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Spanier, Board of Trustees Giving Our Money to Cows

The Board of Trustees met on September 17, 2010 to discuss various important topics related to the future of Penn State and its students. One of the most pertinent subjects brought up was the fiscal plan approved by the Board of Trustees. Included in this plan are some questionable allocations of money.

Breakdown of the Budget 2011-2012:

The Board of Trustees is asking the Commonwealth for a supplemental 5% increase, or rather an extra $17.2 million.

According to President Graham Spanier, $347 Million was the starting point for the University’s 2011-2012 request.

  • $333.9 Million – to stabilize funding among public institutions and to keep tuition as low as possible, according to Penn State Live ($318.1 Million in base state appropriation and $15.8 Million in federal stimulus funds).
  • $13.1 Million – state and federal medical assistance to Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The additional $17.2 Million we are requesting…

  • $12.8 Million – Educational & General Budget
  • $3.1 Million – Programs in Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension
  • $691,000 – To Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • $657,000 – To Hershey Medical Center

What does this mean for us?

Increase in In-State Tuition

  • 2.9 % at Commonwealth Campuses
  • 4.9% at University Park

Increase in Out-Of-State Tuition

  • 2.9 % at Commonwealth Campuses
  • 3.5% at University Park

“Note that this is a request only,” said Paula Ammerman, Director of the Board of Trustees Office. “The actual budget will not be determined until late-spring or summer at such time as the Commonwealth’s budget is approved and we know the exact amount of the appropriation from the state.”

What I want to know:

Why are we budgeting so much additional money to Hershey Medical Center? Isn’t it enough that we are providing them with $13.1 Million in state and federal assistance? What is the extra $657,000 for?

Why, out of all programs, are programs in Agricultural Research slated to receive $3.1 Million of the $17.2 Million increase? What is it about Agricultural Research that makes this program so much more important than the rest? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for hugging trees and milking cows, but shouldn’t we be using most of that money to keep the increase in tuition down?

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About the Author


I'm a senior majoring in advertising and minoring in business in the liberal arts. I love to travel. So far i've been to Estonia, Russia, Italy, France, England, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. I've also been to 25 states in the U.S.

Current Favorites:
TV: Leverage, That 70's Show, Covert Affairs, and Glee
(Yes, I'm a Gleek!)
Movies: The Hangover, Get Smart, The Mighty Ducks, 3 Ninjas
Toilet Paper Position: Folded Over...none of that under nonsense!

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