SBU Senate Resolution on the Effect of the NYS budget cuts

Whereas, the proposed level of budget cuts to SUNY would significantly reduce Stony Brook University's reputation and standing in the academic world by causing a serious loss of quality faculty that will make the recruitment of new talent (faculty and students) almost impossible, and will undermine its high quality academic programs, and

Whereas, the proposed level of budget reductions would significantly reduce the course offerings available to undergraduate students, lengthen the time they need to graduate, increase the cost of their education, and increase the size of courses to a level that is not
conducive to quality education, and

Whereas, the proposed cuts to support graduate education, specifically the reduction in tuition scholarships and failure to cover the cost of the required tuition increase, will rob New York
State and the nation of the educated professionals who will be needed to play a significant role in resolving the current fiscal and social crises that are likely to last for some time, and

Whereas, the educated workforce provided by Stony Brook University is a necessary investment in New York State's future and an engine of economic productivity that it sorely needs, and

Whereas, the decision to have New York State retain 80% of the annualized tuition increase is in effect a state tax and an unconscionable burden placed on students to solve the state's budget crisis, and

Whereas, the introduction of a tithe on Research Foundation funds will curtail the targeted research supported by these funds, which are of great benefit to New York State,

Therefore, be it resolved that the entire tuition increase be returned to Stony Brook that generated these funds, and

Be it further resolved that full tuition waivers be reinstated for university funded teaching assistants and graduate assistants, and for eligible research assistants, and

Be it further resolved that an adequate number of tuition scholarships to support high quality graduate education be provided, and

Be it further resolved that sufficient funds be provided to ensure the availability of an adequate number of courses for undergraduate students to avoid an increase in the time and cost of their
education, and that will not require the size of their courses to be increased to a level that is not commensurate with high quality education, and
Be it further resolved that New York State government recognize that public higher education is an investment in its future and is a major engine of economic productivity, and that it needs to provide the resource support necessary for the quality of its academic and research programs.

Resolution passed unanimously at its regular Senate meeting on March 9, 2009.