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July 6, 1999

Budget has 4% hike in compensation pool

Budget has 4% hike in compensation pool

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $916.3 million operating budget and a $166.7 million capital budget on July 25 for fiscal year 1999-2000.

The operating budget includes a 4 percent increase in the pool of money for faculty and staff salaries.

In a June 30 Campus Update, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg announced his decision to distribute the salary pool increase as follows: 1.5 percent for maintenance of salary for employees whose performance has been satisfactory; 2 percent for merit, market and equity raises, and 0.5 percent to address unit-level market and equity disparities.

At the July 6 Faculty Assembly meeting, economics professor Herbert Chesler noted that the 1.5 percent cost of living raise was 0.1 percent lower than this year's inflation rate. Chesler also pointed out that the University Senate's budget policies committee had recommended a 1.6 percent raise for maintenance of salary.

Another Assembly member, psychology professor James Holland, suggested that Pitt administrators were trying to show that "they are not overly influenced by faculty while being influenced by faculty."

Holland added, "I find it amusing, suitable for Alice in Wonderland, perhaps."

The University Planning and Budgeting Committee — a provost-chaired, advisory group that includes administrators, faculty, staff and students — had recommended a 1.5 percent salary maintenance raise. But that was based on an anticipated salary pool increase of 3.5 percent rather than the actual 4 percent.

Raises will show up in employees' end-of-September paychecks, retroactive to July 1, the beginning of Pitt's fiscal year.

The University's FY 2000 operating budget also calls for a 4 percent tuition increase for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Tuition for full-time undergraduate Pennsylvania students in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) next year will be $6,118 for two terms. Tuition for out-of-state students will be $13,434 for two terms.

Trustees also voted to raise the Pittsburgh campus student activity fee, starting this fall, to $60 per semester for full-time students (up from $40) and $18 for part-time students (up from $12). Students enrolled in the summer will pay $3 for each term, session or period during which they take classes, not to exceed $9. Summer students formerly had been charged a $6 flat fee.

The Student Government Board requested the hikes. The fees were last increased in 1994.

Trustees also voted to increase the student health fee for full-time students at the Bradford campus from $15 to $17 per term, effective this fall. The fee was last increased four years ago.

In other business at their June 25 meeting, trustees:

* Approved a resolution officially naming Pitt's planned athletics and recreation complex the John M. and Gertrude E. Petersen Events Center. The Petersens have contributed $10 million toward construction of the combined basketball/special events arena and student recreation center, planned for the Pitt Stadium site.

* Elected four new trustees to the board:

— Christopher M. Condron, president and chief operating officer of Mellon Bank Corp. and chairman and CEO of The Dreyfuss Corp.;

–Jack H. Millstein, managing director of Millstein Industries and director of the Millstein Charitable Foundation;

–Richard W. Roeder, senior partner in the law firm of Roeder & Rothschild and co-trustee of the John Nesbit Rees and Sarah Henne Rees Charitable Foundation; and

–George H. Taber, chairperson of the UPMC Health System Board of Directors and retired director and trustee emeritus of the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

— Bruce Steele

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