No doubt you have seen or heard news coverage related to Governor Corbett?s proposed appropriation and the potentially difficult impacts it would cause Penn State and higher education overall in Pennsylvania. I hope you all had the opportunity to view President Spanier?s press briefing on the topic, where you could hear him speak on the full context of this issue. If you were unable to watch it live, I urge you to view it online at YouTube.
As you know, the governor?s proposal is just the first step in the state budget process. Penn State leadership has been in contact with legislators, since most -- if not all -- have some connection to a Penn State campus in their district. We hope to impress upon these legislators the significant positive impact our campuses have on their communities and the Commonwealth.
I think we need to look at the reality for Penn State Berks.
- Penn State University will be impacted, but the state allocation represents about 8 to 9% of the University's total budget. Unlike many other institutions that rely heavily on state appropriations, Penn State receives a relatively small percentage of our budget from the state.
- The proposed budget must still go through the state legislators. Since the other state-related institutions (University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University), as well as the institutions in the PA State System of Higher Education will be appealing to their legislators, there is a chance that the overall picture will improve.
- The future of Penn State Berks IS secure. Penn State Berks is one of the most cost efficient campuses in the Penn State system. While we will we be affected by the certain budget cuts, we still plan to offer the highest quality teaching, research, and outreach to our students and the larger community.
My friends, all of higher education will be facing tough times in Pennsylvania, but Penn State Berks can rise above these challenges because of the outstanding team we have here and the prudent fiscal management we have exercised over the years. Together we will shine as the model of how to face the storm and grow. The key is that we do this together. I want to thank you in advance for keeping Penn State Berks as the best of the best!
Dr. Susan Phillips Speece
Chancellor of Penn State Berks