ASC Spring 2009 Opening Remarks with Dr. John M. Anderson

Dr. John M. AndersonDespite a grim fiscal outlook, not only for Alfred State College, but for all of New York State, Dr. John M. Anderson, president, ASC, was cautiously optimistic as he welcomed faculty and staff back to campus just prior to the start of the spring 2009 academic semester.  "Despite the cuts SUNY (State University of New York) has been subject to in the Governor's efforts to close the budget gap, Alfred State finds itself in a stable position for the upcoming semester," Anderson reported.  However, he also noted that, "in spite of the unprecedented move of the SUNY Board of Trustees raising tuition for the spring 2009 semester by $310 and for the following year by $610," it would not help balance the school's budget.  "Unfortunately," he said, "the Governor has decided to keep 90 percent of this semester's tuition hike for the state, allowing SUNY schools to keep only 10 percent of the increase.  "This," he said, "will make it more difficult for the college to meet operating expenses next year.  Whereas, if we are able to keep the entire tuition raise, we would have recovered from the $1.2M in cuts we have already sustained," and perhaps, weather more easily any cuts yet to come.  But, he said, there are actions the college community could take to help minimize the impact of any additional cuts.  "First and foremost, we must adhere to our strategic plan which will guide us in determining where our resources will be most useful and keep us in the forefront of technological colleges."  Secondly, Anderson said he wants to avoid, if at all possible, any reduction in work force at the college.  Third, all new programs/hires will be carefully scrutinized to determine if they promote any of the strategic plan's four R's:  recruitment, reputation, revenue, and retention.  Additionally, vice presidents have been asked to decrease their budgets (other than personnel) by five percent and find ways to increase efficiencies in their respective areas.  Most of all, Anderson exhorted the campus community to become advocates for the college by writing, e-mailing, or calling their legislators to encourage them to convince the Governor to allow SUNY to keep 100 percent of the tuition increase.  "We have many challenges and opportunities before us," Anderson noted, and "I am confident we can succeed if we remain focused on the long-term goals and remain committed to our mission of providing our students with the world-class education they have come to expect."