Plans to Boost Two-Year CUNY Colleges Fall Victim to Budget Cuts

During his bid for a third term, Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to make community colleges a top priority if he were re-elected. That campaign promise to help the City University of New York, which runs the two-year public schools, has now been abandoned in the face of proposed cuts of over $50 million in city funding for the next fiscal year.

This change has sparked criticism from many advocates who have protested Bloomberg’s cuts in funding to CUNY during a time of high enrollment and tough economic times — especially after the state already cut $95 million, according to CUNY officials.

“With the increasing need of services for students at both community colleges and senior colleges in the CUNY system it is unacceptable to continue to cut CUNY’s budget the way the administration has done the past few years,” said Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who chairs the higher education committee. “These drastic cuts come on top of a quarter of a billion dollars worth of cuts that have been handed down to CUNY over the past three years.”

… [C]ommunity colleges around the city find themselves in a precarious position, with record admissions and decreasing funds. Many blame CUNY’s financial woes on the lack of commitment from the state. According to State Sen. Toby Stavisky of Queens, the state’s share of CUNY funding fell sharply in the past 20 years from 65 percent in 1991 to 40 percent this year.

“That’s not the fault of CUNY; it’s the fault of the state — because we had budget crises and higher education has not been a priority,” she said.

(via Gotham Gazette)

CUNY Radio: Presidential Secrets

This lecture is great, and there are funny asides to boot: “… I went to Abilene, Kansas. Now I have one other piece of advice for those of you who want to do graduate studies. Make sure you know where the research center is before you go there. Because, Abilene, Kansas in the heart of the country was dry. Which meant you couldn’t even get wine with dinner. Imagine that!”

Listen [mp3]

Lectures, Interviews, and News from CUNY Radio

As chair of the Fund for Open Information and Accountability, Blanche Wiesen Cook helped draft the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which permitted public access to presidential records through the Freedom of Information Act, but also allowed Presidents to invoke restrictions. “When Ronald Reagan became President, he reclassified most of the controversial documents,” said Prof. Cook, a distinguished professor of history and women’s studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center. “Some of that secret insanity remains today, a legacy of the George W. Bush era, under which no presidential papers will ever be released.” The author of the New York Times best-seller “Eleanor Roosevelt: A Biography,” and “The Declassified Eisenhower,” Prof. Cook spoke about the importance of transparency in government, as part of the “Justice and Injustice in 1950s America” lecture series at John Jay College.