MCC Daily Tribune

President's Wednesday Message

New York state is in the last few weeks of the annual budget session. The "one house" budgets from the Senate and the Assembly have both proposed a $100 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student rate increase, an increase from the Governor's Executive budget, which held community colleges flat.

Due to enrollment decreases across the system, the proposed rate increase would still result in at least half of SUNY community colleges (including MCC) receiving less funding in 2018-2019 than in 2017-18. Even though FTE funding has inched up annually since 2011-12, NYS has provided community colleges with fewer dollars in aggregate every year.

As you may know, this budget session, SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson and community college leaders pushed hard to get the state to reconsider the FTE funding model, which no longer provides the resources needed to support our students. Even as FTE enrollment falls, headcount enrollment has declined more slowly because part-time enrollment is increasing. In addition to excellent classroom faculty, all of our students--whether full-time or part-time--need outstanding counselors, advisors, librarians, tutors, and more.

In the one house proposals, though, the Assembly and Senate have supported the FTE model, so for the remainder of the session, we are pushing hard to assure that we achieve at least a $100/FTE increase. The final few roller coaster days of last year's budget process are a motivating memory: community college funding suddenly fell to $0 from $100 before landing at $50 after an intensive and active round of advocacy. We do not want a repeat of this experience.

Over the next two weeks, Assistant to the President for Government Relations Clayton Jones will be working with our amazing students on sign-on letters, meeting with faculty in the Teaching and Creativity Center to discuss the process, and assuring that Albany hears the support our community has for MCC and our students. I know that our union partners in NYSUT and CSEA are engaged in budget advocacy as well. If you have questions about how you can share your support, please contact Clayton. Your voice matters.

The Board of Trustees Budget Workshop is held annually following the announcement of New York's enacted budget. The workshop is scheduled for April 9 at 2:00-4:00 pm in the Warshof Conference Center, Flynn Campus Center (Monroe B) and is open to the public. If you cannot attend this workshop, please know that I will share an overview of that presentation with the College community on April 13 at noon (Monroe B).

If you have questions or comments about the NYS budget process, please share them on the blog.

Kress, Anne
Office of the President