You want it, Albany? You know what you have to do. Otherwise Long Island gets its first tobacco farm.
In a rare interview, Mr. Simons seemed eager to talk about SUNY and acknowledged that he was considering a major gift [of potentially $150 million] to Stony Brook. He hoped to help raise even more for the campus in the future. “We’re not prepared at the moment to state any particular number, but it will be an attractive gift,” said Mr. Simons, who is also chairman emeritus of Stony Brook’s affiliated foundation. “Over time it could become an even more attractive gift.” But Mr. Simons and school officials said that in order to raise more private money, SUNY units first needed to win independence from the ebb and flow of Albany’s annual budget process, which in recent years ended with significant cuts in state aid to higher education. Mr. Paterson’s plan would allow each campus to raise tuition each year and use that additional revenue as school officials see fit, providing some stability to the schools’ general operating budgets from year to year.