A few hours after Gov. Tom Corbett released his budget proposing the state cut funding for state-related universities in half, Senior Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs Ken Lawrence put things into perspective.
“The number that [Gov. Corbett] proposed restores appropriation to 1980 levels,” Lawrence said.
Though Lawrence said the university was prepared for a cut, he said 50 percent was “a drastic cut.”
The governor’s executive budget recommends Temple receive $82.487 million in appropriations for the 2011-2012 fiscal year and estimates money supply from the state will remain steady at that amount through 2016.
Last year, Temple received approximately $178.5 million in total state appropriation dollars.
Noting that this year’s budget process will be far different than last year’s, Lawrence said the governor’s budget proposal regarding higher education is clear.
“This would be the governor expressing that this is his policy, and it’s up to the legislatures to say during the [budget] process whether or not they agree,” Lawrence said.
Temple, Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University are not the only universities facing a large loss of state funding. Made up of 14 universities, the State System of Higher Education is set to lose more than $150 million in appropriations.
In a video address, President Ann Weaver Hart encouraged students to remain aware of issues affecting the state’s budget and to join Temple Advocates Legislative Outreach Network, also known as TALON.
“In the coming months, lawmakers must make difficult budget choices that will directly affect every student, faculty and staff member,” Hart said in the address. “That is why I am asking each and every one of you to take action and play a vital role in communicating with our elected officials about the importance of commonwealth support for Temple and higher education.”
For an expanded version of this article, pick up a March 15 copy of The Temple News after spring break.
Ashley Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.