Milliken details his vision for CUNY

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The CUNY system, comprised of 24 colleges and over 270,000 students, has been committed to several overarching themes since its inception: inclusion, mobility and success.

While CUNY has received much praise and acknowledgement recently for being one of the most successful universities in the country in terms of social class mobility, it has failed at some of the basic goals universities should have: high graduation rates and preparing students for life out of college.

CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken is committed to getting back to the fundamentals of successful education and is striving to improve the quality of education across each of the different CUNY campuses.

Mobility has been a strong “engine” that has helped Milliken in his campaign to help improve the system.

“The budget that has been proposed by the governor is one of the best ones we have seen in years in terms of operating increases and the capital,” said Milliken on WNYC News, referring to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2.465 billion proposed state funding.

Milliken plans to re-evaluate old budgets to determine where the most money is going. According to Milliken, it is important for resources to go where they can properly benefit the students and institutions.

One way that resources can be conserved is that tasks that can be handled centrally should be taken care of centrally, not across each campus being replicated 24 times. This efficient approach can save money that will then be directly put back into the different campuses to handle budget necessities that cannot be taken care of centrally.

Two important areas of strong investment will be hiring new faculty and staff as well as improving facilities.

Both of these are in direct response to the rising number of incoming students who are in need of guidance, quality teaching and a seat in courses necessary for them to graduate.

“The plan going forward is that we know in this country, in this city and in this state, we are not where we need to be in terms of the number of people with college degrees in the new knowledge economy,” said Milliken. “We are significantly off the mark of where we need to hit.”

Overall, Milliken wishes to help students find internships and professional experience opportunities while still in school and help students graduate faster. These are key aspects of what Milliken sees as essential for CUNY in the 21st century.

Time will tell if Milliken’s proposals can reap benefits toward the thousands of CUNY students.

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