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EOP funding cuts raise concerns for University Faculty Senate

The University Faculty Senate is adding its voice to opposition to cuts in funding for the state’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).

At its March 8 meeting, the senate unanimously approved a resolution urging Gov. George Pataki and the New York Legislature to fully fund the EOP. The governor’s budget proposal, now under consideration in Albany, would cut EOP funding by 48 percent and eliminate direct financial aid for EOP students. These reductions “would create economic hardship for these students, who may face gaps of $1,400-1,900 per year in meeting the costs of their education,” said Ross Geoghegan, the senate’s chair and a professor of mathematics.

The cuts would have a devastating impact on EOP students, especially when combined with the proposed tuition increase and changes to the Tuition Assistance Program, which are also being discussed at the state level, said Janet Hogan, associate librarian and chair of the senate’s EOP Advisory Committee.

“If (funding) is going to be cut even more, that’s going to make it even more difficult,” she said.

The EOP provides critical support to students who may come from disadvantaged educational and/or economic backgrounds. Without the support they receive, many EOP students would not be able to attend Binghamton University.

Reducing the number of EOP students on campus would also change the diversity of the student population on campus, Hogan said. The resolution will be sent to area legislators asking for their support. In other business, the senate sent two proposed changes to student requirements back to the University Under-graduate Curriculum Council (UUCC) for more discussion. The first was a revision to the University’s foreign language requirement for transfer students. The proposal was returned to the UUCC for it to consider phasing the require-ments in rather than implementing changes immediately.

The second proposal, which would allow a score of three or higher on the advanced placement test to fulfill the University’s laboratory science requirement, was returned to the UUCC so it can gauge support for the change in the departments that would be affected.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08