From the Morning Memo:

Advocates for the City University of New York this week sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the top legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly urging a contract for CUNY workers as well as the passage of a maintenance of effort bill to fix infrastructure problems at public college system’s campuses.

The letter comes as First Lady Michelle Obama is due to speak near the City College campus this morning, with leaders at CUNY Rising hoping her appearance draws some attention to concerns raised in recent weeks over the venerable public university system in New York City.

“If CUNY is to remain a leading urban public university in the United States, it must have the resources necessary to provide an affordable quality education to poor and working class students, especially students of color,” the letter dated Tuesday states. “Affordability without the investment necessary to sustain and improve quality is a systematic short-changing of students who come from the poorest communities in NYC.”

The letter also comes after a New York Times story on Sunday detailed the financial troubles at CUNY as well as the need to upgrade buildings and other capital project issues at campuses.

The labor union that represents CUNY faculty and staff, the Profession Staff Congress, has threatened to strike at the start of the next academic year if they do not receive a new contract.

“CUNY is at a tipping point,” CUNY Rising wrote in the letter. “The failure to reverse long-term disinvestment in CUNY will profoundly impact current and future generations of CUNY students.”

CUNY Rising May 31 by Nick Reisman