SUNY

For many families, the burden of student loan debt is overwhelming; and while Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently introduced a new student loan forgiveness program, the steady rise in percentage of student debt remains an issue. 

The New York State Assembly held a public hearing Wednesday to examine both the impact that rising higher education costs are having on students and families across the state and ways in which student loan debt can be reduced.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said much of the responsibility for the alleged corruption scandal touching his administration is on the state university system, specifically SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which oversaw many of the contracts.

But reform groups say the governor is not telling the whole story.

Cuomo has made a few public appearances since U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued criminal complaints against nine people, including several close to Cuomo and two major upstate real estate developers.

Onondaga Community College

It’s going to cost more to attend Onondaga Community College this fall. The Onondaga County Legislature approved a budget that includes a tuition hike. OCC President Casey Crabill says tuition is going up just under 3 percent for the 2016-1017 school year.

"It’s going up $70 for a full-time student, $6 a credit unit for part-time students. We would like to work to go a year without a tuition increase, but that’s been really difficult.”

Gravitywave / via Flickr

Central New York Health officials say its that time of year to start thinking about preventing mosquito bites. Memorial Day signals the start of warm weather that means prime breeding conditions for mosquitoes and every year, it means health officials throughout the region go on the offensive as the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis can begin percolating among the insects that live here.

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Indu Gupta says prevention is the only way to deal with these diseases. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Top State University of New York officials say they want a tuition freeze at the state’s colleges and universities, and are asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature to adequately fund SUNY in the budget  so that they don’t have to raise rates for students . The request comes as lawmakers are scrambling to meet a March 31 budget deadline.

SUNY Board Chair Carl McCall says the university board and it’s chancellor don’t want to raise tuition, and they want Cuomo and the legislature to help them avoid it.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

When a high school student is not admitted to a college or university, they receive a rejection letter. But at SUNY Oswego, that process is changing to let some denied applicants have another shot.

The college rejected about 2,500 freshmen applicants last year, according to Dan Griffin, director of admissions at SUNY Oswego. The response to those students was the same.

"We’re sorry, we can’t help you out as a freshman," Griffin said. "If you go someplace else for a couple of semesters, maybe you should reapply and we'll do our best to accommodate you."

Zack Seward / WXXI

The State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) are drawing criticism from Gov. Andrew Cuomo for their administrative salaries. Some of the highest-paid employees at the publicly funded universities earn more than $400,000, at the same time that tuition is rising. 

In response to a wave of minority student protests at universities across the country, like at Ithaca College, the State University of New York (SUNY) is enacting mandatory reforms meant to create a more inclusive and diverse environment.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher announced Monday at the annual State of the University Address that the system's 64 campuses will be required to appoint a chief diversity officer over the next year. In addition, staff will complete cultural competency training and each campus will be required to submit its progress annually.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo won’t be giving his State of the State speech for another week, but he has already begun laying out his 2016 agenda. On Monday, he held a rally to raise the minimum wage for all New York workers to $15 an hour.

Cuomo has already begun a piecemeal attempt to increase the minimum wage through executive actions to phase in an increase for state workers and fast food workers to $15 an hour over the next several years.

Office of Governor Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made anti-sexual assault legislation on college campuses a key part of his agenda in 2015. Six months after signing what’s called the “Enough is Enough” legislation, college officials say it’s helped accelerated a trend toward better awareness and reporting of incidents.

The governor, in his efforts to pass the anti-sexual assault measure, enlisted the aid of prominent women in the political and entertainment world including House Leader Nancy Pelosi and actress and comedian Whoopie Goldberg, who made a video.

Tracking campus crime

Dec 14, 2015
Veronica Volk / WXXI News

When colleges catalog information about crimes reported on campus, they're not just doing it for their own records.

Robert Kehoe is the chief of police at the College at Brockport. They're one of 28 SUNY Schools that uses New York State University Police on campus.

"Every year it seems the federal government, and at times the state government, develop certain mandates in in addition to what we already do in terms of our processes procedures and reporting requirements."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Start-Up NY is getting good grades from SUNY. Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says it’s taken a while, but the program is taking off on several state university campuses.

Zimpher says she didn’t expect Start-Up NY, which offers new businesses 10-year tax breaks if they set up shop on or near a college campus, to become a massive success out of the gate. But now that it’s had more than a year-and-a-half under its belt, she says new businesses with jobs in tow have settled into several SUNY campuses.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

SUNY’s latest strategy to try and help students graduate on time with less debt is a guarantee that credits will be transferred from one school to another

SUNY students begin the academic season this year with a promise from the state: they can transfer any general education requirements as well as some discipline-specific courses from one school to another in what Chancellor Nancy Zimpher calls the “guaranteed seamless transfer of credits.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

SUNY faculty and students are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would mean more money for the state university system.  

Michael Lyon, professor at Upstate Medical University, knows what it’s like to be buried in student debt.

"I finished paying for my education when my first adult child started college. So it was a never-ending payment,” said Lyon.

JECO photo / via Flickr

College graduation season is nearing and along with finding a job, student debt is also on grad’s minds. One program New York is hoping will help and keep those grads in the state.

Upstate New York is known for its idyllic college campuses, but its towns and cities struggle to keep those young people around once they graduate, as they’re drawn away by jobs and more trendy cities.

Central New York will need to innovate and come up with new ideas about how to address the needs of its senior population. That was the message of a forum held to discuss how to shape an age-friendly region.

Julia Botero / WRVO

SUNY colleges across New York are asking that state legislators include more than $34 million for higher education in this year’s budget. They would like New York to close the growing gap between how much state aid a student receives and how much they are expected to pay each year.

The State University of New York is among those making a pitch to get some of the state’s $5 billion windfall from the bank settlements.

Presidents from SUNY schools across the state say they are asking the New York State Legislature to “step up and invest in SUNY.”  

Zack Seward / WXXI

The chancellor of New York state’s public higher education system is asking for more funding from state lawmakers to invest in its network of college campuses.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and other public college presidents testified today to a Legislature budget committee. They were joined by hundreds of college students and faculty.

m00by / Flickr

Later this week an Assembly committee will hold a hearing on improving access to financial aid for college students. One of the issues will be better access for part-time community college students, who are the fastest growing group.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse has been able to turn a small profit after two years of deep losses, due in part because the hospital reduced its staff and increased bill collection.

The public hospital eliminated 139 positions in 2013 through attrition. It also relied a little more on contracted labor, said Stuart Wright, the hospital’s chief financial officer.

"Sometimes they can be cheaper, overall, but it’s not our overall goal to have temporary labor, but it can be slightly less expensive," he said.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a rare appearance before the State University of New York Board of Trustees to urge them to pass a system-wide set of policies on how to respond to sexual assault and rape on campuses.

Cuomo convinced the board to adopt the new policy that helps prevent sexual assault. It includes a uniform definition of what it means to consent to sexual activity, amnesty for students who report an assault or rape, and a new sexual assault victims’ bill of rights.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says New York has a lack of residents with the skills needed to fill jobs in the state's growing advanced manufacturing industry. That's why he says he's pushing for a $15 million federal grant to help 30 SUNY schools train people to fill those positions.

New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says SUNY's 29 state-operated colleges are doing a better job of reporting crimes on and around their campuses, but there is still more work to do. DiNapoli's office recently released an audit regarding the Clery Act, which he says was a follow up to an audit performed in 2008.
 

personaldemocracy / Flickr

The State University of New York system is the first to support a proposed bill that would strengthen rules to protect students from sexual assault.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was in Manhattan Wednesday to announce SUNY's support for the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. Gillibrand has been a lead backer of the bill, which would ensure minimum training standards for campus employees and would require colleges and universities to perform annual surveys to keep records of sexual assault cases.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The head of New York’s public higher education system says the Common Core education standards better prepare students for college.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has joined a national coalition of 200 colleges in 33 states, called Higher Ed for Higher Standards, advocating for the continued use of Common Core standards for primary and high school education.

The new standards have been criticized for their poor rollout, but Zimpher says they’ll increase a student’s chances of completing college on time.

Charter school application sparks debate in Utica

May 8, 2014
James F Clay / Flickr

Concern is once again rising in the cash-strapped Utica City School District as the state mulls over the possibility of allowing another charter school to open.

A group led by Christina Johnson, an educator and local resident, applied to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute earlier this year to establish the Mohawk Valley Community Charter School within the Utica School District to serve elementary-aged children.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's public university system is merging two of its campuses. SUNYIT in Utica and the College of Nanoscale, Science and Engineering in Albany will merge in 2015.

The merger comes after the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering broke off from the University at Albany last year. CNSE has been the darling of SUNY system since its creation in 2004. Though small, it’s attracted millions of dollars in private investment.

ECC.edu

In his 2014 agenda, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed giving college scholarships to high school students as a way to boost study of science, technology engineering and math, or STEM.

But some educators say a scholarship may not be the best way to get more kids involved in these subjects.

Cuomo’s idea is to give a free ride at SUNY schools for students who are in the top 10 percent of their class and study STEM. The catch is they have to stay and work in New York for five years after they graduate.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Despite resigning as president of Upstate hospital amid questions about his compensation, Dr. David Smith is still being paid as a faculty member at the medical school.

When Dr. Smith resigned as president of SUNY Upstate Medical University and University Hospital Nov. 15, he retained his status as a tenured professor of pediatrics. He’s been on medical leave from the position for over two months after undergoing back surgery.

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