Motivated by an ongoing commitment to performance improvement, CUNY seized upon the proposal in Governor Cuomo’s 2015 “Opportunity Agenda” and a provision in the New York State FY 2016 budget appropriations bill to develop a Strategic Investment Initiative to advance priorities shared by the university and the State of New York.

Through targeted investment in projects proposed by CUNY’s 24 colleges and professional schools, the initiative is intended to expand access to higher education, enhance academic and post-graduate success, increase degree completion, support research and community engagement, and expand online and experiential learning opportunities. New York’s 2016 Executive State Budget allocated $12 million to fund performance improvement projects at CUNY’s senior colleges. CUNY supplemented this amount with $8 million and extended the initiative to include its 7 community colleges.


In Fall 2015, CUNY colleges and professional schools were invited to submit proposals for innovative and scalable, evidence-based initiatives that advance one or more university and state priorities. The university awarded funding to 41 out of 65 submitted proposals with each of its 24 colleges receiving funds for at least one project.

Funded projects are now in the implementation phase, with hiring, procurement, training, and infrastructure-building expected to continue through the academic year. Colleges will report on implementation progress in May.

Information about how the FY 2017 state appropriation of $12 million for the senior colleges will be allocated will be available later this spring.