Thank you for your questions and comments. We will continue to add to this page as we receive answers from the appropriate departments at Geneseo.
If your question is not answered here, please send a message to BudgetQ@geneseo.edu . We are making every effort to respond to your inquiries in a timely manner.
What does President Dahl’s announcement mean?
Because of the severe budget cuts New York State made to the SUNY system, Geneseo faces a $7.2 million dollar structural deficit. Over the past three years, one-time, across-the-board reductions were made. Given the State’s continuing economic crisis, however, these temporary actions are unsustainable and would only endanger the quality of the college.
To preserve Geneseo’s mission and maintain its excellence as a public liberal arts college, the College will eliminate 45 non-instructional positions, nine faculty positions vacated through retirements, and deactivate three academic programs. The three deactivated programs are Computer Science, Communicative Disorders and Sciences, and Studio Art.
What can students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends of the Collge do to restore funding?
The best help that we could receive from the College community is continual and strong letters to State legislators that their withdrawal of support from SUNY and denying the ability to raise tuition are unacceptable.
Whom can I contact in NYS government to protest the budget reductions and deficits that require closing of programs at SUNY
Please contact your state senator and state assembly member, as well as Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo, Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver and the chairs of the NYS State Higher Education Committee and NYS Assembly Higher Education Committee. Find your local representatives. ( If your representatives are newly elected, you can look for contact information on their campaign websites.)
Another source of information is the SUNY Advocates site.
Why isn't the Athletics deparment being affected by the budget crunch?
Athletics are funded through student fees. The athletic fee is set annually by a vote of the College's Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Board, which includes several student members. SUNY requires that all athletic fees paid by students be deposited in a dedicated account and expended solely to support the College's intercollegiate athletic program. (Some SUNY institutions receive additional state funding to support their Division I athletic programs. Geneseo does not receive any additional state funding for this purpose.) In other words, these funds could not be utilized to support academic programming.
What about the upcoming construction/capital projects I've heard about -- how can we spend money on those and not on our academic programs?
Capital projects are funded through a separate budget from our operating budget. The Legislature approves funding for capital projects, which are projects with a long, useful life, and they are funded through the sale of bonds--not through state tax dollars. The bonds are let for between 15 and 30 years.
These funds cannot be used for operating expenses.
In addition, such construction projects once approved -- for example the stadium, which is specifically lined out in legislation, and in design -- cannot easily be stopped. Stopping a project in construction would be a very costly proposition. Doing so would not only greatly escalate the cost of the project, but would be of no value in helping the College deal with its current $7.2 million budget gap.
What about the new Starbucks on campus -- how can we spend money on that and not on our academic programs?
Starbucks was funded and is run by CAS, an corporation independent of Geneseo. The CAS budget is separate from the College's budget.
What criteria were used to identify the deactivated programs?
The President and his cabinet, in conjunction with the College's Strategic Planning Group and the Budget Advisory Committee, determined the following criteria to guide resource reallocation:
Exactly which programs are being deactivated?
B.A. in Computer Science, B.S. in Speech and Hearing Handicapped, B.S. in Communicative Disorders and Sciences, M.A. in Speech Language Pathology, and B.A. in Art Studio.
How will this decision impact currently enrolled students?
The institution is committed to ensuring that we are able to staff the courses needed for students to finish their programs. Coursework will continue during this transition and we will work with departments to determine how to sustain crucial aspects of the curriculum going foward.
I’m a major/ minor in one of these programs. What happens to me?
These academic programs will remain in operation for three more years. Geneseo assures all current students majoring or minoring in the programs will be able to complete their degree requirements within this period and graduate from Geneseo. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you have with your academic advisor or with the Office of the Dean.
I'm currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology program. What happens to me?
These academic programs will remain in operation for three more years. Geneseo assures all current students in this program will be able to complete their degree requirements within this period and graduate from Geneseo. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you have with your academic advisor.
Will the deactivation of the Studio Art program affect the Fine Arts general education requirement?
No, the deactivation means that new majors will not be accepted in the identified programs. The coursework will continue and Gen Ed will continue.
I'm a current undergraduate in the Communicative Disorders and Sciences program. I was planning on applying to graduate school at Geneseo. Does this announcement mean that I will no longer be able attend Geneseo's graduate program in Communicative Disorders and Sciences?
You'll be able to complete your undergraduate major, but we will not be accepting new applicants to the graduate program. Your advisor will be happy to support you in your search for other advanced academic work.
Are all 45 non-instructional positions that are being eliminated coming from retirements that will not be re-filled, or are there some layoffs included in those 45?
No one will be laid off. The 45 positions to be deleted are a combination of vacant lines and lines that will be vacated through retirements. The positions are from all areas of the College.
Do you have any details on which offices will be impacted on the 45 non-instructional position cuts? When will the cut individuals will be notified?
At this point it is difficult to determine which departments will be affected, as there will be restructuring in many areas to deal with the reductions.
What happens to the tenured faculty in these departments?
The deactivation means that no new majors will be accepted to the program. Coursework will continue to be offered. We have a three year period to work out the details of the transition with the program, including the faculty positions.
Will there be tuition increases?
Any future tuition increase might mitigate continuing budget cuts -- if the state does not sweep the tuition into the general fund -- but will not help fill the structural gap created by the past three years of budget reductions.
If The Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation (PHEEIA) were to go through, what effect might it have on Geneseo's structural deficit going forward?
The Public Higher Education Innovation and Empowerment Act , which was introduced in the last legislative session by Governor Paterson, in its initial form, would have given campuses the ability to set campus-based, variable tuition. The bill did not pass either house of the Legislature.
Geneseo for years has supported campus-based, variable tuition, so that our college could set a tuition that would support its program mix. Unfortunately, the Legislature has been unwilling to cede its control over tuition and current law requires all undergraduate tuition throughout the state-operated institutions to be the same.
Were we to get such authority, we would have to raise tuition by $1412 to just close the current gap--a 28% increase. This would have to increase, of course, if there are further cuts to our state funding.
What is the status of The Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation (PHEEIA) with the new Governor?
The state legislature did not pass PHEEIA, which was part of the Governor Patterson's budget. Both SUNY system administration and Geneseo (and probably other individual campuses) have contact Governer-elect Cuomo about supporting at least some of the provisions that had been in PHEEIA, especiall a tuition plan that allows SUNY to set and keep its tuition.
You are welcome to contact your state senator and assembly member to encourage them to give SUNY the flexibilty and autonomy to operate in ways that would reduce the need for program deactivations.
When a program is deactivated in this manner, does that exclude the possibility of reactivating the program should Geneseo find a better economic climate in the future?
If the budget situation changes, or there are other major positive actions, programs can be re-activated. This is the great advantage of deactivation, rather than closing.
Given the amount of capital investment in programs like studio art, what is Geneseo's plan for the classrooms, spaces, and equipments that were designed for the program?
As the programs will continue for three years, reallocation of space has not been addressed at this time. We are in the process of completing a Facilities Master Plan that will help guide such decisions.
Is it possible to review a copy of the budget?
A copy of the College budget can be found on our Budget Office site.