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Stony Brook University unveiled the preliminary details of its SUNY Excels Performance Improvement Plan on Friday, September 18 with highlights that included increasing enrollment, completions, graduation rates, research expenditures, fundraising and diversity. “They said at the board of trustees resolution that this is not a measurement of one institution against another, but rather an institution against itself over time,” Braden Hosch, assistant vice president for institutional research, planning and effectiveness said. Stony Brook University is looking to increase enrollment from 25,272 this fall to 26,394 by 2020. The university also wants to raise completions from slightly above 6,600 to 7,500, and the four-year, full-time, first-time student graduation rate from 51-percent, as calculated by the university, to 60-percent. “That actually derives from a commitment President Stanley made to President Obama at the White House to increase the graduation rate of our students,” Hosch said. Increasing the graduation rate is “probably the…

New York is one of the 18 states added this past July to a federal act granting in-state tuition to veterans attending college under the G.I. Bill, saving veterans headaches and money. The added states will offer in-state tuition for veterans regardless of whether they have established permanent residency in the state of the school they are attending by the passing of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014. “Military personnel, veterans, and their families living on our campuses and in the state’s communities deserve the same access to affordable public higher education that all New Yorkers enjoy,” State University of New York (SUNY) System Chancellor Nancy L. ZImpher said in a press release. According to the G.I. Jobs Magazine, over 40 of the 64 college campuses directed by the SUNY system have been named “military friendly.” The Yellow Ribbon program had been previously…

The five SUNY campuses on Long Island made an appeal to the governor’s office for funding on Wednesday when a panel led by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and the campus presidents hosted the SUNY Showcase in the Wang Center. Long Island is one of the 10 regions that will be competing for, as Zimpher put it, “millions and millions of dollars” in funding as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s regional economic development plan. Zimpher and the five presidents each spoke on behalf of SUNY and Long Island, although Zimpher plans on holding similar events with SUNY schools in each of the other nine regions. Shaun McKay, Suffolk Community College’s President, said he was excited about the $135 million in new infrastructure coming to his campus. “That’s what it’s really about,” he said, “jobs.” McKay was joined by President Samuel Stanley of Stony Brook, President Calvin Butts of Old Westbury, President…

Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, the State University of New York today unveiled a resolution calling for a new base tuition level of $2,635 per semester, up from $2,485. That’s an annual increase of $300, the maximum increase allowed by the newly implemented NYSUNY 2020 bill that passed the legislature late last week. The resolution is expected to pass tomorrow’s meeting of the Board. If it does, the new tuition rates will take effect immediately, beginning this fall. Out-of-state tuition is not outlined in the resolution, as those rates are to be determined by Stony Brook University and not the SUNY board. Think will be at tomorrow’s board meeting reporting on all of the details.

While Stony Brook University President Samuel Stanley was among the most active lobbyists for the NYSUNY 2020 bill, the final version that passed the Legislature on Friday is quite different from what they called for. Most notable is the absence of a “Keep It At SUNY” provision, which would guarantee that all revenue generated from tuition hikes remained within the SUNY system. Previous tuition increases imposed by the state have been poorly received because as much as 90% of those increases have gone back into the state’s general fund. Based on statements given to Think on Thursday by Senators LaValle and Flanagan, it became clear that while there is support for the “Keep It At SUNY” provision, it would nonetheless not be in the bill. At the same time, the bill does contain a Maintenance of Effort provision, guaranteeing that SUNY’s state funding will remain at or above the budget…

Homeland security and public education do not seemingly share the same bed. Yet according to lobbying reports acquired from opensecrets.org, SUNY has spent an undisclosed amount of money lobbying for various Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security appropriations. SUNY claims all efforts are related to “education, research, and training programs.” The lobbying reports contain addendums for vague “lobbying issue areas,” like “Energy and Water” and “Agriculture.” Along with these benignities are the terms “Defense” and “Homeland Security,” appearing on five lobbying reports, including one from 2010 that totals $480,000 in lobbying expenses. “SUNY could be pushing specific projects and applications related to homeland security and defense,” said Les Paldy, a distinguished service professor in the Department of Technology and Society here at Stony Brook University. SUNY’s Evasive Lobby Though SUNY’s lobbying expenses are miniscule compared to its overall $11 billion budget, (SUNY is America’s largest public university system),…