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Erickson, Admins Host Snoozer of a Town Hall

Yesterday afternoon, President Rodney Erickson and other key administrators held an open town hall forum in the HUB where they discussed issues ranging from rising tuition to the viability of Commonwealth Campuses.

Erickson addressed the most lingering question — his recent subpoena — in his opening statement, saying that he found out about the Sandusky investigation in November when the Grand Jury presentment was released. Unfortunately, he was not pressed to answer more direct questions about the investigation, like how he claims to not have read Sara Ganim’s article in March that introduced the Sandusky investigation.

The rest of the questions provided little new knowledge or insight, resulting in the typical canned answers the administration has been giving for years. Erickson answered questions relating to admissions statistics (they’re up), branch campuses (he likes them), and rising tuition (he’s not a fan).

Particularly interesting was Erickson’s plans to combat rising tuition, and he didn’t shy away from the fact that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to offset costs. “75 percent of the University’s costs are in people. One you start cutting costs, you’re cutting people,” Erickson said. He also said that if we continue to freeze staff wages, we’re going to lose our best educators to other schools.

Granted, I didn’t expect any earth shattering questions or new information from Erickson. The town halls have become a nice gesture, and something Erickson can use to prove his commitment to transparency, but rarely an avenue for new information.

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About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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