Temple’s 47-plus year relationship with the commonwealth is a precarious one.
Since becoming a state-related university in 1965, Temple has been supplied with tax dollars in the name of providing affordable tuition to Pennsylvania residents. But each spring, Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget address indicates just how much he thinks Pennsylvania can provide the school for the next fiscal year.
An early press conference last week by the governor revealed he would propose level funding for Temple and its fellow state-related universities. Generally, this means avoiding tuition spikes and tough budget trimming.
It goes without saying that Corbett’s early announcement was welcomed news to the university; President Neil Theobald, along with leaders from other universities, was present in Harrisburg, Pa., to praise the proposal.
However, in the months ahead, state legislators will rework the governor’s preliminary budget before submitting a final proposal. In the past, Temple fared well during this process – proposed cuts were actually decreased before the budget was finalized, in both 2011 and 2012.
Even so, it’s imperative that the Temple community keeps in mind the bigger picture: In the university’s early years of being a state-related institution, state appropriation dollars made up more than half of Temple’s revenues. But, throughout the years, rising tuition has largely filled in the gaps left by sharp decreases in appropriations.
Temple Student Government officials say they will make Temple – and its positive impacts for the state – known to the check-signers in Harrisburg. That’s important work. Temple administrators can only do so much lobbying, and numbers mean more than anything else.
But it’s equally as crucial that TSG continue to educate students of all political activity levels of the basics. The budget address being held today, Feb. 5, will demonstrate intent by the governor’s office to keep its relationship with Temple strong. Students need to show they’re committed.