Fred Floss ’79 works hard to ensure that low- and middle-income families in New York State are better off.
Floss is the executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, an independent, non-partisan “think tank” of researchers tasked with improving the well-being of New Yorkers by analyzing the state budget and tax policy.
Floss has served as director of the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Board since 2009 and was recently reappointed director by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Additionally, Floss is the co-director of Buffalo State’s Center for Economic Education.
He grew up outside of Buffalo, N.Y., and studied English at SUNY Oswego before earning a Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo. He has been a professor in economics and finance at Buffalo State College since 1983.
“I love to teach,” Floss says. “I had a great time working with my professors as a student. It’s really rewarding watching students figure things out for themselves, when they say ‘Oh, I get this now.’”
More than 20 years after he graduated, Floss reconnected with one of his former professors, Bill Scheuerman, professor emeritus of political science, while serving as vice president of academics of United University Professions, the union that represents faculty and professional staff throughout SUNY. Scheuerman served as president of UUP at the time, and together, they worked to negotiate a new contract for UUP.
Tax and policy analysis, writing proposals and negotiating contracts can take months or even years, but Floss says he is often reminded about the positive impact he has on his community.
“After we negotiated the last contract with UUP, an adjunct professor approached me crying,” Floss says. “She hugged me and told me her young child would have died if we had not negotiated for her insurance. That moment alone made all of our hard work worth it.”
—Tyler Edic ’13