University of Pittsburgh
June 22, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, June 23 --- The Budget Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees today approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2001 that includes more than $15 million specifically earmarked for student life enhancements, academic program initiatives, and research program incentives. The budget also includes a 5.8 percent increase in Commonwealth support, with $9 million slated for laboratory improvements, information technology, and student life and program initiatives. Other highlights of the budget include an expected 8.2 percent increase in sponsored research activity, a $38 million projected increase in state-funded construction activity, and an increase in investment income of $7.1 million. The full Board of Trustees will vote on the budget at its June 29 meeting.

Commenting on the proposed budget, Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said, "Revenues for the coming fiscal year are expected to exceed $1.1 billion, once again demonstrating the impressive scope of the University's endeavors, and the importance of the University to the economic health of the region. The growth in our revenue streams over the past five years has been fueled by a number of factors, including marked increases in student enrollment, state support, research grants and private giving. All of these reflect the solid and measurable progress that the University has made."

Nordenberg added that these increases in revenue have enabled the University to make investments in areas that will directly benefit students and faculty. Examples that he cited included the Pitt Arts Program, Pitt Pathways Program, residence life restructuring, the Teaching Excellence Fund, and an incentive fund to encourage new faculty research endeavors. "We are making a concerted effort to invest our funds in the people, programs and facilities that will enable us to continue to move the University to even higher levels of excellence," he said.

Nordenberg extended thanks to the Commonwealth for its support of the University. The state appropriation to Pitt for the next fiscal year, which has been approved by the legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature, is expected to be $177.4 million, a 5.8 percent increase over last year. That increase includes a 3.3 percent increase for the University's general operating budget and a special one-time allocation of $9 million for laboratory improvements and equipment, information technology, student life initiatives, and program initiatives.

"Pennsylvania's overall competitiveness is directly dependent on the strength of its research universities. We value our partnership with the Commonwealth and are grateful for the support that has been provided. Continued growth in levels of state funding, such as we have seen this year, will be essential to maintaining the key role which our state-related universities play in positioning Pennsylvania at the forefront of growth and discovery into the next century," Nordenberg said.

The budget includes a 4.5 percent increase in the compensation base for faculty and staff. Those funds will be allocated to cost-of-living and merit increases, as well as to market and equity adjustments. Nordenberg said that the increase was needed to help the University improve its competitive position, especially among AAU institutions, with respect to faculty salaries. "One of the most important investments we can make is in the people whose work will move us forward," he said.

The budget includes a 5 percent tuition increase for both in-state and out-of-state students. This tuition increase is on a par with or lower than the increases at Pennsylvania's other state-related universities. Tuition for full-time undergraduate Pennsylvania students in Pitt's College of Arts and Sciences next year will be $6,422 per year, an increase of $304. Tuition for out-of-state students in the College of Arts and Sciences will be $14,104.

"Even with this modest increase, the University of Pittsburgh remains a true higher education bargain," Nordenberg said. "The dramatic growth in both the number of applicants and the quality of their academic credentials provides continuing evidence that we are recognized as a exceptional value in the higher education marketplace."

Pitt's budget for fiscal year 2001 also includes an ambitious capital projects plan. The budget provides 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 construction of both the long-awaited Petersen Events Center and the new multi-purpose academic complex, as well as a wide variety of infrastructure upgrades.