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SUNY chancellor says potential tuition increase won't affect majority of students

 SUNY Chancellor John King visits SUNY-ESF on Monday, January 31.
Ellen Abbott
/
WRVO
SUNY Chancellor John King visits SUNY-ESF on Monday, January 31.

Officials at the State University of New York will be paying close attention when Gov. Kathy Hochul presents her budget in Albany Wednesday.

John King has only officially been SUNY Chancellor for about two weeks now and he’s looking forward to Hochul’s presentation, to see what kind of funds he’ll have to work with as he leads the sprawling 64-campus system of colleges and universities.

"We’re excited to see where the executive budget lands," King said. "My work over the next few months will be to persuade the governor and legislature to invest more in SUNY because the return on investment is so high. SUNY’s success is crucial to the success of the state’s economy."

Among the SUNY proposals from Hochul this year — a tuition increase of three percent, that could be more at the state’s four university centers. King notes that 53% of SUNY students are tuition free right now.

"We’re talking about less than half of students who would experience what would be a very modest couple of hundreds of dollars a year increase," King said.

He also notes that increase could be higher at the state’s four universities, like Binghamton and Buffalo. That’s part of the state trying to boost the research reputations of these schools.

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 SUNY Chancellor John King visits SUNY-ESF.
Ellen Abbott
/
WRVO
SUNY Chancellor John King visits SUNY-ESF.

"When you look at other states, the flagships in other states are able to charge a little more than the other colleges so they can make those investments in research," King said. "We need to do that in New York.”

Beyond the budget, King takes the reins of a university system that’s been declining in enrollment over the last decade. He said changing that starts with SUNY making sure every high schooler in New York state knows what opportunities are out there.

"Whether it’s a community college, or a four-year institution or one of our university centers," King said. "[We're] also helping students when they apply to a single school that might be better known, if they don’t get into that school, making sure they hear from another SUNY campus that they can get a similar program at that institution."

King is in the midst of a tour of all SUNY campuses as he begins his tenure as SUNY’s 15th chancellor.

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Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.