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June 14, 2001

House, Senate okay Pitt appropriation

A University spokesperson said Pitt will find it "difficult, if not impossible" to hold tuition increases next fall to the proposed 5 percent, under the fiscal year 2001-2002 state appropriation that the General Assembly has approved for Pitt.

In voting Tuesday, the state House and Senate passed a $178.5 million appropriation for Pitt next year. That is $5.1 million more than had been proposed by Gov. Tom Ridge (who is expected to give final approval to the appropriation, but had not yet done so as the University Times went to press).

But the $178.5 million appropriation is only 0.6 percent more than the current year's appropriation, and almost $9 million less than Pitt had requested.

Last year's general inflation rate was 3.4 percent "and costs born by colleges and universities rose at an even higher rate," said Ken Service, Pitt director of News and Information.

"It also must be noted that much of the restored funding was for designated line items and that the increase to the University's base appropriation was only 1.2 percent," Service said. "This will make it difficult, if not impossible, to hold our tuition increases to the levels that had been proposed."

In its FY 2001-2002 budget submission to the state, Pitt said it would hold tuition hikes to no more than 5 percent if the University received the full $188 million it was requesting.

Pitt's budget request also assumed a 5 percent increase in the pool of money for staff and faculty salary increases. Service said "it's too soon to ascertain the impact" on salaries of the appropriation approved this week.

The appropriation includes:

* $151,560,000 for educational and general expenses.

* $500,000 for student life initiatives.

* $6,903,000 for the medical school.

* $1,140,000 for the dental school.

* $355,000 for recruitment and retention of disadvantaged students.

* $8,513,000 for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

* $549,000 for Western Psych's teen suicide center.

* $277,000 for the Graduate School of Public Health.

* $1,013,000 for rural education outreach.

* $2,500,000 for laboratories and equipment.

* $2,650,000 for special program initiatives.

* $2,500,000 for information technology.

–Bruce Steele

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