Pitt State Officials Put 2015 Legislative Session into Perspective
Pitt State officials open a dialogue with the community, looking at the last fiscal year and the financial outlook ahead at a special legislative town hall.
“We just make sure our faculty and staff really understands the challenges, the good news, the news that might concern us. The kinds of things we’re thinking about. How we’re approaching the issues that we’re facing and also giving them an opportunity to ask questions,” says PSU President Steve Scott.
Next year Pitt State students face a tuition hike of three point six percent. it is also the first time legislatures have put a cap on tuition, at a rate of at least two percent, a tuition decision which Scott feels should be left to the board of regents.
“We’re working with that. We’re going to make it work. But we’ll be talking with our legislatures about going a different direction in years to come.”
Pitt State officials emphasize there is still uncertainty about possible budget cuts to higher education down the line because the state still has to make up a more than $50 million budget shortfall.
“So the challenge we have going forward is do revenues meet projections and if they don’t meet projections than it just increases that gap, which the result is which the governor will have to do make allotments or cuts to the budget,” says PSU Director of Government Community Relations Shawn Naccarato.
Looking ahead, Naccarato hopes lawmakers will stabilize the block grant. The university is also pushing for funding to support future growth.
“We’d like to start a School of Transportation here which would require additional funding. and then also a health professions institute which would help us to fill the pipeline for pre-professional health programming,” says Naccarato.
This was the first time the legislative session was streamed live online, giving students and alumni to ask questions to Pitt State officials from the comfort of their own homes.