HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Chancellor Frank T. Brogan and other System leaders have urged members of both the House and Senate appropriations committees to support increased investment in the state-owned universities as they consider the proposed 2017-18 Commonwealth budget.
The State System’s Board of Governors has requested a 2017-18 state appropriation of $505.2 million to help support the operations of the 14 universities. That total would represent an increase of $61 million from the amount the System is receiving this year, and would partially offset nearly $80 million in increased costs projected for next year.
“All of our universities continue to face enormous cost pressures,” Brogan told members of both committees.
“They continue to be innovative and are much more efficient with the resources they have available. But increased investment by the Commonwealth is essential as they strive to provide the high-quality, high-value educational opportunities our students, their families—and you—have come to expect.
“Those opportunities not only are essential to the students who attend the universities, but also to every one of us living here in Pennsylvania. We’re really talking about an investment if the Commonwealth’s future.”
The State System has received increased support from the state in each of the last two years, but the funding total remains about $60 million less than the amount the universities received a decade ago, just prior to the beginning of the recession.
Since then, the universities have eliminated an estimated $325 million from their base budgets and have trimmed their workforce significantly.
There are about 1,000 fewer full-time employees on the campuses today than there were just seven years ago. The impact of those reductions has been felt across all of the universities, affecting…