Budget bruises

Students and employees alike must weather budget woes together.

The university took a hit in the wallet over the summer, courtesy Gov. Tom Corbett, as he reduced the state’s subsidies to state-related universities. Temple saw its subsidy drop from $172.7 million to $139.9 million this year. While the 19 percent drop does seem like a lot, it is commendable that university administration and the students who held rallies, travelled to Harrisburg and wrote their congressman were able to talk Corbett down from cutting Temple’s state funding by 50 percent.

Anytime the university takes a hit financially, students will be feeling the hurt as well in the form of tuition increases. Base tuition increased by $1,172 and $1,170 for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively.  To try to offset that, the university increased its financial aid by $6.8 million, bringing its total to $81.8 million. Certain departments within the university have also been affected as the cuts have led to a salary freeze for non-union employees, a hiring freeze, possible administrative consolidations in addition to cuts in funding.

Take, for example, the athletic department, which was impacted by the cuts despite not being funded with state money. Its subsidy from the university was cut from $9.6 million to $8.4 million and six administrators have taken on additional responsibilities in the wake of an associate athletic director vacancy that looks to be left unfilled for the time being.

When it comes to budget cuts, everyone is in this together. For students, a tuition increase could very well mean the difference between having some disposable income heading into the year or having to take on a job or two. Some university employees enter this year uncertain if their jobs will be cut or consolidated. This is certainly going to be a year of tough decisions for the university and the worst part about it is, it’s all but certain we will have to go through this all over again next year.

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