Capital investment of $550 million in critical maintenance is included in the budget, comparable to last year's funding level system-wide. These resources are essential to ensuring that our students, faculty and staff have access to state-of-the-art facilities expected of a modern research university. An additional $100 million is included for program enhancement and expansion, which can include new construction and critical maintenance, and is subject to an MOU with the NYS Division of the Budget.
While there was no specific appropriation for the new home of our College of Engineering and Applied Sciences on our downtown campus, the University will work closely with SUNY to determine how UAlbany’s critical maintenance allocation can most effectively advance the University’s capital priorities -- the conversion of the former Albany High School foremost among them. Our efforts to identify a blend of funding to complete this critical project continue.
Additionally, $200 million is re-appropriated for the SUNY Capital Matching Program for priority projects, including major renovations and new construction of academic facilities at the state-operated campuses and statutory colleges ($200 million state share/$100 million campus share).
Funding for UAlbany’s NYSTAR Center of Excellence in Atmospheric and Environmental Prediction and Innovation (Weather and Climate Analytics) was increased by $550,000 over last year's $250,000 level, bringing the total amount to $800,000, a major win for our campus. Our COE will continue bringing businesses and researchers together to devise innovative solutions to the problems faced by weather-sensitive industries. This Center, when fully developed, will be home to the largest concentration of atmospheric, climate, and environmental researchers in New York State and one of the largest in the nation, with more than 70 highly regarded faculty, researchers and research staff.
- The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University at Albany (CARD Albany) is a university-affiliated resource center that brings research and practice together in community settings. The budget funds the Center at $1.74 million, which includes restored funding of $500,000.
- Just for the Kids (NYKids) within the School of Education is the only New York-focused, evidenced-based school improvement program in the State that compares the performance of equally-resourced and similarly challenged schools, and then identifies the best practices that explain what relates to the "achievement gap" between high-achieving schools and lower-performing schools. This initiative was level-funded at $235,000.
- The School of Social Welfare received level funding of $210,000 for evaluating the Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Veterans Program that uses new and innovative support interventions to help veterans with PTSD transition and reintegrate back into civilian life.
- The Center for Women in Government and Civil Society received $100,000 for the Immigrant Integration Index that seeks to quantify the moderating effects of nativity status, race/ethnicity and gender in shaping socioeconomic outcomes of foreign-born New Yorkers.
The following are School of Public Health initiatives included in the Enacted Budget:
- $261,600 in level funding for the Public Health Management Leaders of Tomorrow program (PHLOT), established in 2006, that strengthens the public health infrastructure across New York by providing programs (e.g., tuition awards, internship stipends, leadership training and scholarships) designed to offer novel educational opportunities to state and local public health professionals, as well as to the next generation of public health leaders at the School of Public Health.
- $487,000 for Physician Workforce Studies - the Center for Health Workforce Studies, under contract with the NYS Department of Health, monitors the state's health workforce and identifies areas around the state with shortages of primary care, oral health and behavioral health providers.
- $32,000 for Public Health Live, a monthly webcast series designed to provide continuing education opportunities on public health issues.
Excelsior Scholarship Program
- Note: The freeze on the calculation of the Excelsior aid amount at 2016 levels is extended until 2023-24..
Predictable Tuition/Maintenance of Effort (MOE)
- Note: The Enacted Budget omits the extension of Predictable Tuition and Maintenance of Effort (MOE) to 2024-25, as proposed in the Executive Budget.
- The Executive's five percent Deficit Reduction Plan (DRP) for 2021-22 and beyond was rejected; however, the 2020-21 DRP was maintained
- $500 increase to the maximum TAP award from $5,165 to $5,665
- Legislation approved that would eliminate the TAP Gap by 2024-25
- A 20 percent increase to opportunity programs, including EOP
- $18 million for another round of the SUNY Investment and Performance Fund
- $100 million in additional capital investment for state-operated campuses and statutory colleges
- Protecting the financial aid eligibility of a student that was unable to complete academic requirements because of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Restoration of $150,000 for the Hispanic Leadership Institute, for a total of $350,000, similar to last year
- Restoration of $700,000 for the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), for a total of $2.67 million, similar to last year
- Restoration of $600,000 for Graduate Diversity Fellowships, for a total of $6.6 million, similar to last year
- Restoration of $500,000 and an increase of $500,000 for Mental Health Services/Tele-counseling Network, for a total of $1 million
- $2 million in enhanced supports for students with disabilities is included
- Mother Nature Bond Act restored -- $3 billion act will be on the ballot in November 2022 to help NY combat climate change, build resilient infrastructure and revitalize critical habitats
- Extending the NY Army, Air National Guard and Naval Militia Tuition Benefit Program for an additional five years
- Existing procurement provisions, enacted in 2011, are extended through 2026; this does not included the proposed new authority for SUNY to purchase technology and services from consortia
- $600 million in retroactive general salary increases for state workers
- Police union collective bargaining contract is included -- impacts SUNY Police Benevolent Association of NY/Agency Police Services Unit employees
- Note: The Enacted Budget does not include the following:
- Academic program review reforms
- Additional flexibility in setting tuition rate categories for doctoral degree granting institutions and for specific high demand certificate programs
- Early retirement incentive (included only for certain NYC employees)
- Consolidation of Centers of Excellence into the Centers for Advanced Technology Program
- Funding was maintained at $550 million for SUNY-wide critical maintenance, with a $396.6 million lump sum for high priority critical maintenance projects to be distributed by the State University Construction Fund and $153.4 million allocated to state-operated campuses via formula, of which $9.63 million is included for UAlbany (previously $9.72 million)
- The amount UAlbany will receive under the $396.6 million lump is uncertain at this time, though we believe many of our projects are well-timed to move quickly
- An additional $100 million is included for program enhancement and expansion, which can include new construction and critical maintenance -- provided in a lump sum and subject to the submission of an annual plan for approval by SUNY to the Director of the State Budget
Student Financial Aid and Support
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
- TAP is funded at $1.07 billion, approximately $88 million more than last year's level, increasing the maximum TAP award by $500 for a total of $5,665
- Additionally, the Enacted Budget proposes the phase in general fund operating support for the cost of the TAP Gap over three years as follows:
- 2022-23 (33%)
- 2023-24 (67%)
- 2024-25 (100%)
- The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) was increased by 20 percent for a total of $38.6 million
- The Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) was increased by 20 percent for a total of $19 million
- The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP) was increased by 20 percent for a total of $14.4 million
- The Liberty Partnership Program was increased by 20 percent for a total of $22 million
Student Financial Aid Disruptions
- Legislation included to hold harmless students who were unable to complete academic requirements needed to maintain financial aid eligibility because their enrollment was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic
The following economic development programs were also included in the Enacted Budget:
- $150 million for another round of Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) funding for investment in innovative plans for regional job creation and community development;
- $100 million for a new round of Downtown Revitalization awards;
- Campuses are eligible for grants under the State and Municipal Facilities Program, which received a new appropriation of $385 million;
- $12 million for the Centers of Excellence (COE), an increase of approximately $1.4 million from last year's level; UAlbany's COE was increased to $800,000 (previously funded at $250,000); and
- $13.6 million for the Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) program, an increase of approximately $1.2 million from last year’s level.
Note: Funding for another round of the NYSUNY 2020 challenge grant program was omitted in the Enacted Budget.