March 28, 2002
Purdue president responds to proposed reductions
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Purdue University President Martin C. Jischke today (Thursday, 3/28) issued the following statement in reaction to reductions proposed by Gov. Frank O'Bannon:
"The reductions announced today (Thursday, 3/28) by Gov. O'Bannon will hit Purdue very hard. Some of our worst fears about the impact of the state's unresolved fiscal dilemma are being realized. The entire public education system will suffer long-term damage from these cuts.
"We certainly recognize the difficult decisions the governor faces in dealing with this budget situation, but we cannot escape the reality that reducing an already tight education budget endangers Indiana's future. The presidents of the six state-supported universities, among others, have urged the convening of a special legislative session to deal with both the immediate fiscal emergency and the long-term problems in our revenue structure. I strongly urge the governor and the General Assembly to consider this step. I believe there is still time to turn this challenge into an opportunity for our state.
"The losses in cash appropriations to the Purdue system add up to more than $37 million for the current and next fiscal years. This does not include the planned rollover of our June appropriation of more than $24 million. It also doesn't take into account the freezing of the 21st Century Fund, from which Purdue expected to receive $25 million to $30 million, or the delay in payment of the $5 million grant for construction of the Birck Nanotechnology Center. In addition, a 7 percent cut in line-item appropriations will reduce funding for Statewide Technology, the Cooperative Extension Service and the Technical Assistance Program, all of which are major contributors to state economic development. It also will impact the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, which is the primary safeguard of animal health in the state.
"The reductions announced so far focus heavily on the repair and rehabilitation appropriation and on technology funds. This means we will have to forgo updating software and equipment that our students need to be prepared for the job market. It also means that necessary maintenance of our very valuable facilities will suffer.
"The total loss in funding in the current biennium from the previous biennium now exceeds $100 million for Purdue. This is a serious diminution of our capacity to meet the educational and research needs of Indiana. This does not bode well for the state's future."
Source: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708