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CHE Preliminary Report Released

The Commission on Higher Education released its Preliminary Report in December. The Executive Summary highlights the following reccomendations:

• Establish a $3 billion research fund, the Empire State Innovation Fund, to support meritorious research important to New York's future.
• Create a low-cost student loan program for residents attending college in New York State.
• Establish the New York State Compact for Public Higher Education to clearly delineate shared responsibility for public higher education resources.
• Rebuild CUNY and SUNY faculty ranks by strategically hiring an additional 2,000 full-time faculty, including 250 eminent scholars, over the next five years.
• Modify SUNY's governance structure and system administration to provide more focused attention and support for the research campuses.
• Provide meaningful regulatory relief for SUNY and CUNY, by removing restrictions that impede campuses' ability to adapt quickly and promote quality.
• Develop Educational Partnership Zones in high-need school districts, bringing together higher education and P-12 resources to improve student outcomes and enhance college participation.
• Ensure that high school graduates are well prepared for college through a College Readiness Act.
• Strengthen articulation and transfer throughout SUNY and CUNY with a goal of system-wide articulation of comparable courses and seamless transfer into parallel programs by 2011-12.
• Address the backlog of critical maintenance at SUNY and CUNY with a sustained program of capital reinvestment.

The Commission was created by Executive Order in May of 2007. The members consist of representatives from the Executive and Legislative branches of state government; public and private college/university administrators; SUNY and CUNY faculty and students; unions; and advocacy groups. The final report of the Commission is due in June 2008 after incorporating input from the public.