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The University has decided to accept next year's Veterinary School class despite the possibility that the University may not receive state funding again next year. University Budget Director Stephen Golding said yesterday that the University "made [the decision] on the basis that it would be unfair to [not accept a class] without a determination from the state about funding." Golding said that, if the state does not return funding to the Vet School in the upcoming budget, the University is prepared run a deficit again next year. This year, the University is running a $16.5 million deficit to finance the Vet School, but Golding has said in the past that it would be "fiscally unwise" for the University to continue the policy of maintaining a deficit keep the Vet School afloat. He said yesterday, however, that the University has an obligation to notify faculty and potential applicants far enough in advance so that they can make plans. Acting Executive Vice President John Gould said last night that the University has not changed its position. "I think what we said initially is correct," Gould said. "Over the long term we cannot sustain [a deficit] because the overhead cost to the rest of the Univeristy would be too great." But Gould said that the University wants to show that it is committed to the Vet School and is willing to finance another deficit. Gould said he remains "hopeful" about the future of state appropriations to the University and said it is important "that we send a message of confidence." Golding said earlier this semester that, if prospects for a return of state funding were bleak, the University might not accept an incoming class of veterinary students. But Vet School Spokesperson Thelma Weeks said yesterday that the school will accept a full class. She said that the student applications for next year's incoming class have been arriving at the University and that the school's admissions office has seen no noticeable decrease in the number of applications received. Generally, the school receives a flood of applications during the final week before the applications deadline. This year's admissions application deadline for the school is December 1. "The bulk of the applications come in in the last couple of days," Weeks said. "Whatever is coming in is the same as it has been in the past." The future of the Vet School was placed into question when Gov. Robert Casey cut all state funding to the University last spring. The budget was approved over the summer by the State Assembly.

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