Temple faced the Pennsylvania State Appropriations Committee in Harrisburg on Feb. 26 and 27 to fight expected cuts in aid and to plead their case for an increase in funding.
President David Adamany spoke on behalf of Temple University in an attempt to not only avoid the 5 percent budget cut already instituted, but to increase funding.
The budget being debated is for the fiscal year of July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2003. Adamany requested a $1.94 million dollar budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This translates into an approximate 7.5 percent increase from last year’s budget.
According to Chip Marshall III, chairperson and representative for Temple, Gov. Mark Schweiker’s budget proposal translated to a 5 percent cutback from last year.
For the current academic year, Temple University was promised to receive $183 million in state aid. Due to the current financial situation and the national economic recession, Schweiker had decided to freeze 3 percent of the amount, or $5.5 million. However, the budget proposal for next year goes further and anticipates a 5 percent cutback.
Although an increase in tuition is expected every year, the difference is calculated according to the cost of living changes. Temple will have to increase tuition in order to coincide with the financial situation the nation is currently under, but the increase may be more dramatic due to the budget cut.
However, each university has an opportunity to fight the governor’s proposal before the state legislature. Temple went before the Senate on Feb. 26 and before the House on Feb. 27. The results are expected to be released sometime during May or June, while the deadline for release is July 1.
“Temple presents a good case for returned money for the commonwealth. We have the lowest tuition rates in comparison to University of Pittsburgh and Penn State,” Marshall said.
Temple, as well as other Philadelphia colleges, bring in significant economic investment gains each year. In addition, Temple is increasing student enrollment, as well as working toward improving the quality of education provided. They also plan to increase the faculty and reduce the faculty-student ratio. The tuition cutback could halt or severely impede these programs.
In a united front, the leaders of Pennsylvania’s four big state institutions came before the Senate together. These institutions, Temple, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Lincoln University, will all be facing severe cutbacks in an attempt to overcome a shortfall of $600 million in the state’s budget.
“I am hopeful that Temple will receive what we are asking for,” Marshall said.