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Governor proposes flat funding for state and state-related universities

The university would receive $139.9 million from the state under the governor’s proposal.

Flanked by a stage full of legislators and university officials from Pennsylvania’s 14 state and four state-related universities, Gov. Tom Corbett announced Friday that he will propose to keep state appropriations for all state and state-related universities level for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. This proposal will come as part of his overall budget address on Tuesday.

“In my budget, I will propose that we maintain full funding levels for state and state-related universities,” Corbett said. “This is an investment of $1.58 billion that’s going to help Pennsylvania students achieve their dreams of higher education. At the same time, the leaders of these universities have made a commitment to me, Sen. [Jake] Corman and Rep. [Kerry] Benninghoff, that they will keep tuition as low as they possibly can.”

If Temple’s funding next year were to be kept level with its current appropriation, it would receive $139.9 million, which the university has received in the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. President Neil Theobald praised the partnership between the state and its universities when he took the podium during Friday’s press conference with the governor.

“Today’s announcement of an affordability partnership between the commonwealth and its universities is welcomed news for students and their families who are struggling to balance the burden of student loan debt with the need to earn the college degree that is so essential for better career opportunities in the 21st century,” Theobald said.

Theobald added that Temple is continuing efforts to curb student debt and promote graduating on time.

“We are focused on ensuring that our students are maximizing their return on both their tuition investment and their college experience,” Theobald said. “To create opportunities without roadblocks, we are redoubling our efforts to limit student debt levels.”

Temple had requested a 3 percent increase in state appropriations for 2013-2014, said Senior Associate Vice President of Finance and Human Resources Ken Kaiser.

Last year, Corbett requested a 30 percent cut to Temple’s appropriation for the 2012-2013 budget, but the state ultimately kept the university’s funding level on par with what it received in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

In his first budget proposal as governor, Corbett proposed to cut Temple’s appropriation in half for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Eventually, the cut was altered to a 19 percent appropriation reduction, bringing its state funding from $172.7 million in 2010-2011, to $139.9 million, which it stands at today.

Pick up The Temple News on Tuesday for more on Temple’s proposed state appropriation.

Sean Carlin can be reached at sean.carlin@temple.edu or on Twitter @SeanCarlin84. 

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