Board of Trustees approves CUNY's tuition hike
Published: Monday, December 5, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 12:12
Dobrin said that their priority was to protect the first amendment rights of students while protecting the rights of those students who did not protest to continue to pursue their education.
Chairman Schmidt followed with commentary that emphasized that the CUNY Compact is now engraved in state law.
"There is not an institution in this country that went from raising less than 50,000 a year to raising annually over 250 million dollars," Schmidt said.
Associate Vice Chancellor Sapienza presented the operating budget request. "The city's projected gap has been reduced to about $2 billion as a result of actions taken by the mayor. CUNY has sustained numerous reductions over the past four years," he said.
"There will be three key issues that will be a part of the financial aid program: tuition waivers, implementing a CUNY institutional work study program and textbook policy," said Sapienza, explaining that the program would bring CUNY's total investment to 109 million dollars, 45.5 million of which would be used to hire full time faculty members. CUNY's faculty-hiring freeze has continued to drag on with little word on progress until now.
Trustee Peter Pantaleo spoke about the lack of funding for adjunct professor health insurance. "I know of no major university that is raising or attempting to maintain benefits in the face of this budget crisis," he said.
Kouakou was the last individual to speak before the vote took place. "I know the Chancellery is trying their best to make CUNY affordable. However as a student leader, I have to make sure that I am not going for the tuition increase, I am going against it," he said. He said that he wanted to send a message to Albany that the creation of a website where CUNY students can go and find scholarships should not be put on the back burner.
Following commentary by BOT members, the vote to implement the proposed tuition increase was held and passed.
Undergraduate Student President Antonio Alfonso who attended the meeting said, "I understand, and agree, that no one should have to pay higher tuition but, if the increase means that the money will go towards a good use of maintaining education standards and student services, then it makes sense."
Alfonso admires the BOT's "commitment towards providing financial assistance in any way possible to CUNY students" and holding Albany responsible for supporting education in New York.
"The state should support CUNY in order to ensure that education always stays affordable while still being exemplary," Alfonso said.