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Pitt chancellor warns of 'dangerous situation' as state budget negotiations stall

Jamie Martines
| Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, 2:54 p.m.
Cathedral of Learning
Cathedral of Learning

The University of Pittsburgh is "veering toward a dangerous situation," Chancellor Pat Gallagher warned in a letter to students, faculty and the Pitt community Thursday.

As budget negotiations drag on, nearly $600 million in funding for state-affiliated universities is in limbo. Pitt, Temple, Penn State, Lincoln and Penn's veterinary school are all impacted. Authorization for another $52 million for Penn State's agricultural research and extension programs is also in jeopardy.

The schools provide services to the state and tuition discounts to in-state students.

Pitt's budget was approved this summer with the assumption that it would receive about $150 million in state funding, the letter said.

"However, with our first semester approaching the mid-way point — and no state revenue plan in place — we may be forced to assume that no state funding is forthcoming and amend our University's budget accordingly," Gallagher said in the letter.

This could include increasing in-state tuition, which ranges from about $17,000 for a full-time student per academic year to about $22,000, depending on the school within the university.

Penn State increased tuition for the 2017-18 school year over the summer. In-state residents on average saw a 2.45 percent increase in tuition (about $200, depending on the campus), while non-residents' tuition increased by 3.85 percent, or about $605.

Legislators are not scheduled to return to Harrisburg until Monday.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at jmartines@tribweb.com, 724-850-2867 or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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