• Op-Eds

    Cuomo’s “Tuition-Free” Plan—With A Few Strings Attached

    Beginning this fall, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship will provide students at New York’s public universities the dream tuition rate—zero dollars. The plan, first announced by Cuomo in January, will allow students from families earning less than $100,000 to attend CUNY and SUNY colleges for free and the threshold increases to $125,000 by 2019. At Queensborough Community College on April 12, 2017, Cuomo touted the “first-in-the-nation plan” as an “outrageously ambitious idea, but an irrefutably smart idea.” “We had free public high school for everyone. And today, my friends, college is what high school was 70 years ago. It is not a luxury. It is a necessity,” he said. Mission…

  • News

    State budget keeps funding for CUNY

    CUNY will face no significant cuts in the new state budget agreed before the April 1 deadline. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced CUNY would receive over $1.6 billion in the $147.2 billion budget deal agreed by state lawmakers. This is in contrast to comments made earlier in the year by the Democratic governor on CUNY. He intended to cut state funding to CUNY by $485 million and make New York City’s government pay for it. This figure is equal to one-third of revenue for all senior colleges. Late last month the Cuomo administration, under pressure from CUNY and activist groups, sought to not pursue the cut. James Skoufis, a Democrat representing…

  • News

    Arrests made at rally to defend CUNY

    Forty-one people were arrested March 24 in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office during a protest over proposed cuts to CUNY. Those arrested included students, faculty, staff and Councilmembers Inez Barron and I. Daneek Miller. They participated in a die-in, a tactic used by protesters in which they lie down on the ground and act dead. New York Police Department officers warned the protesters to not block the sidewalk before arresting them. The protest, organized by the Professional Staff Congress, the union representing more than 25,000 professors and staff, happened just before the April 1 deadline for a new budget from lawmakers in Albany. Governor Cuomo, in…

  • News

    QC’s budget shortfall reflects larger funding issues

    Queens College President Felix Matos Rodriguez, in his March Saludos address over email, said the college faced a budget shortfall of nearly $1 million. “As we did at the start of the Fall 2015 semester, we have made cuts in operating budgets, slowed the pace of hiring, left some vacancies open, stepped up our efforts to increase other revenue and used soft funds to cover budget gaps,” Rodriguez wrote in the email. The shortfall was because the college did not meet its revenue goals for spring and retroactive pay for skilled trade employees at CUNY after 2008. At the same time, enrollment is increasing at QC. Moreover, Governor Andrew Cuomo…

  • News

    Rally calls for investment in CUNY

    Students, professors, activists, religious organizations and labor groups rallied in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office March 10 to demand funding for CUNY. The rally featured the CUNY Rising Alliance that included over 20 organizations, including the Professional Staff Congress, which represents all professors and staff, and New York Public Interest Research Group, the largest student-activist group in the state. “We’re in a state of emergency,” Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director of the Alliance for Quality Education, said. Earlier this year, Cuomo announced his Executive Budget that cut $485 million in funding for CUNY and passed it to the city. Many—including CUNY administrators—are concerned about these cuts affecting…