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Funding for CUNY leads to more hiring and boosted programs

Marc A. Hermann
Marc A. Hermann | MTA

In a significant development, the City University of New York has received a significant boost in funding aimed at expanding its full-time faculty as well as supporting CUNY’s mission for academic and economic support for its student body.

CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodriguez released a statement expressing gratitude for local government while emphasizing the importance the funding will play in uplifting the CUNY community.

“The budget builds on CUNY’s work to provide academic and social support to our more than 226,000 degree-seeking students as well as enhance our efforts to recruit students and help them secure professional jobs upon graduation,” Rodriguez said. “We thank Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and the City Council for approving a spending plan that includes key funding for CUNY programs that lift New Yorkers and increase CUNY’s impact as an engine of social and economic equality.”

There will be 251 new faculty members joining the CUNY system this academic year teaching across many different departments.

With newly acquired funding, CUNY campuses will be allowed to hire new faculty for the next academic year, a note that Chancellor Rodriguez made in his January 2022 statement. Rodriguez praised Gov. Kathy Hochul for prioritizing CUNY education in the 2023 fiscal year budget.

“The governor’s budget will add $53 million that will enable CUNY to hire approximately 540 new full-time faculty across our four-year and community colleges, fulfilling a request from CUNY that was built around student-centered priorities and positioning it to thrive for years to come,” Rodriguez said.

Baruch College Marxe School of Public and International Affairs announced that four new faculty members will be joining the campus for the fall 2023 semester.

Some of CUNY’s key initiatives that will receive a boost in funding include $5.8 million for “CUNY Reconnect,” a program New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams created that aims at aiding individuals who were not able to complete college their first time.

The CUNY Inclusive Economy Initiative will receive a $4.8 million boost in funding. The initiative is a private-public partnership from Mayor Adams that plans to connect 100 percent of CUNY graduates to professional opportunities by 2030.

CUNY, with its extensive network of 25 campuses, has long been revered for providing quality education to its diverse student body. But over the years, the public university has faced challenges in maintaining an adequate number of full-time faculty members.

According to a 2021 study conducted by professor Ned Benton of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, fewer students have access to full time faculty. At York College, there are 29 full time faculty members for every 1000 students, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Other CUNY related programs that will benefit from the increased funding include CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate program and the Accelerate, Complete, Engage program, two similar programs that aid students by providing them benefits such as tuition assistance and textbook assistance.

Back in April 2023, funding for CUNY was a crucial negotiation issue in the FY 2023 budget.

Funding for CUNY was a concern for both students, faculty and lawmakers alike as Hochul proposed a tuition hike, while Mayor Adams proposed cuts to CUNY, some of which already went into effect.

The CUNY community rallied outside Hochul’s New York City office calling for increases in the public university’s funding while also combating tuition hikes, while other CUNY leaders testified at state and city budget hearings, The Gotham Gazette reported.

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Jahlil Rush
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Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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