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VOICES AGAINST
TUITION HIKES

JUNE 2003

Click HERE for more information on budget and tuition issues and organizing initiatives.

 

 

TUITION HIKES THREATEN MINORITY ENROLLMENT AT PUBLIC COLLEGES ACROSS THE NATION: An important article on the eve of the Supreme Court affirmative action decision in the June 20th Chronicle of Higher Education noted that the  "bigger threat to campus diversity is state budget cuts, especially for community colleges."  Click here for a direct link to the article (with thanks to the Chronicle for giving users of the PSC website access to the full article.)

 

 

 

 

More than 20,000 students, faculty and trade unionists rallied in Albany on Saturday, May 3 against education cutbacks.  Click image for more photos.

 

TUITION INCREASES.  The Board of Trustees approved major tuition increases at its June 23rd meeting.  For NY State residents, tuition will increase $800 at the senior colleges and $300 at the community colleges. The increases are much higher for out-of-state and foreign students.  Click here for the tuition proposal presented to and approved by the Board on June 23rd.

On Thursday, June 12th, the  Higher Education Committee of the New York City Council heard testimony on tuition increases at the community colleges.  Chancellor Matthew Goldstein presented arguments (click here) for community college tuition and CUNY officials then fielded questions about the central administration's position.   Every other participant spoke against the hikes, including PSC CUNY-wide officers, two PSC community college chapter chairs, many  students and -- in opening remarks -- Charles Barron, the Chair of the Council's Higher Education Committee.   Some of the testimony appears below.

On Monday, June 16th, the CUNY Board of Trustees held public hearings on its June 23rd agenda, including the proposals to increase tuition at all CUNY colleges.  Some of that testimony also appears below.

TESTIMONY: BARBARA BOWEN, PRESIDENT, PSC-CUNY

"It is not an investment in community colleges to demand that students make up for a historical lack of public funds.  Don’t mistake privatization for investment.  The PSC has consistently argued that a budget for a public university that is based heavily on student tuition is fiscally unsound...."   -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: STEVEN LONDON, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, PSC-CUNY

"The problem with the claim that TAP will pay for the proposed tuition increase is that TAP does not cover all students nor does it even cover all poor students.  While TAP will cover tuition increases for some students, many of the City's poorest residents are ineligible for TAP or will not see the proposed tuition increases covered by TAP." -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY:  CECELIA McCALL, SECRETARY/ LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR, PSC-CUNY

"I believe further that this Board of Trustees has failed the people of the City and has not duly exercised its fiduciary role to maintain an institution that is affordable. It is just too easy to sit at a Board meeting and voice affirmation of a resolution whose consequences can only be imagined. We do not know how many students will not bother to enroll and how many currently enrolled will not return or if they do, will have to stop out at various times in order to earn money to self fund their education. However, Vice Chancellor Hershenson was quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education recently (6/20/03) where he said, “ CUNY officials are worried that a proposed $800 annual tuition increase this fall . . . will lead to a decrease in minority enrollment.” -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY:  ANNE FRIEDMAN, VP FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES, PSC-CUNY

"YES, we desperately need more full-time faculty and YES, we need to enhance academic and student support services.  But this cannot be on the backs of our students.  There comes a point when we must just say “NO.”  NO to turning public colleges – colleges that serve the community – into private institutions.  NO to tenuous and short-lived sources of funding.  NO to forcing our students to take loans to fund their studies, NO to cutting off access."  -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: MARIANNE PITA, PSC CHAPTER CHAIR, BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE

"I often tell my students that they are heroes.  I think they should get the Congressional Medal of Honor for the daily heroism that they exhibit, trying to get an education against seemingly insurmountable odds.  The least that we can do for them is to hold the line on tuition. " -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: JANE YOUNG, PSC CHAPTER CHAIR, BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

"I know firsthand about the miracle of no tuition, because I graduated from City College in 1962, and if the school hadn’t been free, I would not have been able to go there, since my father had died an untimely death, and there was no money available."  -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: JAY APPLEMAN, PSC CHAPTER CHAIR, QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE

"The proposed increase would further alter the nature of CUNY, moving it even closer to the revenue profile of a private university: with the increase, 42% of  operating revenue would come from tuition! The tuition increase effectively “privatizes” what was once a public institution, one that at one time offered opportunities for better futures for its students and for all of New York City." -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: MARY O'RIORDAN, NYC COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY

"...as the number of New Yorkers who are foreign-born or more comfortable in a language other than English has been increasing in the City, their numbers have been decreasing at the University, which appears to have become less accessible to them.  Because ethnolinguistic minorities are more likely to attend community colleges, because on average their household income is significantly below the average for students for whom English is a primary language and because they are more likely to be financially independent and supporting children, it is safe to predict that tuition increases at the community colleges would exacerbate these enrollment declines."  -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: RUTH MISHELOFF, BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

"....for most CUNY students, every dollar, every ten dollars, matters.  $300 matters.  $800 matters.  Your vote for a  tuition increase makes the lives of CUNY students harder, here and now, and makes a decent future more difficult if not impossible for them to reach."  -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: LAWRENCE RUSHING, LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

"I asked my introductory psychology students in three classes how the imminent increase in tuition of $300 would affect them.  They were, almost without exception, unaware of the increase and distraught at the hardship this would cause.  Although almost all of them have low incomes, few qualify for financial aid. The bottom line to my students is that it does not matter if there are improvements to the academic program that the $300 might result in if they are unable to attend college and take advantage of them." -- Full Testimony  

TESTIMONY: PHILIP A.  PECORINO, QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE

"Asking for the tuition increase as a principled way to fund CUNY further alters the nature of CUNY as it moves CUNY closer to the revenue profile for a private university. (With the increase there will be 42% of the operating revenue coming from tuition).The tuition increase further “privatizes” what was once a public institution offering opportunities for better futures for its students and for all of the City of New York. The $300 CC tuition increase will NOT keep faith with the mission and tradition of CUNY." -- Full Testimony

 

TESTIMONY: BILL CRAIN, THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK

"You talk about fiscal realities and shortfalls. But even during the Great Depression, CUNY remained tuition free. It somehow mustered the will to remain true to its mission—when CUNY was predominantly white. Muster the will today."  -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: DINA DAHBANY-MIRAGLIA, QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE

"Tuition is a monster. It actually encourages city and state government to reduce CUNY's budget. What is worse, instituting tuition allows increasing tuition when it is counter-productive..."  -- Full Testimony

TESTIMONY: LENORE BEAKY, LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

"We always have choices. We choose to spend money on war and killing.  So then we don’t have money for education.  But it doesn’t have to be that way. I hope that I am still here when we begin making different choices." -- Full Testimony  

 

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OUR MONTHLY QUIZ  guaranteed to stretch your mind and excite your sense of outrage.

NEW QUIZ:  When is a budget restoration not a budget restoration?

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NOTE: As a service to the CUNY communitry, the PSC presents  testimony from the June 12 hearing of the City Council Committee on Higher Education and the June 16 hearing of the Board of Trustees.   The PSC opposes a tuition hike.  The full positions and arguments presented on these web pages are those of the individuals who testified and not necessarily those of the PSC unless identified as such.


 

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