Institutions of higher education within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and those designated as “state-related universities” are facing tough choices as they enter their eighth month without state funding. Though it is difficult to assess what direct impact the budget impasse is having on literacy and humanities programs, courses, and faculty at these 18 institutions, these excerpts from recent news articles provide some sense of the broader consequences:
Pennsylvania’s state-related colleges prepare for worst as budget impasse drags
By Brad Bumsted
Pennsylvania’s government is “playing a dangerous game of brinksmanship” as state-related universities contend with the eighth month without state funding, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher told lawmakers Wednesday.
Nicholas Jones, Penn State University’s executive vice president and provost, said the state-related universities are braced for the possibility that no funding will come from the state for the 2015-16 budget year. “We are anticipating support from the commonwealth may not be forthcoming,” Jones said.
Pittsburgh Tribune http://triblive.com/news/education/10058493-74/state-budget-gallagher
State universities hold out hope more state dollars might be coming for 2015-16
By Jan Murphy
Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Michael Driscoll explained his university has managed to get by on a funding level that hasn’t changed in four years by not filling vacancies, employing temporary staff, and using one-time funds.
“We can’t do that forever,” Driscoll said, after lamenting that the failure to fill some faculty positions at IUP is not allowing it to meet instructional needs at a level he considers appropriate.
Harrisburg Patriot News http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/03/flat_funding_for_state_univers.html
Budget gridlock could cost Penn State 1,100 jobs
By Susan Snyder
Pennsylvania State University will lay off 1,100 employees and shut down its agricultural extension offices this summer if the state doesn’t soon release its funding, president Eric Barron warned Friday.
“This is an incredibly serious issue,” Barron told the university’s trustees.
Philadelphia Inquirer http://mobile.philly.com/beta?wss=/philly/education&id=370300801#ZcL9imCw0T135c8c.99
State System leaders support 2016-17 funding request
By Kenn Marshall
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Chancellor Frank T. Brogan and other System leaders today urged members of both the House and Senate appropriations committees to support increased funding for the state-owned universities as they consider the proposed 2016-17 Commonwealth budget.
The State System has not received an increase in state funding since 2007-08, and has seen its appropriation cut three times by a combined more than $90 million during that time. It is receiving essentially the same amount of funding from the state this year as it did in 1997-98, even though it is educating 13,000 more students today.
“New investment from the state is necessary to meet rising costs over which we have no control, especially pensions and healthcare; to make strategic investments to meet the Commonwealth’s needs; and, most important, to be able to continue to offer the high-quality, high-value education our students, their future employers and the Commonwealth expect and deserve,” Mr. Brogan said.
PASSHE Press Releases http://www.passhe.edu/inside/ne/press/pages/press.aspx?q=16-3-2budgethearing