James B. Milliken, CUNY Chancellor at Citizens Budget Commission


>>>THE FOLLOWING
IS A CUNY-TV SPECIAL
PRESENTATION.>>>WELCOME
TRUSTEES AND FRIENDS AND
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
AND STAFF OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY
WHO ARE HERE WITH US. OUR GUEST TODAY IS
JAMES B. MILLIKEN. BUT NOBODY TALKS
ABOUT HIM THAT WAY. HE’S JUST J.B.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF
NEW YORK. HE WAS APPOINTED
EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2014. PRIOR TO HIS
APPOINTMENT AS CUNY, HE SERVED AS TEN YEARS AS
PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
NEBRASKA, AND HE ALSO HELD APPOINTMENTS IN
THE COLLEGE OF LAW AND SCHOOL OF
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. HE PREVIOUSLY
SERVED AS A SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF
THE CAMPUS UNIVERSITY OF
NORTH CAROLINA. J.B. IS A GRADUATE
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA LINCOLN, AND THE NYU
LAW SCHOOL. HE LIVES IN
MANHATTAN WITH HIS WIFE, WHO IS WITH
US, AND HE HAS TWO SONS AND A
DAUGHTER WHO KIND OF, I SUSPECT, ARE
AT THE AGE WHERE THEY MOVE IN AND
OUT. THE CITY UNIVERSITY, WHICH
CHANCELLOR MILLIKEN LEADS, IS THE THIRD LARGEST
UNIVERSITY SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY,
WITH ALMOST 275,000 STUDENTS
ENROLLED IN DEGREE GRANTING PROGRAMS. MOST OF THEM ARE
GRADUATES OF NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 40%
OF CUNY STUDENTS ARE THE FIRST IN THEIR
FAMILIES TO ATTEND COLLEGE, AND 40%
WERE BORN IN ANOTHER COUNTRY. IT IS A HUGE
OPERATION WITH A BUDGET OF ABOUT
$3.2 BILLION, 45,000 FACULTY AND
STAFF, WORKING ON 24 CAMPUSES,
INCLUDING SEVEN COMMUNITY, 11 FOUR-YEAR
COLLEGES, A LAW SCHOOL, A SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM,
A GRADUATE CENTER, AND A SCHOOL OF
PUBLIC HEALTH, AND A SOON-TO-OPEN
MEDICAL SCHOOL. THERE ARE ALREADY
AS ADDITIONAL 250,000 STUDENTS
IN CONTINUING ED AND PROFESSIONAL
EDUCATION PROGRAMS. AND CUNY RUNS
EXTENSIVE PRE-COLLEGE AND
COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMS THROUGHOUT NEW YORK
CITY. IT AIN’T NEBRASKA. I HAVE A
SPECIAL ATTACHMENT TO CUNY BECAUSE — I WON’T
GO INTO DETAIL ABOUT IT, BUT I
DID SPEND SOME TIME THERE BEFORE
I JOINED CBC, STARTING A PROGRAM
TO ACCELERATE THE GRADUATION OF
STUDENTS IN THE COMMUNITY
COLLEGES. AND I VERY MUCH
ENJOYED AND AM VERY PROUD OF THE PROGRAM THAT
WE CREATED THERE. TODAY WE WELCOME
THE CHANCELLOR AND LOOK FORWARD TO
HEARING ABOUT HIS PLANS AND
CHALLENGES STEERING THIS VERY IMPORTANT NEW
YORK INSTITUTION. PLEASE WELCOME
J.B. MILLIKEN.>>I’M DELIGHTED
TO BE WITH YOU. THE CITIZENS
BUDGET COMMISSION HAS A GREAT
REPUTATION IN THE CITY AND THE STATE
AS BEING A THOUGHTFUL
COMMENTATOR, HAVING A GREAT
PERSPECTIVE ON GOVERNMENT
FINANCES AND BUDGETS. AND THAT’S
SOMETHING WE’RE QUITE CONCERNED
WITH RIGHT NOW. I HAVE A BUFFER
ZONE HERE OF CUNY TRUSTEES, THANK
YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE TO PROTECT ME
IN CASE PEOPLE RUSH THE STAGE. I ALSO HAVE THREE
OF MY GUIDES TO NEW YORK CITY WHO
KEEP SAYING THINGS LIKE CAROL DID,
THIS AIN’T NEBRASKA. I’M DELIGHTED TO
HAVE IRIS AND JAY, ALL LOOKING OUT
FOR ME, THEY KEEP ME FROM STEPPING
IN ANYTHING. YOU MAY WANT TO
COME CLOSER AND HELP ME WITH MY
NOTES. CAROL SAID A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS AMAZING
INSTITUTION THAT IS CUNY. FOR MORE THAN 150
YEARS, IT HAS BEEN THE GATEWAY TO
PROGRESS FOR NEW YORKERS, OFTEN WHO
COME WITH FEW OF THE ADVANTAGES
THAT MANY COLLEGE GOERS HAVE. SO 40% OF OUR
STUDENTS BORN IN ANOTHER COUNTRY,
THEY SPEAK OVER 200 LANGUAGES
TODAY. 40% REPORT COMING
FROM FAMILIES WITH A HOUSEHOLD INCOME
OF $20,000 OR LESS. THIS IS TRULY A
GROUP THAT BENEFITS MORE FROM
ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE
OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED AND GET A
DEGREE AND THEN CHANGE THEIR LIVES
AND CHANGE THE TRAJECTORY FOR THEIR FAMILIES
FOR GENERATIONS. SO THIS IS THE REMARKABLE
PROMISE OF CUNY. AND IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN KNOWN FOR
ITS GREAT ACCESS. TUITION TODAY, I
HAVE A DAUGHTER, ONE OF THESE
PEOPLE WHO GOES IN AND OUT, WHO IS A
HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR, SO I’M
LOOKING AT TUITION EVEN MORE THAN
USUAL. CUNY’S IS $6,300 A
YEAR FOR A SENIOR COLLEGE TUITION. SO YOU CAN GO TO
BARUCH, WHICH IS THE LARGEST
UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL IN
THE COUNTRY, AND GET A FIRST RATE
DEGREE FROM FABULOUS FACULTY,
AND THE TUITION IS $6300. EVEN AT THAT,
THOUGH, 70% OF OUR STUDENTS DON’T PAY
TUITION BECAUSE OF PELL AND THE
TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IN NEW
YORK. SO IT CONTINUES TO
BE THIS MAGNET AND THIS PLACE OF TREMENDOUS
ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITY. BUT WHAT I WANT TO
TELL YOU A LITTLE BIT ABOUT TODAY
ALSO IS ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE QUALITY
OF CUNY, BECAUSE WE TALK SO MUCH
ABOUT THE ACCESS AND THE COST THAT
SOME OF THIS GETS LOST. BUT FIRST, BEFORE
WE DO THAT, GIVEN THE DISCUSSION
THAT WE ARE IN TODAY, THAT IS
OCCUPYING SOME DEBATE IN ALBANY
AND SOME IN THE CITY, AND FRANKLY
ACROSS THE COUNTRY, ABOUT THE
FUTURE OF PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION,
IF YOU GO TO WISCONSIN OR
ILLINOIS OR ARIZONA, AND SEE
SOME OF THESE SAME WHAT I CONSIDER TO
BE DISTURBING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT
THE VALUE PROPOSITION OF
HIGHER EDUCATION, REMEMBER THAT 70%
OF THE DEGREES AWARDED IN THIS
COUNTRY COME FROM INSTITUTIONS OF
PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION. SO THIS IS THE
GAME-CHANGER, HAS BEEN SINCE 1862,
WHEN ABRAHAM LINCOLN DRAMATICALLY INCREASED
THE INVESTMENT OF THIS COUNTRY IN HIGHER
EDUCATION. BUT I WANT TO SAY
A WORD ABOUT CUNY’S UNIQUE
HISTORY AND ITS POSITION TODAY,
FROM 1961, GOVERNOR
ROCKEFELLER SUPPORTED THE NEW
ORGANIZATION OF PUBLIC HIGHER
EDUCATION, AND THEN IN 1979, WHEN
THE LEGISLATURE SORT OF REWROTE,
IN THE FISCAL CRISIS, TO
RESTRUCTURE THE FINANCES OF THE
CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AND ALSO THE GOVERNANCE
OF THAT TIME. I QUOTE A LITTLE
BIT FROM THIS JUST TO GIVE US THE
FOUNDATION HERE. SO THE LEGISLATURE
DESIGNED CUNY AS AN INSTITUTION
WITH A DISTINCT MISSION. IT WAS TO BE AN
INDEPENDENT SYSTEM OF HIGHER
EDUCATION, RESPONSIVE TO THE
NEEDS OF ITS URBAN SETTING. THAT’S WHY THE
INDEPENDENCE, SO THAT THE FOCAL
POINT OF THIS BOARD, THE
ADMINISTRATION, THE FACULTY AND
STAFF OF CUNY WOULD BE THE URBAN
SETTING, THE 8.5 MILLION PEOPLE
THAT ARE IN NEW YORK CITY. IT SHOULD OPERATE
AS AN INTEGRATED SYSTEM WITH CLOSE
COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE
COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND SENIOR
COLLEGES. CAROL MENTIONED
HOW MANY COMMUNITY COLLEGES WE HAVE. TODAY, OUR SENIOR
COLLEGES, WHICH ARE FIRST RATE,
HUNTER, BARUCH, MANY OF THOSE ARE
TRANSFER STUDENTS. PART OF THE MAGIC
OF CUNY IS STUDENTS ENTERING
IN LARGE NUMBERS IN OUR COMMUNITY
COLLEGES, BECOMING PROFICIENT AND
MOVING ON TO THE SENIOR COLLEGES. THIS SYSTEM WORKS
TREMENDOUSLY WELL TODAY. OVER THE LAST
DECADE WE HAVE HAD DOUBLE THE NUMBER
OF STUDENTS TRANSFER TO OUR
SENIOR COLLEGES FROM OUR COMMUNITY
COLLEGES THAN TEN YEARS AGO. FINALLY, THE
LEGISLATURE SAID SOMETHING THAT IS
OBVIOUS FROM THE COMMENTS THAT
CAROL MADE ABOUT CUNY AND WHAT I’VE
SAID SO FAR. THE CITY UNIVERSITY IS
OF VITAL IMPORTANCE AS A VEHICLE FOR THE
UPWARD MOBILITY OF THE DISADVANTAGED IN
THE CITY OF NEW YORK. AND IT HAS DONE
THAT TREMENDOUSLY WELL FOR DECADES. OVER 60% OF THE
GRADUATES OF ALL OF NEW YORK CITY’S
HIGH SCHOOLS, PUBLIC AND
PRIVATE, GO TO CUNY. 40% ARE THE FIRST
IN THEIR FAMILIES TO GO. 40% BORN IN
ANOTHER COUNTRY. IT GIVES A WHOLE
NEW MEANING TO INTERNATIONAL
STUDENTS AT COLLEGE. MY COLLEAGUES
AROUND THE COUNTRY, HOW MANY
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS DO YOU
HAVE? I SAID, IF YOU
MEAN THE PEOPLE ACTUALLY BORN
SOMEWHERE ELSE AND GO HERE, IT’S
ABOUT HALF OF OUR STUDENTS. THREE-QUARTERS OF
THE NEW YORK CITY STUDENTS THAT
ANGLE PELL GRANTS, THE FEDERAL
BUILDING BLOCK FOR AFFORDABILITY IN
HIGHER EDUCATION, GO TO CUNY. YOU TAKE THAT
POPULATION THAT NEEDS FINANCIAL
AID THE MOST, THEY’RE AT CUNY. THE GRADUATES FROM
CUNY EARN AN ESTIMATED $63
BILLION LAST YEAR, MONEY THAT GOES TO
SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES, NEW
YORK. IT’S ABOUT TWICE
WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE EARNED HAD
THEY NOT GONE TO COLLEGE. SO NOW I WANT TO
SAY A WORD ON THE OTHER SIDE OF
CUNY. PUBLIC HIGHER
EDUCATION IS ABOUT TWO THINGS,
REALLY, AT CORE. IT’S ABOUT THE
SORT OF BALANCE AND KEEPING INNY
QUILL I OBJECT REUP BALANCE THIS
AFFORDABILITY, THIS ACCESS, THIS
COST EFFECTIVENESS AND HIGH QUALITY. BECAUSE WITHOUT
BOTH OF THESE, IT’S NOT OF VALUE
TO THE STUDENTS, IT’S NOT OF VALUE
TO SOCIETY. CUNY’S GRADUATES
HAVE WON 13 NOBEL PRIZES. THIS LAST SUMMER
THERE WAS A STORY IN ONE OF THE
HIGHER ED PUBLICATIONS WHICH
TOOK ME BACK, BUT THEN I REALIZED OF
COURSE, OF ALL THE MACARTHUR GENIUSES
IN THE UNITED STATES, ONLY TWO
PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN
THE TOP TEN ALMA MATERS, BERKELEY
AND CUNY. BUT I HAVE TO NOTE
THAT ABOUT TWO MONTHS AGO, THERE
WAS A LAW SCHOOL RANKING THAT CAME
OUT. NUMBER ONE PUBLIC
INTEREST LAW SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY USED TO BE
BERKELEY. NOW IT’S CUNY. I’M GLAD TO SEE, I
HOPE WE MOVE ABOVE BERKELEY IN SOME
OTHER WAYS TOO. OUR STUDENTS WON
39 FULBRIGHTS IN THE LAST TWO
YEARS. I HAD DINNER WITH
THE FULBRIGHT BOARD, THEY SAID
THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE. I SAID NO, IT
HAPPENED, I CAN INTRODUCE YOU TO
THEM. I RECENTLY MET AN
ACCIDENT ALMOST BY ACCIDENT, SHE CAME
BACK TO TALK ABOUT AND GIVE SOME
ENCOURAGEMENT TO OUR STUDENTS. THIS IS NOT
COMPLETELY AN ATYPICAL STORY,
ALTHOUGH IT’S A PRETTY GOOD STORY. SHE CAME HERE WHEN
SHE WAS 9 YEARS OLD, I THINK, WITH
HER FAMILY, IMMIGRANTS FROM
PAKISTAN, POLITICAL
REFUGEES. HER PARENTS FOUND
IT VERY DIFFICULT TO GET EMPLOYMENT. THEY WERE
PROFESSIONALS IN PAKISTAN,
DIFFICULT TO GET LICENSED AND FIND
WORK HERE. SHE WENT TO
BROOKLYN COLLEGE. WHEN SHE
GRADUATED, SHE WENT TO OXFORD AS
A RHODES SCHOLAR. NOW SHE’S A SECOND
YEAR HARVARD MEDICAL STUDENT. THIS
IS THE TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL THAT
EXISTS ACROSS THIS CITY FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THAT
CUNY PROVIDES. FOR THIS GROUP,
SOMETHING THAT YOU MAY BE ESPECIALLY
INTERESTED IN IS THE VALUE
PROPOSITION OF CUNY. THE WASHINGTON
MONTHLY, WHICH DOES RANKING ON
THESE KINDS OF THINGS BETTER THAN
“U.S. NEWS” AND THE OTHER PLACES
RANKING BASED ON HOW MANY STUDENTS
YOU REJECT IN A YEAR AND IN THE
TOTAL RESOURCES THAT YOU PUT INTO
THE BUDGET, THE INPUTS OF MONEY,
“WASHINGTON MONTHLY” DOES A
BANG FOR THE BUCK VALUE PROPOSITION,
I GUESS “KIPLINGER” IS IT
THE SAME THING. THE LAST ONE I
SAW, THE TOP THREE POSITIONS WERE
CUNY COLLEGES, IN THE NATION. FOUR OR FIVE WERE
IN THE TOP TEN. IT’S A REMARKABLE
ACCOMPLISHMENT. AND IT IS BOTH
THIS HIGH QUALITY AND THE
AFFORDABILITY. I’M NOT GOING TO
GO THROUGH THE BENEFITS OF HIGHER
EDUCATION. YOU KNOW IT ALL,
THE INCOME POTENTIAL, THE
SOCIAL INDICATORS THAT ARE ALL
POSITIVELY CORRELATED WITH
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT AND
WHAT IT MEANS IN A KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
FOR THE CITY, REGION, STATE,
NATION, TO BE COMPETITIVE. I WANT TO SAY A
WORD ABOUT, BACK ON THIS NOTION
ABOUT OPPORTUNITY AND WHY CUNY IS SO
IMPORTANT, SO NATIONALLY, HALF
OF THE PEOPLE FROM HIGHER INCOME
FAMILIES, TOP QUINTILE, RECEIVE
A BACHELOR’S DEGREE BY 25. ONE-HALF. IF YOU’RE IN THE
LOWEST QUINTILE, ONE IN TEN GET A
BACHELOR’S DEGREE BY THE TIME
THEY’RE 25. THE GOOD NEWS IS
WHEN CHILDREN BORN IN THE BOTTOM
QUINTILE, MANY OF OUR STUDENTS GET A
COLLEGE DEGREE, THEIR CHANCES OF
MAKING IT TO THE TOP QUADRUPLE. IF YOU ARE IN THE
BOTTOM HALF, YOUR CHANCES OF MAKING
IT OUT INCREASE DRAMATICALLY. THIS IS WHY ANDY
GROVE, WHO IS A CUNY GRADUATE AND
FORMER HEAD OF INTEL, SAID THAT
CUNY WAS THE AMERICAN DREAM
MACHINE, WHICH I THINK WAS RIGHT
WHEN HE SAID IT, AND I THINK IT’S
RIGHT TODAY. NOW, WE’VE GOT A
LOT OF WORK TO DO. CUNY HAS BEEN A
GREAT TURN AROUND STORY. PEOPLE ARE HAPPY
WITH THE PROGRESS MADE OVER THE LAST
TEN TO 15 YEARS. I THINK IT’S BEEN
TREMENDOUS. BUT THERE ARE SOME
AREAS WHERE WE DEFINITELY NEED TO
DO BETTER. AND WE’RE NOT
ALONE IN THIS. GRADUATION RATES
AT PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
IN THIS COUNTRY ARE NOT WHERE THEY
SHOULD BE. AND THEY’RE
CERTAINLY NOT WHERE THEY SHOULD
BE AT CUNY. ONE OF THE REASONS
IS THAT OUR STUDENTS COME IN
FACING MORE CHALLENGES THAN
MOST. AND THEY NEED MORE
SUPPORT, WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS
THAT I THINK WE NEED TO BE TALKING
ABOUT THE INVESTMENT IN
CUNY. LET ME GIVE YOU
ONE STATISTIC. NATIONALLY, THE
THREE-YEAR GRADUATION RATE
COMMUNITY COLLEGES IN URBAN AREAS IS
15%. IN THREE YEARS,
85% HAVE NOT RECEIVED A
TWO-YEAR DEGREE AT A COMMUNITY
COLLEGE. COMPLETELY
UNACCEPTABLE, IT’S A WASTE OF
RESOURCES AND TALENT. SO, ASAP, THE
PROGRAM CAROL DEVELOPED AND WAS
THE FIRST DIRECTOR OF, IS ONE OF THE
MOST AMAZING PROGRAMS IN THE
COUNTRY. IT HAS DOUBLED AND
TRIPLED THE GRADUATION RATES
OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES. SO COMPARED TO A
COHORT THAT IS 20% GRADUATION RATE,
WE HAVE 55% THREE-YEAR
GRADUATION RATE RIGHT NOW. COMPARED TO 15 NATIONALLY
IN COMMUNITY COLLEGES. IT COSTS MONEY. BUT THE COST PER
DEGREE, MUCH LOWER THAN THE COST PER
DEGREE NOW FOR A GRADUATION RATE OF
15 TO 20%. BECAUSE OF THE
SUPPORT OF THE CITY AND THE
STATE, PRIMARILY THE CITY, WE’RE
DRAMATICALLY INCREASING THIS
NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATE. 4,000 LAST YEAR TO
25,000 STUDENTS BY 2018. ONE OF OUR
COLLEGES, BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
WILL BE 100% ASAP. WE’LL ADDRESS THE
QUESTION OF WHETHER YOU CAN
SCALE THIS PROGRAM ACROSS A UNIVERSITY. AND I THINK
YOU CAN. 87% OF THE ASAP
STUDENTS ARE BLACK, HISPANIC,
OR ASIAN. SO CUNY IS
ADDRESSING SOME OF THE GREATEST NEEDS
IN PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION TODAY. CAROL MENTIONED
OUR MEDICAL SCHOOL. PEOPLE HAVE SAID
TO ME, DO WE NEED ANOTHER MEDICAL
SCHOOL? IF YOU LOOK AT
WHAT CUNY’S MISSION IS AND
WHAT THE MEDICAL SCHOOL’S MISSION
IS, IT FITS SO WELL AND ADDRESSES
A NEED NOT OTHERWISE MET. WE HAVE A PROGRAM
CALLED THE SOPHIE DAVIS SCHOOL
BIOMEDICAL. 45% OF ITS
STUDENTS, THESE ARE STUDENTS WHO
THEN TRANSFERRED ON TO MEDICAL
SCHOOLS TO FINISH THEIR DEGREE
PROGRAM, 45% OF THEM WERE
AFRICAN-AMERICAN/ LATINO. THAT COMPARES TO A
NATIONAL AVERAGE OF ABOUT 10 OR
11%. 70% OF OUR
GRADUATES WENT ON TO PRACTICE IN
FEDERALLY DESIGNATED
UNDERSERVED AREAS. THIS IS A MISSION
FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL THAT FITS
PERFECTLY WITH CUNY’S MISSION AND
FITS IN THE TRADITION OF CUNY
SERVING THE CITY. SO NOW I’M GOING
TO MENTION A WORD OR TWO ABOUT THE
BUDGET. SO WHAT KEEPS ME
AWAKE AT NIGHT IS THE IDEA THAT SOME
OF THIS AMAZING SUCCESS OF CUNY
MAY BE AT RISK TODAY. THE EXECUTIVE
BUDGET, WHICH CAME OUT ON JANUARY
13th, I DON’T KNOW IF IT SURPRISED
EVERYONE, IT SURPRISED ME
CERTAINLY, WITH A PROPOSED SHIFT TO
THE CITY OF 30% OF THE INVESTMENT
FROM THE STATE, $485 MILLION,
SHIFTED FROM THE STATE’S BUDGET TO
THE CITY’S BUDGET. NOW, THAT ALSO
INCLUDED A $240 MILLION
CONTRIBUTION TO OUR BARGAINING
CONTRACTS, WHICH IS A WHOLE OTHER
STORY, CONTRACTS THAT HAVEN’T BEEN
SETTLED IN FIVE OR SIX YEARS. SO THAT WAS A
VALUABLE RECOGNITION OF THE
NEED FOR INVESTMENT. BUT THE SHIFT WAS
NOT, I WOULD SAY, UNIVERSALLY
WELL-RECEIVED. IN THEORY, IT IS
REVENUE-NEUTRAL FOR CUNY. WHETHER THE STATE
PROVIDES THE FUNDING OR THE
CITY PROVIDES THE FUNDING, IT’S
CHANGED OVER TIME. IT CERTAINLY
CHANGED DRAMATICALLY IN
1979. IT IS A DECISION
MADE NOT BY US BUT BY POLITICAL
LEADERS. WHAT I THINK MY
OBLIGATION IS, OUR OBLIGATION IS, IS
TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT THERE NEEDS
TO BE MORE INVESTMENT IN
CUNY, NOT LESS. WHAT WE REALLY
NEED IS A SECURE AND STABLE AND
ADEQUATE SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR CUNY’S
PROGRAMS, REGARDLESS OF THE
SOURCE OF FUNDING. THE GOVERNOR’S
OFFICE SUBSEQUENTLY HAS
MADE SOME STATEMENTS ABOUT
ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS AT CUNY AND
SUNY. IT SENT A LETTER
ABOUT THE HIGHEST PAID STATE EMPLOYEES, AT SUNY
AND CUNY. IT MAY NOT
SURPRISE YOU THAT ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, THAT’S THE CASE IN EVERY
SINGLE OTHER STATE, IF YOU LOOK
AT CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, TEXAS,
ILLINOIS, MICHIGAN. IT’S BECAUSE
UNIVERSITIES ARE IN NATIONAL AND IN
SOME CASES INTERNATIONAL
MARKETS FOR HIGHLY EDUCATED
COMPETITIVE PLACES. WHAT I FIND MORE
TROUBLING, IF I HAD IT, I WOULD
HAVE BROUGHT IT WITH ME, IS THERE’S A MAP THAT
HAS HAD SOME CURRENCY OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS. IT’S COLOR COATED,
SHOWING THE HIGHEST PAID
PUBLIC EMPLOYEES IN EVERY STATE. I WOULD SAY OUT OF
50, 45 ARE BASKETBALL OR
FOOTBALL COACHES. THAT’S ONE PROBLEM
NEW YORK DOESN’T HAVE. WE DON’T HAVE GOOD
ENOUGH COLLEGE BASKETBALL OR
FOOTBALL. I THINK WE HAVE A
SURGEON AT ONE OF THE HOSPITALS WHO
IS THE HIGHEST PAID. BUT SERIOUSLY, I
THINK THAT THIS IS NOT A DISCUSSION
THAT WE SHOULDN’T BE HAVING. I AM A BELIEVER IN
COST EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY. THIS YEAR WE
REDUCED THE ADMINISTRATIVE
COST AT THE CENTRAL OFFICE BY
6%, REDUCED ACROSS CUNY. WE’VE FROZEN ABOUT
EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE FROZEN. BUT THE MOST
IMPORTANT THING IS NOT THAT, THESE
SORT OF STOPGAP OR ONE-TIME THINGS. THE MOST IMPORTANT
THING IS, THESE ARE BIG
BUREAUCRACIES. WHETHER IT’S STATE
GOVERNMENT OR LARGE UNIVERSITIES
WITH A $3.5 BILLION BUDGET. THEY HAVE INERTIA. YOU NEED TO KEEP
LOOKING AT THEM. THERE ARE FEW
SOURCES OF MONEY FOR PUBLIC
INSTITUTIONS FOR INVESTING IN
FACULTY, ACADEMIC ADVISING AND
STUDENT SUCCESS, AND THE CORE
MISSION OF THE PLACE. THERE’S TAX
DOLLARS. THERE’S TUITION. THERE’S PRIVATE
FUNDING. AND THEN THERE’S
REALLOCATED RESOURCES FROM
WITHIN. SO WE HAVE TO
CONSTANTLY BE LOOKING AT TAKING
MONEY FROM THE LOWER PRIORITIES
AND PUTTING IT INTO THE HIGHER
PRIORITIES. AND WE WILL
CONTINUE TO DO THAT. WE’VE BEEN A
NATIONAL LEADER IN A NUMBER OF AREAS
AND SHARED SERVICES, FOR INSTANCE. A LOT OF
TALK ABOUT IT TODAY. ONE OF THE GREAT
ADVANTAGEOUS FOR THE THIRD LARGEST
SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY IS THAT
WE’RE IN ONE PLACE. SO WE CAN DO
THINGS LIKE CONSOLIDATE I.T.,
HR, SECURITY, FACILITIES
MANAGEMENT AND CONSTRUCTION, AND
OTHER AREAS. IT WOULD BE QUITE
DIFFICULT, I THINK, WITH SUNY, OR UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA FROM BERKELEY TO SAN DIEGO. AT CUNY, IT WORKS. WE NEED TO KEEP
LOOKING AT THAT AND DO MORE OF IT. THERE ARE A COUPLE
OF PEOPLE IN THE ROOM I KNOW ARE
INTERESTED IN CAPITAL. SO I’LL SAY TWO
SENTENCES. I’M NOT GOING TO
HAVE TIME, UNLESS YOU ASK ME A
QUESTION, TO TALK ABOUT CAPITAL OR
CUNY’S AVERAGE BUILDINGS OVER 50
YEARS OLD, MANY ARE OVER 100 YEARS
AGO. WE DID A STUDY A
DECADE AGO WITH SUNY THAT SHOWED
WE HAVE A BACKLOG FOR MAINTENANCE. WE’VE BEEN KNOCKING THAT
DOWN, IT’S $2.5 MILLION. WE CAN’T STOP. CUNY HAS GROWN IN
THE LAST DECADE BY 55,000
DEGREE-SEEKING STUDENTS. THAT’S A
POPULATION ABOUT 20% LARGER THAN
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, THAT WE
HAVE GROWN IN THE LAST DECADE WITHOUT A
SIGNIFICANT EXPANSION IN AVAILABLE SPACE. OUR BUILDINGS ARE
OPEN. MANY OF THEM 24 HOURS A DAY,
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. THIS IS A CRITICAL
NEED, PARTICULARLY IN AREAS OF
SCIENCE AND HEALTH. NOT ONLY FOR OUR
STUDENTS’ OPPORTUNITY, BUT
FOR THE ECONOMY AND THE SERVICES
NEEDED IN NEW YORK. SO THAT’S A LITTLE
BIT SNAPSHOT, REPEATING WHAT
CAROL SAID, ABOUT THE MANDATE THAT
CUNY HAS BEEN GIVEN BY THE STATE
AND HOW IT’S EXECUTED ON IT,
WHICH I THINK HAS BEEN REMARKABLY
WELL. CAN WE DO BETTER? ABSOLUTELY. AND WE’RE GOING TO
DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO INCREASE
OUR GRADUATION RATES, MAKE SURE MORE OF OUR
STUDENTS ARE SUCCESSFUL, GET THROUGH REMEDIATION,
GET DEGREES, SUPPORT THEIR
FAMILIES, SUPPORT THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF
NEW YORK AND DO IT IN AS COST-EFFECTIVE A
WAY AS WE CAN. THAT’S MY PLEDGE
TO YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I’LL BE HAPPY TO
ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS. [ APPLAUSE ]>>IF ONE STEPS BACK AND LOOKS AT
CUNY FROM AFAR, IT OF COURSE IS ONE
OF THE MOST REMARKABLE
INSTITUTIONS IN THE COUNTRY. AND AT THE SAME
TIME, BECAUSE OF ITS MISSION,
SELF-DEFINED MISSION, THE
MISSION KEEPS ON EXPANDING, IF YOU
WILL, THROUGH WHAT’S CALLED
MISSION CREEP, OF SERVING THE
COMMUNITY, WHICH IS WHAT ITS CORE
MISSION IS. YET THE COST OF
SERVING THE COMMUNITY AS IT
CURRENTLY EXISTS CONTINUES TO RISE
DISPROPORTIONATELY TO GOVERNMENTAL
SUPPORT, WHICH IS THE ULTIMATE
ALTERNATIVE SITUATION AND
ALUMNI. IF YOU’RE TO LOOK
DOWN THE ROAD TEN YEARS, LET’S SAY,
THE PROBLEMS OF TODAY, I SUSPECT,
CAN ONLY EXACERBATE UNTIL
THERE’S SIGNIFICANT
STRUCTURAL CHANGE. STRUCTURAL CHANGE
MIGHT BE SEPARATION OF
COMMUNITY COLLEGES VERSUS THE
UNIVERSITY STRUCTURE,
UNIVERSITY STRUCTURE BEING
BEHOLDEN TO THE STATE PERHAPS, OR
SOME OTHER ALTERNATIVE, OR
LOOK AT THE ADMINISTRATIVE
COSTS, WHICH TRUE, AT CUNY AS WELL AS
EVERY OTHER MAJOR ACADEMIC
INSTITUTION, HAVE RISEN DISPROPORTIONATELY
TO FACULTY SALARIES. WHAT YOU SEE ON A
LONG TERM BASIS TO BE ABLE TO MOVE
FROM WHERE WE ARE TO WHERE WE NEED
BE SO THE MISSION CAN BE FULFILLED?>>THANK YOU. YOU’RE
SITTING AT THE TRUSTEE TABLE. DID THEY GIVE YOU
THAT QUESTION? SO THAT’S A LOT OF
STUFF. I’M NOT SURE I CAN
UNPACK ALL THAT AND ANSWER IT NOW. FIRST OF ALL, I DON’T BELIEVE THERE
IS A SELF-DEFINED MISSION. I DON’T WANT TO
QUIBBLE, BUT I READ THE STATE’S
MISSION. I THINK THAT’S OUR
GUIDEPOST. AND THAT’S WHAT
CUNY HAS TO BE RESPONSIVE TO. AND I LOOK AT WHAT
HAS HAPPENED WITH THE GROWTH OF CUNY
OVER THE LAST DECADE OR TWO. AND I THINK IT IS
QUITE CONSISTENT WITH THAT MISSION. NOW, I DO THINK
THAT WE HAVE AN ISSUE WITH
INCREASING COSTS AT EVERY
INSTITUTION AT HIGH EDUCATION
ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IT’S NOT A SECRET. AND PART OF THIS
IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF
A REGULATORY SYSTEM THAT KEEPS
ADDING RESPONSIBILITIES
TO UNIVERSITIES, PUBLIC AND
PRIVATE. AND WE HAVE TO HIRE ADMINISTRATIVE
NONTEACHING STAFF TO MANAGE THAT. PART OF IT IS
SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR STUDENTS AT
CUNY. AND BY THE WAY, I
MAKE NO APOLOGIES, I WOULD LIKE TO
HIRE FIVE TIMES THE ADVISORS THAT
WE HAVE IN PLACE NOW SO THAT OUR
STUDENTS WOULD SUCCEED. I SEE NO EVIDENCE,
I’M AWARE OF NO EVIDENCE THAT
WOULD DEMONSTRATE THAT THERE IS AN
EFFECTIVENESS, A COST EFFECTIVENESS
TO INCREASING THE SIZE OF THE
UNIVERSITY SYSTEM, SAY, TAKE SUNY TODAY AND ADD
CUNY AND HAVE A 40% LARGER UNIVERSITY SYSTEM. I STILL THINK YOU
HAVE A SYSTEM IN NEW YORK CITY
WHICH IS DIFFERENT THAN THE NEEDS
OUTSIDE THE CITY. I THINK IT WAS
WISE IN 1979 TO TRY TO STRUCTURE
IT THE WAY IT WAS. I TRY TO MAKE THE
POINT ABOUT INTEGRATION. THERE’S NO OTHER
PLACE IN THE COUNTRY THAT HAS
THE INTEGRATION. SEPARATING THAT I
THINK WOULD BE A HUGE MISTAKE. AND I DON’T THINK
IT WOULD LEAD TO ANY MORE COST
EFFECTIVENESS. SO HOW DO WE
ADDRESS THIS? THE INCREASING —
FIRST OF ALL, WE HAVE TO CONSTANTLY
BE VIGILANT ABOUT THE COSTS AT CUNY. PART OF THE GOOD
THING ABOUT SOMEBODY NEW
COMING IN IS TO SAY, I DIDN’T OWN
THIS BUILDUP IN SOME AREAS, I’M
HAPPY TO REFOCUS AND REALLOCATE AND
GET RID OF IT. PUBLIC HIGHER
EDUCATION IS INCREASINGLY
SUPPORTED MUCH MORE BY PRIVATE
FUNDS. I THINK THAT HAS
TO HAPPEN AT CUNY AS WELL. IT’S NOT JUST
ALUMNI. BUT I THINK THERE
ARE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES AT
CUNY, PART OF WHY WE’VE DONE A DEEP
DIVE ACROSS THE SYSTEM RIGHT NOW,
ONE OF THE BEST FIRMS IN THE
COUNTRY THAT REPRESENTS ALL OF
THE LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES THAT
ARE DOING MULTIBILLION
DOLLAR CAMPAIGNS, TO SAY WHAT ARE
THE INVESTMENTS NEEDED IN
FUNDRAISING AT CUNY SO THAT WE
CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHAT THE
POTENTIAL IS. IF WE RAISE 250
MILLION A YEAR, WE SHOULD RAISE OVER
500 MILLION A YEAR. PART OF IT IS
DIVERSIFYING THE RESOURCE BASE. BECAUSE SINCE
1986, ACROSS THE COUNTRY, STATE
GOVERNMENTS HAVE PROVIDED A
DECLINING SHARE OF THE TOTAL COSTS OF
PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES. SO CUNY’S
INCREASED TUITION, BUT NOTHING LIKE
OTHER PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES HAVE. AND THAT’S
SOMETHING WE HAVE TO BE VIGILANT
ABOUT AS WELL. SO I THINK IT’S A
CHANGING MIX OF REVENUE. IT IS VIGILANCE
ABOUT THE ADMINISTRATIVE
COSTS. IT IS ACTUALLY
TALKING TO GOVERNMENT FUNDERS
AND SPONSORS ABOUT THE REGULATORY
SCHEME IN A STATE OR A CITY, AND
WHETHER WE OUGHT TO BE LOOKING AT
WHAT SOME PLACES LIKE COLORADO AND
VIRGINIA AND OTHERS HAVE DONE,
WHERE THEY HAVE SAID WE WANT YOU
TO BE MORE ENTREPRENEURIAL
AND SO WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE
THE REGULATORY SYSTEM FROM THE
ONE THAT APPLIES TO THE DEPARTMENT
OF ROADS, THE DEPARTMENT OF
SANITATION, TO ONE THAT IS MORE
APPROPRIATE FOR AN INSTITUTION THAT
IS COMPETING IN A GLOBAL MARKETPLACE
FOR TALENT AND RESOURCES.>>THERE ARE MANY
SEASONED VETERANS IN THE ROOM THAT
HAVE GONE THROUGH THE BUDGET WARS. AND WE KNOW THAT
THE INITIAL ASK IS NOT ALWAYS WHERE
THE RESULT TURNS OUT. AND IT’S A BIT OF
A — CERTAINLY A BACK AND FORTH. SO WE’RE JUST KIND
OF CURIOUS ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT CAN
YOU KIND OF OFFER PART OF THE WAY TO
GET TOWARDS THAT 485, AND ARE THERE
ANY SACROSANCT PROGRAMS. AND KIND OF
RELATED TO THAT, MY WIFE’S A
PHYSICIAN, AND SHE TEACHES MEDICINE.
AND MEDICAL SCHOOLS IN PARTICULAR ARE
VERY EXPENSIVE TO RUN. SO HOW DO YOU RAMP
THAT UP WHILE YOU’RE TRYING TO
HOLD THE LINE ON THE BUDGET?>>SO AS I SAID
BEFORE, AND I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND
THAT I’M$TEgx AUTHENTIC WHEN I SAY THIS, I
DO BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD BE LOOKING
AT COST EFFECTIVENESS AND
EFFICIENCY OF OPERATION,
PARTICULARLY IN THE NONTEACHING,
NONACADEMIC SIDE OF THE HOUSE. THAT DOESN’T MEAN
I THINK CUNY SHOULD TAKE A
SIGNIFICANT CUT. I DON’T BELIEVE IT
SHOULD. I THINK CUNY IS
SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERFUNDED
COMPARED TO OTHER PUBLIC
UNIVERSITIES IN THE COUNTRY, AND
IT HAS A SIGNIFICANTLY
GREATER CHALLENGE THAN ALMOST ANY
PUBLIC UNIVERSITY. WHEN YOU LOOK AT
THE 80% OF INCOMING STUDENTS
THAT NEED REMEDIAL EDUCATION THAT WE
PAY FOR, IT’S A TREMENDOUS
FINANCIAL BURDEN AND ADMINISTRATIVE
BURDEN THAT OTHER UNIVERSITIES DON’T
HAVE. SO I THINK GIVEN
THE CHALLENGES THAT CUNY HAS AND
THAT OUR STUDENTS HAVE, NEW YORK HAS
FIGURED OUT ABOUT THE BEST WAY GOING
TO ADDRESS THIS. NOW, AS I SAID,
I’M ALL FOR MOVING RESOURCES. BUT A CUT IN
CUNY’S BUDGET DOESN’T MOVE
ANYTHING. IT DOESN’T INVEST
ANY MORE MONEY IN THE ACADEMIC SIDE
OF THE HOUSE. I CAN AGREE TO
CERTAIN REALLOCATIONS AND
REDUCTIONS. BUT I STILL THINK
WE OUGHT TO BE INVESTING MORE. ONE OF THE REASONS
THAT ASAP WORKS SO WELL IS THAT WE
HAVE ABOUT FOUR TIMES THE NUMBER
OF ADVISORS THAT WE HAVE FOR THE
STUDENT POPULATION. IT’S HUGELY
IMPORTANT. OUR STUDENTS NEED
SUPPORT AND ADVISING MORE THAN
STUDENTS AT OTHER UNIVERSITIES, AND
THEY GET LESS, BECAUSE WE CAN’T
AFFORD TO PAY FOR MORE. I HAVE A LONG LIST
OF THINGS THAT WE COULD INVEST IN,
EITHER WITH STATE INVESTMENT, CITY
INVESTMENT, OR REALLOCATED
RESOURCES. I’M ALL FOR MOVING
THEM FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. THAT’S VERY
DIFFERENT THAT JUST A REDUCTION,
WHICH DOES NOT BENEFIT AT ALL
THOSE STUDENTS THAT WE’RE TRYING
TO HELP, THOSE 500,000 STUDENTS
THAT ARE AT CUNY TODAY. WITH THE MEDICAL
SCHOOL, THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. I’VE BEEN INVOLVED
IN RUNNING A NUMBER OF MEDICAL
SCHOOLS, AND THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. THIS IS DIFFERENT. FIRST OF ALL, WE
HAVE CLINICAL PARTNERSHIPS. WE HAVE NO
INVESTMENT IN THE CLINICAL
OPERATIONS IN NEW YORK. WE ARE GOING TO
WORK WITH GROUPS OF HOSPITALS TO
PROVIDE, AS HOUSE OFFICERS, MEDICAL
SCHOOL PROVIDE THE CLINICAL
EDUCATION, THE LAST TWO YEARS OF
MEDICAL EDUCATION. WE’RE TAKING THE
SOPHIE DAVIS PROGRAM, WHICH WAS
A THREE-YEAR UNDERGRADUATE
PROGRAM FOR VERY TALENTED STUDENTS
COMING OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, AND TWO
YEARS OF BENIGN CLINICAL MEDICAL
EDUCATION, AND THEN THEY
TRANSFERRED TO PLACES LIKE NYU OR
EINSTEIN OR COLUMBIA OR
OTHERS. THOSE SPOTS DRIED
UP. SO THOSE 70 STUDENTS THAT
DISPROPORTIONATELY — UNDERREPRESENTED
STUDENTS, PRACTICING WHERE
YOU WANT THEM TO PRACTICE IN NEW
YORK TO SERVE UNDERREPRESENTED
COMMUNITIES WERE GOING TO HAVE
NOWHERE TO GO. WE HAD TWO
CHOICES. SHUT IT DOWN, OR
FINISH IT BY FINDING PARTNERS
WHO WOULD HELP US TO PROVIDE AT THE
LOWEST COST THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY
POSSIBLE FOR CUNY, THE LAST TWO YEARS
OF CLINICAL EDUCATION. AND I THINK WE
FOUND THAT. AND I THINK NOT
ONLY DOES IT FIT WELL WITH CUNY’S
MISSION, IT’S A TREMENDOUS BENEFIT
TO THE CITY AND TO THESE FUTURE
DOCTORS WHO WOULD HAVE NOT HAD THIS
OPPORTUNITY OTHERWISE. I’M IN AGREEMENT
WITH YOU, BUT I THINK THIS IS A
REDESIGNED MEDICAL SCHOOL THAT DOES
NOT LOOK LIKE WHAT YOU AND I THINK OF
AS TRADITIONAL MEDICAL EDUCATION.>>IN THE MATERIAL
ON OUR TABLES HERE ABOUT SUNY AND
YOUR REMARKS, I DON’T SEE ANYTHING
MENTIONED AT ALL ABOUT ONLINE
EDUCATION.>>SO THIS WILL —
YOU KNOW, MY PEOPLE NEAREST ME
MAY GAG OVER THIS BECAUSE THIS IS
ONE OF MY FAVORITE THEMES. I WANT CUNY TO BE
ONE OF THE NATIONAL LEADERS
FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS IN ONLINE
EDUCATION. I WILL TELL YOU,
BY SOME MEASURES WE ALREADY ARE. OUR UNDERGRADUATE
PROGRAMS ARE FULLY ONLINE, WE’RE
RANKED 13th IN THE NATION RECENTLY —
OH, THANK YOU. 11th. I KNEW THERE WAS A
REASON THE PROVE OST WAS HERE, TO
CORRECT ME. I’M HAPPY IT’S
ONLY HAPPENED ONCE SO FAR. WE’RE 11th IN THE
NATION RIGHT NOW IN THE QUALITY OF
OUR ONLINE PROGRAMS. WHAT WE NEED TO DO
IS GROW THEM SIGNIFICANTLY, FOR
A VARIETY OF REASONS. ONE IS THAT WE’VE
PROBABLY GOT, WHO KNOWS THE NUMBER,
OVER A MILLION PEOPLE IN NEW YORK
WHO ARE NOT GOING TO SCHOOL, WHO
HAVE SOME CREDITS TOWARD A DEGREE
AND NO DEGREE. FOR WHATEVER
REASON, THEY AREN’T PURSUING
IT. WE NEED TO PROVIDE
MORE OPPORTUNITIES,
EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE 24 CAMPUSES
FOR PEOPLE TO DO THIS ONLINE IN THE
WAY THAT PEOPLE WANT TO LEARN
TODAY. BUT I THINK IT’S
ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
REVENUE GROWTH. I’VE SEEN THIS AT
OTHER PLACES. I THINK CUNY HAS A
TREMENDOUS BRAND. I THINK THE BRAND
PROMISE OF A HIGH QUALITY CUNY
EDUCATION AT A REASONABLE COST IS
A REVENUE OPPORTUNITY FOR
US, IF WE DO THIS RIGHT. SO I THINK ONLINE
EDUCATION IS ONE OF THOSE AREAS
WHERE CUNY HAS PROBABLY NOT
INVESTED SIGNIFICANTLY
ENOUGH, DONE SOME VERY GOOD THINGS,
I SAID, BUT I THINK THERE’S HUGE
POTENTIAL. I THANK YOU FOR
RAISING IT.>>TEN YEARS AGO I HAD A
NUTTY STRUCTURAL PROFESSOR. IF THE BRANCH UNIT
OF PENN STATE THE FIRST TWO YEARS
SENT SOMEONE TO THIS ENGINEER’S
CLASS THAT WAS NOT QUALIFIED TO BE IN
HIS CLASS, HE WOULD SEND THEM
BACK. WHAT AVENUES DO
YOU HAVE IF PEOPLE, K-12, ARE
SENDING YOU FOLKS THAT ARE NOT
QUALIFIED AND ARE DRAGGING YOU DOWN,
THE SYSTEM, IS IT COSTING MORE MONEY
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE COMING WHO ARE NOT
QUALIFIED, IS IT HURTING,
FINANCIALLY, CUNY?>>IT IT CLEARLY
COSTS US MONEY. I MEAN, THE BURDEN
OF THE NEEDS THAT I
MENTIONED EARLIER CLEARLY COSTS CUNY
MONEY. WE HAVE PROGRAMS
WHERE WE CHARGE — VERY SUCCESSFUL
PROGRAMS, WE CHARGE $75 TO
STUDENTS TO DO THEIR REMEDIAL
EDUCATION. THEN WE REMIT THAT
SO IT DOESN’T COST THEM ANYTHING. THOSE ARE COSTS
WE’RE EATING. WE CAN TELL WHAT
YOU THOSE COSTS ARE. I WOULD RATHER
NOT. BUT THEY’RE
SIGNIFICANT. AND THEY PROBABLY,
YOU KNOW, SHOULD NOT BE BORNE
ENTIRELY BY CUNY. SO WE NEED TO
WORK, WE’VE BEEN WORKING CLOSELY
WITH DOE. WE HAVE PROBABLY A
CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH
DOE THAN ALMOST ANY UNIVERSITY
SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY HAS WITH
ITS K-12 SYSTEM. BUT THERE NEED TO
BE IMPROVEMENTS IN A VARIETY OF WAYS
IN THIS. BUT ONE OF THEM,
THE CUNY START AND SUMMER START,
THESE ARE INNOVATIVE
PROGRAMS THAT WE ARE DOING TO TRY
TO TAKE SOME OF THE COST OUT
BECAUSE WE’RE MORE RAPIDLY GETTING
PEOPLE PAST THEIR DEVELOPMENTAL
EDUCATION AND NEEDS. INNOVATION LIKE
ASAP, WHICH IS NOW BEING DEVELOPED IN
OHIO, TENNESSEE IS LOOKING AT IT,
OTHER PLACES. IT’S VIEWED AS THE
GOLD STANDARD IN THE COUNTRY. THIS IS A STUBBORN
PROBLEM. THE NUMBER OF
STUDENTS WHO COME WITH REMEDIAL
NEEDS AND THE SUCCESS RATES OF
STUDENTS, PARTICULARLY IN
MATH, MOVING OUT OF REMEDIATION. IT’S ONE OF OUR
HIGHEST PRIORITIES, TO TRY
TO AT LEAST ON OUR SIDE DO A BETTER
JOB OF HELPING THESE PEOPLE
OVERCOME THOSE REMEDIAL NEEDS. NOW, ULTIMATELY,
WOULD WE RATHER SEE THE NUMBER GO
SIGNIFICANTLY DOWN SO THAT THAT’S AN
INVESTMENT THAT WE’RE NOT MAKING
IN HIGHER EDUCATION? YES.>>WOULD YOU
CHARGE CONTRACTORS? DO THAT A COUPLE
OF TIMES AND THEY’LL LEARN
THEIR LESSON.>>I’M NOT SURE
THAT EITHER PENN STATE OR
CONTRACTING IS THE SAME ENVIRONMENT
THAT CUNY OPERATES IN.>>I CAME TO THE
U.S. AS A FOREIGN STUDENT. I CAME FROM A
BRITISH COUNTRY. AND SO I SPOKE
DIFFERENTLY. I HAD TO GET HELP
AT BROOKLYN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
TO MAKE MY TRANSITION, NOT
THAT I WASN’T SMART ENOUGH, BUT
BECAUSE THE SYSTEMS WERE
DIFFERENT. AND BECAUSE CUNY
CATERS TO SO MANY FOREIGN STUDENTS,
IT WOULD BE A WASTE OF TALENT
FOR THEM NOT TO MAKE THEIR CBS TO
THE — THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO
THE CITY OF NEW YORK AND THE
COUNTRY AS A WHOLE. I LEARNED TO SPELL
THE WAY AMERICANS SPELL.>>OUR REMEDIAL
SPELLING PROGRAM IS NOT AS LARGE AS
THE MATH PROGRAM.>>COULD YOU TALK
ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE
FIVE-YEAR UNRESOLVED LABOR
CONTRACTS AND WHAT THE ISSUES ARE?>>YES, SURE. I’M GLAD YOU ASKED
ME THAT. SO THIS IS THE
GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING. WHEN I GOT HERE, I
SAID, HEY, BY THE WAY, SOME OF THE
THINGS YOU SHOULD CLEAN UP THE FIRST
COUPLE OF WEEKS, WE HAVEN’T GIVEN
OUR FACULTY A PAY RAISE IN FOUR AND
A HALF YEARS. SO FOR WHATEVER
REASON, THAT WAS THE STATE OF PLAY. AND IT IS TO THIS
DAY THE STATE OF PLAY. SO WHILE I DIDN’T
CREATE IT, I NOW OWN IT. AND WE’RE DOING
EVERYTHING WE CAN TO TRY TO RESOLVE
THIS, BECAUSE FRANKLY OUR
FACULTY SALARIES ARE NOT — THEY’RE
NOT WHAT THEY PAY AT PENN STATE. THEY’RE NOT
COMPETITIVE WITH LEADING PUBLIC
UNIVERSITIES ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, AND OBVIOUSLY THE COST
OF LIVING IN NEW YORK IS HIGHER
THAN ALMOST ANYPLACE ELSE IN
THE NATION. THESE FACULTY ARE
HERE LARGELY FOR TWO REASONS. ONE, THEY WANT TO
BE IN NEW YORK CITY. THAT’S GREAT. AND
TWO, AND PROBABLY PRIMARILY, THEY
WANT TO BE AT CUNY. THEY LOVE THE
MISSION OF THIS PLACE. BUT WE CAN’T TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF THEM BECAUSE OF THAT. WE NEED TO BE
PAYING THEM A FAIR SALARY TO DO WHAT
THEY DO. SO WE CAN ONLY
AGREE TO A CONTRACT THAT WE
CAN PAY FOR. AND SO I HAVE
CAPTURED THE MOST OF THE LAST TWO
YEARS OF TUITION INCREASES, WHICH
WHEN I GOT HERE I WAS TOLD YOU CAN’T
USE THAT TO PAY FOR CONTRACTS. I SAID, WAIT A
MINUTE, IF WE CAN’T PAY OUR
BILLS TODAY, WHY ARE WE ADDING MORE
BILLS? SO I SAID, WE’RE
NOT GOING TO DO THAT, I DON’T CARE
WHAT THE DEAL IS, WE’RE GOING TO PUT
THIS MONEY IN A BOX AND USE IT TO
SETTLE OUR CONTRACTS. SO WE MADE AN
OFFER. IT WAS CONSIDERED
INADEQUATE. IT WAS AN OFFER WE
MADE IN NOVEMBER, AND IT ACTUALLY
HAS SOME RISK ATTACHED TO IT FOR
US, SOME SIGNIFICANT RISK,
DEPENDING ON WHAT HAPPENS IN OUR
BUDGET THIS NEXT YEAR. THEY CAME BACK
WITH A SIGNIFICANTLY
HIGHER OFFER. AFTER 25 OR SO
NEGOTIATING SESSIONS, WE ASKED
FOR A MEDIATOR SO WE HAVE AN IMPARTIAL MEDIATOR
FOR YOU. WE HAVE SESSIONS
NEXT WEEK. WE’RE TALKING
ABOUT THE UNION THAT REPRESENTS
26,000 OF OUR EMPLOYEES, THE
FACULTY AND STAFF, AND THEN THE NEXT
LARGEST IS DC-37, IT HAS 13,000 OF
OUR EMPLOYEES. THE MAIN STICKING
POINT HERE IS BEING ABLE TO PAY
THE BILLS THAT YOU INCUR. I THINK ALL OF US,
THE BOARD HAS SAID THIS IS OUR
HIGHEST PRIORITY, HOW CAN WE GET
PAST THIS UNFORTUNATE PERIOD
IN OUR HISTORY AND BE COMPETITIVE FOR
FACULTY AND PAY OUR FACULTY A FAIR
SALARY. BUT THE STICKING
POINT IS THE COST. THAT’S WHY I WAS
SO PLEASED TO SEE AS PART OF THE
GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL A $240
MILLION INVESTMENT. WE HAVE A HUGE
RETROACTIVE SORT OF BACKLOG IN OUR
PAY. SO AS YOU CAN
IMAGINE, THERE’S 4% INCREASE IN
OTHER STATE CONTRACTS. OUR FACULTY AND
STAFF DIDN’T GET THE BENEFIT OF
THAT. SO WE ARE LOOKING
FOR SOME ADDITIONAL
INVESTMENT THAT WILL HELP US TO BE
IN THE POSITION THAT WE NEED. WE’RE DOING
EVERYTHING WE CAN TO REALLOCATE, TO
BE ABLE TO PAY ONGOING COSTS GOING FORWARD AND WE CAN
SEE THAT THAT’S OUR OBLIGATION AND WE’RE GOING TO DO
THAT. BUT TO GET TO THIS BIG BACKLOG WE NEED HELP. THANK YOU
VERY MUCH.

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