On Monday, Feb. 28, Temple Student Government held its second State of the Campus address of the semester. At the address, President Ann Weaver Hart explained some of the projects in the 20/20 plan and discussed the university’s budgeting process.
Hart said the 20/20 plan was designed to support the university’s academic and research mission and improve its competitive profile while remaining committed to sustainability. Respecting the surrounding community and remaining fiscally responsible is essential, Hart said.
The three ways the university finances capital projects, Hart said, are through commonwealth appropriations, borrowing and private philanthropy or raising money. Hart reminded students that the 20/20 projects are not funded with students’ tuition.
Hart then summarized several of the projects featured in the 20/20 plan, including renovations of Pearson and McGonigle halls, the architecture building, a residential dining and retail complex, a science education and research building and a central quad in place of Barton Hall.
In order to become a more sustainable campus, Hart said, Pearson and McGongile halls will have windmills, and the architecture building will have the first green roof on Main Campus.
Hart said the university will employ the 20/20 plan without moving “horizontally” out into the neighborhood due to requests from residents in the surrounding community, as well as students who want to see more on-campus housing.
Hart also went over the budgeting process and challenges the university will face. She explained that the capital funding, used for buildings, is a separate account from the general fund, which is the operating budget.
“We know we’re going to have a budget cut,” Hart said, “and we want to make sure that we focus as much of our energy as possible into things that directly affect students.”
The budget composition, Hart said, consists of the auxiliary enterprise, which creates revenue, and the education and general budget, which consists of tuition and fees, federal stimulus money, commonwealth appropriations and indirect cost recovery.
Hart said that in 2009, the university cut the operating budget by $40 million in preparation for predicted budget cuts.
“Our focus is on keeping our faculty searches going,” Hart said, “so we have the faculty here that provides the education that you came to Temple to get and that we preserve student-related services to help you be successful.”
Hart then went over the commonwealth’s non-preferred appropriation and the expected dates that the state budget will be proposed and voted on. Hart urged students to use TALON to contact their state representatives and ask for continued state funding.
Afterward, Hart answered five students’ questions regarding potential tuition increases, sustainability, the cost of text-books, housing costs and adjunct professors.
“I want you to know how committed we are to trying to keep a Temple education affordable,” Hart said. “At the same time, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is right at the bottom of the 50 states in the proportion of funding that comes to its public universities and colleges.”
Cary Carr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.