University of Pittsburgh
June 15, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, June 16 -- The Budget Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees today approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2000 with projected revenues in excess of $1 billion – the first time that milestone has been passed in Pitt's 212-year history. The full Board of Trustees will vote on the budget at its June 25 meeting.

Commenting on the proposed budget, Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said, "The sheer size of the budget provides clear evidence of both the scope of our activity and our place as one of the region's key economic engines. The growth in our revenue streams over the last four years – which can be traced to increases in enrollment, state support, research grants and private giving – reflects strong institutional momentum. Just as important is the fact that this budget provides for continuing investments in the people, programs and facilities that will propel the University to even higher levels of achievement."

Nordenberg extended special thanks to the Commonwealth for its support of the University. The Legislature and Governor recently approved an appropriation to Pitt of $167.6 million for the next fiscal year -- a 5.9 percent increase over last year. That increase included a 3 percent increase for the University's general operating budget and a special allocation of $4.5 million for laboratories and equipment. According to Nordenberg, those investments by the State will help the University better prepare its students for the 21st century economy and also will enable Pitt to more effectively build upon its position as one of America's leading research universities.

The budget includes a 4 percent pool for compensation increases for faculty and staff. That pool will be allocated to cost-of-living and merit increases, as well as to market and equity adjustments. The exact method of distribution will be determined by Chancellor Nordenberg later this month. However, he noted that, "When I moved into the Chancellor's office, less than four years ago, we were in the midst of a University-wide salary freeze. By the middle of that year, we had been able to provide some relief for our lowest paid employees. Since then, we have tirelessly pursued strategies both to enhance revenues and to reduce costs and have worked successfully to restore the University's economic strength. Nonetheless, our competitive position, with respect to faculty salaries in particular, has slipped. We need to begin making up for lost ground by investing more heavily in the people whose work will move us forward."

Pitt's budget for fiscal year 2000 also includes the most ambitious capital projects plan in the University's history. Included is funding for new construction and for the renovation and expansion of existing facilities in Oakland and on the University's regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville. Among these projects are the completion of renovations to the Masonic Temple, the construction of both the long-awaited convocation center and a new academic center, and a wide variety of infrastructure upgrades.

The budget provides for a 4 percent tuition increase for both in-state and out-of-state students. This tuition increase matches last year's increase, which was the second lowest in the last twenty-five years. Tuition for full-time undergraduate Pennsylvania students in Pitt's College of Arts and Sciences next year will be $6,118 per year. Tuition for out-of-state students in the College of Arts and Sciences will be $13,434.

According to Nordenberg, prospective students and their parents continue to view the University of Pittsburgh as a higher education bargain. "We know that from survey work we have done," he said. "But even more telling is the fact that we continue to attract larger numbers of better qualified students. We are doing exceptionally well in the higher education marketplace because people know that they are getting top quality for their education dollars at Pitt." Nordenberg also expressed his belief that Pitt's tuition increase will be comparable to, if not somewhat lower than, increases at other universities in the region and around the country.