Community Meeting: 10-5-11

President's Community Meeting
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Beginning with “inevitable” remarks on the financial outlook, President William Kelly offered GC members some critical numbers on this year’s budget.

Indeed, the numbers are in and aren’t—to say the least—pretty. From 2008 to the end of the 2010–11 fiscal year on June 30, the GC’s budget suffered a permanent tax-levy revenue loss of $6,377,600. Kelly reminded faculty, staff, and students that the GC was still in the woods as “our current budget calls for an additional cut of $2,606,600.”

To avoid furloughs and potential layoffs, the administration continues to focus on making cuts to OTPS and IT and freezing GC positions that become vacant. These austerity measures as well as other efforts to control the budget have safeguarded student financial aid and health care, all without impeding the scholarly efforts of CUNY’s hub for doctoral education.

Yet the news is far from bleak, Kelly argued. In the spring, New York State passed legislation that ensures stable funding for CUNY and SUNY for the next five years, a nationally unprecedented measure. CUNY now has a level of fiscal stability that will enable its colleges to plan for the future. Further, in each of the next five years, “modest tuition increases” totaling $1,500 will undergird new investment in full-time faculty lines and student services. “This is a time to think about our future,” Kelly continued. “In the past, we’ve set a number of benchmarks, having to do with fellowship support, student health insurance, tuition remission for students who teach at CUNY, faculty renewal, new research opportunities, and a residence facility. All of those goals have been met, and we now have some level of budgetary certainty to embolden our efforts.”

In his concluding remarks, the president advised community members not to allow themselves to be consumed by financial worry but rather to celebrate one of the most important moments in the GC’s history: “This is our 50th anniversary!” he declared, adding that this academic year is “a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the Graduate Center’s distinguished history.”

Submitted on: OCT 5, 2011

Category: President's Office - Community Meeting