Demonstrators gathered in Manhattan on Thursday to call for the state to increase funding for the City University of New York (CUNY) system in the next state budget.
CUNY faculty and students rallied outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Midtown office.
Cuomo's Executive Budget proposal has called for moving $500 million in state funding to the city.
The governor's office insisted that CUNY will get its full $1.6 billion in state funding this year.
But protesters said they want the state to increase funding to prevent tuition hikes and cover new faculty contracts.
"We've been out here without a contract. We've been teaching for the last six or seven years, so I haven't seen a raise," said Martin Lucas, a Hunter College professor. "And we've seen our students — their tuition is going up every semester."
Cuomo's office issued a statement urging CUNY and the faculty union to resolve their contract issues.
It also called on the union and its advocates to "support the governor's fight to direct more funding to students instead of administrative costs."
The final state budget is due next Friday.