Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing to fully eliminate state funding totaling about $30 million to the University of Pennsylvania in the coming fiscal year.
According to the budget proposal unveiled today by the governor’s administration, Wolf, a Democrat who ran largely on increasing funding to public education, wants to cut all state funding to Penn, an Ivy League, private university that reportedly has an endowment of more than $10 billion.
In a budget presentation released Tuesday, Wolf’s administration included a graph that showed Penn receives more state appropriations than a number of similarly-sized private universities:
The Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn’s student newspaper, reported that in fiscal year 2015, Penn received $31.51 million that represented just about 1 percent of the school’s operating budget. More than $28 million of that cash went to the School of Veterinary Medicine and the rest went to Penn’s School of Dental Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine.
The DP wrote that a $14.4 million decrease in funding to the veterinary school since 2008 resulted in cuts to Penn Vet’s budget. State appropriations account for more than 20 percent of that budget.
Penn Vet released a statement saying the school “recognize(s) the severity of the Commonwealth’s budget challenges.”
“This is an opportunity to expand awareness of the Vet School’s historic partnership with the Commonwealth, which was designed to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Pennsylvania and its largest industry, agriculture,” the school wrote in a statement. “Funding from the Commonwealth ensures the Vet School’s ability to deliver life-saving services at its two animal hospitals, advance research programs that support the agricultural industry, and maintain our commitment to developing and growing the veterinary profession.”