Last month, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and the SUNY Board of Trustees, alongside student and faculty leaders, announced a new statewide advocacy campaign urging public support for SUNY. "Stand with SUNY," as the campaign is known, seeks to gain increased state investment for SUNY campuses, students, faculty and staff, as well as the renewal of the landmark reform legislation, NYSUNY 2020, that will keep the authority to set tuition with the SUNY Board of Trustees for the next five years.
In part, the Stand with SUNY campaign is looking to secure support that will help launch and develop innovative programs that can be carried out by individual campuses across the entire SUNY system, including here at SUNY Optometry. In fact, our institution recently submitted proposals as part of a system-wide process that is looking to do just that.
Beyond this important effort, Stand with SUNY is also advocating for the renewal of the predictable tuition plan that has played such a critical role in keeping SUNY institutions—including our own—accessible and affordable in the face of growing student debt across the nation. In the words of Chancellor Zimpher, “we simply cannot go back to a time when students applied to SUNY without knowing what their tuition rates would be year-to-year.” This is not a sustainable model for our current and prospective students and it is an untenable situation for administrators who are trying to plan for the future growth and development of institutions like ours and the other 63 campuses across the SUNY system.
One of the great strengths of SUNY Optometry is that we’re a member of the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. The impact that SUNY has on New York State and beyond is vast and important and the Stand with SUNY campaign is designed to protect and strengthen that impact for years to come.
Please join me in supporting the Stand with SUNY campaign. You can learn more about it, as well as find out ways in which you can take action to support the campaign by visiting www.suny.edu/stand/
I wish you all a very joyful holiday season and a happy New Year!
David A. Heath, OD, EdM
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