Penn State Board of Trustees to Approve Budget: Includes Tuition Hike
The Penn State Board of Trustees will meet Friday to vote on a proposed budget plan for 2014-15 academic year.
If passed by the board, the state will be asked to increase appropriations to the university by $14.7 million. Students will be asked to foot the bill for a modest tuition hike.
If the state follows through, appropriations to the university would increase from $285 million this year to $299.7 million in 2014-15.
Under the proposed budget, Pennsylvania students at the University Park campus would see a 3.49 percent tuition increase. Non-resident University Park students would face a 2.99 percent increase.
"The request to the Commonwealth and our budget planning are driven primarily by our top priority -- keeping tuition increases low," Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a news release.
Erickson says the budget also contains a 2.5 percent increase for salary adjustments and related employee benefits. He says that's necessary to keep Penn State competitive when it comes to attracting top faculty and staff.
Penn State also plans to reduce spending by $38.2 million through across-the-board cuts in administrative and academic units, and by restructuring of the university's post-retirement health care liability.
The board will also be asked to approve a capital budget request for the 2014-2015 year. Each year, Penn State identifies projects as priority projects and submits a list to the state's Department of Education for approval.
The request made to the state will include a request for authorization of $756.2 million. Of this request, $655.6 million is for construction projects and $100.6 million is for equipment.
Some of these projects include additional funds for a water treatment plant, building access modifications, Recital Hall renovation and a Henning Building renewal.
The board will also hear reports from several standing committees and university officials. Senior Vice President for Finance and Business David Gray will report on the Freeh Advisory Council.
During a joint meeting of two committees on Thursday -- Audit and Risk and Legal and Compliance -- Frank Guadagnino, an attorney retained by Penn State, told board members that Penn State is on its way to implementing all the Freeh recommendations.
Guadagnino says Penn State has implemented 116 out of the 119 recommendations made by Louis Freeh last summer.