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President Werner Addresses Governor’s Budget Recommendation

By now, most of you are aware that the governor has recommended a 50-percent decrease in the state allocation to PASSHE for the 2011–2012 fiscal year.

IUP’s planning to this point has been predicated on a 10-percent reduction in state appropriations and a 4-percent tuition increase. Obviously, those assumptions are no longer valid.

I assure you that the leadership in Harrisburg and at IUP is concerned about the dramatic impact this budget would have on the university community. While it is important to note that this budget has not been passed, the leadership at every level of the system is committed to our students, and our first priority is to do everything possible to avoid disruptions in their education.

As you know, PASSHE is committed to its core missions of providing high-quality education at an affordable cost and to creating opportunities that will ensure student success. Over the last decade, the system has reduced costs by $200 million. The system has held annual tuition increases below the rate of inflation in four of the last six years.

Budget reductions alone will not address the impact of the proposed budget cuts. And, it would be irresponsible of the system’s leadership to not begin developing its response to the governor’s proposed budget, along with plans and contingencies for it. As the system begins this process, it will be guided by the four major strategic initiatives recently endorsed by our Board of Governors, all of which are focused on student success as measured by the following:

  • the quality of education we deliver
  • the creation of the best learning environments, including the appropriate use of technology to expand and enhance student learning
  • the generation of sufficient resources to support our universities
  • partnerships with our communities and the commonwealth to help create and sustain a strong economy

I will keep you informed as planning continues at the system and university levels. Beginning March 10, 2011, you will find a section on the Budget Matters website dedicated to providing updated information related to the governor’s budget proposal.

David Werner
Interim President

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