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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

CUNY

CUNY

  • gov cuomo excelsior

    (photo: governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship is increasing credit accumulation and college retention rates, but the program still needs to meet more students where they are at.

    In 2017, Governor Cuomo embraced the “free college” movement championed by Senator Bernie Sanders and created New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship. Under Excelsior, students from families with annual incomes below $110,000—and increasing to $125,000 in fall 2019—can go to State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York

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  • cuny office matos

    Former CUNY Chancellor James Milliken, left, & incoming Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez (photo: CUNY)


    Today -- Wednesday, May 1 -- Felix Matos-Rodriguez assumes the post of CUNY chancellor following a year-long search. After successfully leading two CUNY colleges, Chancellor Matos-Rodriguez takes over an institution that has made important strides in recent years, including opening an innovative new community college and launching nationally renowned programs like CUNY ASAP.

    To help grow New York City’s middle class and greatly expand economic

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  • first lady chi

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    While the national admissions bribery scandal rocks the country, another, less sensational, legal -- but still incredibly important -- higher education crisis is unfolding before our eyes in New York. The City University of New York (CUNY), where the majority of the student body comes from underserved communities of color, is in the midst of a financial crisis, putting public higher education at risk for thousands of New Yorkers who want and deserve opportunity.

    In 2017 ...

  • cm i barron meeting

    Council Member Inez Barron (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    City Council members on Thursday questioned administrators for the City University of New York as part of a preliminary budget hearing regarding the public university system, which is funded through a variety of sources including city, state, and federal dollars, as well as tuition.

    The hearing was helmed by Higher Education Committee Chair Inez Barron, who represents parts of Brooklyn, is a Hunter College graduate and former public school teacher, and has ...

  • general lagcc 600

    (photo: LaGuardia Community College, CUNY)


    With Amazon’s pronouncement to put the brakes on its plan to bring part of its new headquarters to Long Island City, it’s time to make lemonade out of the many lemons left in the wake.

    Amazon’s decision to locate here centered on our city’s ability to get the company the talent it needs to grow. It’s what every company, large and small, needs to thrive.

    When Amazon first announced it was coming, one of the first questions raised was: who will benefit? Would the 25,000 jobs help our local community,

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  • 2017 medgar evers college

    (photo: CUNY Office of Communications)


    New Yorkers should be proud that the City University of New York leads the nation in offering low-income students the opportunity to enter the middle class. CUNY is a powerful engine of social mobility.  

    But that engine is at risk of breaking down unless our elected officials change course. Years of systemic underinvestment in educational opportunities for students of color – starting well before they reach university - means that students are increasingly unprepared for the global economy

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  • class2018 laguardia comm

    (photo via LaGuardia Community College)


    New York’s community college students face long odds of graduating. Only 25 percent of community college students statewide—and just 22 percent in New York City—earn an associate’s degree in three years, an enormous barrier to economic opportunity in a state where a college credential is

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  • cuomo excelsior

    Gov. Cuomo celebrates Excelsior (photo via the Governor's Office)


    The Excelsior Scholarship is a little over a year old, which makes it a good time to take stock. In October 2017 as the program launched, Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed, “Our first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship is designed so more New Yorkers go to college tuition-free and receive the education they deserve to reach their full potential." Now that the program is in its third semester, we can explore the program’s freshman year experience to assess its impact, successes, and struggles. Who has benefited

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  • CUNY commencement

    Macaulay Honors College commencement (photo via CUNY)


    She hid her growing belly under loose dresses and oversized sweaters when she taught her classes of 30 college students. She avoided the departmental office during normal work hours, retrieving her mail early in the morning. If someone realized she was pregnant, she worried, some excuse would be found to deny her work for the next semester. With a baby on the way, losing her job would have put her and her spouse over the financial edge on which they delicately teetered.

    Finally, after securing work, the

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  • Inez Barron City Council

    Council Member Inez Barron (photo: Ben Brachfeld)


    A long-awaited report was released on Thursday by the Task Force on Affordability, Admissions, and Graduation Rates at the City University of New York -- convened through City Council legislation -- that included recommendations for broad changes to the operations and funding of CUNY. Most notably, the task force, consisting of students, faculty, advocates, government officials, members of the business community, and one member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, recommended that tuition charges be eliminated at

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  • de Blasio Farina schools new chancellor

    Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Fariña & others (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Lame duck chancellors now lead New York’s school and university systems. Governor Cuomo, who controls the CUNY board, and Mayor de Blasio, who appoints the schools chancellor, each show a shocking lack of urgency to fill these critical posts.

    This is intolerable. Education is the driver of our information age. Social progress and economic prosperity depend on a vibrant public sector commitment. The city Department of Education

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  • Cuomo Excelsior Clinton LaGuardia
    Cuomo with Hillary Clinton, Gail Mellow, far right, & others (photo: Governor's Office)

    Dr. Gail O. Mellow, the president of LaGuardia Community College, contacted fellow City University of New York (CUNY) presidents to gather statements in support of the proposed Excelsior Scholarship program on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo, before the proposal was passed and signed into law earlier this year.

    Gotham Gazette

    Cuomo Sanders Excelsior 
    (photo: Kevin Coughlin/Governor’s Office)


    Public university administrators and college presidents enthusiastically supporting a governor’s proposal to fund tuition for potential students is a situation that would normally invite little scrutiny.

    That picture becomes murkier when the university’s management has been a frequent target of that governor; is the focus of an expanding investigation conducted by the state’s inspector general, who reports to the secretary to the governor; and the governor publicly calls for greater oversight of

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  • cuomo clinton

    (photo above via The Governor's Office) (image below by Becca Glaser)


    With the regularity of a ritual, every year the advocates of high-quality public higher education make a pilgrimage to Albany. Every year, for over 40 years, the request has been the same: stop de-funding higher education. And nearly every year, for over 40 years, the Legislature and Governor do the same thing: cut funding and approve tuition hikes. As a result, annual per-student government expenditures in New York’s public higher education system languish at an

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  •  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 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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  • 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 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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  • cuny military friendly

    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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  • military veterans veterans day

    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • cuomo suny 2020

    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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  • bdb budget briefing w CMs

    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 ...