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Abstract

In 1962 Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of the State of New York, symbolically removed a shovelful of earth from the ground of what had been the Albany Country Club, to mark the beginning of construction of a new campus for the State University of New York at Albany (now the University at Albany). That institution, which was to be one of the four university centers of the State University of New York, formerly had been the New York State College for Teachers, with roots going back to 1844. Although its primary mission was to train teachers, the college had a long history of excellence in the liberal arts, and it provided an outstanding general education to thousands of New Yorkers, especially those who could not afford to attend the state’s costly private institutions. Like the rest of the State University of New York, the Albany campus grew and prospered under Governor Rockefeller. For the most part, though, his successors have shown less enthusiasm for the university he essentially created. Over the years, tuition has increased, albeit erratically, and the proportion of operating funds appropriated by the state legislature has declined. At the University at Albany, inadequate funding has resulted in a decline in the proportion of full-time, tenure-track faculty, an increase in part-time and non-tenure-track faculty, and an increase in the size of classes.

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