INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Acting chancellor tours campus
“You guys are the top of the hill when it comes to undergraduates,” he told a group invited to a luncheon on Oct. 20.
Ryan said the University’s residential college structure makes Binghamton a special place. “You build this bond that results in persistence,” he said, “and that persistence results in graduation rates that are the best among public universities.”
DeFleur welcomed him to campus and gave him some Binghamton gear to wear while jogging. “I am so pleased to have you on campus because it is the people who make this University what it is,” she said.
Ryan, a former U.S. Navy vice admiral, took office in June. He previously served as president of the State University of New York Maritime College, interim president of the University at Albany and superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Ryan said emphasizing the importance of tenure track faculty and instituting what he calls a “rational tuition policy” are among his top priorities.
He said he also favors developing a rolling five year capital program for the 64 campuses and the devolution of authorities to the individual colleges and universities.
Ryan said 62 percent of instructors within SUNY are full time, tenure track professors. The number has slipped over the last decade, he said, and the state needs to take steps to reverse that. SUNY’s tuition structure must change so that students and parents know what to expect and don’t have to worry about huge price hikes, he said.
“I think that’s a lot better than rolling the dice,” he said. “Modest” increases, probably pegged to the Consumer Price Index which is less than the Higher Education Price Index, would make the most sense, Ryan said. He proposes having tuition frozen at a given amount for each incoming class.
“I go into this budget session cautiously optimistic that it’ll be one of our best years in a long time,” he said.