University at Albany

Good for New York State

The Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act harnesses high-impact, zero-cost solutions that will create jobs, build the foundation for tomorrow’s economy and strengthen public higher education – while saving millions of taxpayer dollars.

The Act builds on the unprecedented cooperation and energetic partnership of SUNY and CUNY in working with Governor Paterson and the Division of the Budget so as to design a landmark higher education plan to reach each and every community throughout New York State with broad access, high quality and affordability. This is a major step in unleashing the public university sector to achieve the promise of economic growth through top quality public higher education from Community College to Research Center first envisioned for New York decades ago.

With the implementation of the Empowerment and Innovation Act, the State University of New York estimates that over the next ten years, its campuses will be able to help create over 10,000 new jobs and invest over $8.5 billion in capital construction which will support over 43,700 direct and 21,800 indirect construction jobs.   

Good for SUNY

As the State University becomes more responsible for its own finances, its spending on academic pursuits will not only benefit the students that it serves, but also create a larger union workforce (faculty, staff and graduate students) and a better work environment.

With fullest integration of academic programs from first year at community college to last year of a professional degree, students will be able to maximize opportunities throughout New York’s public higher education systems. This creates a more cost-effective educational environment for both the student as well as for New York taxpayers who support both the State and City Universities and local community colleges.

With greater financial independence and streamlined operations, SUNY and CUNY will be poised to develop strong public-private partnerships, new sources of revenue and enhanced research funds. Most important, the Act will provide the financial stability (through multi-year budget plans) and increased opportunities that our students, employees and taxpayers need.

At a time when the nation is focused on the cost of health care, increased autonomy will also enhance our Academic Health Centers’ abilities to adapt to ever-changing health care delivery methods which are critical to continue their public health care missions.

Research and workforce development initiatives will take advantage of the synergies of multi-campus collaborations and partnerships. The number of successful partnerships in place which have focused on nanotechnology, biotechnology and energy will be certain to increase and expand into other key areas of research and job creation.

Implementation of a tuition policy under the auspices of the Board of Trustees will provide the financial stability necessary to establish