Erickson Stresses Need For Budget Consistency
Penn State President Rodney Erickson testified in front of the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday along side representatives from Pittsburgh, Lincoln, and Temple Universities that centered around Governor Tom Corbett’s 2012-2013 budget proposal that would slash 64 million dollars of Penn State’s state funding.
Erickson spoke during the three hour hearing in Harrisburg about the effects the cuts would have on students, namely those in-state who now pay nearly 12,000 dollars less than their out-of-state classmates.
“We can’t continue to offer that kind of tuition break for Pennsylvania residents as the (state) appropriation continues to fall,” Erickson said.
The good news for Keystone State students is that Erickson said it is critically important that in-state tuition rates stay as low as possible, especially those from low-income families. He referred to in-state students as “absolutely critical” to the future of the Commonwealth.
Erickson also noted the university will cut costs where possible, but stressed the need for a consistent budget to be produced, saying: “we simply can’t do business as usual year-in and year-out. We need to know where this is heading.”
Penn State’s four-billion-dollar operating budget allows for roughly 1.65 billion to be used on general education functions, and roughly 30 percent of that money comes from the state, Erickson said.
It certainly will not be the last time Erickson addresses Harrisburg lawmakers, but his first trip to the Capitol was a successful one, as Erickson and his three colleagues landed support from at-least one member of the committee. Steve Samuelson, from the 135th Legislative district better known as Lehigh and Northampton, said he would like to see no funds leave educational facilities.