Posted February 4, 2013

Corbett pledges level funding for higher education, including Temple


Gov. Tom Corbett on Friday announced that the proposed 2013-14 budget will maintain level funding levels for state and state-related universities, including Temple. In return, Temple President Neil Theobald and other public university leaders said they would work to keep tuition increases as low as possible.

“We are working together to make a higher education in Pennsylvania both excellent and affordable,” Corbett said during his Friday news conference. “Our commitment allows schools to plan their budgets for the coming year and make the best use of their resources.”

The current year’s Commonwealth appropriation for Temple was $139.9 million and would not change for the coming year under the governor’s proposal.

The governor is expected to formalize his funding proposal for higher education during today’s budget address, with President Theobald in attendance.  The governor’s address will take place at 11:30 a.m. and will be broadcast live by the Pennsylvania Cable Network and streamed at pcntv.com.

Keeping the Commonwealth appropriation at a steady level was good news for Temple students, said President Neil Theobald, who participated in Friday’s press conference.

“Today’s announcement of an affordability partnership between the Commonwealth and its universities is welcome news for students and their families who are struggling to balance the burden of student loan debt with the need to earn the college degrees that are so essential to better career opportunities in the 21st century,” the president said. 

Theobald explained that Temple is focused on ensuring that it maximizes the return on both student tuition investment and their college experience. The university will redouble its efforts to help students limit their debt.

“This will require the university to contain costs, promote financial literacy among our students and their families and incentivize students to graduate on time. Our students must not keep their future waiting,” said Theobald.

The president said Temple will work with students to earn their bachelor degrees in four years or less so they can minimize the cost and get themselves into the labor market as fast as possible. And by building real world readiness, Temple students will be prepared for the transition to graduate school and to the labor market, he said.

“There are future physicians and business leaders in every neighborhood and our mission is to find these diamonds and see that they succeed at Temple University,” said the president.

Also attending the press conference on Friday was Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis, Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre County) and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre County).

Following today's budget address, the next major step for Temple will come when Theobald testifies during formal hearings in Harrisburg later this month. The House Appropriations Committee will hold its hearing at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, while the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.

Both hearings will be broadcast live by the Pennsylvania Cable Network and streamed at pcntv.com.

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