ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The United University Professions (UUP) held a press conference on October 7, to call for more state funding for three capital region SUNY campuses. The University at Albany, Empire State College and SUNY Cobleskill are facing projected multi-million-dollar budget deficits.

At the conference held at UAlbany, speakers urged state lawmakers to allot more state aid to SUNY campuses to help them reverse budget shortfalls. The University at Albany faces a projected $15 million deficit. Two other Capital Region SUNY institutions, Empire State College and SUNY Cobleskill, have projected deficits of $8 million and $4 million, respectively.

UUP President Fredrick E. Kowal, PhD., states, “For too long, our campuses have been underfunded by the state, which has foisted the burden of funding our campuses onto the backs of students and parents through higher tuition and fees and other ever-increasing costs,” “Last year, students paid $2 for every $1 of direct state operating support. In the Capital Region, SUNY accounts for more than 9,800 jobs and supports more than 21,400 indirect jobs. SUNY’s impact on the Capital Region economy was $3.4 billion in 2018, according to a SUNY economic impact study by the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Kowal continued, “After more than a decade of flat state funding, most of our campuses have long ago trimmed the fat out of their budgets and have been forced to make painful cost-cutting measures to make ends meet,” “Without more state funding, campuses are left to consider even more drastic measures, which could include cutting programs, overloading classes, leaving full-time vacancies unfilled and hiring more adjuncts to pick up the slack.” 

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan, Albany Common Council Member Tom Hoey, and University at Albany Student Association Vice President Jalen Miller were also in attendance and voiced their concerns to state lawmakers.