2012-13 Budget Update

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This note is an update on the Higher Education Modernization Act:

Dear University Community:

We are writing to inform you of the results of the University’s advocacy efforts regarding the Commonwealth’s 2012-13 annual budget appropriation support and important legislative bills affecting the State System universities. Your assistance has proven to be helpful, and we thank you for your advocacy on behalf of the University.

Through a sustained collaborative effort by staff, faculty, alumni and business and community leaders, the initial state budget direction of a 20% reduction (a $6 million loss to MU) was amended, passed and signed into law with no further cuts.  That means that the University has the same funding available as last year.  With a 3% tuition increase ($94/semester) the University is still dealing with a deficit of $ 1. 5 million.  It is important to note that flat funding does not cover increases in utilities, healthcare, contracts and other issues.  Although this deficit continues to present challenges, the challenges are not as severe as they would have been in dealing with a 20% cut in addition to the 18% reduction in state appropriations the University had to deal with last year.

Additionally, the legislature passed and the Governor signed bills that:

  • increase the threshold for purchases that must be competitively bid, with annual inflationary adjustments, from $10,000 to $18,500;
  • allow the University to enter into consortia agreements for purchasing, a definite improvement that will provide access to the volume purchasing power of consortia;
  • allow the University to be able to seek PASSHE approval to offer applied doctoral degrees with emphases on collaboration;
  • no longer prohibits University employees, including the president, vice presidents and others in appropriate roles, to raise private funds directed to University-related foundations; and,
  • permits faculty whose research has led to discoveries that might have potential commercial value to enter into agreements with universities for the commercialization of discoveries and applications of their research.

There was no legislative progress regarding regional prevailing wage, the “four prime” construction system, and greater flexibility with the Department of General Services on construction projects.  Work remains to be done regarding these concerns.

We are pleased to report that feedback from state government officials indicates the collective and individual contacts by many of you played an important part in changes to the budget and support to legislative bills.  As we look to next year, plans are to strengthen and increase communication and information links to government officials.

Once again, thank you!

Sincerely,

Francine G. McNairy, President

Michael G. Warfel, Chairman, Council of Trustees

 

This note will serve as an update on Millersville University’s  budget now that the Commonwealth’s 2012-13 budget has been passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor.

The University will receive the same amount of state appropriation support as last year or level funding.  Although it  is better than the initial proposal of a 20 percent  reduction, it still represents the 18 percent cut the University had to deal with last year.  In addition to flat funding the University faces  increased expenses in utilities and health care, unknown salaries for some union contracts, and tuition has yet to be set for the University.  While the University does not anticipate any layoffs at this time due to the budget situation, vacancies will remain open for some positions and other budget considerations still have to be made.

It is important to note that the University already eliminated $15.5 million from the budget over the last five years as a consequence of decreasing state allocations and the elimination of the funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Reductions in operating funds have required Millersville University to eliminate or freeze more than 100 faculty and staff positions.  The cutbacks have also led to increased class sizes, reduction in programs and  further concern for eroding the quality of the educational experience for students.

The University wishes to thanks both those external and internal to the University who contacted government officials to advocate for increased state support to the PA State System of Higher Education.

 

 

 

  1. CONCERNED says:

    If other state schools can have the same budget, and support eqaul or more students and sport teams, why are very selective sport teams being cut? POOR ADMINISTRATIVE decisions. Cannot wait to be done at this school, it’s an embarrassment to be a student here.

    • Angered says:

      Agreed. It seems administrative raises and bonuses take a precedent over faculty pay freezes and sports teams.

  2. CONFUSED says:

    I guess the reason I’m confused is that Millersville seemed pretty sure that the governor’s proposed budget would go through back in February. I mean, isn’t that why they cut track? To have to budget remain the same now only seems cruel to the athletes and the rest of the student body. Especially since alumni are trying to help. JUST TAKE THEIR MONEY!!! Having the budget remain the same as last year plus an extra $300,000 seems like a pretty good deal to me. Bring track back.

  3. Confused Also says:

    I really am failing to see why Millersville is cutting things that really hurt students, but bonuses are not being cut. I also am confused how they think it is benefiting the students to increase class sizes and not offer more courses. There has been so many cuts many are struggling to get classes needed to graduate. I also feel bad for those on the track team that was cut, because the reasoning behind the cut was there would be less funding which hasn’t occurred. I also find that it is hard for me to understand how the state passed new regulations for student teachers to redo all their clearances according to the Millersville Education Department, yet I have friends at other schools that were not required to redo theirs….Millersville I cannot wait to be free from you!

  4. Proud Alum says:

    True leadership shows itself during difficult times. The administration is making the best of a very difficult situation and they have been doing so for a number of years. While it is unfortunate that two athletic programs had to be cut, I suppose it the lesser evil in comparison to seeing co-curricular or academic programs go away or be underfunded/staffed.

    As for the administrative raises, just like the faculty members at MU, many of the staff and administrators fall under collective bargaining units which negotiated contracts that include raises and benefits updates. It would be unfair to not honor those agreements. Frustrations over the raises should be directed to the unions and not MU. MU entered a contract and cannot, with good faith, break it. The unions, however could certainly come together and renegotiate the contract agreements.

    Finally, as the statement mentioned, while state funding levels will continue for a second year, the funding will still not cover all the university costs. Inflation needs to be considered, as does health care increases, etc. As an alum who has supported the university, little as it may be, I am confident they are not taking advantage of me or anyone else who makes the personal decision to donate to MU.

    With Marauder Pride,

    Member of the Class of 2007

  5. Proud Alum, I could not agree with your opening sentence more – unfortunately, the current administration has simply disappeared since they announced the cutting of the three sports teams mentioned in the posts above. When alumni and members of the local running community wanted to meet to propose alternatives to the cuts, they were flatly turned away without discussion and without requested evidence of budgetary data supporting the proposed savings. An ostrich burying their head under a decision is not a leader. Options should not be off the table for anyone who truly ‘loves their students’. With the flat funding and increasing costs, cuts of entire programs are not the sole option for the administration. It’s only 191 days until we can come out of the fog and hopefully into a new era of transparency and communication at the Ville. Ater meeting the impressive student-athletes impacted by this hasty decision, I can continue to proudly sign…
    With continued Marauder Pride,

    Member of the Class of 1997

  6. HMMM..... says:

    “The University wishes to thanks both those external and internal to the University who contacted government officials to advocate for increased state support to the PA State System of Higher Education.”

    Last sentence of the article. Anyone remember who lead a 40 mile run / march into Harrisburg (along with Lock Haven Uni.) to protest the proposed cuts by Gov. Corbett? The Millersville Track and Field & Cross Country Men and Women. Hmmmm…. now what teams were cut from the budget and university sports prog. again? What team has the highest GPA average year after year? Who proved their dedication to the school through physical demonstration outside of the state building in Harrisburg? OH YEAH! The Track and XC program…

    That’s 40 miles and years and years of dedication to the school IN VEIN.

    Dang shame Millersville Admin…..at least the SMC & library will have plenty of TV’s & pointless sofas to show how much you truly care about the students!

    • Jerry Stringer says:

      Dont forget all the new fences they put in. Obviously high priority for ugly black fences to be put in nonsensical places.

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