SUNY Disposition

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York, advocates for the SUNY system as an economic engine for New York.


Nancy Zimpher

Comments [10]

Lonna Kelly from Pawling, NY

We need to keep in mind that SUNY schools must be kept affordable. They serve a wide range of student, some who would not be able to attend college otherwise.
My two sons and myself graduated from Oneonta, Purchase and Empire State within the last 10 years. Being middle class we received only $250 in assistance for each of us per semester. It was very difficult financially in spite of the lower costs. One thing not addressed that needs to be taken into consideration when discussing costs is room and board and books not just tuition.

Mar. 10 2010 05:02 PM
stephen from Stony Brook


This is precisely why SUNY is such a mess! The Chancellor has no clue...I'm a graduate student in the Chemistry department.

The SUNY Research Foundation takes 55%(!!!) off the top from any grants that the Chem/Phys/Math professors get awarded. This is total nonsense - go to the Admin building or the 4th/5th floors of the Library on Stony Brook Campus and you'll see hundreds of bureaucrats getting paid unbelievable sums to do NOTHING! I personally have interacted directly w/ these people...How on EARTH can you justify getting paid $76,000/yr for working in a stockroom? YOU CAN'T!!!

I have personally begged and pleaded (politely) w/ SBU employees to just do their jobs (turn on the elevator or machine something), only suffer the backlash from them at later dates because I was "bothering" them...

The entire pay structure for RAs/TAs/GAs can be automated and made electronic (it's STILL done by hand!!!!) which would eliminate thousands and thousands of wasted dollars!

This system cannot be changed if the people at the top either 1) don't have any idea about abject waste w/r/t money distribution and 2) have no interest in running a fiscally reasonable labor force.

The Chancellor is either ignorant, or simply lying.

Dec. 17 2009 12:02 PM
NYU grad from manhattan

Your guest is out of touch, it sounds like she is speaking to the board room, not the users of education. The idea to use undergrads in labs further degrades the academic workforce. Another corporate shill...

Dec. 17 2009 11:44 AM
chj from brooklyn

Pegging tuition increases to the Higher Ed index of inflation is not a new idea. This approach has been much discussed for decades. What would the chancellor propose to do about financial aid increases? Would they also be pegged to the same indicator? When this has been proposed in Washington, DC it has been criticized by some economists who argue that it would lead to further tuition inflation. I suppose that it would be a further income graduated tution policy, charging wealthier families more while offsetting the increase for lower income students. Also, what the Chancellor terms as "cohort tuition" is more commonly known as Guaranteed Tuition.

Dec. 17 2009 11:44 AM
Mary from Newark

I also think SUNY faculty are benefitting in terms of faculty as places like NYU and other private schools become more uninhabitable to professors (unless they're willing to be underpaid adjuncts).

Dec. 17 2009 11:36 AM
smidely from

"People" are the biggest cost, health insurance and teacher salaries..."

Not at NYU! They are hiring more and more "adjunct" professors and paying them less and less! Pay for qualified professionals -- teaching absolutely key upper level courses, often as part of professional certifications -- have dipped so low they are officially stipend status!

CUNY and its old buildings and high salaries must be envious of NYU and its new buildings and low salaries!

Dec. 17 2009 11:34 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

The guest explaining away the inflation rate of colleges over many decades, by saying that their main overhead is employees and the salaries are out of their control doesn't hold water. The increase for tuition being way above inflation is true for ALL institutions, public and private for as long as anyone can remember.

Dec. 17 2009 11:34 AM
Andrew B. from New York City

I am a SUNY graduate. Consider the VERY well-paid professors, who have one hour a week that they deign to meet with students.

Foreign grad students mark their papers and teach their sessions, except for a few hours a week in a lecture center, where they trot out the same notes they have been using for years.

They provide very little work for a lot of pay.

Dec. 17 2009 11:34 AM
Alaina from NYC

I am SO GLAD that someone is finally suggesting this. I was a public college student for many years, and a strong supporter of the institution. Tuition tied to inflation has always seemed to make the most sense to me, and I am glad that it is getting a hearing.

Dec. 17 2009 11:31 AM
jenna lucente from staten island

Brian, if appropriate in your conversation, can you ask your guest about a commitment to new lines of full line faculty?
I am asking because I am an adjunct who will teach 5 or 6 courses a semester at various schools. My department chairs like me, but are not able to hire me full time. I would guesstimate that at each school (CUNY, SUNY and private) 40-50% of courses are taught by adjuncts. Not only is this unfair and difficult to adjuncts like myself, it is not fair to the students, who don't reap the benefits of a full time professor.

Dec. 17 2009 11:02 AM

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