Monday, March 22, 2010

My 15-Minute Reaction to the State Senate's Budget Resolution

Picking up my girls from day care in 15 minutes from the time I started writing this, so here's my rapid-fire response to the New York State Senate's Budget Resolution.

What I Like
1. The call for a statutory change that would allow SUNY to receive and retain all tuition revenue, even if it is via state appropriation.
2. The elimination of the tax on tuition.
3. Allowing the BOT to establish a rational tuition policy, with a cap at 1.5 times the five-year rolling HEPI average: #1-#3 help the comprehensives, which are very tuition-dependent.
4. The rejection of a cap on out-of-state enrollment: this seemed unfair to non-residents and xenophobic when it comes to international students; NY and American students ought to learn about taking college seriously by competing with students from other states and countries who choose to enroll in SUNY; moreover, many of them might decide to live and work in NY after graduation.

What I Don't Care About
1. The rejection of land-lease authority to the BOT, as approved by a new SUNY Asset Maximization Board: didn't really matter much out here in Western NY, anyway.
2. Only allowing the shift to a post-audit system for the procurement of goods: hey, if the state Senate wants to waste taxpayer money, that's their call.
3. Hitting SUNY System Administration with a $5.5M cut: drop in the bucket that looks like payback for daring to challenge legislative control.

What I Hate
1. The privileging of UB and Stony Brook when it comes to setting a campus-wide differential tuition rate: why identify 2 flagships that'll now most likely move to the high-tuition/high-aid model and screw over the other 32 state-operated campuses? The only way this helps the other 32 is if state support remains constant and what would have gone to those 2 schools gets spread throughout the system.
2. Allowing differential tuition by program and campus only for out-of-state undergraduate and graduate/professional students: everywhere else, limiting special tuition rates to a small pool of students guarantees most campuses will receive very little actual benefit from the work involved in determining the special rate. Plus, it's unfair to those groups of students.

More later!

[Update 1 (7:52 pm): And of course the biggest thing I hate about the Senate's budget resolution is its support of the Governor's cuts to SUNY! Looks like the state senate is getting the chainsaw ready for 2011-2012, while putting a dollop of whipped cream on a bread-and-water diet for the vast majority of 4-year institutions in SUNY as a special treat while we languish in the state budget dungeon.]

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