State University of New York plan to revitalize economy praised by business leaders
May 4, 2010
Businesses, local government and community organizations across New York are commending the State University of New York and Chancellor Nancy Zimpher for unveiling a plan they say will revitalize the state's economy.
The groups are urging the Legislature to pass a proposed higher education reform plan to allow SUNY campuses to set their own tuition, lease resources and make purchases without prior authority from the Legislature.
"The Power of SUNY shows great promise for the economic vitality in New York state, but in order to realize its full potential, we need to secure passage of the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act," reads the letter sent to lawmakers April 27.
Mark Egan, president and CEO of Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, said SUNY is a unique system that can be the key for New York to be successful but current laws deny SUNY the autonomy and flexibility it needs to fully "unleash the power of SUNY."
"Nothing is in SUNY's hands," said Eagan. "We support the concepts of the act."
The proposed changes, developed by Gov. David A. Paterson in his Executive Budget and championed by Zimpher in her SUNY strategic plan, would allow SUNY to enter into public-private partnerships and move from a pre-audit system to a post-audit system when making contracts with the private sector.
Those who oppose the legislation, which include some legislators, unions and some students, say taking the government out of SUNY can lead to the privatization of the institution.