Last week the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania inaugurated its 46th governor, just in time to begin work on next year’s budget. Among Tom Corbett’s key campaign initiatives – on top of pledges to make Pennsylvania a leader in business growth, agriculture, job creation, transportation, energy production and education – is to maintain fiscal responsibility.
This initiative, which mirrors one of Bloomsburg University’s four key strategic issues, is directly tied to the state budget and the legislature’s annual appropriation for higher education. As a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, we are paying close attention to Corbett’s approach to this campaign promise.
So much so that two members of Chancellor John Cavanaugh’s staff will visit our campus today (Monday, Jan. 24). They will talk about ways we can work with our 13 sister universities to show support for PASSHE while stressing the impact government funding has on tuition, fees, program offerings and other facets of student life.
It’s no secret state funding for higher education has significantly declined in recent years; to the point that only 29% of our operating budget is funded by the state this year. As a result, tuition across the 14 universities increased by 4.5 percent for 2010-11 and 3.7 percent for 2009-10. The economic burden has fallen more heavily on the shoulders of students and their families and forced universities to increasingly rely on donor support.
Despite the economic challenges, BU continues to provide our students with outstanding educational opportunities. The wonderful reputation of our academic programs, faculty and staff is reflected in record enrollment, year after year.
BU is proud to provide an excellent, affordable education that prepares students for success in our multicultural society and global economy.