January 07, 2008

Governor Spitzer Wants to Endow State's Public Colleges

The New York governor just delivered his annual speech to the state legislature, saying that he wants to raise the funding and the quality of public higher education and make the two public universities--CUNY and SUNY--even better. The problem is that New York has a budget deficit of $4 billion, and if the country's financial woes continue, there will be less tax revenue ahead. Spitzer didn't provide many specifics as to how he's going to pay for this, but his own-appointed commission did recommend hiring more faculty.

The faculty-student ratio is very important as well as the time faculty spends teaching & advising students. All too often, faculty have no real insentive to teach or spend most of their time in the classroom & designing their courses. Their professional rewards come from publishing and from public relations, not from teaching.

The state’s public higher education system includes the State University of New York, with more than 400,000 students on 64 campuses, and the City University of New York, with more than 200,000 students on 23 campuses. Undergraduates at SUNY colleges who are state residents now pay $4,350 a year in tuition and $4,000 at CUNY.

For more information on the governor's initiative, read this New York Times article.