I am delighted to welcome you to Temple University’s 2010-11 academic year. The energy and enthusiasm of Temple’s students is one of my favorite things about this wonderful university. Students are an incredibly important driving force behind Temple’s continued growth and increasing excellence.
You can have an especially powerful impact on Temple this year by joining the Temple Advocates Legislative Outreach Network, or TALON, for short. TALON grew out of a grassroots effort in 2009 led by Temple students who urged state legislators to approve Temple’s annual Commonwealth appropriation.
Approval of the state’s funding had been delayed for nearly six months, threatening the university with the possibility of deep mid-year program cuts and steep tuition hikes. Representatives and senators took notice when they received thousands of letters, e-mails and phone calls from students asking them to take action to approve the funding. TALON members continue to work with elected officials to strengthen Temple’s critical relationship with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
This summer, TALON members wrote to the Governor and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly thanking them for approving Temple’s appropriation in July, which will provide $172 million during the next year. These funds constitute nearly 20 percent of Temple’s budget and are essential to our continued efforts to keep tuition rates as low as possible.
We know, however, that securing these funds will be increasingly difficult as the state budget continues to be affected by the economy. TALON will play a crucial role in making sure that elected officials are aware of how important Temple is to the students, faculty and alumni who live in their districts and the role Temple plays in the future economic growth of Pennsylvania and the nation.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that within 10 years, there will be 30 million new jobs that will require at least a college education. Such jobs will represent 60 percent of all jobs in the economy by 2020. Without continued Commonwealth investment in institutions like Temple, there will be fewer college graduates to fill these jobs because the cost of university education will be out of reach for many Temple students.
I urge you to join TALON this year. Actively advocating for higher education and for Temple is one of the most important things you can do to protect your Temple education and your future job opportunities. You can learn more about TALON on the Government Relations website – https://www.temple.edu/government – or by writing to TALON@temple.edu. I look forward to working with you to ensure that Temple has the funding necessary to prepare you for a bright and promising career.
Ann Weaver Hart