Pitt requests 6.5 percent increase from the state for 2019-20


The University wants to lengthen its streak to two years in a row of increased funding from the state of Pennsylvania.

In its annual request, which was sent to the state on Sept. 28, Pitt is seeking a 6.5 percent increase in funding, from $174 million for 2018-19 to $185.4 million for 2019-20, which includes money from the state departments of Education and Human Services.

That number includes:

  • $6.86 million for the School of Medicine
  • $6 million for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
  • $808,000 for the Dental Clinic
  • $323,000 for the Center for Public Health Practice.

This also would be an approximate 6.5 percent increase for these four institutions, which all saw no increase in the current budget. All four are funded through the Department of Human Services.

The state appropriation for 2018-19 was 2.8 percent or $4.4 million more than 2017-18. The increase allowed the University to keep tuition the same for most in-state undergraduate students.

The new budget request shows a tuition increase of 2.9 percent across the board for full-time, in-state tuition and 4.7 percent for out-of-state students. Fees would remain the same.

The breakdown of revenues in the proposed operating budget of $2.47 billion is:

  • 7.5 percent or $185.4 million from the state (up from 7.2 percent in 2018-19)
  • 35.1 percent or $864.4 million from student tuition and fees (34.5 percent in 2018-19)
  • 28.7 percent or $708.4 million from the federal government (29.3 percent in 2018-19)
  • 28.7 percent or $709 million from other sources (29 percent in 2018-19)

The annual request is the first step in the state budget process. The governor presents a proposed budget each February; then, after hearings before the state Senate and House of Representatives appropriations committees, legislators work out a final budget, due by June 30 — the end of the fiscal year.

This year, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the state budget on June 23, ­avoiding the lengthy budget fights and delays of previous years. Wolf is up for re-election on Nov. 6, facing Republican Scott Wagner.

At the Senate Council meeting last month, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said this year’s budget cycle will be different than last year’s because of the upcoming gubernatorial election. He predicted there will be “a lot less clarity about what would happen” and “much more unpredictability” regarding future funding from the state.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at suejones@pitt.edu or 412-648-4294.