Trustees to ask for more state funds

BOT to vote on appropriation request at October meeting.

The Board of Trustees is expected to approve a budget request for more state funding that it will send to the Pennsylvania State General Assembly after the board meets in October, university officials said.

Ray Betzner, assistant vice president for University Communications, said the board will also set their agenda for the coming year at the Oct. 8 meeting.

In a process similar to one announced by Penn State last week, Temple’s Board of Trustees will request an increase in state funding from the commonwealth. Penn State requested a 5.1 percent increase. Betzner said Temple’s request would likely be for a smaller rate.

The Commonwealth decided it had little room to give in the 2013-14 fiscal year budget passed by Gov. Tom Corbett, which kept Temple’s appropriation money stagnant this year.

Betzner said President Neil Theobald will attend the board’s General Assembly meeting to personally make the case for more funding when the board begins to consider the commonwealth’s appropriation in February. President Theobald made the same request last year before the state ultimately decided not to increase Temple’s funding.

As the date of the first General Assembly meeting of the semester drew closer, the Board of Trustees prepared plans and proposals last week, which they will vote for on Oct. 8.

The investment committee met on Wednesday, and held most of the meeting in a private session as they discussed the university’s investing strategies.

Prior to the closure of their meeting to a public audience, committee chairman Christopher McNichol led a unanimous vote to end Temple’s relationship with the Hoisington Investment Management company, which managed the university’s retirement funds. According to a report by Interim Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Ken Kaiser, the company was expected to lose money due to and rise in interest rates.

The Board of Trustees will decide on the status of some of students’ key financial obligations later on in the year.

Student housing rates are typically set in February, while official tuition rates often have to be decided upon at the board’s summer meeting, after appropriation from the commonwealth is set.

The board’s October General Assembly will also convene to announce and welcome several newly appointed trustees.

Janet Carruth, assistant secretary of the Board of Trustees, said the board plans to approve three new trustees, who have not yet been named. They will also re-appoint and re-elect several current trustees who are up for election.

Betzner said the new trustees have been appointed by the state, and will be announced after their election at the public meeting.

Joe Gilbride can be reached at 

CORRECTION: A version of the article that appeared in print on Oct. 1 misstated comments made by Assistant Vice President of University Communications Ray Betzner. Betzner compared the board’s request for more state funding with a request made by Penn State last week, saying the processes were similar, not the rate. Betnzer clarified that Temple’s rate request would be lower than Penn State’s.

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