Posted February 7, 2012

Temple president responds to Gov. Corbett's Pa. budget address

Gov. Tom Corbett Tuesday proposed reducing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appropriation to Temple and other state-related schools by 30 percent, as part of his 2012-13 budget plan. The cuts would also affect Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh.

If approved, the Commonwealth appropriation for Temple would be reduced by nearly $42 million to approximately $98 million. Taking into account the 19 percent reduction in the current fiscal year, plus a 5 percent "freeze" imposed by the governor in January, Temple's Commonwealth appropriation will fall by more than 50 percent over two years, if the governor's plan is approved by the General Assembly.

Temple President Ann Weaver Hart said that while she understands the governor's proposal, the impact would be widespread if the Commonwealth appropriation is reduced as he recommends.

"We understand that the Commonwealth is facing difficult budget decisions. As the state has struggled through a challenging economy, Temple has responded by cutting millions from its operating budget, streamlining processes, eliminating redundancies and reducing administrative staff," Hart said in a video response to the governor's address.

"We have become leaner and more focused on a quality education. That effort continues," said Hart. “In fact, Temple has already reduced its operating budgets by $76 million over the last three years through these cost-saving measures.

“The Governor's plan, however, is not one that can be met by cutting costs," said Hart.  "If approved by the General Assembly, this reduction in support will be felt by every student, parent and employee."

President Hart urged Temple's students and their parents, as well as all employees and alumni to work together to stand with Temple in the effort to build Commonwealth support.

"I urge you to let your legislators know how vital their support is for schools like Temple. The best way to make your voices heard is through TALON, the Temple Advocates Legislative Outreach Network," said the president.

She noted that last year, when the governor recommended reducing Commonwealth support to Temple by more than 50 percent, a massive effort by university supporters helped convince lawmakers to restore some of the reduction.  In the end, Temple's Commonwealth appropriation was reduced by about 19 percent.

"Temple is dedicated to providing a high quality urban education at the best possible price. We can only do this with your support," said Hart. "I urge you to join TALON, and stand with Temple, in support of our students."