Proposed cuts to higher education included in Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's 2012-2013 budget proposal have precipitated a backlash, with student protests and academic administrators in Harrisburg clamoring for legislative allies in an effort to stem the flow of state dollars from their respective institutions.
Corbett's proposal, issued Feb. 7, includes a 20 percent cut to the 14 universities under the umbrella of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education and a 30 percent reduction in funding to three of the four "state-related" universities, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Temple, totaling $249 million. Lincoln University in Chester County is flat funded under this year's proposal.
In Pennsylvania, state-related schools receive less than 10 percent of their overall budget through the state, with the 14 state-owned schools being almost exclusively funded by the state.
The potential cuts mirror those already enacted in Corbett's 2011-2012 budget. Last year's budgetary process saw Corbett seeking a 50 percent reduction in funding, which legislators eventually pared down to 30 percent.