Chancellor Gallagher ‘cautiously optimistic’ about budget following election

The day after the general election last week, Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said he was “cautiously optimistic” about budget issues in higher education.

During the past two years of Tom Wolf’s first term as Pennsylvania governor, funding to Pitt has increased. Wolf was re-elected to a second, four-year term on Nov. 6.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher“I was pleased to see how many of the campaigns across the state were about public education,” Gallagher said. He believes this shows how important education is to voters.

He also pointed out that the growing economy means more revenue for the state, so more money to pass along.

As for the federal government, Gallagher, who worked as acting deputy secretary of commerce before coming to Pitt, said he has lived through several mixed governments, like the incoming Democratic House and Republican Senate. Sometimes they can be the most productive times, he said, because lawmakers have to figure out a way to compromise.

“The first big test will be the unfinished budget,” he said. “How will a lameduck Congress deal with that?”

He said Pitt is watching issues at play in several federal agencies, including those related to civil rights, foreign students, foreign influence and the cost of education. 

— Susan Jones