The Nursing School will be hit hard by planned budget cuts made in response to Governor Robert Casey's proposed $18.6 million cut in appropriations to the University for the 1992 fiscal year, outgoing Nursing Dean Claire Fagin said yesterday. The dean added the school is currently "analyzing the situation" to evaluate the most effective means of cutting their budget. The school will be subjected both to the cuts of the Provost's Subvention Pool and a proportion of the $2.36 million that must be cut from the University's schools. Among those cuts in the Provost's Subvention Pool that will affect the Nursing School are a freeze on the level of graduate fellowships, the suspension of new financial commitments to the Trustee Professorship Fund, the suspension of the Undergraduate Initiatives Fund -- a fund that had "counted on doing some very exciting programs" for undergraduates, and the suspension of the Provost's salary reserve, which awards professors on the basis of merit. Fagin declined to put an exact dollar figure on the loss that will be suffered by the school, but added that since these programs will be severely affected, the value will be even greater than the actual money taken out of the budget. Describing the budget cuts as "quite serious," Fagin said that the Nursing School is "going to be in a very tight situation in a number of ways. She added, however, that the school will "manage in the best way we can." Nursing Professor Joyce Thompson, director of the masters' program in nursing midwifery, agreed that though the cuts -- namely the University-wide four percent cap on salary increases -- will not cause problems in the near future, the long-term impact will be "negative." "It's going to take its toll eventually," Thompson said, citing that there will be many unfilled positions and that the already overworked faculty will have to take on even greater responsibilities. Thompson added that her program, which has been funded by a federal grant for the past eleven years, is "in severe jeopardy." Should the masters' program lose the funding, which has been approved but not yet allocated, it "runs the risk of losing eight faculty members" whose salaries are paid by this grant, she said. With just two faculty members possibly remaining after the cuts, Thompson said running the program would be "a near impossibility." Fagin, however, described the University's distribution of cuts as "fair." "Our administration is very fair," she said. "Fairness is their hallmark."Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.