Leaders call for more funding for state colleges and universities

Friday, state and local officials gathered at UAlbany to call for more state funding for the university, along with other public institutions in the Capital Region, including Empire State College and SUNY Cobleskill.

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United University Professions, the nation’s largest higher education union, is leading the call for increasing funding to the Capital Region’s public colleges and universities.

Union leaders say many of these schools are hurting, and the state, not students, should step up.

Organizers say UAlbany alone is facing a projected $15 million deficit.

UUP’s president is calling for more state funding so schools don’t have to cut classes and charge students more.

“SUNY is a public good with real public value and it deserves to be funded as such. We cannot fix this problem by limiting class options, overcrowding classrooms or raising tuition and fees,” said UUP President Frederick E. Kowal, PhD.

The call for funding is also coming from lawmakers. Assembly Member Patricia Fahy (D – Albany) says the investments create future workers that the area needs.

“We know there is a labor shortage throughout so many sectors of this country right now, so investments like this, investments in our youth and in our future, truly matter,” Fahy said.

Also in attendance was Mayor Kathy Sheehan (D – Albany). She says the investments in UAlbany also help the city thrive.

“Many, many UAlbany students choose to stay here, start their own businesses, purchase homes and become part of the growing Capital Region. So we all benefit from it,” she said.