for more information on budget and tuition issues and organizing
THREATEN MINORITY ENROLLMENT AT PUBLIC COLLEGES ACROSS THE NATION:
An important article
on the eve of the Supreme Court affirmative action decision
June 20th Chronicle of Higher
Education noted that
the "bigger threat to
campus diversity is state budget cuts, especially for community colleges."
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
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.
increases are much higher for
out-of-state and foreign students. Click
the tuition proposal presented to and
approved by the Board on June 23rd.
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.
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
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...." --
STEVEN LONDON, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, PSC-CUNY
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."
CECELIA McCALL, SECRETARY/ LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR, PSC-CUNY
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.”
ANNE FRIEDMAN, VP FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES, PSC-CUNY
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." --
MARIANNE PITA, PSC CHAPTER CHAIR, BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE
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. " --
JANE YOUNG, PSC CHAPTER CHAIR, BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY
"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."
JAY APPLEMAN, PSC CHAPTER CHAIR, QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY
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." --
MARY O'RIORDAN, NYC COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
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." --
RUTH MISHELOFF, BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
most CUNY students, every dollar, every ten dollars, 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." --
LAWRENCE RUSHING, LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
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."
PHILIP A. PECORINO, QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY
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
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."
BILL CRAIN, THE CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK
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." --
DINA DAHBANY-MIRAGLIA, QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY
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..." --
LENORE BEAKY, LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
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." --
guaranteed to stretch your mind and excite your sense of outrage.
NEW QUIZ: When is a budget restoration not a budget restoration?
image below for details.
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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