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Our message at state Capitol: Binghamton University=Results

Binghamton University = Results was the theme for the University’s Advocacy Day efforts last week, as two busloads of faculty, staff and students traveled to Albany to meet with legislators on March 6. The event — a partnership of the University and its United University Professions and Civil Service Employees Association chapters — also saw alumni joining in.

More than 100 people on 14 teams spoke with legislators throughout the day, thanking them for their past support and educating them about the results Binghamton has seen in research initiatives, educational excellence and economic impact. “Binghamton has achieved so much, and we’re enthusiastic about doing more,” President Lois B. DeFleur told lawmakers, as she and her team emphasized the University’s quality and its impact on the Southern Tier and the state.

The president, teamed with Darryl Wood, president of the campus chapter of United University Professions; Bonnie Cornick, representing the campus chapter of the Civil Service Employees As

President Lois B. DeFleur speaks with Ronald Canestrari, Assembly majority leader, during Advocacy Day on March 6 in Albany. University representatives met with lawmakers and their staff members throughout the day to discuss Binghamtonís achievements and
sociation; Mark Poliks, representing Endicott Interconnect; Katie Ellis, director of communications; and 2006 graduate and current master’s candidate Jason Bronowitz, also met with the governor’s top education policy adviser, Deputy Secretary for Education Manuel Rivera.

Rivera said he is working on the charge for the governor’s Commission on Public Higher Education, which will recommend a comprehensive policy for achieving academic excellence, ensuring access and contributing to the state’s workforce and economic development efforts.

Rivera asked for suggestions about how he might move forward with the commission and Bronowitz explained the role of Catalysts for Intellectual Capital (CIC 2020), a student-run economic development think tank that is working to encourage students to remain in the Southern Tier following graduation.

“By connecting more citizens, we’ll have people who want to stay in New York and that creates a very different culture,” Rivera said. “CIC 2020’s key

Sen. Thomas Libous speaks with Binghamton University students during the closing reception.
aspect is connection to community. There’s a seed here.”

In discussions about the budget, lawmakers agreed that there is a good base to start from, but more needs to be done. The University is seeking more enrollment funding, as well as funding for faculty, DeFleur said. “We’re a vital hub of what’s going on in our region,” she said. “We’ve hired faculty in the last two years, but we want to admit more students. One of the keys is more funding for enrollment and more faculty.”

Woods added that a solid foundation of quality and success exists. “Now’s the time to really take advantage of this foundation,” he said. “What could we do if we had additional resources?”

Operational funding for the University’s Center of Excellence is also a priority, DeFleur said. “We may be the youngest center of excellence, but we’ve built on our past intellectual history and research history and we have taken it to new frontiers.”

Poliks

Manuel Rivera, deputy secretary of education and Gov. Eliot Spitzerís top education policy adviser, left, meets with Binghamton University President Lois B. DeFleur and other members of her team during Advocacy Day at the state Capitol. At right is Darryl
emphasized the benefits of the center, noting that Endicott Interconnect has been able to advance its technology due to its partnership with the University. “The University has been acting as a very significant catalyst for change,” he said.

Ronald Canestrari, Assembly majority leader and past chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, said good things are happening on the budget front. “The governor wants to raise the profile of SUNY nationwide,” he said. “It’s a good budget to start and I think we’ll enrich it.”

The day ended with a reception for legislators and their staffs. Sen. Thomas W. Libous and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo spoke. “I recall the discussions with President DeFleur several years ago about bringing Binghamton to Albany,” Libous said. “This is a great day.”

Lupardo also highlighted the teamwork that it takes to maintain a presence in Albany, commenting on how easy Binghamton University makes it for her to advocate for the Southern Tier.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08