On Jan. 4, Gov. Tom Corbett announced that with tax revenues coming in below estimates, he was creating a budgetary reserve of $200 million. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is required by its constitution to have a balanced budget. When estimated revenues do not meet projections, state funding is frozen. If revenues improve, the money is spent, if they do not, the money is cut, reducing expenses.
All state-related universities are affected by the decision, with a potential reduction of 5 percent of their commonwealth appropriation. For Temple, this would mean a drop of nearly $7 million, from $139.9 million in general commonwealth support to 132.9 million. The action affects funds in the current fiscal year, which continues through June 30. All together, the four state-related universities were reduced a total of $25.7 million.
“We did not make the decision to freeze these funds lightly. If the revenue picture improves in the months ahead and we determine these funds no longer need to remain frozen, we may be able to free up some or perhaps even all of the funds we are now placing into budgetary reserve,” Corbett said.
"We understand that in difficult times, hard decisions need to be made," said President Hart. "We will use the same principles that we used in developing the FY2012 budget to address this potential further reduction in Commonwealth support. Resources for students like financial aid, advising, counseling, security and public safety will not be impacted."
Last year, President Hart initiated a series of efforts to meet the reduction in commonwealth appropriation. Those efforts included a hiring freeze, a salary freeze for non-union employees, restrictions on travel, changes to the benefits package, delays in pursuing dean searches, and the pursuit of affiliations with new partners, particularly in Temple's Health Enterprise.
Governor Corbett will make his budget address for Fiscal Year 2012 on February 7.