Chancellor at CUNY sorry for tuition hike

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CUNY’s chancellor told students at York College last week that the recent tuition hike at city colleges was a hard decision to make, but he promised that the investments made would pay off with better academics in the long run.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein held a special town hall meeting Feb. 23 at the Jamaica campus, where he gave an update on the state of the city’s public colleges. Despite cuts from Albany and the federal government, Goldstein said the schools across the five boroughs were still giving young learners the best academic options.

“We’ve been able to weather some serious punches,” he said.

In November, the CUNY board of trustees voted to increase tuition for resident students from $4,600 a year to $4,830 annually. Tuition at SUNY schools, which have not had an increase since 2009, is $4,900 a year for state residents.

Goldstein said CUNY has used the funding to expand its services to students, such as York’s journalism and nursing programs. More new academic offerings at York are on the way in the near future, the chancellor promised.

He said he and the CUNY board are committed to bringing a pharmacy school to York’s campus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a regional office on the campus already and several students work there as interns.

Goldstein could not provide a definite timetable of when the program will be up and running, but said it is one of the top priorities of CUNY.

“The school of pharmacy is something I’m really committed to,” he said.

The chancellor also urged students to aim for studies in the liberal arts and sciences fields. He said he noticed a trend in which young learners were going away from fields such as English and philosophy and sticking with business-related majors.

Goldstein said the skills learned in those liberal arts majors last for a lifetime.

“I think the humanities are so fundamental for students,” he said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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