental 


 1           health counselors that are really going to be 

 2           there and be available, that there won't be 

 3           two-month, three-month waits to see someone.  

 4                  So it doesn't address the full scope 

 5           of your question, but I think that's a really 

 6           important piece of wraparound services that 

 7           we need to be providing.  

 8                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you.             

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

10                  We -- I see, Senator Krueger, you have 

11           a Senator?

12                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I believe we have 

13           two Senators left.  We have Senator 

14           Jackson -- there he is -- and then later 

15           Senator Borrello.             

16                  Thank you.  

17                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you.  

18                  I'm going to ask a couple of 

19           questions, and I only have three minutes, so 

20           if your answers can be as concise as 

21           possible, I would appreciate it.  

22                  So do you support Tier 6 pension 

23           reform to help recruit and retain educators?  

24           And if you have experienced that, then say 


 1           so.  I'm going to ask each one of you to 

 2           respond quickly, yes or no, and why.             

 3                  DR. KOWAL:  Yes.  Because it will 

 4           absolutely help with recruitment and 

 5           retention of qualified faculty and staff.             

 6                  SENATOR JACKSON:  And you're speaking 

 7           on behalf of UUP, is that correct?

 8                  DR. KOWAL:  That is correct, Senator.             

 9                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.  

10                  James?

11                  DR. DAVIS:  Yes.  Same answer from the 

12           PSC, Senator Jackson.  Thank you.

13                  SENATOR JACKSON:  The police officer?  

14           Okay -- Christopher?

15                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  Yes, Senator, I 

16           absolutely agree with that.             

17                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Yeah, Christopher, 

18           I'll ask you a quick question.  

19                  Why are people leaving?  Is it because 

20           of the 25 years versus 20 years?  Or is it 

21           more than that?            

22                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  Quite honestly, 

23           Senator, it's -- it is not a young man's job.  

24           It is long hours, it is bad conditions at 


 1           times.  There are unsavory people we have to 

 2           deal with.  It does age the body.  

 3                  We are --   statistically, we do not 

 4           make it very far through retirement, 

 5           unfortunately.  A 20-year retirement gives an 

 6           officer the ability to say "I am done when 

 7           I'm done."  Twenty years in this job can be 

 8           many lifetimes in others.

 9                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay, thank you.  

10                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  We definitely don't 

11           wish to stay.             

12                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you, 

13           Christopher.  I've got to move on with the 

14           questions.  I appreciate it.             

15                  NYSUT, New York State United Teachers. 

16                  MR. SAKO:  Yes, I'd like -- I'm 

17           Andrew Sako from the community colleges, and 

18           I believe also the Tier 6 would help 

19           our reform -- would also help attract faculty 

20           and support staff to the community colleges.             

21                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay, here is a 

22           question for UUP.  

23                  The Governor has proposed closing the 

24           TAP gap.  Is that enough to help SUNY 


 1           campuses dig out of the deficit from previous 

 2           years, and do you have the resources to 

 3           attract students?  And I'm saying that, 

 4           asking you as a union president.  

 5                  DR. KOWAL:  It helps.  It is important 

 6           for campuses like Brockport, Morrisville, 

 7           where there's a high percentage of full TAP 

 8           awardees, but it does not cover the full 

 9           financial gaps that are faced by these 

10           campuses.  We need operating funds directly 

11           to campuses.  

12                  Please, to all of you in the 

13           Legislature, direct funding ear-marked 

14           directly to campuses -- that's the operating 

15           money that they need.             

16                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Where do you come up 

17           with -- when I say you, PSC.  I was at a 

18           press conference this morning, and UUP said 

19           253.9 million, $253 million of CUNY operating 

20           and for SUNY.  Where do you get those figures 

21           from?            

22                  DR. KOWAL:  The correct answer, 

23           quickly, is that it involves both what I 

24           referred to in my answers to Senator Stavisky 


 1           about the hospitals, that's about 150.  The 

 2           other 100 is intended to make up the gaps 

 3           that exist at campuses.  

 4                  It's just proportional 

 5           across-the-board to different campuses.             

 6                  SENATOR JACKSON:  PSC?

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I'm sorry -- 

 8           thank you, Robert.             

 9                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you.  

10                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

11                  Next, Assembly.  We'll go to 

12           Assemblywoman Griffin, three minutes.             

13                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Thank you very 

14           much, and thank you to all of you who have 

15           testified.  Oh, I forgot my video.  Okay.  

16           Thank you very much to all of you who have 

17           testified.  

18                  I realize that even COVID has very 

19           much exacerbated all of the challenges to the 

20           universities for all of you, to campuses and 

21           to campus life.  And so I, you know, 

22           completely -- you know, I'm supportive of 

23           these endeavors that you all, you know, are 

24           striving for, the Tier 6 and the pensions.  I 


 1           realize that, you know, we voted that in in 

 2           our vote last year for the State Police and 

 3           how important that was.  

 4                  I know it got vetoed, but I understand 

 5           that's so important in keeping your officers 

 6           working there, you know, instead of going to 

 7           another police force and all the extra money 

 8           we have in training when we have the 

 9           continual cycle of so many officers leaving.  

10           I think it was 50 percent that was noted.  

11                  But I am -- I also think it's so 

12           important to really fund our teaching 

13           hospitals.  That's crucial too, because once 

14           again we realized how this became more 

15           vulnerable once we started with COVID.  

16                  But one question I have for you, 

17           Christopher -- Director Lacosse for 

18           University Police.  You mentioned in your 

19           testimony about the geographic jurisdiction, 

20           that you're limited to a hundred yards past 

21           the campus.  And I do know in other states 

22           campus police have a lot more -- a lot higher 

23           jurisdiction.  It goes to a greater area.  

24                  And as part of what you're asking for, 


 1           are you asking for more jurisdiction?            

 2                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  That is correct.  

 3                  I will use my particular workplace, 

 4           for example.  In Albany we have the Uptown 

 5           Campus on the west end of town.  We have 

 6           another piece of campus on the downtown part 

 7           of Albany, which is about 2 miles away.  

 8                  When I'm traveling to and fro, back 

 9           and forth, I lose the ability to do anything 

10           about simple infractions, traffic or 

11           otherwise.  Picture me sitting at a 

12           stoplight, and somebody blows it, and I'm 

13           just sitting there and doing nothing.  People 

14           say that -- What is he doing?  He's just a 

15           security guard, he's just sitting there.  

16                  No, I literally have no jurisdiction 

17           over that particular incident.  It's a simple 

18           add to our jobs that makes us a little more, 

19           in my opinion -- it gives us some more 

20           legitimacy and makes us a better community 

21           partner.  It is 400 more cops on the road, 

22           basically.             

23                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Right.  It 

24           does seem important, especially if you have a 


 1           lot of off-campus students that live a lot 

 2           further away but could use the protection 

 3           that the University Police could offer.             

 4                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  Absolutely, 

 5           100 percent.

 6                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  That makes 

 7           sense.

 8                  Well, thank you to you all, I 

 9           appreciate your testimony.  Thank you.  

10                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  Thank you.  

11                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Senate, we do 

12           not have any other Assemblymembers.             

13                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  We have one more 

14           Senator, George Borrello.             

15                  SENATOR BORRELLO:  Thank you, 

16           Madam Chair.  

17                  My question is for Mr. Lacosse.  First 

18           of all, thank you very much for being here, 

19           thank you for your service.  I have several 

20           SUNY campuses in my district.  I grew up in 

21           the Village of Fredonia with a SUNY school.  

22                  First of all, I agree with you, you 

23           know, the whole concept of closest car -- you 

24           guys should be in that mix when something 


 1           needs to be done.  

 2                  But my question is about the 

 3           legalization of recreational marijuana.  I 

 4           spent 10 years in county government.  One of 

 5           my concerns and the concerns of law 

 6           enforcement in general is the lack of drug 

 7           recognition experts.  And I'm curious, does 

 8           SUNY University Police Officers -- do you 

 9           have drug recognition experts?  And how many?  

10                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  We have two at my 

11           agency.             

12                  SENATOR BORRELLO:  Two out of how many            

13           officers?  

14                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  My officers, who I 

15           have currently, about 23 or 24.  

16                  SENATOR BORRELLO:  Okay.  Do you 

17           know -- do you happen to know the rest of the 

18           University Police departments?

19                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  In the system?  

20           Unfortunately, I do not.  I could get you 

21           those numbers.  I do not know.  

22                  There has been quite a spike in the 

23           amount of DREs in the state.  I think they're 

24           pushing for more on the road right now.             


 1                  SENATOR BORRELLO:  Well, that's my 

 2           concern.  I know in Chautauqua County, which 

 3           is where three of my campuses, three SUNY 

 4           campuses are, they have three drug 

 5           recognition experts throughout every police 

 6           agency in the county.  Only three.  

 7                  So with that being said, you know, I 

 8           just want to speak to the fact that they're 

 9           funding to increase -- it's a very expensive 

10           training, as I'm sure you're aware.  You have 

11           to fly guys to Florida, and it's got to be 

12           renewed every year.  

13                  What is the status, in your opinion, 

14           of your preparedness for the legalization of 

15           recreational marijuana on colleges campuses?  

16                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  Well, insofar as 

17           that goes, most of my officers do have ARIDE 

18           training.  It's the prerequisite course for 

19           the DRE course.  It's significantly shorter, 

20           obviously.  It focuses on impairment as 

21           opposed to other factors.  

22                  But I definitely think we could use 

23           the bolstering in that regard.  We are seeing 

24           an uptick in DWAI drug charges when it comes 


 1           to impaired operators.  So it would 

 2           definitely be something I would consider 

 3           highly important.             

 4                  SENATOR BORRELLO:  So it's highly 

 5           important, and we directly don't have any 

 6           funding to increase drug recognition experts 

 7           in University Police departments at this 

 8           point.  Is that essentially it?

 9                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  Not that I'm aware 

10           of.  Not that I'm aware of, sir.

11                  SENATOR BORRELLO:  Well, I just want 

12           to -- I think we should be on record for 

13           that, because I do think it is an issue.  I 

14           brought up this whole idea of DREs.  I was on 

15           college campuses -- you know, your job is to 

16           keep them safe, and, you know, especially 

17           rural campuses like where I am, where a lot 

18           of students are commuters, a lot of students 

19           have cars on campus, and it's a concern.  

20                  Every single one of your officers I 

21           assume has a breathalyzer if they need one, 

22           for alcohol?

23                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  We are all trained 

24           in -- you know, we're all trained in it, we 


 1           have the availability to take them on the 

 2           road.  We have a good number of them, yes.  

 3                  SENATOR BORRELLO:  So essentially 

 4           you're -- all of your officers, 100 percent 

 5           of them are trained to handle alcohol, but 

 6           you only have two that are trained to handle 

 7           drugs.             

 8                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  In the expanded 

 9           form, correct.  We all can take somebody into 

10           custody for the impairment.  It's the 

11           observation after the fact.  So yes --

12                  SENATOR BORRELLO:  Which is where the 

13           conviction comes from, really, is from those 

14           DREs.  If you want it to stick, you've got to 

15           have the DRE.  

16                  All right, thank you very much.  

17           Appreciate it.             

18                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  You're welcome.  

19           .       CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I believe that's 

20           it for the Senate.             

21                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  All right.  So 

22           we want to thank this panel for being here 

23           with us, and we're going to move on to 

24           Panel B.             


 1                  OFFICER LACOSSE:  Thank you. 

 2                  DR. KOWAL:  Thank you very much.

 3                  DR. DAVIS:  Thank you.

 4                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, 

 5           everyone.

 6                  MR. SAKO:  Thank you.  

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So we have with 

 8           us Panel B:  Association of Proprietary 

 9           Colleges, Donna Stelling-Gurnett, president; 

10           Association for Program Administrators of 

11           CSTEP and STEP Programs, Michael Molina, 

12           president; Commission on Independent Colleges 

13           and Universities, CICU, Lola Brabham, 

14           president.  The next witness on the witness 

15           list is not able to be with us today, so the 

16           final member of the panel is On Point for 

17           College, Samuel Rowser, executive director.

18                  So if we can go in that order, and 

19           we'll start with the Association of 

20           Proprietary Colleges.             

21                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  Okay, 

22           wonderful.  

23                  Thank you, Chairs Weinstein, Krueger, 

24           Glick and Stavisky, and members of the 


 1           Legislature.  Thank you for this opportunity 

 2           to present this testimony on behalf of the 

 3           Association of Proprietary Colleges.   

 4                  My name is Donna Stelling-Gurnett, and 

 5           I am the president of APC.  As you know, the 

 6           association represents the interests of 

 7           11 privately held --

 8                  (Zoom interruption.)

 9                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  I'm sorry?

10                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I'm sorry, 

11           everybody please mute if you're not the one 

12           testifying.             

13                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  Can I continue? 

14                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Let's try again.             

15                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes.  Please 

16           do.             

17                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  All right.  I 

18           would like to begin my testimony by sincerely 

19           thanking all of you for your support 

20           throughout the year.  You included us in 

21           public hearings and always made yourselves 

22           available to talk with us when needed, and I 

23           sincerely appreciate your efforts.  

24                  This year APC's legislative priorities 


 1           fall into two areas:  The first, continued 

 2           support for the Tuition Assistance Program, 

 3           and the second, continued support for parity 

 4           across all sectors of higher education.  

 5                  I'm going to focus my remarks today on 

 6           our first request, continued support for the 

 7           Tuition Assistance Program.  The Governor's 

 8           State of the State address and proposed 

 9           budget made clear her commitment to higher 

10           education and her support for TAP and other 

11           opportunity programs.  The commitment to 

12           maintaining financial aid is needed now more 

13           than ever, since those students benefiting 

14           from the assistance are also those that have 

15           been most impacted by COVID-19.  

16                  Changes in the TAP program, like 

17           increasing the minimum TAP award or 

18           increasing the maximum income threshold, 

19           would have a significant impact on all 

20           students.  

21                  We are also pleased to see the 

22           Governor's proposal to expand access to 

23           part-time TAP by eliminating the 24 credit 

24           prior year eligibility requirement.  


 1                  It's my understanding that in 2006, 

 2           part-time TAP was introduced for students 

 3           attending CUNY schools, and then in 2007 it 

 4           was expanded to include students attending 

 5           SUNY and nonprofit colleges.  But 

 6           unfortunately, students attending proprietary 

 7           colleges have been denied access to part-time 

 8           TAP.  

 9                  The latest data shows that about 

10           17 percent of students attending APC member 

11           colleges are attending part-time.  However, 

12           the current reality is that as New York 

13           recovers from the pandemic, many students 

14           will find themselves needing to focus on 

15           family or work obligations and may only be 

16           able to attend college part-time.  So I ask 

17           that the Legislature ensures that these 

18           students also have equal access to the newly 

19           expanded program.  

20                  Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't 

21           take this opportunity to mention the APC 

22           Student Leadership Council.  Again this year 

23           APC members have nominated two or three 

24           students to serve on this council, and we 


 1           have been working with this group over the 

 2           past few months, discussing how the 

 3           legislative process works both at the state 

 4           and federal level as well as why it's so 

 5           important to be engaged in this process.  

 6                  This group of students has amazing 

 7           stories to tell, and they are truly engaged, 

 8           and I would welcome the opportunity for you 

 9           to meet with them directly.  

10                  With that, I will end my remarks.  I 

11           appreciate your time today, and I'm happy to 

12           answer any questions you may have.             

13                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

14                  Can we move on to Michael Molina.             

15                  MR. MOLINA:  Hello, everyone.  Let me 

16           first thank Senator Krueger, Assemblywoman 

17           Weinstein, and Higher Ed Chairs Glick and 

18           Stavisky for convening this meeting.  

19                  My name is Mike Molina.  I'm the 

20           president of APACS, the professional 

21           association of CSTEP and STEP directors in 

22           New York, and also the CSTEP and STEP 

23           director at Fordham University.  

24                  I would like to start by thanking you 


 1           all, first of all, for giving us a 20 percent 

 2           increase in our funding last year.  It was 

 3           the first increase we had had in over 

 4           five years.  

 5                  I'm here today to ask for an 

 6           additional 10 percent increase besides what 

 7           the Governor has proposed in her Executive 

 8           Budget, so I'm here asking for a full 

 9           20 percent increase in funding for CSTEP and 

10           STEP and all of the opportunity programs.  

11                  So in addition to that, what we're 

12           asking for this year is that the bulk of 

13           these funds go to enable the programs to grow 

14           and develop and to be able to continue 

15           providing the services and resources that 

16           they have been providing for the last three 

17           years during the pandemic.  

18                  What we've learned over the last three 

19           years is that what we have been doing for the 

20           last three years is filling gaps, meeting our 

21           students where they are in terms of what 

22           their needs are -- whether it's technology, 

23           wifi, counseling, tutoring, academic support.  

24           Whatever it is, we are trying to meet them 


 1           where they are.  

 2                  And the needs are many.  Food 

 3           insecurity has been a big issue, for example, 

 4           for many students in both STEP and CSTEP, and 

 5           I know it's been a similar issue for my 

 6           colleagues in our sister opportunity 

 7           programs.  

 8                  So we're asking that any increase this 

 9           year go primarily to helping the programs 

10           grow and expand what we're doing already.  

11           We're doing a lot.  

12                  I think there is no argument that the 

13           opportunity programs CSTEP and STEP and all 

14           of the opportunity programs in New York are 

15           the crown jewel of New York.  They work.  Why 

16           do they work? Because they provide support, 

17           and they provide community.  And those are 

18           the two things that help students to be 

19           successful -- support services and community.  

20                  So in addition to all of this, what 

21           we're also requesting this year, frankly, is 

22           budgetary language that assists the 

23           State Education Department in ensuring that 

24           your legislative intent is carried out in any 


 1           funds that you provide for 2023.  I mentioned 

 2           at the outset that you gave us a 20 percent 

 3           increase last year.  Well, current CSTEP 

 4           programs didn't see any of that.  And, you 

 5           know, we would like for that to not be 

 6           repeated.  

 7                  But -- and finally, two of the 

 8           programs that we would like to ask for 

 9           additional funding for are the opportunity to 

10           work with CSTEP graduate and post-bac 

11           students who we're not able to work with now.  

12           We feel like we're losing track of a large 

13           number of students who graduate as 

14           undergraduates but then take their Year 2 or 

15           3 to get experience before they apply to 

16           graduate and professional schools.  We want 

17           to continue to work with those students after 

18           they've left as undergrads when they decide 

19           to apply to grad school and professional 

20           schools.  

21                  And finally, we have a Summer of 

22           Science program that we conduct with 

23           Brookhaven National Laboratory for STEP 

24           students, for 8th and 9th graders, that has 


 1           been tremendously successful and that we 

 2           would like to offer to all of our STEP 

 3           programs and students throughout the state.  

 4                  Thank you very much.  

 5                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you, and 

 6           we move on to CICU.

 7                  MS. BRABHAM:  Good afternoon, 

 8           Chairs Krueger and Weinstein and members of 

 9           the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and 

10           Means committees.  

11                  My name is Lola Brabham, and it's my 

12           privilege to serve as the president of the 

13           Commission on Independent Colleges and 

14           Universities.  I appreciate the opportunity 

15           to appear before you today to comment on the 

16           2023 Executive Budget.  

17                  The independent sector of higher 

18           education in New York educates 40 percent of 

19           the state's 1.2 million students, including 

20           approximately 250,000 New Yorkers.  CICU 

21           member colleges graduate 58 percent of 

22           New York's future teachers, 67 percent of 

23           future nurses and health care workers, and 

24           67 percent of STEM graduates.  Two-thirds of 


 1           students at CICU member colleges are from 

 2           families that earn less than $125,000 

 3           annually.

 4                  Nearly 60,000 independent sector 

 5           students receive TAP.  COVID cost New York's 

 6           private colleges nearly $4 billion as of 

 7           June 2021.  Federal relief aid covered less 

 8           than 22 percent of those losses.  This is the 

 9           year to make historic investments in higher 

10           education.  

11                  The Executive has proposed 

12           long-delayed investments for SUNY and CUNY, 

13           and she's been very clear that the state is 

14           on very solid financial ground with no budget 

15           gaps projected through 2027.  So now is the 

16           time to invest in a higher education 

17           ecosystem that supports all sectors.  

18                  The state must increase its support of 

19           the 500,000 students who comprise the 

20           independent sector, to the benefit of the 

21           great state of New York.  You received my 

22           full written testimony last week, so I will 

23           just use this time to highlight a few key 

24           items.  


 1                  We applaud the Executive's proposal to 

 2           reopen TAP funding to incarcerated 

 3           individuals and expand the program to 

 4           part-time TAP.  However, we also urge the 

 5           Legislature to increase the income 

 6           eligibility limit for TAP from $80,000 to 

 7           $110,000 to expand the program to an 

 8           additional 24,000 New York families.  The 

 9           income limit for TAP eligibility hasn't been 

10           raised since 2000, and the result is that 

11           every year fewer students are eligible for 

12           the program.             

13                  Bundy Aid is invested into student aid 

14           programs that help more students complete 

15           their degrees.  It's been dramatically 

16           underfunded for decades.  Currently it's only 

17           funded at about 18 percent of statutory 

18           levels.  We're grateful that the Executive 

19           included level funding of $35 million, but 

20           we're appealing to the Legislature to 

21           increase Bundy Aid to $60 million.  

22                  We encourage the Legislature to take 

23           meaningful action to increase the number of 

24           faculty members from underrepresented 


 1           communities.  CICU proposes establishing the 

 2           Charles L. Riesen Fellowship Program to 

 3           support undergraduate students with financial 

 4           need who have demonstrated strong academic 

 5           potential to succeed in doctoral studies and 

 6           who are interested in pursuing a career in 

 7           academia.  The program is modeled on 

 8           nationally successful programs and would 

 9           provide financial support, academic advising, 

10           mentorship, and research opportunities to our 

11           students.  

12                  We're grateful that the Executive 

13           included a 10 percent increase for all of the 

14           opportunity programs, including HEOP, STEP, 

15           CSTEP, and the Liberty Partnership Programs.  

16           But to preserve the life-changing programs, 

17           the Legislature should increase funding by 

18           20 percent.  

19                  We were very happy to see that the 

20           Executive Budget proposed $30 million for a 

21           new round of the HECap program.  Because of 

22           the three-to-one match requirement, the state 

23           will see more than a 120 million in total 

24           investment as a result.  


 1                  Additionally, CICU proposes that the 

 2           state establish a $100 million Green HECap 

 3           program focused on carbon reduction and 

 4           sustainability.  This would spur green 

 5           investment in communities across New York  

 6           and help the state achieve its goals as 

 7           outlined in the Climate Leadership and 

 8           Community Protection Act.  

 9                  Centers for Advanced Technology and 

10           Centers of Excellence have proven track 

11           records of incubating technology and creating 

12           jobs and opportunities across the state.  

13           This year we encourage the state to increase 

14           that funding for each CAT and COE to 

15           $1.5 million.             

16                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Can you please 

17           sum up?  

18                  MS. BRABHAM:  Absolutely.  Then I will 

19           just hit this last point, thank you.

20                  The Executive Budget proposes a 

21           significant investment in workforce 

22           development and includes a specific set-aside 

23           of $20 million for internships and 

24           apprenticeships that would be limited to only 


 1           SUNY and CUNY students.  We urge the 

 2           Legislature to ensure all college students 

 3           are included in this effort.  

 4                  Thank you.  I'm happy to answer any 

 5           questions that you have at this time.             

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 7                  And we go to On Point for College.  

 8           There you go.

 9                  MR. ROWSER:  Thank you, Chairpersons 

10           Krueger, Weinstein, Glick, and Stavisky for 

11           this opportunity to talk with you about 

12           transforming lives and communities in the 

13           face of the pandemic by investing half a 

14           million dollars in New York's future 

15           workforce.  

16                  We know that education is an effective 

17           pathway out of poverty.  Ninety percent of 

18           students who earn a bachelor's degree are 

19           lifted out of poverty, according to a 

20           Pew Charitable Trust study.  

21                  On Point for College is a three-legged 

22           support system for students to access college 

23           or post-secondary opportunity, succeed in 

24           college or that post-secondary opportunity, 


 1           and position themselves for a career.  

 2                  You've gotten my written testimony, so 

 3           I'd just like to share quickly three stories 

 4           on those areas that we work in.  

 5                  Access.  We had a student that 

 6           graduated from high school and had done 

 7           really well, gotten two scholarships, $1500 

 8           and $150, went to the bank to cash that check 

 9           because he needed that money to pay the rest 

10           of his bill.  He got there and he didn't have 

11           proper ID.  They told him if he had a birth 

12           certificate to go along with it, they would 

13           help him out.  So he called his mom up, went 

14           to the county building to get the birth 

15           certificate, they said sure, we just need 

16           $30.  The kid was dejected, came to us to say 

17           "I can't go because I don't have the $30."  

18                  Of course we wrote him a check for $30 

19           so he could get that birth certificate and 

20           cash his check.  That's our access part.  

21                  Success.  We had a student that was a 

22           D1 athlete, also had gotten a Gates 

23           Scholarship, full ride to University of 

24           Buffalo, but had no transportation to get 


 1           from Syracuse to there.  We transported that 

 2           student for four years back and forth.  She 

 3           graduated with her nursing degree, decided 

 4           she wanted to be a doctor, completed her four 

 5           years of med school, just completed her 

 6           residency, and we call her Dr. White today.  

 7                  That's the success work that we do 

 8           with students.  

 9                  And the third leg is career services.  

10           We had a young lady that had completed her 

11           associate's at Morrisville, transferred to 

12           Stony Brook and got her bachelor's in health 

13           science, came back to Syracuse and was 

14           working at a minimum-wage job.  When we 

15           talked to her about why she was there, she 

16           brought in her resume and we saw that on her 

17           resume she never indicated that she was a 

18           Gates Scholar.  When we asked her why, she 

19           said "I didn't want to brag."  

20                  That's where you do the bragging, 

21           that.  And so we worked with that student to 

22           redo her resume, and she ended up at an 

23           environmental protection firm making the 

24           money that she should be making.  


 1                  So we realize that our students need 

 2           that support.  They need that help to get to 

 3           where they want to be.  So while they're 

 4           going to college and being successful and 

 5           doing all of those successful things, there 

 6           is still an additional support system that 

 7           they need, and that's what On Point for 

 8           College practices, that support system.  

 9                  We believe that by providing the 

10           half-million dollars of state funding for 

11           On Point programs, we'll impact thousands of 

12           students' lives.  

13                  There is an article in the 

14           Washington Post on January 30th, 2022, that 

15           talks about the work that we do with one of 

16           our students from our Utica office.  If you 

17           have an opportunity to, read it.  We believe 

18           that if everybody keeps it on point, we can 

19           get there.  

20                  Thank you.             

21                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

22                  And we're going to go to Assemblywoman 

23           Glick for three minutes.  

24                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.  The 


 1           race to beat the clock here.  

 2                  Michael -- STEP, CSTEP, great 

 3           programs.  Do you have an idea of how many 

 4           students move through in each year?  

 5                  MR. MOLINA:  Well, there are about a 

 6           little bit over 18,000 students in the 

 7           programs each year, so we know how many there 

 8           are in the programs each year.  And I would 

 9           gather that between CSTEP, when students 

10           graduate -- you know, I can't give you an 

11           exact number.  I could probably check and get 

12           back to you with those numbers.             

13                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Yeah, that's 

14           great, yes.             

15                  MR. MOLINA:  Let you know who 

16           graduates, yes.

17                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  That's great.  

18                  And so you're -- I think what you're 

19           indicating is that it is crucial to get the 

20           budgetary language in that allows the current 

21           programs to expand.  Right, now if there's 

22           more money, it only goes to start new 

23           programs?            

24                  MR. MOLINA:  Well, you know, you will 


 1           have to ask the New York State Education 

 2           Department about that.  But yes.  

 3                  And what -- the problem is that they 

 4           use solely an enrollment-based funding 

 5           formula that takes into account nothing else.  

 6           It doesn't take into account what actual 

 7           costs are.  This formula is obsolete, it's 

 8           outdated, it's been in use for over 10 years.  

 9           So it hasn't changed.  So it doesn't really 

10           fund you for where you are and for what 

11           you're actually paying for different -- for 

12           personnel, for services, and so forth.  So 

13           that's the problem we have.             

14                  And in addition to that, the state had 

15           put into their RFP a provision which they 

16           chose to interpret a certain way which, on 

17           the CSTEP side, was why they decided to fund 

18           only new programs last year in the middle of 

19           a funding cycle, as opposed to supporting 

20           both the current programs and funding new 

21           programs.             

22                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thank you.  

23                  Lola, if you had to -- you have quite 

24           an array of things that you would like to see 


 1           in the budget.  Are there like the top three?            

 2                  MS. BRABHAM:  Yeah.  Actually there 

 3           are.  

 4                  I think that what's important is an 

 5           expansion of TAP.  You know, we are asking 

 6           the Legislature to, you know, move forward, 

 7           to increase the income threshold so that we 

 8           can capture another 24,000 New York students 

 9           that would be eligible for the program.  And 

10           we think that that's very important.  

11                  Secondly, we would like to see an 

12           increase in Bundy Aid.  Currently the program 

13           is funded at $35 million; we were happy to 

14           see that in the budget.  But we're asking for 

15           an increase to $60 million so that we can 

16           better support student needs.  

17                  You know, Bundy Aid is the only 

18           program that we have -- the only unrestricted 

19           source of funding that we have that we can 

20           use to provide direct student aid and 

21           provide -- 

22                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  We're out of 

23           time.  So number three?

24                  MS. BRABHAM:  -- wraparound services 


 1           that students need to graduate.  So that's 

 2           very important.             

 3                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  So number three?  

 4                  MS. BRABHAM:  I think number three -- 

 5           you know, the other thing that we're looking 

 6           at is -- you know, we were happy to see that 

 7           there was $30 million in the budget for 

 8           HECap.  

 9                  We'd like to see a $100 million round 

10           of green HECap which would really 

11           well-position the schools to be able to 

12           undertake projects that help them reduce the 

13           carbon footprint and also, you know, do 

14           things like electrify their fleet of vehicles 

15           and things that help the state meet its 

16           climate goals.             

17                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  So is that 30 

18           plus 100, or is 30 included in 100?

19                  MS. BRABHAM:  That would be 30 plus 

20           100, and the --

21                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  I see.  Okay.  

22           Thank you.  

23                  MS. BRABHAM:  Thank you.  

24                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thanks a lot.


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Senate, do you 

 2           have any questioners?            

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I just -- Senator 

 4           Stavisky?  

 5                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yes.  Thank you.  

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Senator Stavisky.  

 7           Thank you.  

 8                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you, 

 9           Senator Krueger.

10                  Donna, real quick -- how have the 

11           proprietary colleges weathered the pandemic, 

12           and what happened to your enrollment?            

13                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  They have 

14           weathered it, you know, with the focus on 

15           their student's safety, as always.  Right?  

16           When the pandemic first hit, they 

17           transitioned everyone smoothly to an online 

18           program.  

19                  As we have moved through the pandemic, 

20           you know, their priority has always been 

21           focused on their students and their safety, 

22           their faculty and their safety.  This past 

23           year we have started to bring students back 

24           on campus.  They're of course following all 


 1           the same state and federal protocols:  

 2           Masking, some are requiring vaccines and 

 3           boosters, and some are just strongly 

 4           encouraging.  But they've really done a great 

 5           job, I would say, overall.             

 6                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  

 7                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  Obviously, you 

 8           know, with their student focus it's kind of 

 9           hard not to.  But --

10                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  

11                  I want to thank Monroe particularly 

12           for their work during that terrible fire in 

13           the Bronx.  They really stepped up and made 

14           such a contribution.  It's appreciated.             

15                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  Thank you.   

16                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Lola, can I ask you 

17           a number of quick questions?  

18                  Bundy Aid.  Would you remind us who 

19           the beneficiaries are who receive Bundy Aid?  

20                  MS. BRABHAM:  Bundy Aid goes directly 

21           to support student aid, directly to the 

22           students, you know, to help them meet the 

23           cost of their tuition, to provide tutoring 

24           services, all of the support services that 


 1           students need to get to graduation.             

 2                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.  I mean, 

 3           obviously I knew the answer, but I think 

 4           people don't realize who benefits, and that's 

 5           the students who need the money most.             

 6                  MS. BRABHAM:  That's right.  

 7                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Secondly, Enhanced 

 8           TAP.  Linares testified that fewer than 

 9           25 colleges have applied.  Do you see any 

10           remedies down the road?            

11                  MS. BRABHAM:  Look, you know, the 

12           problem with the enhanced tuition awards, 

13           Senator, I think is that -- 

14                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  It's a match.

15                  MS. BRABHAM:  Right, it's the match.  

16                  But it's also that it's poorly timed.  

17           You know, it's my understanding that awards 

18           don't come out until the fall, after students 

19           have already made their decisions about where 

20           they're going to go to college.  So that's 

21           not part of the kind of -- that's not part of 

22           what they get to incorporate when they're 

23           thinking about where they're going to go and 

24           how much money they're going to have.  


 1                  There's also a lottery component to 

 2           this program which acts as a disincentive for 

 3           students to apply because, you know, although 

 4           they may be eligible -- 

 5                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  One more question 

 6           in -- I don't mean to cut you short -- real 

 7           quick.  

 8                  MS. BRABHAM:  That's fine.

 9                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  The closing of 

10           colleges just bothers me, because several 

11           have closed.  What do you recommend?            

12           Are there more down the road, and what do you 

13           recommend to remedy?

14                  MS. BRABHAM:  Well, I will -- it would 

15           be irresponsible, you know, for me to comment 

16           on -- or, you know, on any colleges that I 

17           think might close down the road.  I don't 

18           have any knowledge of any schools 

19           contemplating that right now.  

20                  But the best thing that we can do is 

21           provide, you know -- increase the amount of 

22           student aid that the students need in order 

23           to pursue their studies.             

24                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Thank you.             


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Now we go to 

 2           Assemblyman Epstein, three minutes.             

 3                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 4                  And just to both of you, what 

 5           percentage of your institutions have publicly 

 6           available charging stations on their 

 7           campuses?            

 8                  MS. BRABHAM:  Senator {sic}, I know 

 9           that we have charging stations.  I cannot 

10           tell you what percentage, but I'd be happy to 

11           get back to you with that.             

12                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  That'd be great.             

13                  MS. BRABHAM:  Yes.

14                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  I was going to 

15           say the same thing.  I know we have some, but 

16           I'm not sure exactly how many.  So we'll get 

17           that back to you.             

18                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Yeah, and what 

19           are the barriers, if any, to getting more 

20           stations put in?  We have put a lot of state 

21           money aside to help, and if your campuses 

22           have people who are driving, we need charging 

23           stations.  That would be great.  

24                  And then just a second question, just 


 1           on the vaccination requirements.  You need to 

 2           let us know what percentage of your 

 3           institutions have a vaccination requirement 

 4           versus ones that don't.             

 5                  MS. BRABHAM:  Well, for the 

 6           independent sector, 94 of our 110 members 

 7           currently have a vaccination requirement for 

 8           students, and another 84 for faculty.             

 9                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  I was going to 

10           say from the APC's perspective, I want to say 

11           probably seven or eight of our 11 member 

12           institutions have actual requirements, and 

13           the others are strongly encouraging.             

14                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Great.  

15                  And the last is last year we put in 

16           $2 million for students with disabilities to 

17           get additional resources.  We heard earlier 

18           today that that $2 million hasn't been 

19           allocated, but SED also requested a 

20           $15 million increase -- an increase of 

21           $13 million.  

22                  Do you support that increase?  And 

23           what would you do with those resources for 

24           those students with disabilities on your 


 1           campuses?            

 2                  MS. BRABHAM:  We definitely -- the 

 3           independent sector definitely supports SED's 

 4           request.  

 5                  You know, I was listening to the 

 6           testimony earlier today where, you know, the 

 7           commissioner said that the system has about 

 8           80,000 students who require this type of 

 9           support.  We're in full support of that, you 

10           know.  And if that money was to come to 

11           fruition, I would imagine it would be used 

12           for, you know, a number of things, including 

13           student mental health services and for, you 

14           know, vulnerable students that have physical 

15           disabilities and other kinds of disabilities 

16           to provide adaptive equipment, and things 

17           like that.  

18                  So we're in full support of it.             

19                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  APC is also in 

20           full support of the request for the 

21           additional 15 million.  Our use of that 

22           really would go more towards faculty 

23           training, you know, the whole gist behind it 

24           is to supplement, not supplant, already 


 1           offered services to folks with disabilities.  

 2                  So faculty training and helping to 

 3           help identify those students I think is where 

 4           we would be looking to use those funds.             

 5                  ASSEMBLYMAN EPSTEIN:  Thank you all. 

 6                  Thank you, Chair.             

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to the 

 8           Senate.             

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

10                  We have Senator Robert Jackson.             

11                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Good afternoon, 

12           everyone.  Good to see you.  It's been a long 

13           day.  I've been standing up for several 

14           hours, and now I'm sitting down again.  And 

15           so I hope are you doing okay.  

16                  So first let me thank you for coming 

17           in and advocating for the students that you 

18           represent.  

19                  And I have a question about -- the 

20           Executive Budget prohibits the practice of 

21           withholding transcripts for failure to pay 

22           student-related debt, fining institutions 

23           $500 per violation.  

24                  Are nonprofit colleges ready and 


 1           willing to cease transcript withholdings? 

 2           CUNY and SUNY have both announced an end to 

 3           the practice.  And what prevents independent 

 4           colleges from taking the same action?  Can 

 5           you each comment quickly whether or not you 

 6           have or you have not?  

 7                  MS. BRABHAM:  Senator, speaking for 

 8           the independent sector, I will say that we 

 9           understand the idea behind this initiative.  

10                  But I think that, you know, our 

11           position is that it would -- you know, we 

12           would like to have some protection for both 

13           the students and for the schools in the form 

14           of having the ability to call students in for 

15           a meeting, to counsel them so that they 

16           understand exactly what their debt is, that 

17           they understand some of the longer-term 

18           ramifications of carrying debt long-term or 

19           not paying it at all, and also having an 

20           opportunity to sit down with the student and 

21           try to put a payment plan in place.             

22                  We do recognize that sometimes that's 

23           not going to be possible, and schools would 

24           move forward with releasing transcripts to 


 1           employers or for military service or -- and,  

 2           you know, for official uses.             

 3                  SENATOR JACKSON:  I appreciate your 

 4           response.  

 5                  Anybody else on this?            

 6                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  I was going to 

 7           say, from the proprietary sector, I 

 8           completely agree with what Lola said.  

 9                  You know, we are happy to do whatever 

10           the Legislature finally decides, but it is an 

11           opportunity for us to have contact and engage 

12           with the students, you know, and work with 

13           them on financial literacy and student loan 

14           counseling.  

15                  So we do think that's important.             

16                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Yeah, I agree, to 

17           sit down and communicate -- but the most 

18           important thing, these are individuals that 

19           are struggling in order to get a degree and 

20           to get a job so they can pay back the loans 

21           and whatever, but they need a transcript 

22           of -- a lot of them -- to be employed, and 

23           this is a block which is blocking their way.  

24                  Anybody else, quickly, if you don't 


 1           mind?  

 2                  Okay.  Do your institutions currently 

 3           have course offerings at any of the 

 4           correctional facilities in the State of 

 5           New York?  Where, and how many students are 

 6           served?  Anybody can answer.  Quickly, 

 7           please.

 8                  MS. BRABHAM:  Yes, Senator, the 

 9           independent sector, I believe we have 

10           12 institutions that currently participate in 

11           programs or run programs that provide 

12           in-prison education.  

13                  In fact, you know, renowned programs.  

14           If you look at Bard, that has a national and 

15           I'd even say international reputation for the 

16           wonderful job that they do.             

17                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.  And others, 

18           my staff will follow up.

19                  Sadiya -- I was looking at that, I 

20           said, Wait a minute, that's not my daughter.  

21           My daughter's name is Saadya spelled with two 

22           As, S-A-A-D-Y-A, named after her 

23           great-grandmother.  As-salamu alaykum, 

24           sister.  


 1                  All right, thank you, everyone, my 

 2           time is up.             

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We go to 

 4           Assemblywoman Simon.  

 5                  We're not hearing you, Jo Anne.  

 6           Right.  We still can't hear you.  Have you 

 7           tried muting and unmuting yourself?  

 8           Otherwise --

 9                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Check on the 

10           lower right-hand side whether you have a 

11           light on on your screen on the hardware.  If 

12           you have a light, knock it off.  

13                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  How is that?            

14                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Better.  We got 

15           you.             

16                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Okay.  Thank 

17           you.  I had no idea what that little light 

18           meant.  

19                  (Laughter.)

20                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  So I appreciate 

21           it, and I thank you all for your patience.  

22                  This issue of money for students with 

23           disabilities, I'm pleased that all of you are 

24           supportive of that additional funding.  And I 


 1           think that, you know, the testimony from the 

 2           APC that the -- Gurnett said that what you 

 3           would do with it, the issue about identifying 

 4           students with disabilities and making that 

 5           accessible to them is a huge dollar figure.  

 6                  Having represented students for years, 

 7           I know just how much that costs.  I'm not 

 8           sure if the $15 million would be able to do 

 9           it, and certainly the proprietary schools are 

10           not the only ones.  This is a huge issue 

11           throughout higher education.  

12                  So I'm glad that you raised that 

13           issue.  I think we need a whole lot more 

14           money to do that.  And -- but I do believe 

15           that there is a lot to be done in training 

16           faculty to understand rights and 

17           responsibilities and know how to accommodate.  

18                  I'm curious about how your 

19           institutions have their disability services 

20           set up.  In some places it's a part-time 

21           thing, and some places it's a dean.  How is 

22           that set up on -- both in independent 

23           colleges as well as the proprietary schools, 

24           if you have an answer.  


 1                  MS. STELLING-GURNETT:  Well, for the 

 2           proprietary sector, I can tell you they're 

 3           very hands-on with their students, so I think 

 4           it's done in a lot of ways.  

 5                  Most of them do have an independent 

 6           department that works with students with 

 7           disabilities, but really it goes well beyond 

 8           that.  Other faculty, staff members that 

 9           recognize students with disabilities, you 

10           know, can direct them in that direction.  So 

11           that's how we handle it.             

12                  MS. BRABHAM:  Senator, yes, you know, 

13           our campuses all have offices for students 

14           with disabilities, but then of course they 

15           work collaboratively with other offices 

16           across campuses to make sure that students' 

17           needs are met.             

18                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SIMON:  Thank you.             

19                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Back to me.  

20                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes, if you 

21           have -- 

22                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  We do.

23                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We do have 

24           another Assemblymember.  But --


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Okay.  I just 

 2           have a very quick question.  

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Sure.

 4                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  These are for 

 5           On Point for College.  I'm not familiar with 

 6           you, so how big is your annual budget?            

 7                  MR. ROWSER:  The annual budget, 

 8           $2.5 million a year.  

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  And that's 

10           privately raised?  There's no government 

11           money now?

12                  MR. ROWSER:  There is some government 

13           money.  We get some county money, some 

14           federal money, we get individual donors, 

15           corporations -- a smorgasbord of fundraising 

16           that we do.  

17                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  How many students 

18           do you work with per year? 

19                  MR. ROWSER:  We have about 500 new 

20           students, between our two offices, that go 

21           off to college.  We have about 2500 that are 

22           in college.  And we have another 600 or 700 

23           that we're working with that are doing career 

24           service opportunities.  


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  And do you do, 

 2           looking at longitudinal success, how many of 

 3           the kids you work with do go on to college, 

 4           complete college, et cetera?            

 5                  MR. ROWSER:  Well, we work with them 

 6           to go to college or another post-secondary 

 7           opportunity.  Right around 80 percent of our 

 8           students persist -- that's the rate that's 

 9           easiest for us to keep right now -- from the 

10           first to the second year of college.  

11                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  You don't follow 

12           after that?  

13                  MR. ROWSER:  Oh, yeah, we continue to 

14           follow.  It's just that our students transfer 

15           a lot, so that persistence rate changes a 

16           little bit.  

17                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  And on the 

18           website you have a lot of sites, but you say 

19           there's just really two offices?  

20                  MR. ROWSER:  We have two main offices.  

21           We work in seven counties.  But we have an 

22           office in Utica, an office in Syracuse.  And 

23           then we work in Cayuga County, Cortland 

24           County, Oswego County, Madison County, 


 1           Herkimer County.  And we have two partners in 

 2           New York City, one in Manhattan -- Goddard 

 3           Riverside -- and one in the Bronx.             

 4                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  How do the kids 

 5           find you?  

 6                  MR. ROWSER:  Well, a lot of it is word 

 7           of mouth.  We probably have about 700 new 

 8           students each year that come to us, between 

 9           our two offices.  We do very little 

10           advertising.  Much of it is going out doing 

11           presentations at high schools, doing 

12           presentations at GED sites.  

13                  And we also have a SCOPE program -- 

14           Second-Chance Opportunity Program -- working 

15           with individuals with a criminal justice 

16           history and substance abuse.  

17                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.             

18                  Thank you, Helene.             

19                  MR. ROWSER:  Thank you.  

20                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

21                  So we move on to our last questioner, 

22           Assemblywoman Buttenschon.  

23                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN BUTTENSCHON:  Thank you, 

24           Chairs.  And thank you to the panel.  


 1                  I just want to reconfirm the 

 2           importance of our students with special needs 

 3           that my colleague Simon had discussed.  

 4                  And Senator Krueger asked the 

 5           questions to Sam.  On Point is in the 

 6           district that I represent, and I know that -- 

 7           so many students I meet that have gone 

 8           through your program.  

 9                  Is there anything we could do to 

10           assist with the tracking?  I know that those 

11           are always great questions.  When you say 

12           it's an 80 percent rate, have you seen any 

13           models so that we could track the great work 

14           you're doing from institution to institution?            

15                  MR. ROWSER:  Well, we started -- 

16           probably about three years ago, we got 

17           funding to hire a data analyst.  So we're 

18           working on developing those programs right 

19           now.  That's how we got to our persistence 

20           rate.  And we're locking it in.  

21                  And now we're trying to expand that 

22           service so that we can tell, you know, from 

23           beginning to end how many students are being 

24           successful.             


 1                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN BUTTENSCHON:  Thank you.  

 2           Because I know that's a problem with many 

 3           institutions that I meet with.  

 4                  So thank you very much to you and to 

 5           the panel.             

 6                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 7                  So we have no further questions.  

 8           Thank you, panelists, for being with us here 

 9           today.  

10                  So we're going to move on to 

11           Panel C --

12                  MS. BRABHAM:  Thank you, 

13           Assemblywoman.  

14                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  -- New York 

15           Public Interest Research Group, NYPIRG, 

16           Sadiya Hoque, chairperson of the board; 

17           Student Borrower Protection Center, Winston 

18           Berkman-Breen, policy counsel and deputy 

19           advocacy director; New Yorkers for 

20           Responsible Lending, Carolina Rodriguez, 

21           cochair, Student Loan Workgroup; Legal 

22           Assistance of Western New York, Anna 

23           Anderson, supervising attorney; SUNY Student 

24           Assembly, Bradley Hershenson, president; 


 1           Hispanic Federation, Tydie Abreu, policy 

 2           analyst; and the last member of the panel, 

 3           the president of United Students Government 

 4           at SUNY Buffalo State College, James Speaker.  

 5                  If we could start with NYPIRG.  

 6                  Just to remind the panel, before you 

 7           go -- just to remind the panelists, three 

 8           minutes each.  Your testimony has been 

 9           distributed to all of the members here, so to 

10           the extent you could summarize, that would be 

11           great.  

12                  And then there may be some questions, 

13           and the members will ask questions.  We'll 

14           have three minutes to both ask a question and 

15           for you to provide your answer.  So if people 

16           could be concise in those answers, we can get 

17           through more questions.  

18                  Thank you all.  And again, starting 

19           with NYPIRG.  

20                  MS. HOQUE:  Good afternoon.  My name 

21           is Sadiya Hoque, and I am the chairperson of 

22           NYPIRG's Board of Directors.  NYPIRG's board 

23           is made up entirely of college students.  

24                  I'm currently a senior at Brooklyn 


 1           College.  I actually left my class early, and 

 2           I'm sitting in the BC library to join this 

 3           hearing.  So thank you, Professor Freedman 

 4           {ph}, for that.  

 5                  There are 17 colleges that have NYPIRG 

 6           chapters, spanning CUNY, SUNY, and 

 7           independent colleges.  NYPIRG engages young 

 8           people in policymaking debates and 

 9           supplements our classroom experience with a 

10           unique civic engagement experience.  

11                  Thank you for the opportunity to 

12           testify today on Governor Hochul's proposed 

13           higher education budget.  There is a lot to 

14           like in it -- its continued freeze on public 

15           college tuition, its elimination of the 

16           so-called TAP gap, its expansion of the TAP 

17           with incarcerated individuals and more 

18           part-time students, and its increased support 

19           for childcare and opportunity programs.  

20                  We encourage the Legislature to 

21           support these important plans.  However, and 

22           as you will see in our written testimony, we 

23           do not believe that the budget offers enough 

24           financial support to provide the state's 


 1           higher education sector after years of 

 2           disinvestment.  

 3                  Higher education plays an important 

 4           role in boosting the economy of the state.  

 5           Institutions of higher education are also 

 6           regional economic engines.  State investments 

 7           in higher education generate economic 

 8           activity such as hiring staff, spending in 

 9           the community, higher income, and tax 

10           dollars.  Yet for years the state has 

11           underfunded higher education to earmark 

12           other, flashier economic strategies, some 

13           that have succeeded and some that have failed 

14           miserably.  

15                  Investments in higher education always 

16           pay back far more.  But state investments 

17           have stagnated, and at the same time student 

18           enrollments have suffered.  In our testimony, 

19           we estimate what it would take to give all 

20           sectors of higher education the boost it 

21           needs.  We use sagging enrollment to measure 

22           that need.  

23                  As you know, as enrollments dwindle, 

24           revenues to colleges drop off.  Since 


 1           colleges have fixed assets, the only way to 

 2           offset the losses are through reduced 

 3           services, workforce reductions, or tapping 

 4           into reserves.  While the Governor's budget 

 5           provides some relief, we think a lot more is 

 6           needed.  

 7                  Our testimony estimated that CUNY and 

 8           SUNY need hundreds of millions of dollars in 

 9           aid beyond what the Governor has proposed, 

10           and we urge restoration of the Bundy Aid to 

11           its 1990 levels.  The state has the money 

12           now.  Now is the time to act and act boldly.  

13                  We understand that enrollment declines 

14           can be the result of other factors as well -- 

15           changing demographics, a weakening economy.  

16           However, Governor Hochul's budget is simply 

17           too limited to provide the resources 

18           necessary to turn around higher education and 

19           help uplift the state's economy.  We urge a 

20           state rescue package that not only stabilizes 

21           higher education but provides the resources 

22           to have them expand and flourish.  

23                  Additional recommendations for this 

24           rescue package are included in our written 


 1           testimony.  

 2                  Thank you.             

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you, and 

 4           thank you for following the time 

 5           restrictions.  

 6                  We move on to Student Borrower 

 7           Protection Center. 

 8                  MR. BERKMAN-BREEN:  Can you hear me?            

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes.

10                  MR. BERKMAN-BREEN:  Great.  All right.

11                  Well, good afternoon, Chairpersons 

12           Krueger, Weinstein, Stavisky, and Glick and 

13           members of the committees.  Thank you for the 

14           opportunity to provide testimony in this 

15           joint hearing and for all of the work that 

16           you're doing for New Yorkers.  

17                  My name is Winston Berkman-Breen.  I'm 

18           the policy counsel for the Student Borrower 

19           Protection Center, a national nonprofit 

20           policy organization committed to ending the 

21           student debt crisis.

22                  Prior to joining the SBPC, I was the 

23           student loan ombudsperson for the State of 

24           New York and a legal services attorney 


 1           representing low-income New Yorkers 

 2           struggling with student loan debt in debt 

 3           collection cases.  

 4                  I'm here today to testify about two 

 5           critical opportunities for the Legislature to 

 6           support New Yorkers.  The first is to 

 7           complete the work that is already underway to 

 8           end transcript withholding at all 

 9           institutions in the state.  The second 

10           relates to commonsense consumer protections 

11           for students and their families with private 

12           student loans.  

13                  There is pending legislation that, if 

14           passed, would make huge improvements in both 

15           of these areas.  Both are important factors 

16           in what it means for us to set our students 

17           and graduates up for success, especially our 

18           low-income students, and especially now when 

19           education and employment are critical to 

20           recover from the pandemic.  

21                  Since my written testimony goes into 

22           greater detail, I'll be brief on both points 

23           and would be happy to answer any questions.  

24                  First, transcript withholding.  


 1           Especially when students have account -- so 

 2           essentially, transcript withholding -- when 

 3           students have account balances at their 

 4           schools, virtually all schools will withhold 

 5           the student's transcript until the account is 

 6           settled.  This has an unintended but very 

 7           harmful effect of putting students in a 

 8           catch-22 situation.  They can't get their 

 9           transcript until they pay their debts, but 

10           they can't afford the payment until they 

11           finish their degree and get a job, which 

12           often requires the very documents being 

13           withheld.

14                  We know this disproportionately 

15           affects low-income students.  This is a 

16           national issue, and we're seeing national 

17           action.  California and Washington have 

18           already ended this practice.  In December, 

19           U.S. Secretary of Education Cardona called on 

20           schools to stop withholding transcripts.  

21                  Just last month, Governor Hochul ended 

22           withholding at SUNY and CUNY and has proposed 

23           legislation in the budget to cover all 

24           schools in the state.  Several other states 


 1           have introduced similar bills, including 

 2           Maine, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and 

 3           Colorado.  S5924A in the Senate and A6938B in 

 4           the Assembly would prohibit transcript 

 5           withholding in New York.  

 6                  It is not a debt-cancellation bill.  

 7           Schools will continue to communicate with 

 8           students and to collect on their accounts.  

 9           We heard from schools earlier tonight how 

10           important that is.  Nothing in the bill would 

11           prevent them from doing that.  The bill would 

12           merely stop the use of this one tool because 

13           of its unintended harmful effects.  Again, if 

14           we want our students to succeed, we have to 

15           let them succeed.  

16                  For private student loans, these loans 

17           have both lacked the protections found with 

18           federal student loans and have a track record 

19           of abuse:  Misrepresenting cosigner release 

20           provisions, accelerating the entire loan 

21           amount even when payments are current, and 

22           filing lawsuits and obtaining judgments for 

23           loans that creditors cannot prove they own.  

24                  Last year, the Student Borrower 


 1           Protection Center and its partners on 

 2           tonight's hearing issued a report on these 

 3           creditors' collection activities in New York 

 4           State courts specifically.  The findings show 

 5           a disproportionate number of filings and 

 6           harmful practices in majority-minority 

 7           communities.  I have included a copy in my 

 8           testimony.  

 9                  Here too there's a bill, S5136/A6226, 

10           that would address these issues specifically 

11           in a very tailored way.  

12                  So I'll end now because my time is 

13           out, but I do encourage the committee to pass 

14           both of these, which overnight would pave the 

15           way for students, particularly low-income 

16           students, to move on and to succeed in 

17           New York.  

18                  Thank you.  

19                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

20                  And now New Yorkers for Responsible 

21           Lending.  

22                  MS. RODRIGUEZ:  Thank you so much for 

23           opportunity to testify today.  Good 

24           afternoon.  I know we have spent a long day.  


 1                  My name is Carolina Rodriguez, and I 

 2           am the cochair of the Student Loans Workgroup 

 3           for New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, 

 4           commonly referred to as NYRL.

 5                  NYRL is a statewide coalition of more 

 6           than 160 member organizations across New York 

 7           State that promote economic justice.  In our 

 8           student loan work we have attorneys with 

 9           20-plus years of experience and advocates 

10           with firsthand experience about the 

11           challenges New Yorkers face when trying to 

12           obtain a higher education.  

13                  As a result, and as my fellow advocate 

14           just mentioned, NYRL also supports the ban of 

15           transcript withholding across all higher 

16           education institutions.  Higher education 

17           institutions have the ability to communicate 

18           throughout the entire process, from the time 

19           a bill is generated -- and even prior to 

20           that, when they're generating financial aid 

21           packages -- to discuss this very sensitive 

22           situation.  

23                  From our experience, NYRL's 

24           experience, it is students who certainly 


 1           cannot pay that are being harmed by this 

 2           practice.  

 3                  In addition, we also support consumer 

 4           protections for private student loan 

 5           borrowers.  In New York State, about 

 6           12 percent of graduating college students end 

 7           up with an average of $40,000 in private 

 8           student loans.  That is on top of federal 

 9           student loans.  As you can imagine, there are 

10           entire family members risking their own 

11           financial security in order to provide a 

12           pathway to a higher education and better 

13           opportunities.  

14                  One more point here.  We also, as 

15           NYRL, support the funding of $3.5 million for 

16           the Education Debt Consumer Assistance 

17           Program, a program run by the Community 

18           Service Society -- and I should disclose that 

19           I am the director of that program.  

20                  NYRL has been supporting this 

21           initiative prior to it being in effect in 

22           2019, and that is because it is providing 

23           student loan borrowers the resources and 

24           information they need in order to manage 


 1           their higher education debt.  

 2                  The rest of my testimony is going to 

 3           focus on a key NYRL policy priority, which is 

 4           the passage of the Consumer and Small 

 5           Business Protection Act, which you might not 

 6           have heard a lot about, but you will in 

 7           coming weeks.  

 8                  This bill will reform our General 

 9           Business Law and not only ban deceptive 

10           business practices but also unfair and 

11           abusive practices.  Thirty-nine other states 

12           in the U.S. have already done so.  They have 

13           this law in effect.  

14                  Why it is important in our higher 

15           education student lending system?  Well, I 

16           can tell you, and as some of you have already 

17           pointed out, there are predatory lenders who 

18           are literally issuing loans to some subprime 

19           borrowers.  In other words, these are lenders 

20           that are targeting communities of color's 

21           first-generation college students and 

22           offering them student loans with the most 

23           egregious terms and conditions, knowing very 

24           well that they're unlikely to complete their 


 1           degree -- that even if they complete the 

 2           degree, it's not going to be worth it.  

 3                  We also have a long track record of 

 4           student loan servicers who have truly wronged 

 5           borrowers by cheating them of the information 

 6           and resources needed to actually pay down 

 7           their student loan debt.  Most recently, 

 8           attorney generals from across the U.S. have 

 9           had to sue these servicers.  

10                  In New York -- I will wrap it up -- 

11           again, if we are able to pass this law, we 

12           will be able to equip borrowers to fight back 

13           and get the relief they need without having 

14           to rely on attorney generals who advocate on 

15           their behalf.  

16                  Thank you so much for your time.             

17                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.             

18                  Legal Assistance of Western New York.

19                  MS. ANDERSON:  Hi, yes.  Can you hear 

20           me?  Great, thank you.  

21                  I'll be the first one to say "good 

22           evening," because it's officially dark 

23           outside my window.  

24                  For those of you who don't know me, my 


 1           name is Anna Anderson and I'm the supervising 

 2           attorney of the Consumer Unit at Legal 

 3           Assistance of Western New York, which is a 

 4           nonprofit civil legal aid firm that serves 

 5           14 upstate and Western New York counties.  

 6           And currently, LawNY does not receive any 

 7           funding to help students and borrowers with 

 8           their student loan debt burden.  

 9                  So I want to thank you all today for 

10           allowing me to come here and speak in support 

11           of increased funding for EDCAP, which is 

12           something we certainly need across the entire 

13           state.  

14                  As you know, and as Carolina just 

15           mentioned, EDCAP was created with support 

16           from the State Legislature in 2019.  And 

17           since its inception, EDCAP has helped 

18           hundreds of New Yorkers, primarily in 

19           New York City, navigate and manage 

20           $38 million of student loan debt, and saving 

21           these borrowers $2 million to date.  

22                  While this is certainly just amazing 

23           outcomes for students, it is not currently 

24           enough.  There are 2.4 million New Yorkers 


 1           who have student loan debt that totals close 

 2           to $100 billion.  It's clear, based on that 

 3           alone, that we need more funding for EDCAP to 

 4           ensure that New Yorkers across the entire 

 5           state have access to reliable and free help 

 6           with their student loan burden.  

 7                  Today we are asking the Legislature to 

 8           fund EDCAP at $3.5 million.  These funds will 

 9           allow EDCAP to establish a first-of-its-kind 

10           statewide network of community-based 

11           organizations that will provide free 

12           one-on-one counseling to borrowers in need.  

13                  Managing student loans is increasingly 

14           complicated.  This is where EDCAP comes in 

15           and helps borrowers by figuring out what are 

16           their best repayment options, how they can 

17           possibly apply for loan forgiveness and 

18           discharge, how to get out of default, to stop 

19           garnishments and Social Security offsets, and 

20           how to resolve their issues with their 

21           lenders.  

22                  Currently there are few if any 

23           resources for New Yorkers outside of the city 

24           to access this kind of assistance from 


 1           reliable resources.  And if we've learned 

 2           anything from the recent Navient settlement, 

 3           we know that these borrowers cannot rely on 

 4           their loan servicers to provide them with 

 5           this type of advice.  

 6                  The student loan crisis is affecting 

 7           everyone across all socioeconomic categories, 

 8           and this is something that, as a state, 

 9           New York is in the best position to step up 

10           and help borrowers with this fight.  We're 

11           asking today that you fund EDCAP at 

12           $3.5 million to establish the statewide 

13           network.  

14                  Thank you.             

15                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

16                  Now the SUNY Student Assembly.  

17           Bradley?  

18                  MR. HERSHENSON:  Thank you.             

19                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Good to see you 

20           here again.             

21                  MR. HERSHENSON:  Yes.  Great to see 

22           you.  

23                  Good afternoon, everyone.  Thank you, 

24           members of the panel, for having us here 


 1           today.  

 2                  My name is Bradley Hershenson.  My 

 3           pronouns are he, him, and his.  I'm a white 

 4           male student with a blue shirt, a pink tie, 

 5           and glasses.  I'm also a doctoral student  

 6           studying information science and emergency 

 7           management at the University at Albany, and 

 8           I'm the president of the SUNY Student 

 9           Assembly.  

10                  We look forward to working with you 

11           and Governor Hochul to carry out that bold 

12           vision for the future of New York State that 

13           invests in our public higher education 

14           system.  

15                  Our future needs legislative 

16           investments in critical job sectors, 

17           student-oriented services that help students 

18           graduate on time and successfully and then 

19           enter the workforce in New York State.  We 

20           need investment in childcare while not having 

21           to pay an arm and a leg.  We need investment 

22           to address accessibility of products on 

23           campus for menstruating students, year-round 

24           accommodations for housing-insecure students, 


 1           and aid for mental health.  That is critical.  

 2                  And we need to support and hire 

 3           psychologists who, for example, are 

 4           individuals of color, or therapists who 

 5           identify as LGBTQ+, so folks have the 

 6           opportunity to speak with a counselor of 

 7           their choice.  We can only do that with your 

 8           investment.  

 9                  We need to finally close the TAP 

10           canyon immediately.  For far too long, 

11           student aid has been a last resort, and 

12           students have had to take thousands of 

13           dollars out in loans where aid could have 

14           been accessible to them with proper funding.  

15                  We need critical infrastructure 

16           upgrades to our 64 campuses.  And we have an 

17           obligation and an opportunity to be leaders 

18           within the field of environmental 

19           sustainability.  Upgrades to our physical 

20           spaces on our campuses will enhance our 

21           learning experiences through environmental 

22           and universal design, safer and inclusive 

23           living conditions, and much more.  

24                  We also need your help to end the 


 1           discrimination that student leaders face at 

 2           SUNY.  We receive a measly $57,000 a year, 

 3           allocated through the State Budget, to 

 4           represent every single student across SUNY.  

 5           S5436 and its Assembly counterpart, A7054, 

 6           would establish a student activity fee of 

 7           just $1.  The only fee we will ever advocate 

 8           for will help pay student leaders a proper 

 9           wage, increase our diversity as students 

10           within our activities, and allow for more 

11           involvement of students within our 

12           activities.

13                  The current system does not work.  And 

14           if we just had funding sourced from student 

15           activity fees like our counterparts at CUNY, 

16           we could address this issue and more.  

17                  Lastly, I want touch on the 

18           skyrocketing cost of tuition.  In fact, 

19           tuition cost is above the stratosphere.  We 

20           are still in a pandemic.  We have bills to 

21           pay, families to take care of, textbooks, 

22           housing, transportation, food -- these are 

23           the real costs associated with pursuing a 

24           degree.  


 1                  So we applaud the Legislature for 

 2           freezing tuition for three years, but we must 

 3           do more.  It is time for a New Deal for CUNY, 

 4           it's time for a New Deal for SUNY, and we 

 5           must enact free tuition.             

 6                  Thank you.  

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you for 

 8           your presentation.  

 9                  And next, Hispanic Federation.

10                  MS. ABREU:  Thank you, Chairs Krueger, 

11           Weinstein, Stavisky, Glick, and all of the 

12           other committee members for the opportunity 

13           to provide testimony.  

14                  My name is Tydie Abreu, and I am a 

15           policy analyst for the Hispanic Federation, a  

16           national nonprofit organization seeking to 

17           empower and advance Hispanic communities 

18           through programs and legislative advocacy.

19                  The degree attainment for Latinx 

20           students in New York stands at 27 percent, 

21           versus 53 percent for white students.  To 

22           heighten the number of Latinx college 

23           students enrolling and completing their 

24           degrees and to help them enter the workforce, 


 1           Hispanic Federation strongly urges the 

 2           Legislature to include and prioritize the 

 3           following recommendations in the budget.  

 4                  First, we urge the Legislature to 

 5           maintain these Executive Budget proposals:  

 6           Part-time TAP; the 10 percent increase to the 

 7           opportunity programs; appropriation for CUNY 

 8           and SUNY apprenticeship programs at community 

 9           colleges; and, lastly, the prohibition of 

10           transcript withholding.  

11                  Additionally, we ask the Legislature 

12           to ensure that the budget also includes these 

13           additional policies and investments.  The 

14           first is linguistically relevant and 

15           culturally appropriate mental health 

16           supports.  

17                  As the pandemic continues, the 

18           intensity of long-term trauma is still 

19           prevalent for many students, but especially 

20           for Latinx and underserved students.  It is 

21           urgent for the state to invest in hiring more 

22           support staff and focus on trauma-informed 

23           mental health workers for colleges and 

24           universities, and ensure that they are 


 1           culturally relevant and linguistically 

 2           diverse.  This makes a difference in 

 3           long-term goals for success in post-secondary 

 4           and career opportunities.  

 5                  The second ask are investments to 

 6           develop and train bilingual educators.  A 

 7           recent data report from the State Education 

 8           Department highlights that the state 

 9           experienced a nearly 10 percent increase in 

10           multilingual learners over a three-year 

11           period.  The budget should include 

12           appropriations to attract, support, and 

13           incentivize candidates by eliminating 

14           barriers to entering the teaching profession 

15           or changing career pathways by doing the 

16           following:  funding partnerships between 

17           colleges and universities and K-12 school 

18           districts to develop these career pathways; 

19           creating mentorship programs for bilingual 

20           educators to support their career growth; and 

21           creating loan forgiveness and tuition 

22           assistance programs specifically for 

23           bilingual educators.  

24                  Lastly, maintaining the Executive 


 1           Budget's policy to end transcript withholding 

 2           at all higher education institutions.  

 3           Unsurprisingly, transcript holds mainly 

 4           affects low-income students of color, placing 

 5           a significant roadblock to their economic 

 6           advancements.  

 7                  We call on the Legislature to ensure 

 8           that private institutions follow in CUNY and 

 9           SUNY's footsteps to cancel transcript 

10           withholding, which leaves students with debt 

11           and no degree.  

12                  I thank you for your time, and we 

13           emphasize the imperative of these 

14           investments.  Thank you.             

15                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

16                  And now, United Students Government at 

17           SUNY Buffalo.             

18                  MR. SPEAKER:  Oh, yes.  Can everyone 

19           hear me okay?            

20                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes.             

21           Yes.  Go ahead.

22                  MR. SPEAKER:  I am here to testify in 

23           favor of -- first of all, thank you to the 

24           chairs and the committees for allowing me to 


 1           testify today in favor of the Senate Bill 

 2           S1151B, the Hunger-Free Campus Act.  

 3                  As some of you know, I'm the president 

 4           of the United Students Government here at 

 5           Buffalo State College, and I'm really proud 

 6           to represent a diverse group of students in 

 7           terms of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic 

 8           backgrounds.  

 9                  But one of the great struggles that I 

10           haven't heard much spoken on today is the 

11           food insecurity that many college students 

12           here in SUNY and here in New York State face.  

13                  The Hunger-Free Campus Act is a piece 

14           of legislation which has already been passed 

15           in five states across the union, and it goes 

16           to address food insecurity on college 

17           campuses, supplying campuses not only the 

18           food but the resources financially -- 

19           resources in terms of infrastructure to 

20           address food insecurity for students on 

21           campus.  

22                  Here at Buffalo State and many SUNY 

23           schools across the state we do have some 

24           infrastructure in place, and there has been 


 1           funding dedicated to fighting food insecurity 

 2           on college campuses.  But it is far and few 

 3           in between -- not enough to keep up with the 

 4           struggles before COVID, and it's not enough 

 5           to keep up with the struggles that 

 6           food-insecure students will have at college 

 7           campuses post-COVID and as we move on from 

 8           the pandemic.  

 9                  I'm very proud to support this piece 

10           of legislation and hopefully see it as a 

11           piece of Governor Hochul's budget this year.  

12           It's very -- it's a bill that is very 

13           personal to me on multiple levels.  As the 

14           son of parents who were on food stamps for 

15           most of my life, and as a student here at 

16           Buffalo State College in a city with a 

17           poverty rate of 30.1 percent, per the most 

18           recent Census, I understand what hunger can 

19           do to families and students.  

20                  There is vast unanimous medical 

21           research proving that students do not operate 

22           at their full capabilities when they are 

23           hungry, and most of that research is done at 

24           the elementary and middle school levels.  


 1           However, you can find that that is also true 

 2           at the college levels as well.  Those 

 3           students are not able to perform to their 

 4           highest ability when they are facing a 

 5           financial challenge such as food insecurity.  

 6                  This bill would go very far in terms 

 7           of supplying the infrastructure and needs 

 8           that our campus needs to fight food 

 9           insecurity.  And in states where this bill 

10           has already been passed, states such as 

11           California and Minnesota have been able to 

12           supply tens of thousands of pounds of food to 

13           food-insecure students and to address the 

14           needs of those students and supplying them 

15           information about other pieces of 

16           infrastructure, such as SNAP and WIC benefits 

17           supplied by the government.  

18                  I personally understand why some of 

19           you may be hesitant to invest a very large 

20           price tag of $10 million for this program of 

21           competitive grants, but it is foundational 

22           that we make this investment in the students.  

23           Hunger is really one of those core elements 

24           of what a student may face and what may be 


 1           holding them back, and this is one of the 

 2           greatest investments that this budget can 

 3           make in our college students today.             

 4                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 5           Thank you all.  

 6                  Assemblywoman Glick, did you raise 

 7           your hand?            

 8                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Yeah, I just 

 9           wanted to thank each and every one of our 

10           speakers for raising different issues.  

11                  You know, you can't really have a 

12           substantive conversation over issues you have 

13           raised in -- you know, six people, three 

14           minutes.  It's, you know, late in the day, 

15           and I'm not enough of a speed talker.  It's 

16           like speed dating.  

17                  So I look forward to having more 

18           conversations in the future about -- and my 

19           office stands ready to talk with you and meet 

20           with you on issues of concern.  

21                  And I certainly think that the private 

22           loan issue -- the predatory loans are a very 

23           big issue.  And while we thought we had done 

24           something about that some years ago, I think 


 1           they managed to get around it.  So we 

 2           definitely will be following up with you, 

 3           Winston, on that issue in particular.  

 4                  And I thank you all, and of course -- 

 5           probably now -- EDCAP's great, we know it 

 6           works.  So thank you all for being here 

 7           tonight.             

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  We're going to 

 9           send it back to the Senate.

10                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

11                  Toby Stavisky, do you have anything to 

12           share? 

13                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  I can't find the 

14           unmute button.             

15                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  There you go.

16                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Okay.  There I go.

17                  I too want to thank all of the people 

18           who spoke today.  And I too am concerned 

19           about the student debt.  And that, to me, is 

20           the best argument for the public higher 

21           education system.  

22                  But we recognize that there are other 

23           avenues that students can pursue, and I too 

24           will be happy to discuss any of these issues 


 1           in the days ahead before we come to the 

 2           April 1st budget deadline.             

 3                  Thank you -- in 30 seconds.  

 4                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.  

 5                  Back to the Assembly.  Do you have 

 6           anyone else?

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes, we do.  We 

 8           have Assemblywoman Griffin.

 9                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Okay.  Thank 

10           you.  

11                  I just want to thank all of the 

12           panelists for your advocacy and your 

13           passionate testimony today and for all of 

14           your work.  

15                  Being that we don't have much time, 

16           I'm just going to ask Bradley some questions 

17           about the SUNY Student Assembly.  

18                  I know I have had visits from the 

19           Student Assembly many times, and I don't 

20           think -- I think what you're asking for is 

21           very reasonable, a dollar for the funding.  I 

22           think that's a very reasonable request, and I 

23           just wondered how -- what other ways do you 

24           get your funding?  


 1                  And how are -- are people like 

 2           yourself and others on the, you know, the 

 3           high level, are you compensated in any way 

 4           for your trips around the state or for the 

 5           time that you are, you know, working on all 

 6           of these many things for the SUNY Student 

 7           Assembly?            

 8                  MR. HERSHENSON:  Well, thank you very 

 9           much, Assemblywoman.  

10                  First I want to say it's great to see 

11           some SUNY alumni and SUNY grads on the line, 

12           so thank you very much. 

13                  (Laughter.)

14                  MR. HERSHENSON:  Our funding comes 

15           from the state, so as the Student Assembly we 

16           represent students across the entire system, 

17           and our budget is a line item in the State 

18           Budget.  That allotment comes from the SUNY 

19           budget request, and unfortunately the current 

20           system does not work.  

21                  Our students have stipends that range 

22           from, let's say, $50 a month to a few hundred 

23           dollars a month.  And even in the short time 

24           that we have been elected -- for example, 


 1           myself and my other officers, my vice 

 2           president, our treasurer and secretary have 

 3           been working since June 1st, and we haven't 

 4           received a single paycheck.  We haven't even 

 5           received any money in our bank accounts to be 

 6           able to pay the bills that we need -- 

 7           transportation, food, housing.  

 8                  The current system does not work.  And 

 9           that $1 fee that would allow us to have 

10           representation across SUNY is really what's 

11           important for us.  It's the same thing that 

12           the CUNY students have -- in fact, it's even 

13           less.  The CUNY students have $1.45 per 

14           student, and we're just asking for $1.  

15                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GRIFFIN:  Okay.  Well, 

16           thank you very much, and I appreciate your 

17           answer.  Thank you.             

18                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  And we have 

19           Robert Jackson left.  

20                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  And we have 

21           someone also.  

22                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Okay.             

23                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.  First let me 

24           thank the panel for coming in and paying 


 1           their costs.  I just have a couple of 

 2           questions.  

 3                  What do you think the impact would be 

 4           for students if TAP was expanded for five 

 5           years, eligibility was restored for graduate 

 6           students and/or optional semesters, quarters, 

 7           or terms became eligible for the awards?  How 

 8           can such TAP expansion enhance student 

 9           achievement?  

10                  If you have any quick comments -- I 

11           only have two minutes and 30 seconds to hear 

12           your answers.  And I'm going to ask any one 

13           of you to speak and let me hear what you have 

14           and pass it on, the baton, to somebody else.             

15                  MR. KLEIN:  Hello, Senator.  This is 

16           Dylan Klein, director of government relations 

17           for the SUNY Student Assembly --  

18                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I'm sorry.  I'm 

19           sorry, you're not on the witness list.  

20                  Bradley?  You're not -- can Bradley 

21           please speak?

22                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Hershenson, speak 

23           up.  Come on.

24                  MR. HERSHENSON:  Sure.  I'd like to 


 1           take the question.  

 2                  Thank you, Senator.  It's important 

 3           for us that we have investments.  And one 

 4           piece you mentioned was graduate students.  

 5           Graduate students right now are literally 

 6           selling blood plasma so they can afford 

 7           tuition, so they can afford housing, they can 

 8           afford textbooks -- it's really important 

 9           that we expand our aid programs to students.  

10                  Putting money directly into the 

11           pockets of students is what's going to be 

12           helpful to us right now.  

13                  So thank you, and I will yield the 

14           time to the rest of the panel.             

15                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Anybody else? 

16                  MR. SPEAKER:  Yes, I just want to 

17           speak on that issue --

18                  (Zoom interruption.)  

19                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Go ahead, Simon 

20           {sic}.

21                  MR. SPEAKER:  Any financial 

22           alleviation, especially regarding TAP, would 

23           make sense in this case and would greatly 

24           help SUNY students, not only closing the 


 1           TAP gap or TAP canyon, but supplying TAP for 

 2           those five years.  And including financial 

 3           alleviation to graduate students as well, who 

 4           do face many challenges that SUNY students do 

 5           face -- and even worse, as President 

 6           Hershenson has described.  Supplying them 

 7           with financial alleviation would go very far.  

 8           So --

 9                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.  Thank you.  

10                  The chancellor earlier today said that 

11           the average student debt is about -- at SUNY, 

12           it's about $24,000.  Can you give me some 

13           figures in your schools, if you can, real 

14           quickly?  Anyone?            

15                  MR. SPEAKER:  To my knowledge, at 

16           Buffalo State the average amount from the 

17           research I found is about $13,000.  

18                  But again, regardless if it's 13 or 20 

19           or more, the financial damage that this does 

20           long term to a student in terms of financial 

21           independence, the ability to build a credit 

22           score, among other financial needs in terms 

23           of personal investments and saving for 

24           retirement and building a family -- the 


 1           issues are compounding, and it is greatly 

 2           past time that New York State address this 

 3           issue in the budget in terms of tuition.  

 4                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Anyone else, real 

 5           quick?  My great-nephew attends Buffalo State 

 6           right now.  And -- anybody else?

 7                  Well, thank you.  My time is up.  

 8           Thank you, Madam Chair.             

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Back to you, 

10           Assembly.  

11                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes.  We go to 

12           Rebecca Seawright.  

13                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  Thank you, 

14           Chair.  

15                  I have two quick questions, one for 

16           James Speaker.  Could you expand about the 

17           importance of addressing food insecurity on 

18           your campus?            

19                  MR. SPEAKER:  Yes.  So here at Buffalo 

20           State we do have two current programs in 

21           place to address food insecurity.  We do have 

22           Milligan's Food Pantry, which was formerly 

23           run by the student government but is now run 

24           by the administration.  


 1                  And we also do have a program set up 

 2           with our dining establishments where students 

 3           who are in need can contact the college, and 

 4           they are placed on a list where leftover food 

 5           or food which is not sold for the day is sent 

 6           to them, and they are told, Hey, come and 

 7           pick up these leftovers, we will feed you.  

 8           We'll give you drinks, whatever you need 

 9           that's left over.  

10                  But a bill such as S1151B, the Campus 

11           Act, it would go really far in terms of 

12           building a further investment in 

13           infrastucture here on campus.  On top of the 

14           food pantry, on top of the dining program we 

15           already have, Buffalo State would have 

16           resources to go into education about WIC, 

17           SNAP, and other programs that students can 

18           join, to become educated about how to gain 

19           access to government support.  

20                  But also Buffalo State would be 

21           supplied with the financial resources to give 

22           these students food, even in times when we do 

23           not have food to give out.  We would have 

24           further resources to place an investment into 


 1           the food that we could supply them.  

 2                  But also this is a holistic issue, in 

 3           that this will greatly impact the students' 

 4           ability to be in the classroom as well.  

 5           Obviously, as I mentioned in my testimony, 

 6           there is a plethora of research out there 

 7           showing that students do not operate at their 

 8           full capability when they are hungry or 

 9           facing food insecurity among other financial 

10           challenges that many on the panel here 

11           discussed today.  

12                  Passing this bill and making it a part 

13           of the budget would go a far ways in terms of 

14           making that investment in students and taking 

15           another one of those little small issues that 

16           continuously compound with other issues in 

17           their life, such as student debt, to make 

18           matters even worse.  

19                  So if we take one of those issues 

20           away, something like hunger, with these 

21           competitive grants colleges can supply 

22           students these --

23                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN SEAWRIGHT:  Thank you, 

24           James.  I don't mean to interrupt you, but I 


 1           have just one more quick question for 

 2           Brad Hershenson.

 3                  When you look at the University of 

 4           Texas system, the California system, and 

 5           CUNY -- other public university systems that 

 6           are near the size of SUNY -- why is it so 

 7           important that you get this dollar funded for 

 8           your student association like these other 

 9           public universities have?            

10                  MR. HERSHENSON:  Thank you.  This is a 

11           matter of discrimination, and the students of 

12           SUNY are discriminated against.  We are 

13           calling for equality.  We want to be exactly 

14           like the students of Texas and Florida and 

15           other states.  For example, even CUNY.  

16                  Having this funding to support our 

17           students will allow for our students to 

18           attend regional conferences, support our 

19           activities, and it'll increase the 

20           effectiveness and diversity of the students 

21           that are involved in what we do.  And that's 

22           representing students across all 64 campuses 

23           at SUNY.  

24                  So thank you for the question.             


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Okay.  I think 

 2           that is it for the Senate.  

 3                  But for the record, we don't want to 

 4           be like Texas -- even if you have family 

 5           members who came from Texas, Mr. Hershenson.  

 6           Thank you.  

 7                  Thank you, Assemblymember, and I want 

 8           to thank everyone on the panel tonight.             

 9                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

10           And, you know, I too want to thank those who 

11           have spoken here.  We do have your written 

12           testimony, and we will be reviewing the 

13           additions that you have there beyond what you 

14           have conveyed to us this evening.  

15                  So we are going to move on to our last 

16           panel, Panel D.  

17                  One of the panel members is not here, 

18           so we're going to Bard Prison Initiative, 

19           Max Kenner, executive director; Fortune 

20           Society, Tawana Williams; College & Community 

21           Fellowship, Romarilyn Ralston, executive 

22           director; The Education Trust-New York, Dia 

23           Bryant, executive director; Hudson Link for 

24           Higher Education in Prison, Sean Pica, 


 1           executive director; and Fostering Youth 

 2           Success Alliance, Deidra Nesbeth, director.

 3                  So if we could go in that order, 

 4           starting with Bard Prison Initiative.

 5                  MR. KENNER:  Terrific.  Thank you, 

 6           everyone, for all your patience and 

 7           perseverance today.  It's absolutely 

 8           wonderful to be here.

 9                  I will say that three minutes is both 

10           a privilege and also a terribly short amount 

11           of time to represent an advocacy agenda that 

12           I think everyone on this panel has held up 

13           for literally the last 20, 23, 24, 25, 27 

14           years.

15                  College in prison was once a central 

16           part of what we did in our justice system 

17           across the United States.  It was known to 

18           reduce violence, to reduce crime, to reduce 

19           recidivism, to increase the likelihood of 

20           employment, to increase the likelihood that 

21           an incarcerated person is in touch with their 

22           family post-release, and to be the most 

23           radical form of higher education opportunity 

24           in the entire country.  It did all of those 


 1           things with more cost-efficiency than 

 2           anything else we did in our prison systems.  

 3                  And yet these programs were 

 4           eviscerated in 1994 and 1995, first at the 

 5           federal level with the Clinton Crime Bill, 

 6           and then here in New York State it was 

 7           virtually the first thing that 

 8           Governor Pataki did when he came to power in 

 9           the middle 1990s.

10                  My name is Max Kenner.  I'm the 

11           executive director and founder of the Bard 

12           Prison Initiative, which was established in 

13           1999.  We have enrolled hundreds of 

14           incarcerated undergraduates in a diverse 

15           academic program over the last 22 years in 

16           nearly a dozen correctional facilities.

17                  I am really thrilled that Governor 

18           Hochul has not only proposed this change in 

19           the law, but also done it at a time when she 

20           has proposed a radical increase in investment 

21           in CUNY and SUNY.  The elimination of college 

22           opportunity for incarcerated New Yorkers was 

23           a smoke screen for disinvestment in our 

24           public university system, and it's a 


 1           privilege that these things are being 

 2           reinstated together.

 3                  As we take on this legislation, I want 

 4           to say two things.  One, we have an existing 

 5           ecosystem of college in prison in New York, 

 6           and it is the best system of college in 

 7           prison in the United States.  That is because 

 8           from the grassroots level up, we have 

 9           established a system of college in prison 

10           that most closely resembles our system of 

11           college in New York, as any other.

12                  Second, when we do this, this is an 

13           equity issue.  We should repeal the ban and 

14           nothing more.  We don't need a new research 

15           agenda, we don't need to create a new 

16           bureaucracy, we know what this does.  Let's 

17           not hold incarcerated students to a bizarre 

18           additional standard than we do any other 

19           undergraduates.  

20                  Let's keep it simple:  A clean repeal 

21           of the ban on TAP.  And I thank you for your 

22           time.

23                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Let's move on 

24           to Fortune Society.


 1                  MS. WILLIAMS:  Hi.  My name is Tawana 

 2           Williams.  I'm an alumni of the WISH Program, 

 3           the Fortune Society and Ritual4Return.  

 4                  I'm going to be honest with you guys, 

 5           I didn't do college in jail, but my -- {Zoom 

 6           drop} -- sorry, my fiance did.  But I am in 

 7           agreement that they do bring back the 

 8           colleges in jail.  Why?  Because it's bad 

 9           enough that a person is stagnating in a life, 

10           and then when they come out of jail they have 

11           to -- it's like they have to start all over 

12           again.  

13                  When all they have to do is do the 

14           college -- which is the point to, I believe, 

15           life -- do the college in jail.  Then when 

16           they come out, they just look for job.  And 

17           everything I believe is surrounded by 

18           finances, so they'd already be established 

19           and up-to-date, at least with the financial 

20           part.

21                  And I do agree with that, you know.  

22           So they're already getting Pell back.  I 

23           would like them -- they're already getting 

24           TAP back, I would like them to give Pell 


 1           back.  And that's really all I have to say.  

 2                  You know, one more thing.  I know when 

 3           I came out of jail in like ninety-something, 

 4           because I didn't do a lot of time, I remember 

 5           a young lady came up to me and told me that 

 6           she had just -- she had just -- was released 

 7           from jail, but they didn't have college in 

 8           jail, they had cut the program out.  

 9                  Excuse me.  Excuse me about the GPS.  

10                  They had just cut college out of jail, 

11           and she was devastated, because now she felt 

12           like I have to go all the way and do college 

13           all over again.  And I just came out of jail 

14           when they could have just gave me college in 

15           jail.  With no debt.  

16                  So now she has the debt, now she has 

17           to start all over again.  And she had 

18           children.  So it devastated her.

19                  But I do have my fiance with me today, 

20           guys, and he is going to share his story of 

21           when he was in college in jail.  

22                  Actually, today I do have my master's 

23           degree, I'm going for my doctorate in human 

24           services, but it's on the outside, it wasn't 


 1           in jail.  So yes, I owe over $153,000 in 

 2           student loan debt.  But that will be taken 

 3           care of soon.

 4                  Here he is, Arthur Brown.

 5                  MR. BROWN:  Hello.  My name is Arthur 

 6           Brown --

 7                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  I'm -- I'm 

 8           sorry, just because of being virtual, we 

 9           can't have witnesses who aren't on the 

10           witness list, the tech folks don't have the 

11           ability to add names.  So --

12                  MS. WILLIAMS:  Oh, I misunderstood.  I 

13           apologize.

14                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Okay.  I mean, 

15           if you want to, you still have a -- okay.  

16           But please, other people can submit 

17           testimony.  So if your -- the person who's 

18           there with you can send in testimony, that 

19           would be fine.

20                  MS. WILLIAMS:  All right, no problem.

21                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Then it will be 

22           part of the record.  Okay?

23                  MS. WILLIAMS:  All right.  Thank you, 

24           guys.


 1                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Sure.

 2                  So now we go to College & Community 

 3           Fellowship.

 4                  MS. RALSTON:  Good evening, honorable 

 5           committee members.  My name is Romarilyn 

 6           Ralston.  I am the executive director of 

 7           College & Community Fellowship, a New York 

 8           City nonprofit that operates at the city, 

 9           state and federal level, helping women and 

10           families most harmed by mass criminalization 

11           gain equitable access to higher education and 

12           combat the issues they face systemically 

13           through policy change.

14                  The most prevalent barrier 

15           justice-involved people face is the denial of 

16           financial aid.  New York is among a handful 

17           of states that bans needs-based financial 

18           assistance, also known as the Tuition 

19           Assistance Program, to those incarcerated.  I 

20           come before you today as a formerly 

21           incarcerated person, understanding all too 

22           well the value of post-secondary education 

23           inside prison.

24                  I spent 23 years behind bars.  In 


 1           prison I learned how to advocate for myself, 

 2           organize, and inspire other women to become 

 3           leaders.  It's also where I fell in love with 

 4           higher education.

 5                  I had the opportunity to take my first 

 6           college course in 1990, prior to the '94 

 7           Crime Bill, which eliminated Pell Grants for 

 8           incarcerated students.  In taking that class, 

 9           I understood how I became incarcerated and 

10           what conditions within society work together 

11           to put people behind bars -- and I wasn't 

12           alone.  There with me in this classroom were 

13           30 other women, most of us serving life 

14           sentences.

15                  Many incarcerated people want to 

16           understand how they became incarcerated and 

17           what systemic issues are at play to 

18           perpetuate cycles of incarceration, so they 

19           can dismantle them.  This is especially true 

20           when you're looking around a prison yard and 

21           the majority of the people look like you.

22                  When Pell was eliminated for 

23           incarcerated students, it left a void in our 

24           lives.  We lost access to knowledge and an 


 1           identity we shared as students that followed 

 2           us out of the classroom and into the prison 

 3           yard.

 4                  But a seed had been planted, and 

 5           change cultivated.  Education reduces all 

 6           types of harms because it transforms the 

 7           individual.  It should not be a matter of 

 8           privilege or chance whether one has access.  

 9           Ninety-five percent of those incarcerated 

10           will return to our communities, and research 

11           has shown that the more education one has, 

12           the less likely they are to recidivate.

13                  Providing financial aid assistance 

14           should be seen as an opportunity to deploy 

15           our collective resources as a society into 

16           the minds of people who are hungry for change 

17           and understanding.  That is why I'm asking 

18           you to repeal the 27-year-long ban on TAP.  

19           It's reprehensible that this bill to repeal 

20           was introduced in 1999 and has never made it 

21           out of committee.

22                  We thank Governor Hochul for 

23           recognizing the importance of TAP in her 

24           Executive Budget.  By turning on the TAP, you 


 1           send a strong message that New York is 

 2           committed to educational equity for all.

 3                  Thank you.

 4                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.  

 5                  We move on to The Education Trust.

 6                  DR. BRYANT:  Good evening, everyone.  

 7           And thank you very much for allowing us to 

 8           offer this testimony.

 9                  I am Dia Bryant.  I am the executive 

10           director at The Education Trust-New York.  We 

11           are a nonprofit, nonpartisan research, policy 

12           and advocacy organization that focuses on 

13           education equity, beginning at birth, through 

14           college, and into the workforce.

15                  Today I want to talk a little bit 

16           about a few data points that we've learned 

17           even before the pandemic, and things that 

18           have surfaced most recently.

19                  There's a few things that our REACH NY 

20           network works on that sort of set the 

21           context, and we would like to see some 

22           urgency to improve educational equity 

23           throughout New York, specifically in the 

24           post-secondary space.


 1                  The first is to address equity gaps in 

 2           post-secondary outcomes.  One of our most 

 3           recent reports reveals that white residents 

 4           are almost two times as likely to hold a 

 5           post-secondary degree when compared to 

 6           American Indian, Black, and Latinx residents 

 7           of New York.

 8                  Further data revealed that white 

 9           students are 1.6 times more likely to 

10           complete their certificate or degree than are 

11           American Indian, Black or Latinx students at 

12           two-year public institutions.

13                  A similar pattern of inequity emerged 

14           at four-year institutions where completion 

15           rates at institutions with the lowest share 

16           of Pell recipients are 1.6 times greater than 

17           institutions with the highest share of Pell 

18           recipients.

19                  Much of this has been highlighted by 

20           some of my colleagues earlier, so I will not 

21           go into the extreme details that are in the 

22           written testimony.  However, I will highlight 

23           a couple of elements within the Executive 

24           Budget that we believe are key investments to 


 1           improve access and affordability in higher 

 2           education and increase preparedness for our 

 3           future workforce, particularly as we begin to 

 4           think about the impact of infrastructure 

 5           bills on where we should move our state.

 6                  The Executive Budget recognizes the 

 7           incredible toll that the ongoing pandemic 

 8           continues to take on New York's people and 

 9           its economy.  To get New York back on track, 

10           the state has to focus on a few things.  

11                  Committing to increased statewide 

12           attainment.  Focusing on 60 percent of 

13           New Yorkers age 25-64 having a post-secondary 

14           degree by 2030 will require a commitment to 

15           wraparound services for post-secondary access 

16           and to really bridging the attainment gap 

17           across racial lines, geographic lines, and 

18           also around income lines.

19                  Improving access to financial aid.  

20           The Executive Budget includes several key 

21           investments that have been highlighted by my 

22           colleagues tonight, and we hope that those 

23           remain.  The additional $24 million that has 

24           been allocated to support historically 


 1           underserved students is an opportunity for us 

 2           to continue to make gains.

 3                  Much of the details are still in my 

 4           testimony.  And since I have just a few 

 5           seconds left, I thank you again for this 

 6           opportunity and welcome any questions on 

 7           things that you see inside the testimony.

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

 9                  And we'll move on to Hudson Link for 

10           Higher Education in Prison.

11                  MR. PICA:  Good evening.  Thank you so 

12           much for having us.  With our speakers, thank 

13           you so much, guys, you did great.

14                  My name is Sean Pica.  I'm the 

15           executive director of Hudson Link for Higher 

16           Education in Prison.  I'm also the vice 

17           president of New Beginnings, which is a 

18           construction initiative partnering our 

19           students upon return to the community with 

20           local contractors.  I work on the Governor's 

21           Task Force, and I'm also a part of the 

22           Advisory Committee for the Department of 

23           Corrections.  

24                  I was also in the ninth grade when I 


 1           got sentenced to 24 years in prison, during a 

 2           time when teenagers were still sentenced as 

 3           adults.  I entered the prison system thinking 

 4           my life was over.  Quite frankly, when you 

 5           give a teenager 24 years in prison -- more 

 6           time than they've been on this earth -- you 

 7           really just think that it's a done deal.

 8                  I entered my first cell block in a 

 9           maximum-security prison with not much hope.  

10           The men that I lived with, the officers, the 

11           staff made sure I finished high school.  They 

12           made sure I took pre-college and college back 

13           in the '80s when there was college in many of 

14           the prisons I lived in.

15                  I lived in nine different 

16           maximum-security prisons over 16 and a half 

17           years.  I was released early; I didn't serve 

18           the whole 24 years.  But when I walked out of 

19           Sing Sing, I had more time in prison than 

20           out.

21                  As a young man coming back to the 

22           community, not really believing the college 

23           that I attained was real, knowing that the 

24           only reason I had gone to college while 


 1           inside was not to better myself, but because 

 2           I wanted to give my parents something 

 3           positive while I was in that pretty negative 

 4           place.  My mom and dad were retired New York 

 5           City cops, and talking about the prison 

 6           yard -- well, it just wasn't going to be what 

 7           I would talk about.

 8                  When I walked out, I really wanted to 

 9           reaffirm that the college I had done inside, 

10           not really understanding what I had 

11           received -- and I signed up for a CUNY 

12           school, at Hunter.  I got my MSW, the 

13           two-year full-time intensive program.  I was 

14           really scared when I got called.  I didn't 

15           really believe what I had gotten on the 

16           inside was real.  But I walked through that 

17           two-year program like it was nothing.  And as 

18           someone that always struggled in school, 

19           knowing that everything that I had gotten was 

20           real -- I was the valedictorian speaker at my 

21           own graduation, and now I'm back in grad 

22           school working on another degree.

23                  Everything that these guys talked 

24           about that are operating in the New York 


 1           State Department of Corrections is legit.  

 2           It's the real deal.  We need more of it.  

 3           These students like myself that are going 

 4           through this, this is our second chance at 

 5           life.  The programs, the curriculum, it's 

 6           identical to what's being offered on the 

 7           traditional campuses.  In fact, it's not 

 8           identical -- it's harder.  Because these 

 9           professors know they have to give us 

10           legitimate work.

11                  Thirty-four percent of our students go 

12           on to graduate work upon release.  We have a 

13           98 percent success rate, a 2 percent 

14           recidivism rate.  

15                  The work that's being delivered is 

16           real and it's saving New York taxpayers 

17           millions of dollars a year for something that 

18           the colleges are paying for.  We need to 

19           spread it further.

20                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Fostering Youth 

21           Success Alliance.

22                  MS. NESBETH:  Good evening, all.  My 

23           name is Deidra Nesbeth, and I am testifying 

24           today on behalf of the statewide Fostering 


 1           Youth Success Alliance.  

 2                  We would like to thank Chair 

 3           Weinstein, Chair Krueger, Chair Stavisky and 

 4           Chair Glick, as well as the honorable members 

 5           of the committees on Higher Education, 

 6           Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means, 

 7           for the opportunity to provide feedback about 

 8           the fiscal year '23 Executive Budget 

 9           proposal.  We'll specifically address funding 

10           for the Foster Youth College Success 

11           Initiative, or FYCSI. 

12                  FYCSI aims to bridge the gap from 

13           foster care to college success for the 

14           state's most vulnerable youth.  There are 

15           currently close to 1,000 students who are on 

16           the path to college success, participating in 

17           FYCSI across more than a hundred public and 

18           private colleges and universities throughout 

19           New York State.  

20                  Since its inception in 2015, the 

21           program has served over 2,000 individual 

22           students.  FYCSI funds have and continue to 

23           allow students to cover expenses such as 

24           tuition, housing, transportation, medical and 


 1           personal expenses.  To date, the state has 

 2           invested $34.2 million towards the college 

 3           initiative to support the educational goals 

 4           of young people with a foster care 

 5           background.  

 6                  We were ecstatic to see that Governor 

 7           Hochul's Executive Budget proposal increased 

 8           FYCSI funding by an amount of 10 percent, to 

 9           a total of 7.92 million.  This funding can be 

10           the difference between a student having one 

11           meal or multiple meals in a given day, or in 

12           dropping out of school to work for rent 

13           versus continuing on with their education.

14                  In addition to this investment in 

15           funds, it is also important that FYCSI funds 

16           be easily accessible for youth to access.  

17           Through the Making College Success workgroup 

18           that includes partners from the Higher 

19           Education Services Corporation, State 

20           Education Department, Office of Children and 

21           Family Services, Administration for 

22           Children's Services, and SUNY and CUNY that 

23           FYSA convenes on a monthly basis, changes 

24           were secured to the Tuition Assistance 


 1           Program application that ensure young people 

 2           can more easily disclose their foster care 

 3           background at the time of applying for 

 4           financial aid.

 5                  FYSA estimates that this change to the 

 6           TAP application can increase access to the 

 7           program by 400 to 500 youth with a foster 

 8           care background beginning in September 2022.  

 9           To accommodate for this expected increase, we 

10           are requesting an additional 10 percent 

11           increase in funding above what the Governor 

12           proposed -- for a total of 8.64 million -- 

13           now that New York State has made it easier 

14           for young people to identify themselves.

15                  By championing FYCSI, the state is 

16           ensuring that all foster youth who come into 

17           the care of the state and want to attend 

18           college are able to further their education, 

19           become independent and make their own unique 

20           impact on society.  

21                  With that, we just want to thank you 

22           again for this opportunity to testify and 

23           welcome any questions that you may have.

24                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  So I want to 


 1           thank all of the panel for testifying here 

 2           today, and particularly for those who shared 

 3           your experiences within the prison system.

 4                  I'd like to call upon our chair of 

 5           Higher Ed, Deborah Glick.

 6                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  Thanks very 

 7           much.  

 8                  Yes, I think what is important -- 

 9           we've waited a long time for there to be the 

10           possibility of returning TAP to the 

11           incarcerated, and I think it's really 

12           important to have personal testimonies, 

13           because, you know, it's a crazy world out 

14           there and there will be pushback.

15                  But I give the Governor credit for 

16           putting it in her budget.  I think that will 

17           help make it a reality.

18                  And Deidra, I just wanted to ask -- 

19           obviously FYCSI is personally important to 

20           me.  It's something I pushed to get started 

21           years ago.  So I'm wondering, with this 

22           change, do you have an estimate of how many 

23           more young people we might be able to serve?

24                  MS. NESBETH:  Yes.  So we know that 


 1           there's a gap of about -- between 400 and 500 

 2           students who are not doing -- filling out the 

 3           consent form, and therefore they're not able 

 4           to access the funding.  

 5                  So this means that students don't have 

 6           that extra step, so they'll be able to 

 7           identify themselves much earlier in the 

 8           process.

 9                  ASSEMBLYWOMAN GLICK:  That's great.

10                  And Sean, I think we met a couple of 

11           weeks ago.  And I think that -- you know, I'd 

12           like to put you, you know, in an ad, because 

13           it's -- we get a lot of pushback for 

14           recognizing that people who, you know, have 

15           maybe gone through one of their worst days, 

16           that that's not their last day.

17                  So, you know, I just want to thank you 

18           for all the work you've done.  And, you know, 

19           I think we'll get it across the finish line, 

20           which is great.

21                  Thank you.

22                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

23                  Back to the Senate.

24                  Senator Jackson, I believe you had 


 1           your hand up.

 2                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Sure.

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 4                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Thank you, everyone, 

 5           for coming in.  It's been a long day, but 

 6           it's been successful listening to all of you, 

 7           about your experience and what you're trying 

 8           to achieve on behalf of the people that we 

 9           all represent.

10                  So I've got two questions.  How can we 

11           ensure predatory programs do not emerge in 

12           New York State facilities as TAP is restored 

13           for incarcerated students?  Just think about 

14           that for a second.

15                  And then this other one, what is the 

16           best way to ensure that the programs and 

17           instructors for our incarcerated students are 

18           the same quality as the non-incarcerated?

19                  So please comment, anyone that you 

20           can.  Just raise your hand and speak it out.

21                  Go ahead, Sean.

22                  MR. PICA:  I think whenever someone 

23           questions what we're doing in the facilities, 

24           the very easy answer is if you look on the 


 1           Bard/Cornell/NYU/Mercy College website, it 

 2           will be the identical scheduling, textbooks, 

 3           professors.  We're not slipping in anyone 

 4           that could actually do anything other than 

 5           what's already being served on the 

 6           traditional campus.  If anything, the 

 7           standards are higher.

 8                  SENATOR JACKSON:  It's a coordinated, 

 9           transparent process?

10                  MR. PICA:  Yes.  There are adjunct 

11           professors that are in the system that can't 

12           be -- we can't just bring in somebody to 

13           teach a class because they like finance.  It 

14           all goes through the college.  

15                  So legitimate, accredited, 

16           degree-granting work, every part of this.

17                  SENATOR JACKSON:  I had expressed 

18           concern in an earlier panel about wanting to 

19           make sure that New York State, SUNY and/or 

20           CUNY -- and someone mentioned you have 

21           community-based organizations that are 

22           involved in the education also, more so than 

23           people from Texas and California and what 

24           have you.


 1                  I want those jobs to remain in 

 2           New York State, and I want the quality -- as 

 3           a representative, the quality to be what we 

 4           all rightfully deserve.  

 5                  So anybody else want to comment on 

 6           that?  Yeah, go ahead.  Go ahead, Max.

 7                  MR. KENNER:  Romarilyn, I think you 

 8           had your hand up first, so --

 9                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Marilyn?  Okay, 

10           who's Marilyn?  I'm trying to look.  Go 

11           ahead --

12                  MS. RALSTON:  I just wanted to respond 

13           to the question regarding predatory 

14           institutions.  

15                  California recently passed SB416 that 

16           addresses this issue.  And I think it's a 

17           good model that we could possibly take a look 

18           at so that we can see that public 

19           universities that are nonprofit, who offer 

20           incarcerated students access to higher 

21           education while they're inside, utilizing 

22           Pell Grants, that lead to a degree, a 

23           credit-bearing degree, and transfers to one 

24           of our public university systems, is a route 


 1           that we should potentially take a look at.

 2                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Okay.  Anybody else, 

 3           quickly?  Go ahead, Max.

 4                  MR. KENNER:  If I may quickly, just to 

 5           remind everyone that just like Sean said, 

 6           these incarcerated students are held to the 

 7           same standards as students anywhere else.  

 8           The professors and courses that they enroll 

 9           in are approved by deans and provosts through 

10           the same process as anything that happens on 

11           campus.  

12                  If they're not held to those same 

13           standards, they should be removed from the 

14           prisons.  

15                  But our colleges are subject to a 

16           whole regime of oversight -- through the 

17           Regents, through the Middle States -- and 

18           creating anything in addition to that is in 

19           my view as likely to cause harm as it is to 

20           benefit.  We should support those 

21           accreditation agencies and we should make 

22           sure that they're treating incarcerated 

23           students with the same dignity as anyone 

24           else.  


 1                  But in my view, that is happening, and 

 2           New York State should invest in these 

 3           programs as it did for decades prior to the 

 4           ban.

 5                  SENATOR JACKSON:  Well, thank you.  My 

 6           time is up.  Thank you all for coming in, 

 7           please.

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you.

 9                  MR. KENNER:  Thank you, Senator 

10           Jackson.

11                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Helene?

12                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Yes, Senator 

13           Krueger, did you want --

14                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  I'm sorry, do you 

15           have another Assemblymember?

16                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  No.  No.  I 

17           didn't know if you wanted to say something 

18           before --

19                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  No, I skipped 

20           over our chair, Toby Stavisky, who does have 

21           something to say.  I'm sorry.

22                  SENATOR JACKSON:  I'm sorry.

23                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  Yeah, thank you.

24                  First let me thank Senator Jackson for 


 1           his sponsorship.  It was his bill that the 

 2           Governor adapted for the Article VII part of 

 3           the prison TAP.

 4                  And Sean, thank you so much for your 

 5           testimony.  It's a lot more meaningful when 

 6           we hear people talk about this than reading 

 7           it.

 8                  I have two comments, and the 

 9           question's really for anybody.  I think we 

10           ought to have some kind of articulation 

11           agreement for the incarcerated so that when 

12           they leave the prisons, they can continue 

13           their education at another institution if 

14           they so choose.

15                  And secondly, I think DOCCS has to 

16           do -- they have to pass some rules and 

17           regulations to make sure that this is going 

18           to be workable.  

19                  I really thank everybody for their 

20           testimony.  This is long overdue.  And if 

21           anybody wants to address the -- either the 

22           articulation agreement, where they can -- to 

23           help people who leave the prison system to 

24           continue their education -- and, secondly, 


 1           what should be in the rules and regs issued 

 2           by the Department of Corrections.

 3                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Thank you, Toby.

 4                  I also just want to --

 5                  SENATOR STAVISKY:  You can just be in 

 6           touch with the office, you don't have to 

 7           answer now.  Thank you.

 8                  CHAIRWOMAN KRUEGER:  Sorry.

 9                  I also, just in closing, want to point 

10           out that thanks to programs like the one 

11           Deidra's working with, we're going to send 

12           fewer people to prison to have to deal with 

13           this issue later anyway.  So thank you for 

14           making sure that foster kids don't end up 

15           just on a train to a prison once they age out 

16           of foster care.

17                  MS. NESBETH:  Thank you all for your 

18           support.

19                  CHAIRWOMAN WEINSTEIN:  Thank you.

20                  I want to thank all of this panel for 

21           being here, but all of the witnesses who've 

22           come here today to speak before the joint 

23           committees.  

24                  I want to thank all of the 


 1           Assemblymembers and Senators for spending 

 2           time with us today.  

 3                  And for those paying attention, the 

 4           hearing is about to end and we welcome you to 

 5           join us tomorrow morning.  There will be a 

 6           joint hearing with the Assembly and Senate 

 7           Finance and Ways and Means committees on 

 8           health.

 9                  So with that, I now call this hearing 

10           officially ended.

11                  (Whereupon, the budget hearing 

12           concluded at 6:44 p.m.)