Pitt Trustees Pass Key Resolution Relating to Proposed Reductions in State Support



Resolution of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees Relating to Commonwealth Support for the University

WHEREAS, the University of Pittsburgh was founded on February 28, 1787, by an act of the Pennsylvania Legislature, which states, in part, that "the education of youth ought to be a primary object with every government"; and

WHEREAS, during its long and proud history, now spanning 225 years, the University has remained committed to its educational mission, even as it has grown into an internationally respected research university and a powerful engine for regional economic growth; and

WHEREAS, on August 23, 1966, Governor William Scranton signed into law a bill that had been advanced with strong bi-partisan support, making the University of Pittsburgh a public, state-related university within the Commonwealth System of Higher Education; and

WHEREAS, this conversion of the University of Pittsburgh to a public university status was driven by the Commonwealth's desire to make available to Pennsylvania residents significantly larger numbers of reasonably priced, but high quality, university opportunities and by a companion desire to provide to the Greater Pittsburgh region the many economic and social benefits that would come from the presence of a major public research university here; and

WHEREAS, since becoming a state-related university, the University of Pittsburgh has attracted hard-working, high achieving students who have successfully competed for the highest national honors – including Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Udall and Goldwater Scholarships – and has maintained tuition levels that are a fraction of those charged by peer private research universities, providing tens of thousands of students annually with the opportunity to use the power of higher education to build better lives; and

WHEREAS, since becoming a state-related university, the University of Pittsburgh has awarded nearly 290,000 degrees, has watched with pride as its alumni have claimed the highest national and international honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Prize for Medicine, the National Medal of Science, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Poetry, the Fritz Medal in Engineering, the Albany and Shaw Prizes in Medicine, and has been equally proud of its nearly 170,000 alumni who live in Pennsylvania and make meaningful contributions to the quality of life through their presence here; and

WHEREAS, since becoming a state-related university, the University of Pittsburgh has become an internationally respected center of pioneering research, ranking among the nation's top universities in funding from the National Institutes of Health and in overall federal science and engineering research and development support, with research expenditures during the past fiscal year that exceeded $800 million – funds that support, directly and indirectly, more than 28,000 local jobs; and

WHEREAS, the University of Pittsburgh is one of Pennsylvania's largest employers with more than 13,500 employees, sits at the heart of the education and health services super-sector that is the region's largest employment sector and now accounts for more than one in five local jobs, and is widely viewed as a high potential source of new companies and future jobs through its technology management efforts; and

WHEREAS, the University of Pittsburgh, as a state-related university, has relied on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide both general institutional support and funding that will enable it to maintain significantly lower tuition rates for residents of the Commonwealth than they would be charged either as non-resident students or by private research universities of comparable quality; and

WHEREAS the most recently released budget proposal would subject the University of Pittsburgh to a second straight year of deep and disproportionate budget cuts, reducing its state appropriation, in absolute dollars, to the level of its 1987 appropriation, when the overall state budget was only one-third of its current size and reducing its state appropriation, in inflation-adjusted dollars, to its lowest funding level since it became a public, state-related university; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh takes pride in the record of impact and accomplishment forged during the University's first 225 years and believes that continuing to build effectively on that record is a responsibility owed to future generations and is essential to the future strength of both the Pittsburgh region and the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh is deeply concerned that a second successive year of deep and disproportionate cuts to its Commonwealth appropriation will undermine the University's ability to sustain its momentum and continue making such significant contributions to the public good; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh believes that the Commonwealth should recognize that the University has been a high-return investment, should find ways to balance this year's Commonwealth budget without a second successive year of cuts to its appropriation and should reaffirm both the value brought to the Commonwealth by the University as a public, state-related university and its intention to continue working with and supporting the University in the role; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the members of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees do hereby express their deep gratitude for past support from the Commonwealth and further express their pride in the quality and impact of the work done by the University of Pittsburgh as a public, state-related university; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the members of the Board of Trustees do hereby reaffirm their belief that further reductions to the University's state support, as recently proposed, should be eliminated and that the Commonwealth should re-affirm its intention to continue working with the University as an important partner in its status as a public, state-related university; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the members of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh hereby commit themselves to advocating for these positions and look forward to joining forces with alumni, faculty, staff, students and other friends of the University in doing so; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this resolution be made a permanent part of the University's records, and that it be suitably inscribed and presented to the Honorable Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the Honorable Joseph B. Scarnati III, President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate; the Honorable Dominic Pileggi, Senate Majority Leader; the Honorable Jay Costa, Senate Minority Leader; the Honorable Samuel H. Smith, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives; the Honorable Mike Turzai, House Majority Leader; and the Honorable Frank Dermody, House Minority Leader.

Stephen R. Tritch
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees

Mark A. Nordenberg
Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer

Robert M. Hernandez
Vice Chairperson of the Board

B. Jean Ferketish
Secretary of the Board of Trustees

 


This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees at its meeting held on February 24, 2012.