The union representing Nassau Community College’s full-time faculty

NCCFT at NYSUT’s Higher Ed Lobby Day

07 th
March

NCCFT at NYSUT’s Higher Ed Lobby Day

Posted by The NCCFT Executive Committee

Every year, the NCCFT sends a delegation to Albany to take part in NYSUT’s Higher Ed Lobby Day. It’s an opportunity for us, together with our colleagues from across the state, to meet with New York State legislators about matters of concern that we all share. This year, the NCCFT was represented by:

  • NCCFT Vice President Dawn Smith (CSD)
  • NCCFT Political Action Chair Christine Tuaillon (Biology)
  • Professor Joseph Bernat (Math)
  • Professor Caitlin Thurber (Biology)
  • Doreen Davis (Financial Aid)

Professors Tuaillon and Thurber are pictured above. They, along with the rest of our colleagues, met with the following legislators (or their aides):

  • NYS Assemblyman David McDonough
  • NYS Assemblyman Charles Lavine
  • NYS Assemblyman Brian Curran
  • NYS Assemblyman Edward Ra
  • NYS Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci
  • NYS Assemblyman Michael Montesano
  • Senator John Brooks
  • Senator Carl Marcellino

Among the issues they discussed were Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget, especially the Excelsior Scholarship Program, which the governor has characterized as a “free tuition” program.” Our delegation explained that, while we welcome the governor’s decision to make Higher Education a priority, we remain concerned about the funding details of his proposal. In particular, we want to make sure that the Excelsior program does not perpetuate New York State’s consistent underfunding of public higher education. By law, New York State is supposed to fund 40% of what it costs to run a college like ours. The current level of funding we get from the state, however, amounts to no more than 26%. Our delegation made sure our legislators understood that this level of underfunding leads inevitably to cuts in programs that directly impact students, to an inability to maintain an appropriately sized full-time faculty, and to increased class size. The delegation also impressed upon our legislators the damage to our students’ lives that will be done by the governors proposed cuts to childcare centers on SUNY campuses.

In light of both these budgetary concerns, we’d like to direct your attention to President Keen’s March 2 email about the state budget. That email contains a sample letter you can use to contact your legislator about the importance of funding SUNY to the level stipulated by law.

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