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President Focuses on Budget, Construction in State of the College Address

President Focuses on Budget, Construction in State of the College Address

Posted: April 5, 2012

President Aaron Podolefsky updated the campus community on budget and construction issues Thursday in his annual State of the College address. He also introduced the theme for the 2012–2013 academic year: the Year of the City.

“An educated community raises the economic base for all,” said Podolefsky, as he made his case for support of public higher education. Guiding the audience through a series of charts detailing the decrease in New York State funding for public higher education over the past 20 years, he pointed out that in real dollars, Buffalo State received $26.6 million in state appropriations back in 1991 and $23.9 million in 2011.

Despite the cutback in funding, Buffalo State has controlled its spending. “Our increase in spending actually beats inflation,” Podolefsky noted. He added that while this year’s expenditures exceed revenues, the recent rational tuition increase enacted by the State University of New York (SUNY) and increased revenue from Summer Session and January Term have helped stabilize Buffalo State’s budget.

Podolefsky’s main budget point: Buffalo State offers a world-class education at an incredible value. “Our tuition is $5,270 per year. I tell parents that you can get a degree at Buffalo State for the price of a Chevy. The car will start depreciating in value immediately; the college degree will appreciate forever.”

In an effort to increase financial assistance to students, Podolefsky said that Buffalo State will be launching a major fundraising campaign this year. Phase I of the campaign will raise funds for need- and merit-based scholarships.

Switching gears, Podolefsky offered a status report on Buffalo State’s wide-ranging construction initiatives—and thanked the SUNY Construction Fund for its commitment to campus infrastructure. Construction of the Science and Mathematics Complex and Technology Building, and renovation of the Campbell Student Union and historic Rockwell Hall are in progress. In the planning phase are renovations of Houston Gym, the Scajaquada Towers, and Upton Hall. Podolefsky also mentioned that construction of another large-scale Student Apartment Complex is being considered.

Finally, building on the success of the Year of the Arts, Podolefsky declared the 2012–2013 academic year at Buffalo State to be the Year of the City.

“We are unique in SUNY in that we’re the only four-year comprehensive institution located in a city,” said Podolefsky. “There is no better way to promote that fact than to make this the Year of the City.”

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