The union that represents State University of New York faculty and staff is warning projected operating deficits at several SUNY campuses threaten public higher education across Central New York.   

United University Professions and several Central New York lawmakers are calling on the state to fully fund SUNY Cortland, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Oswego and SUNY Morrisville, which are all looking at multi-million dollar projected deficits while touted as four of the largest employers in Central New York. 

Kathy Whyte/WNBF NEWS
Kathy Whyte/WNBF NEWS

UUP President Frederick Kowal, New York Senators Rachel May and John Mannion, Cortland County Legislator Susan Wilson and Syracuse Common Council member Rita Paniagua gathered recently at SUNY ESF for a rally in support of an increase in operating aid for state-run campuses. 

According to UUP, the environmental school is looking at a nine-million dollar projected deficit, SUNY Cortland: $10.9-million, SUNY Oswego: $5-million and SUNY Morrisville a $5.8-million deficit. 

Kowal says campuses can’t sustain the projected lack of revenues and warns, “if Albany fails to act, it threatens their very existence.”  He adds: “Years of chronic underfunding not only hurts students, but it also hurts jobs and our state’s economy overall.” 

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According to the union, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in downtown Syracuse has 458 employees and is responsible for an economic impact of $87-million recorded in 2021.  SUNY Cortland employs even more people in Central New York with one-thousand, 246 employees generating over $250-million in regional economic activity. 

United University Professions is the largest higher education union in the nation with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees from 29 New York State-operated campuses.   

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