Release Date: August 4, 2010
Statement from UB President John B. Simpson Regarding the State Budget and SUNY Empowerment Reforms
Last night, the Legislature enacted a state budget that did not include any of the reforms that would have so benefitted the University at Buffalo.
I am deeply disappointed that Albany has failed once again to give UB the policy tools we need to gain new operating resources, and use those resources more effectively.
This failure is bad for students, bad for the university, and bad for the Western New York community.
Moreover, the state budget includes an additional $210 million in cuts to SUNY, bringing to 30 percent the total reduction in state support over the last three years.
On top of these very significant cuts, students have watched their tuition increase by large amounts, virtually all of which has gone as a tax to the state, while the university has been able to provide less and less. And we have been forced to continue to operate in a highly regulated environment, more befitting a state agency than a research university. Simply put, the regulatory status quo, which we are now left with, will not allow this university to thrive.
Today, our peers, the major research universities across the country, have the ability to define their own course and control their own destiny. They can do so because their states have enlightened leadership that recognizes and supports the educational and research value that public research universities offer their students and their communities.
Last night, Albany declined to put UB on a level playing field with our national peers and declined to give our university the ability to contribute optimally to the greater social and economic good of our region and our state.
I remain convinced that UB 2020 is the right plan for UB, and the right plan for the region. I will continue to do all within my power to further our vision of empowering UB to achieve its full potential as a great university. I have no doubts, even today, that we are capable of achieving this if we are given the tools we need. Now, without the empowerment legislation, the road ahead to that aspiration is far more difficult, and far longer. Yet I believe that we must not let it deter us from achieving our goals.
Despite the disappointing outcome, we continue to draw strength and inspiration from the united support of the entire Western New York community, which has stood together to support UB and SUNY from the beginning of this long journey. Our efforts continue to be supported by business, labor, civic organizations, the Western New York delegation, our faculty, staff and students, and the majority of New Yorkers.
Our fight is not over. I am calling on all UB supporters to urge Albany's leaders to continue their talks and find a way to enact the reforms we need in order to create a better future for Western New York.
Together, we must continue to challenge the status quo, to be resolved in our commitment for the future, and remain true to our values, mission, and vision.
About the University at Buffalo:
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.