On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a presentation of proposals for the 2011-2012 New York state budget.
In his $132.9 billion budget, Cuomo proposed a myriad of reductions in spending on numerous government programs in the forms of cuts in funding and even entire program curtailments. Most concerning for the State University of New York, the governor announced his opposition to any increase in tuition at public colleges, despite the fact that the state has cut 30 percent of public aid to SUNY schools over the past three years.
"Without a tuition increase, Geneseo's $1.8 million deficit will be very difficult to handle," said President Christopher Dahl at a recent College Senate meeting after taking part in a conference call with other SUNY college presidents about the governor's speech.
Of course, the issue of a possible tuition hike is not automatically dead because of the governor's recent statements. The State Legislature still can push for tuition increases through negotiations. The New York State Assembly has made it clear that it will work to keep public higher education affordable.
Cuomo did not seek to reduce New York state's Tuition Assistance Program, a need based program that provides assistance to college students across New York state enrolled in both public and private universities.