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

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."