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July 18, 1996

Board expected to approve Pitt's budget Friday; no word on raises

No one is saying whether Pitt staff and faculty will receive raises this year.

The University Planning and Budgeting Committee (UPBC) in its budget recommendation to the chancellor last month suggested a 4 percent pay increase.

Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance Art Ramicone told the University Times two weeks ago that the Board of Trustees' budget committee on June 14 was presented with a budget plan that contains a 3.5 percent salary increase.

The trustees' budget committee is to meet privately today at 2:30 p.m. and in a public session at 3:30 p.m.

When asked Wednesday, July 17, about specifics of the FY97 budget recommendation, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said: "It is hard for me to comment specifically until I've gone through that meeting with them [the budget committee]." Neither would Nordenberg comment on tuition increases. In its budget recommendation, though, the UPBC suggested a 4.5 percent tuition increase for FY97.

Ramicone could not be reached for comment on the details of the budget being submitted to the trustees.

While the chancellor declined to comment on specifics of the FY97 budget proposal, he did say that the additional $1.3 million in state appropriations the University will receive in FY97 is not really "extra money" because Pitt had requested an increase in its state appropriation of almost $8 million.

Gov. Tom Ridge had proposed no increase in Pitt's appropriation, so the $1.3 million is only an increase in what the governor proposed, not what the University sought, the chancellor pointed out.

"We are pleased to have received something beyond flat funding for the next fiscal year," Nordenberg continued. "But when you're talking about an increase to the state appropriation that is only 1 percent, it makes it extremely difficult to do what it is we would like to do in terms of controlling tuition increases, providing for salary increases and also funding the kind of initiatives that we know are critical if the institution is going to move forward." According to Nordenberg, it would be a mistake to consider the 1 percent increase a significant boost in terms of budget planning because Pitt had been hoping for an even larger state appropriation.

Following the trustees' budget committee meeting today, a proposed FY97 budget will be passed on to the trustees' executive committee, which is expected to vote on the budget tomorrow, July 19, at a public meeting scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Both committees will meet in 2P56 Forbes Quad.

–Mike Sajna

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