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Statement from Hudson Valley Community College in response to Rensselaer County Democratic Minority’s Naming Rights Proposal

CONTACT: Janine Kava (518) 629-8071 or (518) 248-4555 – cell
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006

The college is appreciative of Rensselaer County for its support through the years, and is well aware of the county’s fiscal concerns and constraints. The recognition of that fact is the primary reason why the county’s sponsor contribution has remained at $3,138,900 for seven years, although the college’s budget has increased each year due to enrollment growth. The college has been very prudent in its annual budget request to the county, and in its setting of tuition rates

The college is concerned that some county officials appear to be considering a reduction in county appropriation to the institution. The college’s budget is a result of a complex funding formula requiring a maintenance of effort by Rensselaer County. As such, any decrease in the current contribution by the county would adversely affect the college’s other revenue streams.

The college worked with a consultant in 2001 to investigate the possibility of selling naming rights to the stadium, but did not get a strong response. The three legislators quoted in the news release were not in office at that time, and may not be aware of the history of this process.

The college named the stadium after Senator Bruno in recognition of his strong support for Hudson Valley Community College and his commitment to higher education. Because of Senator Bruno’s advocacy of the college, and higher education, the college has been able to do much more for its students and the community than it would have been otherwise.

It is important to note that the college recognizes that it can no longer simply rely on public funds, particularly considering the fiscal plight of all the counties it serves. As a result, the college has become much more aggressive in seeking alternative sources of support in order to fund the gap created by counties’ inability to meet their one-third share of the college’s budget.

Any naming rights or philanthropic support of the college would go directly to the college; any additional revenue from private sources such as naming rights would be used to reinvest in the college’s programs and services. In addition, the college’s Board of Trustees would have to approve any such naming rights or agreement.

In part, to that end, the college has a policy on the naming of facilities, programs and support funds. There are many unnamed spaces on campus, and the college has been naming spaces for individuals and corporations who have philanthropically supported the college. In 2005-06, the college enjoyed philanthropic support of $1.4 million.

It also is important to note that 3,700 Rensselaer County residents are matriculated as students at Hudson Valley Community College, and 53.5 percent of the college’s 1,083 employees are Rensselaer County residents. In addition, according to a 2005 study conducted by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, the college also has a $360 million annual economic impact on Rensselaer County.

The stadium costs $169,000 to maintain annually, but those costs are partially offset by revenue from the minor league baseball team and facility rentals, which totaled approximately $151,400 in the 2005-06 academic year.