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NYSUNY 2020 Act Will Invest in UAlbany, Provide Flexibility for Growth in Enrollment, Research and Teaching

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Governor Andrew Cuomo, announcing the NYSUNY 2020 plan on May 2. The plan was approved by the State Legislature late Friday night.

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 27, 2011) – The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Act, passed by the State Senate and Assembly late Friday night, June 22, will build academic and student excellence at UAlbany while spurring research and discovery, job creation, and economic growth throughout the Capital Region and Empire State.

The pioneering legislation, which now awaits Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature, will implement historic public higher education reform, including a fair, predictable, and responsible tuition policy for SUNY campuses. NYSUNY 2020's goal, according to the governor, is to help build SUNY institutions and unleash their potential to drive economic growth across the state.

"For the first time, the University at Albany and the other SUNY campuses will be afforded new flexibilities, including a 'rational' tuition structure that will provide students and families with an opportunity to properly plan for the cost of a UAlbany/SUNY college education," said President Philip. "It also assures financial aid to students in high financial need through a new TAP credit to cover future increases in tuition."

The President noted that NYSUNY 2020 preserves tuition dollars for investment in UAlbany programs and charts a course for growing the University through additional faculty, researchers and staff. It will also expand access to more students by growing enrollment.

Over the last two decades, SUNY tuition has spiked six times, with increases one year reaching as high as $950. Instead of being invested in SUNY students' education, tuition increases have been "swept" by the state to address budget deficits during fiscally challenging times. This legislation goes far in correcting past historical inequities and ending irrational tuition hikes by providing a modest $300 increase per year over the next five years, while requiring the state to fund SUNY at an amount no less than the previous year.

NYSUNY 2020 will also help fuel the University's "UAlbany Impact" plan, a blueprint that charts a ten-year course for strengthening the campus's academic, research and service mission, as well as its role as an economic engine in New York State. The blueprint calls for adding faculty, researchers and staff, increasing enrollment, investing in new capital construction, and expanding opportunities for research funding.

Under NYSUNY 2020, UAlbany will also be able to compete for up to $35 million in seed funding to develop critically important capital priorities that will enhance its world-class academic and research enterprise and drive job creation and regional economic growth.

"Going forward, I am confident that the University at Albany will be able to rebuild over time with the NYSUNY 2020 operating and capital reform," said the President. "I commend Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, Assembly Speaker Silver, SUNY Chancellor Zimpher, and our entire Capital Region Legislative Delegation for their vision and leadership in bringing about NYSUNY 2020.

"I am particularly appreciative for the thousands of UAlbany supporters who joined together over the past year to support the reforms included in NYSUNY 2020. Their support has been instrumental in advancing this legislation, which will ensure a brighter future for the University at Albany and our entire region."

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 17,500 students. An internationally recognized research university with 50 undergraduate majors and 125 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit http://www.albany.edu/. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.