ALBANY -- A union representing state university professors is pushing back today against a plan by the University at Buffalo, as well as Stony Brook on Long Island, to raise tuition this fall. In the case of UB, tuition would rise up to eight percent annually as part of its UB 2020 plan, which also includes moving its medical school building to downtown Buffalo.
The two SUNY campus centers over the last couple weeks have come to the Capitol to publicly press their ideas before Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders.
But the United University Professions said the plans amount to a "backdoor tax'' on students. UUP represents 35,000 faculty and professional workers at 29 state campuses.
"Tuition increases should benefit students rather than create revenues for private businesses,'' said UUP President Phillip H. Smith. The union dismissed claims by the two campuses that the additional tuition money will go to hiring more professors, making classes smaller, and to restore education cuts that have hit the SUNY system the past few years.
Smith said the tuition hikes are tax increases in disguise, and noted that Cuomo and lawmakers pledged this year not to raise taxes. "These plans would give SUNY a blank check signed by students to hike tuition to expand or construct buildings,'' Smith said in a statement today.