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The University will receive almost no state funding for the upcoming fiscal year, based on state budget bills signed by Gov. Robert Casey late Tuesday. The funding cut amounts to a $37.6 million decrease in aid compared to last year's appropriation, and could have devastating effects on schools and programs throughout the University. The only funding the University received in this year's budget was an appropriation of about $490,000 for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Cancer Center. University officials expressed shock over the action yesterday. "It is unfortunate that the governor and the House Democrats don't recognize the return on investment they make, and have been making, for almost 90 years," Budget Director Stephen Golding said yesterday. "Ultimately, there will be a lot of people who will be hurt economically because of the failure to support Penn." According to plans announced by President Sheldon Hackney in March, the University will now run a $19.5 million deficit, cut 600 faculty and staff positions and postpone most building projects to compensate for the complete loss of state funding. The $19.5 million deficit is designed to absorb a $16.5 million dollar loss in Veterinary School funding -- which accounts for over 40 percent of the school's budget -- and $3 million dollars that in the past had been directed to financial aid. At the same time, student tuition and fees will rise 5.9 percent -- the lowest percentage increase since 1974 -- and faculty will, on average, receive a 4.4 percent wage increase. According to University lobbyist James Shada, the final outcome of the budget came as a complete surprise. "The budget negotiators were working for weeks and into early Friday night, at least from what we heard . . . things were going well," Shada said. "Suddenly things were not going well and negotiations did not resume for the weekend." To avoid missing a state mandated July 1 budget deadline, the state House of Representatives bypassed negotiators Monday, passing a tenatively-approved $14 billion Senate budget bill and forwarding it to Casey for his signature. "I was stunned," Shada said. "That thing moved so fast . . . really, it was biased before we knew what happened." The House did not vote on several "nonpreferred" appropriation bills that normally accompany the general fund budget. Funding for the University and other private colleges and universities is contained in these bills, and the failure to pass them amounted to a $76 million decrease in state higher education subsidies. The House did forward nonpreferred bills for the state-related schools -- the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania State University, Temple University and Lincoln University -- and for some state museum appropriations. Funding for state-related universities was cut by 3.5 percent. With the bills on his desk, Casey exercised his line-item veto power to block one University appropriation included in the general fund budget -- $386,000 directed toward the University Arboretum. According to the state constitution, all state spending must stop if a budget bill is not passed by the fiscal year deadline each year. When the state legislature missed the deadline by 34 days last year, the Capitol was besieged by angry state workers and welfare recipients whose checks were delayed, and other protesters who threatened to vote the lawmakers out of office. There is still a chance the University could receive some state funding. Lawmakers, now adjourned for the summer, could still pass nonpreferred appropriation bills when they return in mid-September. "Between now and then, believe me, we will be doing a lot of discussing to see if there is still hope," Shada said. In his budget address one hour before the midnight deadline Wednesday, Casey admitted the budget has "serious deficiencies" which he urged lawmakers to fix when they return. However, Casey pointed only to inadequate funding for police departments, prisons, welfare and social programs, without mentioning higher education. In February, Casey himself proposed the complete cut in funding for the University and other state-aided institutions. Administrators said they designed the University's 1993 budget to help cushion the cuts and protect academics. Under the 1993 budget plan, most building projects will be halted. However, construction of the Institute for Advanced Science and Technolgy, the Biomedical Research Building and the Law School Library, renovations of College Hall and Logan Hall, and design of the Revlon Student Center will continue as scheduled. Other contingency plans in the University's 1993 fiscal year budget could also have a wide-ranging impact: · The central administration will cut $4.1 million from its own budget. · All undergraduate and graduate schools will collectively reduce their budgets by $1 million. · New initiatives in the Veterinary School valued at $900,000 will not be established. · The Provost's Subvention Pool, which funds numerous campus-wide programs to improve the quality of scholarship and teaching, will be reduced by $4.1 million. · $4.4 million the University had retained from last year's $37.6 million state appropriation will be used to cover losses. · $1.4 million the University had requested from the state to cover inflationary increases will not be budgeted. · The Dental and Medical schools will be expected to absorb their losses of $1.1 million and $4.6 million, respectively. · The Dental School may also end dental clinic services to West Philadelphia families.

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