Philanthropist promises $150 million donation if bill is passed
July 13, 2010
A bill in New York that would allow the State Universities of New York to determine their own tuition rates has added a new item to debate, the New York Times reports.
James Simons, a hedge fund manager worth $8 billion, recently pledged $150 million to SUNY Stony Brook's nonprofit fundraising department if the bill is passed.
Mr. Simons' hope for the proposed gift - the largest ever made to any New York State University component - is that it would stimulate the effort to transform Stony Brook into a world class research institute on par with large private universities, the paper writes.
However, some do no agree with Mr. Simon's mode of swaying the legislature. "We're not supposed to be considering legislation on the basis of what could be viewed as some quid pro quo," Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, a Democrat who opposes the plan, told the Times.
Also under consideration by the legislature is a proposal that would significantly reduce the amount Simons could deduct for his gift. As an effort to raise revenue, the proposed budget would allow high earners to deduct only 25 percent of their charitable contributions rather than the current 50 percent, the Chronicle of Philanthropy writes.