Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

February 6, 2014

Governor proposes flat funding for Pitt

Governor Tom Corbett proposed level funding for Pitt, its fellow state-related universities, State System of Higher Education schools and community colleges as part of his $29.4 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The governor’s annual budget proposal, presented Feb. 4 in Harrisburg, precedes appropriations committee hearings in the House and Senate. Representatives from Pitt and its fellow state-related universities are scheduled to go before the committees Feb. 13.

Legislators are facing a June 30 deadline to complete a state budget for FY15. Separate appropriations bills are passed for Pitt and the other state-related universities, typically after the state budget is approved.

Corbett’s proposal for the current fiscal year also included no increase for Pitt, but legislators nudged the appropriation upward from $144.34 million in FY13 to $147.8 million in the FY14 budget. Pitt’s current general appropriation stands at $136.3 million (up 0.2 percent from FY13) with academic medical funding at $11.5 million (up almost 40 percent from FY13).

In its appropriation request for the upcoming fiscal year, the University sought a 5 percent increase in state support. Pitt requested nearly $143.11 million in general support and $12.08 million in academic medical center funding for a total of $155.19 million, at which point Pitt would hold tuition increases to 3 percent and increase the compensation pool 2.5 percent. (See Oct. 10 University Times.)

Ken Service, Pitt’s vice chancellor for communications, commented: “We understand that this is yet another difficult budget year for Pennsylvania and appreciate the efforts that have been made to sustain current levels of state support. However, flat funding will continue to put Pitt at a significant disadvantage in building budgets that will enable it to deliver the high levels of quality that our students and their families have come to expect and that also are essential to the economic health of our home region.

“Deep cuts in state support in fiscal year 2012, followed by flat state funding for the past two fiscal years, have taken Pitt back to the levels of state support that were received in 1995, in nominal dollars unadjusted for inflation.  Of course, all of our costs have increased since then, and if the recommendation is adjusted for inflation, this is the lowest level of state support received by Pitt since it became a public university in the mid-1960s.”

Service had no comment on how flat funding might affect tuition in the upcoming academic year. Pitt’s Board of Trustees in July increased the salary pool 2.5 percent and raised tuition 2.9 percent overall. (See July 25 University Times.)

—Kimberly K. Barlow