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  • For Tuition Aid Boost to be Meaningful, CUNY Needs New Investment

     brooklyn120816

    James Davis, the author (photo: Dave Sanders)


    There has never been a better moment for the state Legislature to fight for investment in quality, affordable public higher education. Governor Cuomo’s proposed Excelsior Scholarship, though flawed, has reaffirmed the value of CUNY and SUNY and made “free tuition” for many a realistic policy goal.

    But, CUNY needs a substantial increase in state funding to ensure the quality of the education that it currently provides, and far more than that to provide free, quality education to its entire student body,

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  • Cuomo’s Tuition-Free Plan Must Be More Inclusive

    Cuomo tuition-free college announcement

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Cuomo’s plan to make tuition free for many New York State residents who attend SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year schools would be an exciting step toward ensuring students across the state can access New York’s prized public university systems. The newly-announced Excelsior Scholarship proposal could help

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  • Report Shows Barriers, Offers Solutions for Non-Traditional Higher-Ed Students

    adult learners table brochures

    (photo: Kevin Caraballo for NYC Schools)


    As the job market has evolved over the past several decades, job requirements have become more and more specialized, requiring degrees and certifications that were not previously necessary. This has forced many who would not previously have considered higher education to pursue postsecondary programming.

    In 1973, 28 percent of jobs nationwide required some level of postsecondary education. By 2018, that number is expected to hit 63 percent. This shift has led to a shift in what the postsecondary

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  • CUNY's Insufficient Response to Military Veteran-Students

    CUNY military veterans banner 2009

    photo via CUNY


    The December 8 response from CUNY’s Interim Vice Chancellor Christopher Rosa to Joe Bello's Gotham Gazette op-ed of the day prior surprised many student-veterans on CUNY campuses -- including the ten signatories of this letter.

    To begin with, we were not aware

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  • Letter: CUNY is Committed to Educating Military Veterans

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    CUNY has earned praise as "military friendly" (photo via CUNY)


    Dear Editor:

    Regarding Joe Bello’s Dec. 7 op-ed, CUNY is deeply committed to making our University a first-choice destination for veterans. We proudly educate more than 3,000 student veterans, up more than 250 percent over the last eight years. We recruit veterans; deploy dedicated admissions counselors who smooth their way through admission; waive their application fees; assure that New Yorkers eligible for the Post

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  • CUNY’s Veteran-Student Problem

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    Veterans Day (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Last month the New York City Council held a joint hearing of the veterans and higher education committees on services to military veterans at the City University of New York (CUNY). It was the first hearing regarding CUNY and veterans in several years. CUNY representatives touted the university as committed to making its campuses a first destination for veterans.

    But, the hearing also helped expose gaps in the services that CUNY is providing to military veterans

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  • The CUNY Tuition Myth

    CUNY commencement York College

    (photo via CUNY on flickr)


    Gotham Gazette recently reported that Brooklyn City Council Member Inez Barron, chair of the Council’s higher education committee, introduced a bill aimed at studying the possibility of eliminating tuition in the CUNY system. Barron said, “College should be a right that is part and parcel of a commitment we make to provide free public education in grades K to 12.” Gotham Gazette writes that

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  • Could CUNY Be Tuition-Free Again?

    hunter college graduation

    (photo via Hunter College)


    Members of the New York City Council want the City University of New York (CUNY) to return to providing a virtually tuition-free college education to local students, but major issues stand in the way.

    For years, students, teachers, elected officials and education activists have led an on-and-off crusade to reduce tuition at CUNY and reinvest in higher education. CUNY was free for qualifying city students from its inception in 1847 until 1976, when a city fiscal crisis led to change. Recently, these efforts were

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  • When is a 'raise' not a raise? The CUNY Faculty Union Deal

    murphyinstituteblog.org

    photo: Murphy Institute


    When is a “raise” not a raise? When the salary “increase,” adjusted for inflation, is below the base-year salary.

    On June 17, after five years of working without a contract and six years without even a nominal raise, the Professional Staff Congress, the City University of New York’s faculty union, announced the main terms of a tentative contract with the CUNY

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  • Unfinished Business: Governor’s Higher Ed Budget Leaves Trail of Uncertainty

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    Cuomo & SUNY 2020 (photo via The Governor's Office on flickr)


    In the height of political chaos across the country, New Yorkers have much to be proud of: our state recently increased the minimum wage and signed paid family leave into law in this year's budget, major contributions toward shared prosperity for all. This is certainly in large part because of Governor Cuomo’s strong leadership.

    However, this year’s higher education budget is a mixed bag for New Yorkers, leaving many unfinished items on the table and a trail of uncertainty for years to

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  • City Council Budget Response Seeks New Spending, More Savings

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    Mayor de Blasio briefs Council members on his budget (photo: William Alatriste) 


    The City Council on Monday issued its formal response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $82 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2017, capping a month of budget hearings that were fraught with ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 4

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    We're about two weeks from New York's April 19 presidential primary vote. The three remaining Republican candidates and two remaining Democrats have been campaigning in New York, which is more in play than it has been in several cycles. Hillary Clinton is set to hold events in New York City and Albany Monday, including a rally with Gov. Cuomo and a meeting with state Assembly Democrats, and while the candidates are

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  • State Budget Agreement: By the Numbers

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    Gov. Cuomo outlines the budget agreement (photo via The Governor's Office)


    AGov. Andrew Cuomo welcomed reporters into the Capitol's Red Room for the first time in nearly a year to announce a budget deal at 8:30 p.m. Thursday night. The announcement came as both houses of the Legislature took a break from voting on budget bills that had already been introduced, yet neither legislative majority leader joined Cuomo for the press conference.

    Legislators from the minorities of the two houses lamented having little time to

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  • De Blasio Concerned with Lack of Clarity as State Budget Deadline Nears

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    De Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


     

    Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday afternoon that he has been in regular contact with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and that he spoke with Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier in the day, but that he did not gain much clarity as Albany budget negotiations enter their final days.

    A new state budget is due by midnight Thursday, with the state's fiscal year beginning

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  • Confusion, Concern Remain as Cuomo Promises Full CUNY Funding

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    Shirley Jackson of the CUNY Student Senate at Thursday's protest (via @PSC_CUNY)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal to have New York City take over $485 million in funding for CUNY still has a number of legislators and advocates on edge despite the administration's repeated attempts to quell concerns. Advocates and faculty held a "die in" at Cuomo's New York City office on Thursday afternoon and a number of legislators say they remain ready to delay the state budget and vote against it should CUNY

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  • State Senate GOP Plays Politics with Anti-Semitism at CUNY

    cuny school of law

    CUNY School of Law


    New York State Senate Republicans are using the existence of anti-Semitism on CUNY campuses as their latest excuse in a ruse to gut the city university system's budget by $485 million, and shifting the financial burden of the cuts to CUNY students and their families.

    Last week, Senate Republicans including Senator Kenneth LaValle, who chairs the Senate Committee on Higher Education, vowed to slash CUNY funding in order to "send a message" about anti-Semitism and intolerance on CUNY campuses. This message that Republican senators are sending is

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  • AARP Emerges as Key De Blasio Ally

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    AARP members pack City Council chambers (photo via @aarpny)


    There are about 800,000 AARP members in New York City and Mayor Bill de Blasio has been arm-in-arm with them of late. The organization has come out in strong support of key pieces of de Blasio's affordable housing agenda and his plan to create a city-run retirement savings program for private sector workers.

    De Blasio has sought and embraced the support, frequently engaging with AARP members and regularly citing AARP's endorsement as validation for his housing plan, specifically controversial changes to the city's zoning

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  • Letter to the Editor: Getting the Facts Right on the Governor's Budget

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    Director of State Operations Jim Malatras, the author (photo: Governor's Office)


    To the Editor:

    Re: "Proposed CUNY Cuts Threaten the University's Timeless Mission" that ran on March 16.

    It's important we separate fact from fiction for your readers. As we always have, the Governor's

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  • CUNY Faculty’s Lost Decade & The Risk Ahead

    PSC CUNY Albany protest

    PSC CUNY rally in Albany (photo: Emma Powell


    The faculty at the City University of New York has lost a decade. Salaries at CUNY have been frozen since the October 2010 expiration of our contract and even before that they failed to keep pace with inflation. In 2015, assistant and associate professors at the top salary step earned 92% in real terms of what they earned in 2006. Full professors at the top step did slightly better, taking home just

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  • New York City Interests Given Varied Priority in Three Albany Budget Plans

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    De Blasio & Heastie (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't need to see the Assembly and Senate one-house budgets to know where he stands with each chamber - Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is a close ally of the mayor, his fellow New York City Democrat, while Senate Republicans hold a major grudge against de Blasio for leading a failed effort to boot them from the majority two years ago. Most Republican legislators, who control the Senate but not the Assembly, are also philosophically opposed to much of de Blasio's

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  • Proposed CUNY Cuts Threaten the University's Timeless Mission

    cuny grad center

    At the CUNY Grad Center (photo via @GC_CUNY)


    Roused from the self-imposed seclusion of doctoral dissertation data entry, I was awakened by attention to the recently-proposed drastic budget reduction to our nation's largest urban university system – the City University of New York (CUNY). These are cuts that simply cannot be allowed to go through and this is an issue that affects all of New York, not just the faculty, students, and staff of CUNY.

    Public funding for higher education in New York City is the lifeline for many, offering a college education that is

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  • NYC Health Commish Highlights Death Disparities

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    Mayor de Blasio and Health Commissioner Bassett (Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    Crisis is part of the gig for the chief health official in the nation's largest city, and Dr. Mary Bassett has dealt with her share of emergencies in the two years she's served as commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. First there was Ebola, followed by Legionnaires', and now comes Zika—and those are just the ones the public has heard about. New York City is also seeing an outbreak of whooping cough, Bassett told a Thursday briefing at the CUNY Graduate School of

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  • In Albany, State Senators Ambush De Blasio on Property Tax Reform

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    Mayor de Blasio in Albany Tuesday (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio surely wasn't expecting a warm reception in Albany Tuesday, but he walked into an ambush. In front of a bipartisan group of state legislators, de Blasio sat for a grueling, nearly five-hour budget testimony. Senate Republicans peppered the mayor with questions about instituting a property tax cap in the city, taking away from any focus on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ...

  • The Numbers on NYC's Property Tax Non-Problem

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    When Mayor de Blasio arrived in Albany on Tuesday, he had a lot to talk about: aid to CUNY, cost-sharing for Medicaid, mayoral control of the schools and more. Instead, upstate lawmakers wanted to talk about a property tax cap. New York City is the only place in the state that doesn't have one, and apparently that irks Republicans.

    The property tax is one of the few revenue lines that the city controls on its own. If it wants to raise other taxes, like the income tax, it has to go to Albany for approval. That fact is probably not

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  • Council to Examine City Support for Ethnic Media

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    Council Member Menchaca (photo: William Alatriste) 


    When City Council member Carlos Menchaca heard the recent news of layoffs at El Diario, the country’s oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper, he was troubled to say the least. Menchaca, who represents Sunset Park and Red Hook, penned an

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