Temple University administrators and students spoke before Pennsylvania’s House and Senate Appropriations Committees last month in an attempt to increase state funding for the school.
The other state related schools, Lincoln, University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University were also in attendance.
Joseph W. “Chip” Marshall III, counselor to the President, who attended the hearings, described them as a media circus following the threatened cut to appropriations for Penn State after the Sex Fair incident earlier this year.
President David Adamany, along with Marshall, who chairs at the Health System, and TSG President Bunmi Samuel, among others, proposed an overall 5.8 percent increase in state funding for the school.
That would mean $189 million, solely to cover operating costs, up from around $179 million last year.
The hearings were mostly question and answer style, with Adamany giving a brief statement in the beginning. The purpose was for Temple to prove it needed the additional funding. Governor Ridge has recommended a smaller 3 percent increase in funding.
Adamany recently told the Temple Times that a 3 percent increase would mean “a substantial tuition increase…or a significant budget decrease.”
Temple’s arguments for the larger increase include the money they generate in the Philadelphia area and for the state through taxes, employment and students who are consumers.
Marshall said there shouldn’t be much of a problem getting the funding that they were looking for because the state is still expected to take in some surplus this year, but what lies ahead is uncertain.
Gene DiGirolamo (R), majority secretary for the House Appropriations committee said that the surplus this year would be less than previous years, but he remained positive.
“My hope is that each of the state related universities get a sizeable increase from last year,” he said.
The group of Temple representatives met with the committees on Feb. 27 and had the luck to go after Penn State. Marshall said that the committee had kept Penn State for nearly four hours to discuss past and future issues, which held up Temple.
DiGirolamo said that cutting funding was never a possibility because of the increases it passes on to students, but there was additional scrutiny this year with Penn State’s hearing.
“[We] have to make sure money is spent in an appropriate way,” DiGirolamo said.
But such in depth questioning never came into the forum for Temple. Marshall described the questioning as very standard, though a bit drawn out because of some issues raised by the Penn State fiasco.
Money from the state is used for two purposes: education and general expense and program initiatives. Money for these also comes from tuition, which means that better funding from the state can keep tuition prices from rising significantly.
That money can be paid to the University in two ways. It can come with stipulations and directives for specific uses or it can be a blanket fund, which means its uses are for whatever the university decides.
Temple’s plans for the initiative money includes continuing to upgrade the technology on campus and funding for the planned establishment of the Behavioral Health Care Patient Research Institute.
The actual amounts the state grants to each school won’t be known for some time. Pennsylvania’s budget deadline is June 30, as is Temple’s.
Until that time, the state’s legislature will continue to debate and work out the budget. Then the governor must sign the budget.