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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

State spending cuts impact UB

The New York State budget crisis will hit home for UB students and employees in the wake of Gov. David Paterson's decision to cut SUNY's spending by $90 million.

UB President John Simpson is uncertain what specific effects the cuts will have on UB, but he noted in a statement that SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher plans to meet with individual university presidents to discuss the best possible way for each institution to meet the budget cuts.

Simpson cannot predict what these meetings will hold for UB, but he remains steadfast in his belief that the state and nation should continue to do all it can to invest in university education.

'While we cannot, at this moment, predict the outcome of these discussions, we will continue to emphasize that today – more than ever – we must, as a nation and as a state, invest in higher education,' Simpson said. 'Higher education is fundamental to our nation's and state's future economic growth and prosperity.'

Simpson also noted that the university administration is prepared to tackle this budgetary challenge. The University-Wide Strategic Financial Management Advisory Group has developed core principles for UB's strategic financial plan. Of these principles, Simpson believes one in particular stands out.

'The overarching principle is to act in ways that best maintain our long-term vision as a premier public research university,' Simpson said.

Simpson pointed out that University Senior Leadership members have anticipated future budget reductions and have long discussed potential solutions should the cuts occur.

'As final decisions are made concerning the reduction to our university's budget, we will communicate to the UB community strategic parameters for this reduction,' Simpson said.

The SUNY-wide response to the budget cuts is very similar to that of the UB administration. David Henahan, the SUNY public relations director, laid out the steps SUNY will take as a result of these new fiscal difficulties.

'SUNY will do all it can to protect the quality of the education our students receive, but this is increasingly difficult at a time of scarce resources,' Henahan said. 'Campuses will continue to implement soft and hard hiring freezes, redirect resources, delay and eliminate programs and purchases, and students could see larger class sections, fewer course offerings and reductions in other services.'

'We have coped with [the budget cuts] because of changes we have put in place through UB 2020,' Simpson said.

Simpson is confident that the university administration is prepared to face the struggles that the budget cuts will bring and emphasized that nothing should be allowed to compromise the academic goals of the university community.

'These are challenging times indeed for our nation, state and our university. With that said, we know unequivocally that we must preserve our core academic mission,' Simpson said. 'And, together as a community of scholars and professionals, we must do all that we can to provide our students with an education that inspires and a research enterprise that illuminates the unseen, which as a whole will enrich lives today and the lives of future generations.'




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