PITTSBURGH, December 26, 2007 In order to remove any impediments to the implementation of its $100 million commitment for the funding of The Pittsburgh Promise, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) today said it has informed The Pittsburgh Foundation that it is waiving those provisions of the Agreement requiring City Council approval.
The waiver of these provisions means that UPMC will not seek to enter into an agreement with the City of Pittsburgh and that it will make its $10 million initial contribution and $90 million challenge grant payments to the Pittsburgh Promise Foundation in accordance with the terms of the commitment.
Three weeks ago it was my privilege and great pleasure to announce, with the Mayor and Superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, UPMCs $100 million commitment to the Pittsburgh Promise, stated Jeffrey Romoff, UPMC president and CEO. The initial outpouring of enthusiastic support for the Pittsburgh Promise speaks to its immense value to the community and our children. With our decision to move forward without requiring City Council approval, we ask that everyone re-focus attention on what is truly important building and sustaining widespread and financially significant public support for the Pittsburgh Promise, which is essential for the programs success, he said.
Although precedent exists for City Council approval of similar agreements, including addressing certain tax considerations, UPMC has concluded that the controversy related to the request for City Council approval should not be allowed to jeopardize the extraordinary Pittsburgh Promise program. By removing its requirement for Council approval, UPMC believes it has eliminated the source of controversy surrounding its commitment.
While UPMC will continue to welcome any supportive resolutions from the City Council, none are necessary for our commitment to the Pittsburgh Promise to go forward, said UPMC general counsel Robert Cindrich. As has been reported, UPMCs governing agreement with the Pittsburgh Foundation provides that in the unlikely event of future state legislation that would require UPMC to pay taxes to the City of Pittsburgh and/or the School District, UPMC has the option of taking a dollar for dollar reduction to its payment to the Promise. We believe that it is more important to move forward with the program than to worry about a hypothetical situation, which is highly unlikely to arise, he added.
UPMCs amended Pittsburgh Promise commitment also provides that in the unlikely event that UPMC experiences a deficit in operating income in any given year, UPMC could withhold its contribution to the Promise in the following year, to ensure that UPMC remains capable of serving the health needs of the community. Also, UPMCs previously approved agreement with the School District of Pittsburgh remains in effect.
With regard to the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund, UPMC has contributed $1.5 million per year for the past three years to support the City. As the City budget for next year anticipated continuation of this funding, UPMC has also agreed to make a $1.5 million contribution in 2008, providing a transitional year.
We encourage business leaders, foundations and individuals to join us in attaining the dual objectives of the Pittsburgh Promise: making higher education achievable for Pittsburgh's public school students and their parents, and enhancing the growth, stability and economic development of the City by providing a substantial incentive for families with school-aged children to reside in the City, said Mr. Romoff.
Click here for UPMCs letter to the Pittsburgh Foundation.