Monday, October 10, 2005

Financial Crises at CUNY, SUNY

According to this NYT article, New York's public universities are in deep financial trouble. From the president of the faculty union:

"We have reached the point of crisis,"

"Students are paying almost 50 percent of the operating costs," she said. "Professors have not had a raise in four years. Our salaries are not keeping pace. And we can't recruit new faculty."

According to state data, students at CUNY's four-year colleges paid less than $1,500 in tuition and fees in 1990, while the state provided $7,023 per student. In 2003, tuition and fees had risen to $4,300 while the state subsidy per student had fallen to $5,846.

There is no room in the 4-year public colleges for increasing numbers of community college students who want to transfer and get their bachelor's degree. SUNY is the country's largest public university system, with 400,000+ students.

This story points up something people don't often realize about higher education operating costs: the extent to which subsidies diminish the costs to students. Without increased public support for higher education, we could be looking at another doubling of the tuition charges in the next ten years.
PS: CUNY's union is talking strike.

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