Spanier Talks Money With Board

lionGraham Spanier met with the Penn State Board of Trustees today, and addressed the economy’s impact on the university in an open letter that was posted on Penn State Live.

Applications are up 5.5% this year, probably because Penn State is still cheaper than many private colleges.

The amount of students returning for the spring semester has “held steady” compared to historical averages. This stands in contrast to a Chronicle of Higher Education report that said 25% of private schools and 13% of public schools expected retention between the fall and spring semesters to go down.

But the letter outlined a grim situation for the university.

Spanier describes the symptoms of the profound problem the school will face next year, but fails to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation.

***Penn State has not, and plans not to, introduced layoffs or a hiring freeze. The university is even increasing ancillary employee benefits at a cost of $4 million dollars.

***Spanier says he will not raise tuition any more than normal this year.

*** Penn State received 6% less than the State appropriated amount this year due to Pennsylvania’s budget shortfalls. It is highly unlikely that we will see any increases this year– indeed, the amount appropriated will probably fall as Pennsylvania was 2.3 billion dollars in debt this year and Rendell has said he will not pursue increases in state sales or income taxes for next year.

The Collegian Editorial Board said today that it hopes UPUA will find creative ways to prevent a tuition increase, other than the Tuition Challenge Grant that Tom Shakely (Safeguard Old State Founder) and Gavin Kierans (UPUA President) had been pursuing.

The UPUA is not the organization that pursues or applies for state and federal funding, so it’s unclear what the Collegian had in mind. Maybe the Collegian just hopes that UPUA will petition Spanier and the Board to not increase tuition next year.

Spanier is setting himself so that he will likely disappoint at least some section of the Penn State community, whether it’s the faculty and staff or the student body.

Source: Penn State Live

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Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

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