University of Pittsburgh
March 4, 2003

University of Pittsburgh Statement on the Commonwealth's Budget Proposal

Contact:  412-624-4147

March 4, 2003

PITTSBURGH—For many years, the University of Pittsburgh has enjoyed a productive and effective partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With the support of the Commonwealth, Pitt remains a committed institutional citizen and a major provider of high-quality higher education in Western Pennsylvania, as well as a critical engine of regional economic growth. Thus, the University realizes that it has an important role to play in assisting the Commonwealth in meeting the challenges of these difficult economic times. But it also is critical to recognize that research universities such as Pitt, when properly funded, are among the Commonwealth's greatest assets in hastening its economic recovery, both through providing workforce education and serving as catalysts for economic development.

During the past two fiscal years, the University has absorbed a total of $8.8 million in mid-year reductions from approved funding levels. The five percent reduction of the University's appropriation in the proposed FY 2004 budget provides a state funding level that is $14 million less than the FY 2001 appropriation to the University. These reductions impose a disproportionate burden on the University and place Pitt at funding levels comparable to those of the late 1990s. Reductions of this magnitude create strains on the University's people and programs and increase pressure on other funding streams, including tuition.

The University will continue to be actively engaged in the budget process, working with elected officials to advance the vital needs of the University of Pittsburgh and the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.