College Presidents Urge Governor Cuomo to Sign Masters-in-Education Legislation

News Date: 12/12/2017

A large group of CICU member presidents signed on to a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to sign into law legislation that passed both houses in 2017 that would allow students at private, not-for-profit colleges and universities to take advantage of state scholarships for students pursuing their Masters-in-Education degree. 


December 12, 2017


The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor of New York State

New York State Capitol Building

Executive Chamber

Albany, New York 12224



Dear Governor Cuomo:


We the undersigned presidents of independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities across New York State, write to urge you to sign into law the Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship program legislation (A.5910/S.2482) passed during the 2017 legislative session.

As college presidents, we understand the critical importance of educational opportunity. That is why we support this measure to increase access for students seeking to enroll in master’s education programs at New York’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. Because these students will go on to educate the next generation of New Yorkers, ensuring they have a solid foundation is vital to our state’s success.

The Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship program offers annual tuition awards for students seeking to enroll in master’s education degree programs at New York State public colleges and universities. Legislation (A.5910/S.2482) passed by the Senate and Assembly during the 2017 session would enable students who choose to pursue a master’s education degree at an independent college or university in New York to benefit from the program, too. Expanding access to this program to New Yorkers who choose to attend an independent college or university is a fair and critical step to continue New York’s tradition of excellence in teacher preparation.

Independent colleges and universities play a vital role in fostering the next generation of educators who will help New York maintain its tradition of educational excellence, conferring six in 10 of the master’s degrees in education awarded in New York State each year.

New York’s higher education ecosystem relies upon the strength of its broad network of private, not-for-profit colleges and universities; we encourage the state to recommit to its longstanding policy of treating all students equitably. State policies should encourage state residents to choose the higher education setting that best fits their educational and career goals. Further, the state should incentivize all high-achieving students, regardless of whether they attend public or private institutions of higher education, to pursue teaching as a profession.

Our colleges and universities are an incredibly important part of the state’s higher education ecosystem and form the economic base for many communities across the state.  We educate almost 500,000 students each year, contribute $80 billion annually to the economy and are responsible for 400,000 jobs.

New York needs a diverse, well-educated cadre of teachers to shepherd students toward success and ensure they become productive members of society. Enacting legislation to expand the Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship program (A.5910/S.2482) will help New York make important strides toward that goal. This legislation also promotes your commitment to college affordability, access, and completion. We strongly encourage you to sign this legislation into law.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Beth Labate, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities


Dr. Mark Zupan, Alfred University

Dr. Victor G. Alicea, Boricua College

Mr. John Hurley, Canisius College

Dr. Ronald Chesbrough, Cazenovia College

Dr. Anthony Collins, Clarkson University

Dr. Charles L. Flynn Jr., College of Mount Saint Vincent

Dr. Dorothy Escribano, The College of New Rochelle

Dr. Carolyn Stefanco, The College of Saint Rose

Dr. Lorrie Clemo, D’Youville College

Dr. Gary Olson, Daemen College

Sr. Mary Eileen O’Brien, Dominican College

Dr. James N. Baldwin, Excelsior College

Rev. Joseph McShane, Fordham University

Dr. Margaret Drugovich, Hartwick College

Mr. Stuart Rabinowitz, Hofstra University

Dr. Shirley Mullen, Houghton College

Dr. John Strauss, Iona College

Dr. Shirley Collado, Ithaca College

Dr. Linda LeMura, Le Moyne College

Dr. Kimberly Cline, Long Island University

Dr. Brennan O’Donnell, Manhattan College

Mr. David Yellen, Marist College

Dr. Kenneth Macur, Medaille College

Dr. Timothy L. Hall, Mercy College

Dr. Vinton Thompson, Metropolitan College of New York

Dr. Drew Bogner, Molloy College

Mr. Daan Braveman, Nazareth College

Mr. David Sprouls, New York School of Interior Design

Dr. Andrew Hamilton, New York University

Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University

Dr. Michael Scales, Nyack College

Dr. Marvin Krislov, Pace University

Dr. Kirk E. Pillow, Pratt Institute

Dr. Norman Atkins, Relay Graduate School of Education

Dr. Deana Porterfield, Roberts Wesleyan College

Dr. David Munson, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Chris Ames, The Sage Colleges

Br. Edward Coughlin, Siena College

Dr. Dennis DePerro, St. Bonaventure University

Dr. Gerard Rooney, St. John Fisher College

Dr. Conrado Gempesaw, St. John’s University

Dr. Donald Boomgaarden, St. Joseph’s College, New York

Dr. William Fox, St. Lawrence University

Dr. Margaret Fitzpatrick, St. Thomas Aquinas College

Dr. Kent Syverud, Syracuse University

Dr. Susan Fuhrman, Teachers College, Columbia University

Dr. Alan Kadish, Touro College

Dr. Bassam Deeb, Trocaire College

Dr. Stephen Ainlay, Union College

Dr. Laura Casamento, Utica College

Dr. Richard Guarasci, Wagner College

Dr. Ari Berman, Yeshiva University


cc:        Alphonso David, Counsel to the Governor

            Robert F. Mujica Jr., New York State Budget Director