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March 22, 2012

BPC: Continuing faculty salary report release delayed

In a University Senate budget policies committee (BPC) meeting that was cut short by Monday’s bomb threat in the Cathedral of Learning, a planned closed-meeting discussion of full-time continuing faculty salary increases from fiscal year 2011 to FY12 was delayed.

Pitt’s Management Information and Analysis office prepares the annual report for BPC, which typically discusses the contents in an open meeting.

In a departure from previous years’ practice, discussion on the report was to be conducted in a closed session at the administration’s request. BPC chair John J. Baker told committee members, “It is normally published in the University Times but we are not in a usual year and there is a great deal of concern that any kind of publicity regarding salary increases will be detrimental to the efforts to try to increase the state appropriation.”

Baker added, “I would assume that once we get a budget from the state, which probably won’t be until June, that this report might be released then, but for the present time it will be closed.”

An evacuation order at 10:35 a.m. due to a bomb threat cut the 10 a.m. meeting short. A 12:30 p.m. emergency notification system announcement declared the building safe to re-enter, but the BPC meeting was not reconvened.

Baker later told the University Times that BPC’s March meeting would not be rescheduled, adding that the faculty salary report would be on the committee’s April meeting agenda.

That meeting is set for 10 a.m. April 16 in 156 CL.


In other business, Pitt Chief Financial Officer Arthur J. Ramicone provided an overview of the proposed $40 million cut to Pitt’s general appropriation as a proportion of its education and general (E&G) budget.

While Gov. Tom Corbett described the cut as a 2 percent decrease in Pitt’s overall $2 billion budget, Ramicone noted the cut is a 5 percent reduction to the $781 million E&G portion of the University budget.

Ramicone said the $2 billion FY12 budget includes $801 million (41 percent) for research, dollars that if unspent are returned to the research sponsors.

The budget also includes $182 million (9 percent) for the School of Medicine, which Ramicone said receives funding mainly from UPMC rather than through tuition dollars or the state appropriation.

Auxiliaries make up $137 million (7 percent) of the budget, Ramicone said. Auxiliaries generate a surplus of about $15 million, he said. The surplus is used for dorm and cafeteria renovations — upgrades that benefit the students who pay room and board on campus.

Gifts and restricted funds make up $74 million (4 percent), leaving $781 million, or 39 percent, of the budget for E&G.

In the FY12 budget, E&G revenues of $780.77 million were made up of $491.58 million in net tuition; $136.33 million state appropriation (prior to the $6.8 million freeze Corbett announced in January), $30.44 million in investment income, $51.3 million in research indirect revenue and $71.13 million in other revenue.

Ramicone said he made a similar presentation to Board of Trustees members at their Feb. 24 meeting.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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