I am very pleased to share with you that the 2022–23 commonwealth budget approved by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Wolf on July 8 reflects the largest single-year increase Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education has received from the state.

This budget invests $552.5 million in state public education, a $75-million increase from $477.5 million in the 2021–22 fiscal year.

Additionally, the budget provides $125 million in one-time American Rescue Plan Act funding to support the System Redesign. In total, the budget invests $677.5 million in the state-owned university system and its students.

As a result of this investment, the State System will hold tuition flat for the fourth consecutive year.

This is certainly very good news for our State System universities, for IUP, and for our students, and it is a very positive statement about the value of our universities and the confidence that our elected officials have in us.

It also supports the ongoing work we are doing to be student-centered, including adopting our Tuition Affordability Plan and keeping our housing, dining, and fees flat for the past three years.

Chancellor Greenstein has been an active champion for this funding, keeping true to his commitment of “expanding opportunities and improving outcomes for all of our students” (You can read his statement on the State System website).

I have worked closely with him and other members of the State System leadership team, and I can assure you, it has been System-wide effort—including some very targeted and intentional work by students, faculty, staff, and alumni from IUP.

Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to support IUP and the System universities through advocacy events during this spring semester. Your efforts have made a difference, and I am very grateful to all of you.

While this increased funding does not solve all of our financial challenges at IUP, it is definitely good news and a positive sign for our future—and for the future of public higher education in Pennsylvania.

As more information is finalized as it relates to the budget allocation and its impact on IUP, I will share details with all of you.

I hope you all have an enjoyable rest of the summer.

Michael A. Driscoll