CUNY Enrollment Drops, Executives’ Salaries Rise

The CUNY Logo. | Photo from

By Niko Balkaran

Enrollment across the City University of New York is down but many executive salaries went way up this semester after the Board of Trustees approved several sizable pay hikes for administrators at their October meeting. 

Hector Batista, CUNY’s executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer, is now making $420,000 and Derek Davis, the senior vice and general counsel’s salary is now $390,000. 

Both received a $90,000 pay raise.

The story was first reported by the New York Post’s Melissa Klein on Nov. 12. 

Vice-chancellors Doriane Gloria and Maria Junco Galletti also got a 15 percent increase. 

CUNY enrollment is down 28,000 students from 2020. Closer to home, York has had a decline in enrollment by over 2,300 students from 2018 to now. 

Earlier this year, Gov. Hochul approved a $1.2 billion budget for CUNY. According to Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodriguez Rodríguez, the money would “enable the University to make major strides for our students.” These strides include allowing part-time students to apply for TAP and hiring more full-time faculty. It also included “capital funds for needed improvements and critical maintenance of facilities” on campuses. 

Despite this, CUNY campuses have been plagued by various issues amidst the university’s push to return to campuses. 

Hostos and York remain without a cafeteria, Baruch’s cafe was closed and Bronx Community College canceled classes after a month without heat on the campus. 

Students at Hunter were trapped in an elevator earlier this semester and students there also held a sit-in to protest discriminatory dance teachers. 

York College’s track and field is radioactive. The college’s soccer teams are without a home field. They have to travel to a public park 15 minutes away from the college to practice during club hours while leaving enough time to return for classes at 2 p.m. Their home games are played in Brooklyn.

“We are in a challenging job market and CUNY recognizes that it must remain competitive in order to recruit and retain talented leaders, particularly as we work to boost pandemic-related enrollment drops and get New Yorkers the help they need to return to college,” a CUNY spokesman told the New York Post.

The salary increases are routinely listed in the CUNY Board of Trustees monthly packages, but only list the new salary and not the old one.

At the same meeting, the board approved the hiring of a new vice president for communications at York College, Kathryn Cousins, at an annual salary of $213,000.

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