Temple students are, as a statistical group, not wealthy. Many find it difficult to scrape together the money to pay for tuition, and any extra help they are given financially is appreciated.
Harrisburg is treating Temple students as if they are wealthier than they really are.
In an exclusive sit-down interview with The Temple News, the university’s Chief Financial Officer Anthony Wagner said it is almost as if Temple and the other state-related schools have “bull’s-eyes” on their backs. State-related schools are receiving less and less financial aid. Wagner said the schools are almost being considered like private universities in terms of financial support.
Temple’s budget issues are forcing the university to make cutbacks. Wagner said there will be layoffs, but Temple is trying to preserve the student experience as much as possible. Tenure and tenure-track professors will not be laid off, but Wagner said adjuncts who teach at most one class a semester or year may be let go.
While it is important to protect the jobs of tenure and tenure-track professors, the importance of adjuncts who teach fewer classes than their tenured peers should not be ignored.
Many adjuncts are working in the field in which they teach and can provide invaluable advice and experience to students. They can also be an important bridge between students and their prospective fields.
Laying off adjuncts will be detrimental to the educations and futures of students.
Appropriations from the state to Temple have been on a downward spiral the past few years as the state tightens its budget. Wagner said the amount of money given to Temple by the state this past year is less than what it received in 2001, when inflation is considered.
This has forced Temple to rely more heavily on revenue from tuition. Even though Temple needs as many tuition dollars as it can get, Wagner said the administration wants tuition increases as small as possible.
He said times are difficult for everyone, including students, and a large tuition increase is not in anyone’s best interest.
Even though Temple is not a state-system school, Harrisburg shouldn’t forget that it is state-related. It still has a duty to give Temple funding to help the university carry out its mission of providing an education at a reasonable price. The state needs to figure out a way to pay adequate attention to the state system and state-related schools.