SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy expressed high praise for Governor David A. Paterson’s proposed reforms to the State’s system of public higher education. The Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act released today is a sweeping reform package that Kennedy described as the most important and influential piece of SUNY legislation he has seen since becoming the president of SUNY Canton 16 years ago.
“I couldn’t be more optimistic,” Kennedy said. “The Governor’s proposals will transform the way SUNY schools will be able to do business. It will give the entire SUNY system the type of autonomy and flexibility needed to be successful, and it will enable SUNY colleges and universities to become more creative and more independent in running their businesses.”
Kennedy, who is the second longest tenured President in the SUNY system, noted that although SUNY and CUNY colleges will experience budget cuts in the upcoming fiscal year, those cuts will be counterbalanced by the decrease in regulation and the added freedom to generate more income.
“I believe the cuts will be manageable in light of the ability to run our businesses more independently, creatively, and strategically,” Kennedy said. “The leadership demonstrated by the Governor and Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher in creating this act has been incredible and should be lauded. It is extraordinary.”
Kennedy added, “This act will allow schools the ability to protect jobs, preserve the high quality of a SUNY education, affordably continue to educate the people of New York State, and grow as economic generators to help lead the way out of this recession. I hope others will join me as staunch advocates of this act and help others to recognize its importance to the SUNY system, New York State, and its great citizens.”
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