Budget cuts continue for SUNY schools

Oswego State’s Campus Reserve Account will receive a $613,900 budget cut as part of a SUNY-wide mid-year adjustment.

Oswego State will not be cutting any departments, because of the timing of the adjustment, which was effective immediately. The cuts will be coming from the Campus Reserve, according to Nick Lyons, vice president for administration.

"As of right now we [Oswego State] are not losing any faculty and not losing any programs or suspending any programs," Camp said. "But when there are cuts everybody has to do more work."

The 32 state-operated SUNY campuses are facing a total of $23.5 million in cuts. This latest adjustment was implemented because the state did not cut enough during the summer, according to Susan Camp, chair of Faculty Assembly. Camp said this may not be the end of the budget cuts.

The SUNY system, including Oswego State, would have to reduce its budget 20 percent to comply with governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s proposed reduction plan. The reduction plan could lead to more program, faculty and staff cuts.

"I want to bring in the best private sector minds to reorganize the state’s 1,000 agencies, authorities and commissions with a mandate of at least 20 percent reduction and to reinvent our government for a new century," Cuomo said in his New NY agenda plan.

However, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Old Westbury and SUNY Fredonia announced at a Faculty Assembly sector meeting last week at Alfred State that they were considering cuts in programs. However, it is still undetermined if these campuses will make cuts or what cuts will be made.

Geneseo released a statement to faculty and staff two weeks ago saying that they were considering budget cuts. Right now, they are in an examination period, but hope to reach a decision before winter.

"We are still up against multi-million-dollar deficits that we must close," Christopher C. Dahl, Geneseo president, said on Oct. 15. "The only thing left is program curtailment."

David Irwin, media relation manager at Geneseo, said in an e-mail that cuts do not necessarily refer to academic programs, and that other programs are under examination as well.

An Oct. 22 report from SUNY New Paltz interim president, Donald Christian, said that "meaningful budget-reduction proposals from faculty staff, departments and units will be an important part of our overall plan, and will reduce the extent to which we need to employ further actions that could include program elimination."

In addition to Geneseo and New Paltz, Fredonia is also making changes, although they have not made a definitive decision on any academic changes.

"SUNY Fredonia has no plans to cut specific academic programs," said Lisa Eikenburg, associate director of Public Relations. "Fredonia is systematically reviewing and initiating cost saving measures across campus."

"There have been many, many budget cuts due to the national and state economy," Camp said.

Cuomo’s proposed reduction plan may lead to many more cuts as well. The governor-elect plans to put an immediate freeze on the salaries of state public employees and impose a cap on spending.