Pitt chancellor: University staff spent 'much of our energy' fighting budget cuts
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University of Pittsburgh chancellor Mark Nordenberg today said he approved of state funding for Pitt, but he but did not make reference to attempts in Harrisburg to avoid the deep cuts proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett for funding to Pitt, Temple and Penn State
At the annual meeting of the University of Pittsburgh board of trustees today, Mr. Nordenberg, who was unavailable for comment after the meeting, noted that state funding to Pitt was cut $67 million in 2011-12 and said "much of our energy" this year was spent trying to fight against "deep and disproportionate cuts" proposed for 2012-13.
In Harrisburg, the governor and leaders from the House and Senate announced Wednesday a framework that would provide flat funding for Pitt, Penn State University and Temple University while the governor in February had proposed a 30 percent funding cut.
Later this afternoon, Pitt spokesman Robert Hill issued this statement: "We are grateful for the strong support that we have received from members of the Pennsylvania Legislature throughout the budget process and were encouraged by the actions taken in the House this week.
"Now that the process seems to be moving into the final stages, we feel it would be best to let the members of the legislature complete their work without further comment from us until that work is done."
Mr. Nordenberg highlighted research accomplishments and awards won by faculty and students. He quoted from a report by the National Research Council on how important research universities are to the nation's prosperity and security.
He also noted the trustees in 1996 passed a resolution aimed at ensuring the university operate efficiently and effectively.
Also at the meeting, Mr. Nordenberg honored the police officers who answered the call March 8 after a shooter at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic as well as well as the department as a whole.
A Pitt police officer fatally shot the gunman, John Shick, 30. Shick shot six people, killing one, Miachel Schaab, 25, a therapist at Western Psych.
Mr. Nordenberg said he had "strongest feelings of respect, affection and gratitude for the University of Pittsburgh Police," which he credited with averting casualties which might have been at an "unimaginable level."
He spoke about Mr. Schaab's accomplishments and asked for a moment of silence.
Mr. Nordenberg also referred to the numerous bomb threats which plagued the campus during the spring.
He thanked federal law enforcement, the city and other municipalities for their help and noted that some people at the university worked around the clock and students showed "determination and resiliency."
First Published June 22, 2012 12:53 am