Following the passage of the NYSUNY 2020, Stony Brook University president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. called the legislation "an historic moment" for the school.
"For the first time in recent memory, Stony Brook will be able to plan for the future without projecting cuts and will be able to invest in the academic and research programs on campus," Stanley said in a statement.
He lauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Chancellor Nancy Zimpher for their support.
"Governor Cuomo’s far-reaching vision and leadership to move this initiative forward has been courageous and unparalleled ... Chancellor Zimpher’s dedication and advocacy has been integral to this process and she is also to be commended," Stanley said.
The bill will enable the university to raise tuition up to $300 per year for the next five years. It will keep revenue generated from those tuition raises at Stony Brook, rather than feeding back into the general state budget as has been done in previous years.
Each of the four SUNY research campuses will also receive a $20 million allotment for construction projects. University spokeswoman Lauren Sheprow described that development as critical for the university's future plans, especially since the school is still trying to cope with about $75 million in state budget cuts handed down earlier this year.
"The university is optimistic because with the passage of NYSUNY 2020, Stony Brook will be able to hire additional faculty, reduce class sizes, [and] improve on-time graduation," she said.
Assemb. Steve Englebright, D-Setauket, who supported the bill, said it's expected to stabilize the needs of the SUNY campuses while giving students a better idea of what to expect in terms of tuition increases.
"It isn't all that had been requested, but it's a good deal more predictable for the students than the uncertainties than they've experienced in the past by having a year-by-year question mark as to what tuition might become, whether it be a sudden spike in tuition or not," he said. "In this case there's predictability at a more moderate level."
Englebright said the bill passed without the opportunity for him to communicate with Stanley, which he described as unfortunate.
"I would have valued hearing the particular points of view of President Stanley and some of the deans and administrators at the campus," he said. "Things were just coming at us too fast and ... they came down with very limited flexibility in terms of time."