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Statewide Plan for Higher Education 2004-2012

E. A Balanced and Flexible Regulatory Environment to Support Excellence

  1. Regents Priority: Encouraging a Highly Effective System 

    The Regents and the Department will maintain avenues of communication to assure that colleges and universities are aware of regulations and their application and have an opportunity for input.  The Regents priority will remain to ensure a regulatory environment that helps to sustain and support a highly effective system of education.

    A search for excellence by colleges and universities through ongoing self-study is one of the elements of a highly effective higher education system. The Regents are committed to an ongoing dialogue with higher education institutions concerning the regulatory environment and standards that affect them. The Regents and the Department will seek to assure that regulatory requirements are consistent with and supportive of this Plan. They will demonstrate awareness of changes in higher education by working cooperatively with all constituencies in the review of existing regulations and policies. The goal will be to assure high academic standards and accountability through regulations that make sense and that do not present unreasonable academic and financial burdens to institutions.

    In response to a fall 2003 survey, postsecondary institutions sought to have the Department's commitment to:

    • provide regular, timely, and relevant communications;
    • seek input from the field before taking final actions;
    • align Department initiatives with the priorities and needs of the field; and
    • make continuous customer service improvements.

    The following describes planning elements that the four sectors, the Board of Regents and the Department will undertake to support the priority of Encouraging a Highly Effective System.

    Sector Initiatives in Response to Priority for Encouraging a Highly Effective System

    The City University of New York.

    • Implement a centralized planning function in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
    • Expand data structures of the performance management process to guide instruction and administration.
    • Reform administrative practices and implement productivity measures to lower administrative costs.
    • Develop and implement a new model for enrollment management (creation of an enrollment management committee to bring together a wide range of student services/departments) to offer improved service to students.
    • Consolidate core research facilities across the University.
    • Improve library services, including online research resources.
    • Promote environmental health and safety.
    • Promote community outreach.

    Independent Colleges and Universities.

    • The independent sector requests that regulations, where needed, be flexible enough to accommodate diversity in institutions and missions and should include options to encourage institutions to take advantage of emerging opportunities to serve the people of New York.
    • cIcu will work with the State Education Department to assist in the development of regulations, where needed, so that they make sense for the non-profit sector and do not present unreasonable academic or financial burdens to institutions.
    • An expedited degree approval process would help the colleges in their efforts to anticipate, not just react to, New York's workforce needs.

    Proprietary Colleges

    • The sector's universal commitment to self-study is consistent with the objectives of the regulatory environment over which the Regents preside. The sector has consistently advocated even-handed but firm insistence by regulators on adherence by each institution to the standards expected of all higher education institutions in the State. That approach must not be compromised by budgetary constraints, the rapid growth of new institutions, distance learning initiatives, and the growing proliferation of extension centers and sites. The Association of Proprietary Colleges repeats its willingness to assist the Department in reviewing institutions and programs in the sector.

    State University of New York

    SUNY appreciates the efforts of the Regents and the Department to maintain open communication about current regulations and thoughts for proposed change and certainly supports its goal of a highly effective system of higher education. In the same way, SUNY has made several specific efforts to further enhance System effectiveness:

    • Improving Administrative Systems. In 2002, SUNY initiated a five-year effort to transition system-wide administrative computer systems to modern technology in support of campus business requirements and to take advantage of the efficiencies inherent in a common effort. The project's objectives included standardization of business processes, data terminology, and technology while meeting the campuses' local needs; streamlining of business functions; greater reliance on electronic versus paper processes; greater functionality for campus user departments; improved reporting and access to information; enhanced security of systems and information; and less expensive and easier maintenance of systems. This initiative will be completed in 2007.

    • Managing Energy Consumption and Cost Effectively. Over the next five years, SUNY will improve and expand its electricity and natural gas procurement efforts to provide campuses reliable energy supplies at the lowest cost, creating greater efficiency within the operation of the university system.

    • Strengthening Campus-Related Entities (foundations, auxiliary services corporations, and alumni associations). Recognizing that these organizations play an important role in the overall operation of a campus, SUNY takes seriously its accountability and oversight responsibilities in ensuring that organizations' activities are focused on the University's mission, goals, and objectives. In that regard, in April 2003, SUNY issued guidelines that strengthen its oversight of campus-related organizations while providing campuses with the operating flexibility they need to achieve their missions. These guidelines became effective on July 1, 2003.

    Regents Initiatives in Response to Priority for Encouraging a Highly Effective System

    Winning Compliance

    Winning compliance means building support by aligning the standards in regulation with community norms and reporting compliance information to increase awareness; making regulations performance-based whenever possible; and making it clear to institutions what the standards are and how to comply with them. During the period of this Plan, the Department will continue to put this philosophy into action, including:

    • providing regular, timely, and relevant communications;
    • seeking input from the field before taking final actions;
    • aligning Department initiatives with the priorities and needs of the field; and
    • making continuous customer service improvements.

    Shared Governance

    A major factor in institutional compliance with quality standards is the strength of the faculty's role in the governance of the institution and in participating in the significant decisions regarding its academic life. Section 52.2 of the Commissioner's Regulations states, "Within the authority of its governing board, the institution shall provide that overall educational policy and its implementation are the responsibility of the institution's faculty and academic officers." It calls on every institution to assure that "Each member of the faculty shall be allowed adequate time, in accordance with the faculty member's responsibilities, to...participate in institutional governance..." and to "designate a body of faculty who, with the academic officers of the institution, shall be responsible for setting curricular objectives, for determining the means by which achievement of objectives is measured [and] for evaluating the achievement of curricular objectives..." Institutions with strong traditions and mechanisms for such shared governance usually can be relied on to take seriously the quality standards and their responsibility for assuring that their programs meet or exceed them.

    As the Department conducts institutional site visits either for accreditation purposes or State purposes, the faculty role in the governance of the institution will be reviewed against the requirements established in the Commissioner's Regulations.

    Review of Regulations and Statute

    During the period of this Plan, the Department will review the Commissioner's Regulations in consultation with the sectors to identify requirements that are not mandated by statute and that may be burdensome for institutions and to determine the extent to which they may be necessary for the assurance of educational activities that are needed and of high quality or are unnecessary and, therefore, should be repealed. For example, the Department surveyed higher education institutions about specific regulations for teacher preparation programs, namely the requirements for the time period in which a master's degree must be completed, and the requirements for a fixed ratio of full-time faculty and their workload. In addition, as the Department receives data from the Wyckoff study of teacher preparation programs; these findings will be examined within the context of the regulatory requirements.

    Off-Campus Instruction

    Off-campus locations expanded between 1998-99 and 2003-04, with branch campuses increasing 21 percent. Academic degree programs at those branch campuses increased by 140 percent, from 430 programs to 1,030. During the same period, the number of extension centers and sites in New York State grew 22 and 9 percent, respectively. Approximately 137 extension centers offered 9,020 courses with 151,888 course registrants (e.g., a student enrolling in two classes counts as two course registrants) in 2003-2004, a 42 percent increase in courses and a 22 percent increase in course registrants since 1998. 1,695 extension sites offered 7,342 courses to 115,351 course registrants in 2003-2004, a 12 percent increase in courses and a 36 percent increase in course registrants since 1998.

    During 2003-04, a task force of persons from institutions across the four sectors and sector central office staff members reviewed the requirements of Part 54 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, "Off-Campus Instruction," and the Department's guidelines and procedures for administering the Part's provisions and requirements. It concluded that:

    • Instruction and services can and should be of high quality whenever and wherever they are provided.
    • The economic and educational backgrounds of students and their goals and expectations are of key importance in determining the curricula and academic and support structures needed at off-campus locations in order to assure student success regardless of location.
    • The Department's current mechanisms for monitoring off-campus instruction do not require significant modification; however, some changes in protocols could contribute to assurance of student success at off-campus locations. In addition, easing restrictions on some off-campus certificate programs would help institutions better meet labor market needs.

    In response, during the period of this Plan, the Department will:

    • attempt to secure the necessary resources to develop a Web site providing advice, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and examples of good practices in off-campus instruction.

    • grant exemptions from the branch campus requirements of Part 54 for two types of certificate programs:
      1. those available exclusively to employees of a business or industry and
      2. those containing fewer than 24 semester hours of credit.
    • enhance the use of the Department's Directory of Off-Campus Instructional Locations form (NYSED 8) to monitor unauthorized off-campus activities or unusual increases in activities.
    • discuss other possible changes with the Regents in the fall of 2005.

    Shared Services

    New York has a strong tradition of collaboration among public, independent, and proprietary colleges and universities in local, regional, and statewide consortia. During the period of this Plan, the Department will continue to promote sharing of services among institutions within and across sectors, including on-line library resources and other resources in support of faculty and students. 

    Master Plans of CUNY and SUNY

    In 1995, the Legislature made the Statewide Plan an eight-year rather than a four-year plan. This change has enabled the Regents to take a longer view than formerly in planning for the development of higher education. However, the length of the CUNY and SUNY plans was not increased to match. As a result, CUNY and SUNY must prepare two four-year plans while independent and proprietary colleges prepare only one eight-year plan. CUNY and SUNY are also required to prepare progress reports on their plans after two years - a period that often is too short to show measurable progress - while the Regents prepare the Progress Report on the Statewide Plan after four years. This difference in planning and reporting cycles reduces the effectiveness of coordinated long-range planning for all of higher education. Consequently, the Regents support a change in the length of the CUNY and SUNY plans to eight years, matching the Statewide Plan, with progress reports due four years after their plans are adopted.

    Indicators of Progress: Encouraging a Highly Effective System

    • Evidence, statewide, that the higher education part of The University of the State of New York has the Elements of a Highly Effective Higher Education System identified in this Plan.

  2. Regents Priority: Funding a Highly Effective System

    The Regents will advocate for increased state funding for higher education in New York.  New York ranks 30th among states in per capita state expenditures for higher education.

    In The Chronicle of Higher Education's External Link Image Icon spring 2004 nationwide poll, 93 percent of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that "Colleges and universities are among the most valuable resources in the U.S." In the fall of 2004, the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Officers ranked adequate public funding for higher education third in a list of the top ten critical issues facing state legislatures over the next five years, following only "health care containment" and "funding for K-12 education."

    A 2005 Standard & Poor report points to aging facilities at many institutions, nationwide, that could reduce their attractiveness to applicants. It calls the amount needed to renew them, "staggering," and says that the costs will be met through gifts, state outlays for capital construction, current operating revenues, or additional debt.

    In 2003-04, New York's colleges and universities spent $30 billion on operations and sponsored research. That total included $26.6 billion in direct operating expenditures by public and independent institutions. In recent years, however, State financial support for higher education has barely sustained New York's highly effective higher education system; it has not enabled the system to develop further. State appropriations supported 14 percent of expenditures. The other 86 percent came from private sources (including tuition and fees), local governments, and the federal government.

    Only five of New York's 268 colleges and universities have more than $1 billion in endowments, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The five are Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, The Rockefeller University, and the University of Rochester.

    State Support in 2003-04

    As reported by the Center for the Study of Education Policy External Link Image Iconat Illinois State University, in 2003-04, State support for operating expenditures at New York colleges and universities was $3.8 billion. Direct general fund appropriations for operating expenses at SUNY's State-operated campuses were $1.6 billion. Appropriations for CUNY's senior colleges were $606 million. Operating aid to SUNY and CUNY community colleges was $499 million. Bundy Aid to independent institutions amounted to $44.3 million. TAP, scholarships, and fellowships amounted to nearly $1 billion. The State investment in higher education was further increased by Capital Investment Program expenditures.

    The data suggest that, in 2003-04, higher education had a somewhat lower priority for State funding than it did the year before. Between 2002-03 and 2003-04, New York's general fund revenues grew by 2.9 percent and its total general fund expenditures grew by 2.6 percent; its financial support for higher education operation (excluding capital construction) declined by 4.5 percent according to the Center.

    State Support in 2004-05

    For 2004-05, the Center estimates State funding for higher education as $4 billion, a 7.9 percent increase over 2003-04. In comparison, total appropriations by all states increased by only 3.8 percent between the two years. Direct general fund appropriations for operating expenses at SUNY's State-operated campuses are $1.8 billion, a 13.8 percent increase that includes funding for salary increases in the latest faculty contract. Appropriations for CUNY's senior colleges are $625 million, a 3.2 percent increase. Aid to SUNY and CUNY community colleges is $513 million, a 3.0 percent increase. TAP, scholarships, and fellowships are $1 billion, a 5.2 percent increase. Bundy Aid declined by 5.2 percent in 2004-05, to only $42 million, 27.6 percent of full funding. (Bundy Aid has been underfunded since 1990-91.)

    Table 7 compares New York to select other states in terms of 2004-05 appropriations for higher education per capita, per $1,000 of personal income, and total.

    Table 7

    Selected States Ranked by 2004-05 Appropriations for Higher Education Per Capita, with Appropriations per $1,000 Personal Income and Total Appropriations
    State Appropriations per Capita Appropriations\ $1,000 Personal Income Total 2004-05 Appropriations (in $1,000s)
    $ Rank $ Rank
    North Carolina $312.65 6 $5.54 39 $2,628,507
    California $256.21 14 $7.50 19 $9,091,424
    Texas $220.73 24 $7.23 21 $4,882,239
    New York $210.99 30 $5.54 39 $4,948,921
    Illinois $209.77 31 $6.08 32 $2,654,340
    Michigan $196.16 34 $6.15 30 $1,977,258
    Ohio $183.97 37 $5.95 34 $2,103,892
    Florida $183.40 39 $5.81 36 $3,121,315
    Pennsylvania $162.72 43 $4.94 44 $2,012,046

    Sources of Data: Personal income data, 4th quarter, 2004: preliminary estimate from Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, December 4, 2004. Population data: July 2003 estimate from U.S. Census Bureau, December 4, 2004. The Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University.

    Table 8 indicates that New York State ranks fourth, nationwide, in instructional appropriations for public education per full-time equivalent student, providing $8,461 per public college student in 2002. This high level of support coupled with relatively lower tax effort is possible due to a large portion of the State's enrollment in independent and proprietary colleges (which receive a small portion of the funding for higher education).

    Table 8

    State and Local Public Higher Education Appropriations Per Full-Time Equivalent Student - 2002

    Adjusted (Instructional) Appropriations for Public Higher Education Per FTE - APP/FTE - ($)
    State $ Rank
    New York 8,461 4
    Illinois 7,984 5
    North Carolina 6,986 10
    Michigan 6,660 17
    California 6,557 19
    Pennsylvania 6,091 25
    Texas 5,762 28
    Ohio 5,535 31
    Florida 5,169 37
    Nation 6,262 ---

    Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). Financing Public Higher Education Rankings, Kent Halstead.

    It has been well documented that collegiate tuition and fees often are increased above the rate of inflation. As policymakers examine these rising costs, attention must be given to operating aid provided to colleges in New York State. Table 9 provides an analysis of tuition and fees, and State appropriation per full-time equivalent (FTE) student, for the SUNY State-operated campuses in comparison to inflation. Table 10 is a comparable analysis for CUNY senior colleges. To measure inflation, we use the higher education price index (HEPI), an inflation index designed specifically for higher education; it tracks price changes in the goods and services on which colleges traditionally rely. Chart 20 provides a longitudinal analysis of Bundy Aid for independent colleges comparing actual appropriations to the statutory entitlement and HEPI.

    Table 9 reveals that, since 1990-91, tuition and fees at SUNY State-operated campuses increased by 213 percent. This is greater than the 57.1 percent increase in inflation for that time period, as measured by HEPI. However, the State appropriation per FTE student for this time period increased by only 35.8 percent, below the 57.1 percent inflation rate.

    Table 9

    Updated 10/05

    SUNY State-Operated Colleges Revenues per Full-Time Equivalent Student 1990-01 and 2003-04
    Actual - Projection
      A B C C-B
    Weighted Average Tuition & Fees $1,658 $2,605 $5,197 $2,592
    State Appropriations $7,855 $12,340 $10,667 $-1,673
    Total $9,513 $14,945 $15,864 $919

    *The 2003 projections were based on the HEPI inflation rate from 1990 to 2003 of 57.1 percent (an average of 4.4 percent per year). The Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) reflects the change in purchase price of a fixed set of expenditure items appropriate to college operations.
    Source: NYSED Office of Research and Information Systems, May 2005

    If both State appropriations per FTE for SUNY State-operated campuses and tuition and fee charges increased each year by the rate of inflation (57.1 percent from 1990 to 2003), the 2003 revenues available per student from these sources would have been:

    State Appropriation: $12,340 Tuition & Fees: $2,605 Total: $14,945

    Since the actual State appropriation available in 2003 was an increase of only 35.8 percent, tuition and fees would have had to increase by 158 percent to provide a total funding level consistent with inflation. The actual funding levels available in 2003 were:

    State Appropriation: $10,677 Tuition & Fees: $5,197 Total: $15,864

    Since tuition and fees actually increased by 213 percent, total support from these sources exceeded a level consistent with inflation since 1990 by $919 per student. 

    Note: Based on fiscal data provided by SUNY System Administration in March 2005.

    Table 10

    CUNY Senior Colleges Revenues per Full-Time Equivalent Student 1990-01 and 2003-04
    Actual - Projection
      A B C C-B
    Weighted Average Tuition & Fees $1,456 $2,287 $4,294 $2,007
    State Appropriations $6,370 $10,007 $5,846 $-4,161
    Total $7,826 $12,294 $10,140 $-2,154

    *The 2003 projections were based on the HEPI inflation rate from 1990 to 2003 of 57.1 percent (an average of 4.4 percent per year). The Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) reflects the change in purchase price of a fixed set of expenditure items appropriate to college operations.
    Source: NYSED, Office of Research and Information Systems, May 2005

    If both state appropriations per FTE for CUNY senior colleges and the tuition and fee charges increased each year by the rate of inflation (a total of 57.1% from 1990 to 2003), then the 2003 revenues available per student from these sources would have been:

    State Appropriation: $11,034 Tuition & Fees: $2,287 Total: $13,321

    Since the actual state appropriation available in 2003 was a decrease of 16.8%, tuition and fees would have to increase a higher percent (413%) to provide a total funding level consistent with inflation. The actual funding levels available in 2003 were:

    State Appropriation: $5,846 Tuition & Fees: $4,294 Total: $10,140

    Since tuition and fees only increased by 195%, total support from these sources fell short of a level consistent with inflation since 1990 by $4,181 per student.

    Note: 2003-04 appropriation data for the CUNY senior colleges was obtained from Grapevine (www.coe.ilstu.edu/grapevine/New_York_05.htm)

    Chart 20

    Actual Bundy Aid Appropriations and Bundy Aid Entitlement Adjusted to 1990 Dollars

    Support for Workforce Development

    The primary directive for workforce development policy, nationwide and in New York State, is the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). In New York, WIA is administered by the New York State Department of Labor.

    WIA mandates the establishment of a State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB), which includes representatives of both education and labor. The SWIB recognizes that no effective statewide workforce development policy can be accomplished without active participation by the education system. New York's community colleges and other two-year colleges in the independent and proprietary sectors bear most of the responsibility for targeted workforce development. They both prepare recent high school graduates ("emerging workers") for skilled careers and upgrade the skills of the current workforce. In doing so, they prepare a high percentage of students who otherwise would be unable to learn skills that allow them to be successful and to make a meaningful economic contribution to society. Over $150 million in federal funds is received annually by New York State through WIA for workforce development.

    In 2001-02, New York's two-year and four-year colleges conferred about 38,000 associate degrees on graduates of occupationally oriented programs of study. In the spring of 2005, they offered nearly 3,700 associate degree and credit-bearing certificate programs in occupational fields. At public and independent institutions, students in these programs benefit from funding provided by the Department under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, which is a legislative partner of WIA.

    In addition, community and other two-year colleges secure funding and policy direction from a variety of federal and State workforce programs. Many of these programs are short-term performance-based or competitive initiatives. Planning for workforce investment is primarily housed in the local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) that are responsible for awarding WIA funds to help meet local workforce investment needs of business and industries as well as local residents seeking career, technical and/or workforce preparation skills. The State's two- year colleges, with a career and technical education mission, must continue to be an integral provider of workforce training needs for local communities.

    Policymakers need to pay close attention to the many facets of analyzing support for higher education. While strong State and federal support for need-based grant aid makes higher education in New York State more affordable for low income students, middle income students must rely more on loans and bear a larger percentage of the cost of higher education as State support does not keep up with inflation. As the Regents work cooperatively with the higher education community to assure a balanced regulatory environment, they also will work with sector leaders to advocate for adequate and carefully budgeted financial support for (1) colleges and universities as they endeavor to fulfill their missions and comply with quality standards set forth in regulations; and (2) State and federal student financial aid.

    The following describes planning elements that the four sectors, the Board of Regents and the Department will undertake to support the priority of Funding a Highly Effective System.

    The following describes planning elements that the four sectors, the Board of Regents and the Department will undertake to support the priority of Funding a Highly Effective System.

    Sector Initiatives in Response to Priority for Funding a Highly Effective System

    The City University of New York

    • As a result of commitments toward the betterment of CUNY made by the State and City governments, the CUNY Board of Trustees and executive leadership, faculty, and students, CUNY is poised at the threshold of complete transformation. The movement toward an integrated university continues to engender synergies unparalleled in an urban institution of CUNY's size.
    • CUNY projects that achievement of the goals and objectives in the CUNY 2004-2008 Master Plan will require $201.7 million in additional programmatic support and $140.9 million in mandatory cost support, exclusive of future collective bargaining obligations. As it is necessary that, to become a highly effective higher education institution, there must be a commitment to maximizing the percentage of education delivered by full-time faculty, CUNY has dedicated 25 percent of the $201.7 million programmatic need to the hiring of 800 full-time faculty over the next four years. Another 28 percent will go toward critical academic and student support needs.
    • CUNY continues to emphasize that the State and City must provide the maximum support available to allow CUNY to meet its objectives. So dedicated, however, is CUNY to the goals and objectives identified in the Master Plan as critical to improving CUNY's stature, that it proposes formation of a funding partnership whereby CUNY would seek to maximize its available resources and employ revenue enhancement strategies to augment State and City support in the face of State and City budget constraints.
    • Redeployment of Existing Resources

      Some of the initiatives in the Master Plan are being accomplished in part with existing resources. For example, the cost estimates for full-time faculty assume that funding for 20 percent of the cost of new hires will come from existing resources currently devoted to adjunct teaching. College fundraising initiatives and economic development initiatives are also expected to generate revenues in support of new and ongoing projects. The effective use of technology will generate savings and foster further productivity improvements, enabling redeployment of resources to high-priority areas.
    • Productivity Initiatives

      CUNY has initiated an effort to reform administrative practices and implement productivity measures that result in lower administrative costs. Administrative savings will be invested in teaching and learning enhancements. Efforts include the introduction of new information technologies, collaborative purchasing networks among the campuses, and the establishment of annual "productivity targets" designed to localize at the campuses planned levels of savings that will be redirected to areas related to student instruction.
    • As part of the preparation for implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning solution at CUNY, the necessary review of almost all of the University's business functions and procedures will take place. University-wide, over the next three years, increasing efficiencies and implementing successful techniques from processes at the various CUNY units will generate $26 million in productivity savings. Savings will be transferred from administration to academic and student service areas.
    • New Resource Allocation Methodologies

      Over the past several years, the CUNY Office of Budget and Finance developed new resource allocation systems designed to link the master planning and budget allocation processes and to efficiently deploy resources. Last year, CUNY introduced a new model for the allocation of full-time faculty. It is committed to full implementation of the new instructional resource model and to employing the new model in the allocation of the 800 new faculty positions envisioned in the Master Plan. It will continue to develop new systems for allocation of non-instructional resources.
    • Fundraising

      CUNY recognizes that, in order to fast-forward its transformation as envisioned in the Master Plan, the University must attract substantial private investments and gifts in the coming years. In 2004-05, CUNY will launch its first unified fundraising campaign encompassing all 19 CUNY colleges and graduate schools. The campaign's planned timetable will allow individual colleges to enter the campaign as their development infrastructure permits and as their foundation boards feel ready. While plans for spending the new funds will vary, common themes include the provision of scholarships, the recruitment and retention of world-class faculty members, and the enhancement of academic program quality through support for special programs and facilities.
    • A $2.6 billion "Invest in CUNY/Invest in New York" Campaign for the Colleges of The City University of New York, of which $1.2 billion is expected to come from private sources. $1.4 billion represents the capital facilities investment approved by the State and City, providing new opportunities for matching grants.
    • Facilities

      CUNY is comprised of 19 campuses on over 691 acres. It occupies 294 buildings and encompasses approximately 26.9 million gross square feet of space. The objective of the University's capital program is to provide safe and functionally adequate facilities that encourage teaching and learning, are well-designed, well-built, and operated in a cost-effective manner. Under the Trustees' guidance, it incorporates these considerations along with established academic objectives.
    • Capital Budget Program and Priority Guidelines

      CUNY's capital program addresses the needs of its colleges for major new construction, rehabilitation, and capital equipment, and is developed in accordance with the University's established priority system. The capital program ensures that capital projects contribute to the achievement of CUNY's academic, research, and administrative goals, conform to University design and construction standards, and make the best use of resources.
    • Funding for CUNY's capital program is requested according to established University priorities approved by the Board of Trustees which, beginning with the highest, are assigned to projects that:
      • correct life-safety, security and code violations;
      • preserve facilities and assets;
      • address technology needs;
      • are ongoing and require the next phase of funding to bring them to completion;
      • provide greater utilization of campus space and academic program delivery;
      • meet energy conservation/performance objectives;
      • encourage economic growth for the City of New York; and
      • seek development of public/private partnerships to maximize the value of the University's underdeveloped assets.
    • CUNY is engaged in ongoing efforts to update and revise the colleges' facility master plans in order to address more efficiently academic and student-related priorities and request the capital projects necessary to advance the college's missions. Facility master plans, which are developed in close consultation with the college communities, are revised in conformance with space standards approved by the Trustees, ensuring efficient use of existing and planned space.

    Independent Colleges and Universities

    • The independent sector's objective is for cIcu to lend its support to the Regents and the Department as New York debates the critical financial issues facing our State's higher education system, namely increasing the level of financial aid and building a cost-effective non-duplicative infrastructure. Whether higher education leadership is planning for the future, solving a problem, improving a process, resolving conflict, or deciding a course of action, cIcu will actively participate in the debate.
    • cIcu, in partnership with the Education Department, will continue to deliver compelling messages to the State Legislature and Congress. It advocates strongly for programs and policies that benefit students and expand access (e.g., TAP, Direct ["Bundy"] Aid, the Higher Education Opportunity Program, STEP/CSTEP, and Liberty Partnerships). These programs are under constant attack, repeatedly cut in an attempt to balance the State budget. The buying power of TAP has eroded from 60 percent of independent sector weighted average tuition in 1974 to 24 percent in 2003. The Direct Aid program that funds financial aid for the neediest students and supports the operating budgets of some colleges and universities has been underfunded.
    • cIcu advocates increased capital construction funding to help campuses manage the increased student enrollment and growth in costly program areas. The independent sector proposes that the State invest $250 million in capital support at its independent colleges and universities. For every $1 in State support, an eligible college or university must raise $3. Through this State investment, cIcu anticipates its institutions spending $2 billion on capital construction over the next five years.
    • The latest Grapevine External Link Image Icon reports that New York State ranks 42nd on higher education spending, contributing only $5.75 per $1,000 in New York State personal income.
    • As the Business Council reported in its "Budget Watch 2003" External Link Image Icon series, "taxpayers are getting a bargain - in large part because of our system of private and independent colleges (which enroll about 40 percent of New York's higher education students, compared to a national average of 23 percent)." With independent higher education enrolling two-fifths of all students attending college in the State, New York is able to save in excess of $1 billion in appropriations annually. This explains how New York can educate more than one million students, maintain high quality, and still rank just 42nd among the states in funding.
    • New York State invests less than $1,000 per full-time equivalent student at an independent college or university. This amount has been flat since 1995.
    • Funding for programs such as the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), and other opportunity programs has remained stagnant, and should be increased to reflect the success and access potential of these programs.
    • The independent sector's campuses are developing productive partnerships with institutions, with other educational institutions, business and industry, and government, especially for the purpose of consolidating purchasing power.

    Proprietary Colleges

    • Proprietary colleges are unique in New York's higher education community in receiving no governmental financial assistance. That means that their students must be especially reliant on student financial aid, with TAP constituting the major source. The sector believes that TAP should be viewed as a highly productive investment of State funds in the future of citizens as workers and taxpayers. Apart from student financial assistance, the sector believes that adequate financial support of the State Education Department's role in monitoring the quality of New York's higher education offerings is likewise an investment that will yield valuable dividends. Substantive areas deserving careful State funding attention include students with disabilities and students for whom English is a second language.

    State University of New York

    • In recent years, SUNY has made significant gains in attracting revenues from sponsored research and philanthropy. A key element of its plans will be to strengthen efforts to secure additional funding from these and all other sources.
    • Linking Budgets to Campus Mission and Performance

      Since 1997-98, SUNY has used an allocation of operating budget support model that allows campuses to retain the tuition revenue they generate and that allocates State support according to a formula that recognizes enrollment, program costs, faculty workload among discipline groups, sponsored research, campus missions, and other factors. When the model was implemented, SUNY expected that discrete, additional funding would be distributed to campuses in recognition of academic performance. No additional funding was forthcoming. The model has been used for six years. During this time, SUNY has experienced periods when resources were made available to fund the formula fully, periods when no new funding was available to fund growing budgets, and a period when tuition was increased to offset reduced State support. This experience has prompted SUNY to review the budget allocation process and identify ways to revise it to reflect emerging fiscal realities more appropriately and tie funding levels more directly to campus missions and performance. This effort will be linked closely to the Mission Review II process being undertaken over the same period.

      Strengthening Hospital Finances and Operations

      In 2003-04, the Governor and Legislature enacted capital financing authorizations totaling $350 million to enable SUNY's three hospitals to upgrade and expand their facilities and infrastructure. These initiatives will be implemented over the 2004-05 through 2009-10 period and will enable the hospitals to meet new service needs and maintain economic viability.

      Enhancing Residence Halls

      Over the next five years, SUNY will continue implementation of its 2004 through 2008 capital plan for residence halls. It consists of $338.7 million in new construction and improvements, of which $227 million will be funded with bond proceeds. Among the priorities for this and the subsequent five-year capital planning periods will be upgrading fire safety systems at existing residence halls in accordance with the Governor's Task Force on Campus Fire Safety's recommendations and requirements. They require all newly constructed residential facilities to be equipped with a fire sprinkler system protecting all areas of the building, as well as a completely integrated fire/smoke detection and alarm system, and that existing residential facilities be equipped with completely integrated fire/smoke detection and alarm systems by the summer of 2010.

    Regents Initiatives in Response to Priority for Funding a Highly Effective System

    Support for Workforce Development

    The Regents urge the State Workforce Investment Board to consider the following initiatives in developing parameters for WIA funding by the local Workforce Investment Boards:
    • The development of incentive grants to community colleges and other institutions that offer occupationally oriented associate degree programs to:
      • expedite time to degree by developing articulation agreements in career and technical education areas with school districts and BOCES that provide concurrent or dual-credit enrollment opportunities for high school pupils wishing to pursue technical careers; or
      • develop short-term employer specific training programs to help meet the needs of local businesses and industries.

    Advocacy Plan

    The Department will take a leadership role in developing a joint advocacy plan for higher education funding that all sectors can support:

    • TAP and the State's opportunity programs are needed to continue to make higher education affordable for New Yorkers with economic or educational needs, thereby helping to assure a capable and informed population that can make a maximum contribution to the State's economic and social well-being;
    • Adequate operating revenues for New York institutions of higher education will be sought through support for CUNY and SUNY operating aid, full funding of the State's portion of the approved operating cost of community colleges set forth in §6304 of the Education Law, and moving to full funding of Bundy Aid to independent institutions according to the formula in §6401 of the Education Law;
    • Encourage support for community colleges and other higher education institutions offering occupational curricula to serve the educational needs of employees needing retraining or who have been displaced by technological change and of employers needing tailored training for their employees;
    • Support the proposal for New Century Libraries to assist in the sharing of expensive academic resources across all colleges and universities in the State; and
    • Support investment in the physical facilities of public and independent higher education institutions for the long-term benefit of all New Yorkers.

    Cost Containment

    As the higher education community seeks additional resources to help attain the Regents priorities for higher education, it is important for higher education to continue to make efforts to contain institutional costs. The Regents urge all institutions to implement cost containment measures, wherever possible, in all facets of an institution's operation to maximize student opportunities.

    Indicators of Progress: Funding a Highly Effective System

    • Funding trends in terms of:
      • Annual State expenditures for higher education as a percentage of annual general State revenues and of total general fund expenditures.
      • Annual State expenditures for higher education as a percentage of higher education operating expenditures (from all revenue sources).
      • Annual State expenditures for higher education per capita and per $1,000 of personal income, and comparison to key states.
      • State and local appropriations for public higher education institutions per full-time equivalent student.
      • Annual State funding for community colleges compared to the State's portion of approved operating costs set forth in §6304 of the Education Law.
      • Comparison of the share of funding for public higher education from net tuition revenues in New York to key states and the nation.
      • Annual State funding for the Bundy program of State aid for independent colleges and universities compared to full funding of the formula set forth in §6401 of the Education Law.
      • Relative share of higher education operating expenditures supported from State appropriations, federal funds, local government appropriations, tuition and fee revenues, and other private sources.


    The Statewide Plan for Higher Education 2004-2012 delineates priorities, initiatives, and indicators for the higher education community to focus on over the next eight years. The diversity of the State's higher education system necessitates such an approach. The efforts of New York's 268 colleges and universities will be needed to adequately address the Regents Priorities. Each institution will find in the Statewide Plan specific initiatives that it can address through its institutional mission to help attain the Regents Priorities for Higher Education.

    Tracking the State's progress across hundreds of initiatives for 268 institutions will be challenging; however, it is not impossible. With all the complexities of the Plan, our focus can be summarized as follows:

    • Student Needs
      • Access to quality and affordable education
      • Less reliance on loans, especially high interest loans
      • Close the performance gap in higher education by ethnicity
      • Support services are made available to help students be successful, especially students who traditionally have been underrepresented in higher education
    • State Needs
      • Qualified teachers, school leaders, and licensed professionals
      • More citizens having access to higher education to meet future economic and workforce needs
      • Research
    • Institutional Needs
      • Capacity (human and fiscal resources) to assist in meeting student needs along with the State's workforce, economic, and societal needs

    What follows are the appendices to the Statewide Plan which include summaries of each of the sector's master plans and enrollment projections.

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Last Updated: March 10, 2014