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July 10, 1997

FY98 budget includes 3 percent increase in compensation pool

Pitt trustees adopted a University operating budget of $855.1 million for the fiscal year that began July 1.

The budget includes a fall tuition increase of 4.5 percent for in-state students and 5.5 percent for out-of-state students. The exception is undergraduate tuition in the engineering school, which will remain frozen to bring Pitt's rates into line with undergraduate tuition at competing engineering schools.

This fall's increases will bring the tuition for most Pitt full-time, in-state undergraduates to $5,658 per year. Tuition for most out-of-state students will be $12,422 per year.

The budget also includes a salary increase pool of 3 percent, combined with a 1 percent cut in the compensation base. The base will be reduced through employee attrition and "targeted reductions" in the work force, Pitt officials said.

Faculty and staff raises will show up in Sept. 30 paychecks, retroactive to July 1.

The 1997-98 budget represents an increase of $21 million, or 2.5 percent, over last year's.

Chancellor Mark Norden-berg said Pitt expects its tuition increases will be "competitive with and in some cases markedly lower than" increases at other universities. "We have attempted to keep the tuition increases to the lowest level possible, but increases of this magnitude are required because of levels of Commonwealth support that continue to lag behind what is typical in other states," he said.

Pitt's budget includes a $153.2 million state appropriation. Not counting funding for one-time projects, the appropriation is 2 percent higher than last year's.

Nordenberg pointed out that Pitt's budget includes investments in classroom renovations, improved computing infrastructure and student recreation facilities, among other academic and student life initiatives.

He and Provost James Maher said they don't expect the tuition increases will hurt student recruitment. Nor should the 1 percent higher increase in out-of-state tuition reduce the number of non-Pennsylvania applicants, they said.

Asked what the University will do to minimize future tuition hikes, Nordenberg replied: "We are doing everything we can — first, to deal effectively with expenses, and also to more aggressively pursue other forms of funding, which should provide some protection to students. We do want to make certain that the University of Pittsburgh remains an institution that is accessible. One of the important initiatives during the years ahead will be to generate more scholarship funds through private giving." The board approved a number of student fee increases for next fall, including an increase from $46 to $65 per term in the student health service fee for full-time, Pittsburgh campus students; increases in the Pittsburgh campus security, safety and transportation fee (from $30 to $37 per term for full-time students and from $12 to $16 for part-timers); a hike in the Bradford campus student activity fee (from $50 to $60 per term for full-time students); and an increase from $43 to $48 per term for Johnstown campus undergraduates.

In addition to approving the operating budget, Pitt trustees approved a $60.1 million capital budget for FY 1997-98. Major projects will include a $16 million renovation of the Masonic Temple, $6 million in projects to preserve Pittsburgh campus facilities and bring the campus into compliance with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, and $4.4 million for the new SOLAR and Oracle information systems.

In other board meeting business:

* The Board of Trustees approved three new quasi-endowments — the Austrian Nationality Room Committee Quasi-Endowed Scholarship to provide scholarships for Pitt students to study in Austria during the summer; the Alfred Hirsch, D.D.S. Quasi-Endowed Fund to fund development within the dental medicine school; and the Eugene F. Scanlon Quasi-Endowed Memorial Scholarship in the College of Arts and Sciences to provide scholarships to Central Catholic High School graduates who exhibit academic excellence and financial need, and who are interested in pursuing public service careers.

* Kimberly L. Honath was named assistant secretary of the University and of the Board of Trustee.

Honath had been executive secretary to Robert E. Dunkelman, University and board secretary.

* Trustees elected new members and re-elected members and also heard reports on the McGowan Center for Artificial Organ Development and on changes in the relationship between Pitt and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center System. See other stories on pages 1 and 4.

— Bruce Steele

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