Published June 24, 2011
I am very pleased to announce that the New York State Legislature has passed Governor Cuomo’s NYSUNY 2020 bill. This pioneering legislation, introduced by Governor Cuomo and approved by the Legislature earlier this evening, gives us the tools we need to advance the next phase of the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence. As a result, it will have a transformative impact on our university, on public higher education in New York State, and on our region’s economy and quality of life.
This is very good news for our students, for UB as a whole, and for our larger community. It represents a major step forward in achieving our long-range vision of excellence for advancing UB in the ranks of the nation’s leading public research universities. Achieving this vision will lead to an even better, stronger university with an even greater impact on all the communities we serve.
This legislation establishes a historic new model for investing in public higher education in New York State, providing a vital path forward during a period of declining state funding and enabling us to better compete with our peers among the nation’s major public research universities. The bill features a rational tuition and “tuition plus” plan that establishes a fair, predictable, and responsible tuition policy for SUNY’s campuses, one that—for the first time in SUNY history—will enable students and families to plan for the cost of college education in a predictable way.
UB will use the funding provided by this tuition plan to increase the quality of academic programs for our students, hire new faculty in strategic fields and across the disciplines, and as a result contribute to the growth of the region’s knowledge economy. To ensure equitable access to our university, UB also will invest a portion of tuition revenues into need-based financial aid.
By authorizing capital funding from the Governor’s NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program and other sources, this legislation also allows UB to move forward with its plans to relocate the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in downtown Buffalo, where UB medical education, research, and clinical care will be aligned more effectively with regional hospitals and research partners. Implementing this next phase of our long-range UB 2020 plan will have significant academic and economic benefits that improve the quality of life in and far beyond our region and drive the innovation, job creation, and economic growth critical to the future of our Western New York community.
This key progress enables all of us—UB, SUNY, and our region and state—to move forward together. Governor Cuomo’s strong support has been instrumental to helping us reach this point, as has that of the entire Western New York delegation, which has stood united behind UB and SUNY throughout the long road leading up to this point. And we could not have come this far without the broad coalition of UB advocates who have lent their voices and support to UB 2020.
Together, now we begin the exciting work of implementing the next phase of that long-range vision. I look forward to our journey together as we move onward and upward.