Saturday, September 25, 2010


WATERTOWN (September 24, 2010) – Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D- Theresa) submitted the following testimony to the New York State Standing Committee on Higher Education’s public hearing on increased compensation for SUNY system administrators this afternoon:

“The opening line of the mission statement of the State University of New York reads as follows:

‘The mission of the state university system shall be to provide to the people of New York educational services of the highest quality, with the broadest possible access, fully representative of all segments of the population in a complete range of academic, professional and vocational postsecondary programs including such additional activities in pursuit of these objectives as are necessary or customary.’

“Recent revelations about SUNY’s decision to authorize a multimillion-dollar executive office renovation plan and $30,000 pay raises for three highly compensated administrators are extremely concerning. SUNY officials aggressively pushed for the SUNY-flex plan this year, stating that it was necessary to increase tuition and provide them other cost-cutting measures because their budgets were so tight. These revelations are wholly inconsistent with the message that they have been sending for the past year.

“We have campuses that are in dire need of critical maintenance and renovations, campuses that have inadequate classroom and laboratory spaces, and campuses lacking other facilities necessary for a quality education. We must put our mission ahead of remodeling and redecorating executive offices in Albany.

“The reports that three high level administrators will each receive $30,000 pay raises are equally as troubling. The justification that these administrators deserve a raise because they have taken on additional duties is a slap in the face to all of the staff and faculty at our SUNY campuses who are being asked to do more with less, teaching additional courses, forfeiting pay, and experiencing layoffs. We should not beasking more from our faculty, staff, and students while we are giving administrators preferential treatment.
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