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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    President Kenny

    In a student media briefing held on April 1, President Shirley Strum Kenny clarified several points for student media outlets, as well as offering time for Q’A on various other topics.

    President Kenny opened by discussing the budget issue that the SUNY system is faced with, including the tuition increase.

    Usually, after a round of budget cuts, the SUNY schools are allowed to increase their tuition to help soften the blow, which Stony Brook University did. However, after the increase passed, the state passed another set of cuts that requires the university to hand over all but 10 percent of the money from the tuition difference to the state, effectively counteracting the effect of the increase.

    Next year, the school will be allowed to keep 30 percent of the tuition difference, 40 percent the year after, and 50 percent the year after that. It is unclear if and when the university will be allowed to claim all the tuition.

    President Kenny believes the perception that private higher-education institutions are inherently better than public institutions is false, and that public higher-education systems — such as the SUNY system — should be funded accordingly to protect what she sees as the K-16 birthright of Americans.

    Additionally, Kenny thinks that the state is not taking all the opportunities it can to save money. She cited the fact that Nassau and Suffolk counties have a combined 124 school districts, whereas Fairfax and Loudon counties in Virginia have one district each. Consolidating and economizing administrative affairs in the educational systems across Long Island is just one of the ways the state could potentially save significant money.

    President Kenny continues to encourage students and parents to fight for funding and assist the SUNY system in any way they can, and said she would continue to advocate for public higher education, even after leaving her position and president of Stony Brook.

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