Higher education officials in New York on Thursday gave approval to $113 million in spending to strengthen enrollment at the state's public colleges and universities as well as hire more faculty. 

The money approved by the State University of New York Board of Trustees comes as the higher education system has contended with the challenges of the ongoing COVID pandemic. 

"SUNY has provided life-changing educational opportunities for countless of students and we must continue to provide the resources needed for the next generation of students seeking a world-class education," Hochul said. "With today's approval by the SUNY Board of Trustees, we have delivered on the commitment made in the budget to revitalize the SUNY system, hire additional faculty, increase diversity among the student body, and expand the reach of our campuses to attract and retain students."     

The money includes $60 million to be distributed to SUNY campuses for enrollment, academic programs and services for students.

An additional $53 million will be used for hiring new full-time faculty. More than 30 campuses were selected for the funding to be used for salary and benefit costs. 

"As SUNY rises to the governor's challenge to innovate higher education to reach all learners and support their success, we are thankful for the direct funding to help our campuses exceed in this noble work," said Interim SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley. "Having a college education matters, even more so today as industries evolve, and earning a degree or credential from SUNY's highly-ranked colleges and universities sets students on a course for greater achievements. Our students' success drives us to do more, and on behalf of our campus leaders and the excellent faculty and staff that support and inspire our students, we are excited for this opportunity."