The State University of New York made news earlier this summer when it was reported that a major donor had promised SUNY Stony Brook a $150 million donation — but only if the state legislature changed the system’s tuition policy.

The tuition policy revision, then a feature of the governor’s proposed state budget, would allow each SUNY campus to set its own tuition rate, with the money from any hikes staying on campus to be used as the local administration saw fit. The plan also contained provisions encouraging public-private partnerships on SUNY campuses.

State legislators were not able to come to agreement on the bill during the budgeting process, leaving it — and that $150 million donation — in limbo. But supporters have pledged to bring it back to the floor when the legislature reconvenes in September.

With privatization one of the biggest boogeymen of higher education activists these days, and tuition one of the most contentious issues on the campus, this proposal for a massive shift in policy at one of the nation’s largest university systems is sure to attract a lot of attention in the fall.

This post is the second in a series of twelve exploring the student activism stories that are likely to make news on the American campus in the 2010-11 academic year.