The CUNY "Compact"

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Robert Pignatello
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
Chair, Financial Planning Subcommittee

James Llana
Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness
Chair, Strategic Planning Subcommittee


The recent tuition increases in CUNY have created an influx of new dollars that arrive each summer in the form of the “CUNY Compact.”   In 2011 CUNY negotiated an agreement with New York State for using the five years of tuition increases to fund improvements at the campuses, including hiring additional full-time faculty, increasing student services, and enhancing student financial support. (The Compact program began in 2008, funded by state money, not tuition, but it had lapsed prior to the new agreement in 2011).  As part of the Compact, CUNY agreed to self-fund a portion of the planned investments by increasing enrollment, philanthropic support and creating savings through restructuring and efficiencies; thus, in part the Compact operates by forcing campuses to save money or raise money and those funds are then “given” to the campus to use for approved purposes.   Even though part of the Compact is self-funded, there are real additional dollars that come to the campus as part of the base budget, and it makes a big difference in terms of advancing the Master Plan.  Compact funds are the main means for financing new initiatives.  Although CUNY unveils the Compact in the summer, discussion of its allocation is a prime activity for SPS/FPS and the Vice Presidents throughout the spring planning process.