With the economy in a tailspin, Temple is being forced to shave some needed dollars from its fiscal year 2009-2010 budget. With a cut of $40 million, budgets will decrease in some areas of the university, but officials are reluctant to say where exactly.
Temple is not the only one with money problems. The credit crisis is putting a strain on students’ abilities to get loans to pay for their education. A tuition increase to help close the gap in Temple’s budget is the last thing struggling students need.
As The Temple News reports this week, the university’s Chief Financial Officer Anthony Wagner said the main goal is to keep Temple affordable for its students.
“The trustees and senior administration are aware that our students and families are very affected by this economic downturn, and we want to keep tuition manageable,” he said.
In President Ann Weaver Hart’s letter to the Temple community, she writes there must be sensitivity to students’ budgets and debt loads but doesn’t specify how much sensitivity.
The letter also states lofty goals that will be hard to reach without overflowing funds.
“Its research enterprise must grow as a critical source of innovation and knowledge creation. The university must also serve the local community, the city, the state and indeed the global society by providing intellectual and moral leadership.”
Budget woes aren’t restricted to Temple alone. Listed on a new Web page Temple has created on its news communications site are how other universities are dealing with the crunch.
Kentucky universities are addressing their budget issues by cutting back on scholarships and student services. Kentucky schools are also looking at enrollment caps at some of their campuses.
While cutting back on aid is a short-term fix in Kentucky, the idea should be a no-go at Temple. This university has prided itself on being accessible to all students, and a robust financial aid department is necessary on making good on that promise.
Students would rather see less pomp and circumstance over the 125th anniversary than not be able to pay tuition. While it is important to celebrate the occasion, Temple needs to stay true to its foundation in its next 125 years.
Affordability needs to remain at the forefront above all else.