We support SUNY Potsdam

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, our UUP colleagues at Potsdam are facing a disturbing and challenging new situation created by decisions made by SUNY’s Board of Trustees. On Sept. 19, SUNY Potsdam President Suzanne Smith announced a drastic financial restructuring plan that includes the deactivation of 14 degree programs and closing as many as four buildings to reduce a projected $9 million deficit.

An undetermined number of faculty and staff will lose their jobs if these programs are cut!

The actions taken at Potsdam were unnecessary and could have been averted. Thanks to the advocacy work of UUP and the state Legislature, SUNY got $163 million in new state operating aid in this year’s state budget. This was more than enough funding to close the deficit at Potsdam and deficits at other SUNY campuses – many of which are in upstate communities.  But the SUNY Board of Trustees didn't distribute the new aid based on campus need. They chose to use it in other ways, which has only served to make the situation worse.  SUNY’s Board of Trustees distributed the funds using a methodology which favored campuses which are enjoying financially strong positions.

This is a manufactured crisis. There would be no need for such drastic steps at Potsdam if the Trustees had distributed the $163 million in state funding based on campus need. These shortfalls were caused, in large part, by massive state funding cuts to SUNY during the Great Recession and more than a decade of SUNY austerity budgets under the Cuomo Administration.

The elimination of programs, faculty and staff will only serve to further reduce enrollment and make it more difficult to retain students. Research has shown a direct correlation between lack of adequate state investment in public higher education and declining student enrollment.


Buffalo HSC Supports SUNY Potsdam!


There are actions we can all take in support of UUP members at Potsdam!

Please help by signing and sending this letter - https://actionnetwork.org/letters/use-suny-state-funding-to-close-nine-million-deficit-at-suny-potsdam and send a letter to your NYS Legislative Representatives. 

Additionally, please visit UUP Potsdam Can Count on Me! (google.com)  and sign a Solidarity Pledge for SUNY Potsdam’s UUP members.  


There may be other actions taken in the near future – please be on the lookout for more information soon.


In Solidarity,

Tom Melendy

Chapter President