Read this letter from Stony Brook students to SUNY Chancellor Zimpher about the hypocrisy of this bill and how it may lead to 100% tuition increases in the next 10 years in New York State.

From Some Stony Brook business blog:

Senate endorses SUNY setting tuitions
by Claude Solnik

The New York State Senate on Monday approved a budget that would give the State University of New York system the power to set its own tuition and the right to keep that money at the schools rather than having it sent to the general fund.

The Senate approved many elements of the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act that Gov. David Paterson had included in his budget.

The actions collectively would create a more independent SUNY system that educators said would let it raise tuition, possibly more frequently but by smaller increments, and rely on that money to fund the schools.

“This puts tuition in the hands of the SUNY board of trustees,” said Stony Brook University President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “It’s good because in the past the legislature has tended to not have a consistent policy. Years would go by when they didn’t raise tuition even though the costs on campus went up.”

The budget also would allow the state’s research universities, including Stony Brook, to charge a different rate than other SUNY schools, potentially leading to higher costs at those institutions.

“It reflects the fact that our infrastructure is more expensive to maintain,” Stanley said of schools with a research component. “We would be able to charge a slightly higher amount.”

Stanley said in the past that the legislature has used tuition as a way of raising funds for the state, rather than simply for the schools, resulting in hikes when the economy is most difficult.

“When the state got in a financial situation and things were toughest for students and their parents, they would raise tuition and put it in their coffers,” Stanley said.

The most recent SUNY tuition raise, a 14 percent hike, in the first year included 90 percent for the state and 10 percent for schools followed by 80 percent to the state and 20 percent to the schools in the second year.

The New York State Assembly hasn’t weighed in on the issue of the system’s right to set tuition, although there has been some resistance there out of concerns that raising tuition might minimize access. The state legislature currently sets tuition rates.

But Stanley said the system would plough back some of the increased revenue into scholarships, so tuition would remain accessible even to the most needy.

At about $5,000 a year, SUNY universities have among the lowest tuition of all schools included among the American Association of Universities.

SUNY began March 4

March 10, 2010

With State University of New York administrators openly planning to centralize and overhaul the tuition processes throughout the system, New York faces a crisis in higher public education as devastating as California’s. In fact, some administrative proposals argue for an incremental 100% increase in SUNY tuition over the next 10 years. Here's a rundown on how NY campuses began to fight last week:

Stony Brook University:
Around 75 students rally and plan to storm a press conference between University President Stanley and SUNY Chancellor Zimpher. The action was thwarted when security somehow were informed of the action, and were able to pen students in barricades. The students were able to deliver a version of this note to President Stanley as he exited.

During a follow-up demonstration outside a closed press conference about SUNY cuts on March 8th, students were threatened with citation and harassed by police. More information here.

Video from rally.

University of Albany: Banner drop from Lecture Center:

SUNY Purchase– A massive rally and brief occupation of the Student Services building ended after police invasion. Detailed report-back hopefully to come. More is likely to be planned at this weekend’s Active Resistance conference.

SUNY Purchase Call to Action

February 25, 2010

Students, Faculty and Staff,

We are in a dire state.

We are currently in the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. New York’s unemployment rate is at its highest level in almost seventeen years and is showing no sign of improvement. Yet in the midst of this, we’ve managed to neglect the greatest possible hope our country and our community has to offer: our institutions of public higher education.

Nationwide, tuition continues to skyrocket as federal aid stagnates under ever increasing financial pressure from public universities. Students are being priced out of higher education and privatization threatens the very existence of public education as know it. College has become out of reach for all but the most economically elite and tuition differentiation threatens to exacerbate the divide between the poor and the privileged.

We bailed out the banks. We bailed out the motor industry. Where is higher education’s reprieve? Now is not the time to abandon higher education. Now, more than ever, we need Albany to invest in SUNY and invest in our futures.

What began as an action in California to take a stand against tuition hikes of almost 32 percent has become a nationwide movement to defend public education against the risk of rising tuition, increased class size and delayed graduation time. Our colleagues at campuses across the country have put out a national appeal to protect higher education from the instabilities of unregulated tuition increases, and we, as concerned students of SUNY Purchase, have heeded the call.

This March 4, we must show Governor Patterson and President Schwarz that we will not acquiesce to the whims of shortsighted budget cuts and a privatization that goes against the character of our school and the integrity of the educational system. This March 4, we must join forces with students from across the country to protect and defend higher education. Read the rest of this entry »

From Next:

Activities at Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, stopped yesterday when over 2000 students took to the streets, protesting alleged increment in their school fees. The surrounding supermarkets and filling station were set on fire, banks were raided, while the Benin-Auchi-Abuja road was impassable as the protesting students barricaded the road, forcing all vehicular movement to divert through Iruekpen-Sabon-Gida-Ora-Afuze-Auchi road.

The students were protesting the hike in school fees from N26,000 to N76,000 for full-time students, and from N30,000 to N100,000 for part-time students.

The Edo State Commissioner for Education, Ngozi Osareren, denied that there was increase in the school fees of students but confirmed that the governing council of the university met last week where issues on school fees were discussed.

Meanwhile, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), a non-profit group, on Monday condemned the recent increase in tuition fees at the University.

In a release jointly signed by the group’s national coordinator, and national secretary, Hassan Taiwo and Chinedu Bosah, respectively, the group called the state government and the school management to revert the fees immediately.

“The fees have been provocatively and unwarrantedly increased, and we see no justification for it given the socio-economic difficulties most Nigerians are passing through,” the release reads.

According to the group, the old fees, formerly between N20,000 and N30,000, is now between N54,000 and N100,000, depending on the level and the course of study. The part-time and the fresh students are now expected to pay N100,000; pre-degree students are to pay N90,000; science students are to pay N74,000, while non-science students are to pay N54,000.

The group also argued that it would be inconsiderate to ask citizens earning N7,500 as minimum wage to pay N100,000 for their wards’ university education.

Commenting on the issue, Information and Orientation Commissioner, Abdul Oroh, condemned the action of the students which he said was hijacked by hoodlums, adding that the police would be allowed to do its work and bring those responsible for the destruction of properties to book.