The State Purpose Budget for Geneseo will experience a net increase of approximately $1.6 million for the 2012 – 2013 fiscal year.
“I think if you had to sum up the budget for the coming year, it’s basically what we predicted,” said President Christopher Dahl. “We got what we anticipated getting from the state, which was no increase in state tax dollar funding, but another $300 increase in tuition. This will give us a net increase of about $1.15 million of tuition revenue.”
“Both the state legislature and the governor adhered to the SUNY 2020 legislation, which meant they provided maintenance of effort,” said Jim Milroy, Geneseo’s vice president for administration and finance. “There was no reduction in state support and there were also slight increases in longevity payments for salary increases.”
According to Dahl, the maintenance of effort provided by the state is a direct result of the rational tuition plan.
“The rational tuition bill was passed over a year ago,” said Dahl. “It basically says that there will be predictable modest increases in tuition by $300 a year over five years. In return for granting us those tuition increases, the legislature promised not to lower SUNY funding from tax dollars any further.”
As a result of this bill, tuition for the 2012 – 2013 academic year will increase from $5,270 to $5,570.
Dahl said that 75 percent of the revenue from the tuition increase will go directly toward the campus. The other 25 percent will be used to supplement state support for the Tuition Assistance Program, which is currently capped at $5,000.
“If we are going to ask students to pay more, we have to make sure that low-income students get more support so that they aren’t forced out of SUNY,” said Dahl. “We made sure we built that into the way tuition revenues were allocated to the campuses.”
Dahl also said that Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised in a side deal that he would not use SUNY tuition money to balance the state budget midyear, an issue that he said has occurred in the past.
According to Dahl, the rational tuition plan also alleviates concern over another budgetary issue regarding funding for SUNY hospitals through SUNY tuition revenue.
“The hospitals [at Upstate, Downstate and Stonybrook] should not be included in SUNY,” said Dahl. “They certainly should not take tuition dollars to pay fringe benefits for nonacademic hospital employees, which is what they did last year by taking $14 million of tuition money.”
In March, a delegation of Geneseo students along with students from other SUNY schools traveled to Albany to protest the use of SUNY tuition revenue to fund the hospitals.
“I think that people got their point across because the state has decided to use alternative means to fund the hospitals this year,” said Dahl.
“Overall, we are generally pleased with the budget for this year,” said Dahl. “It will allow us to plan on a multiyear basis and is already enabling us to add full-time faculty lines, which is where the new money will be going.