Penn State Cuts The Daily Collegian’s Funding In Half

Update, May 19:

In The Daily Collegian’s monthly alumni newsletter, The Collegian Alumni Interest Group shared that Penn State’s proposed 50% budget cut of the newspaper’s funding is irreversible.

The alumni group gathered more than 350 petition signatures to dissent the proposal and met with the Penn State Board of Trustees and Bellisario College of Communications Dean Marie Hardin to contest the cut. However, The Collegian’s funding slash from $425,000 to $200,000 was deemed unavoidable.

Additionally, The Collegian won’t receive direct funding from the university in future years but will instead request funds from the University Park Fee Board. The Fee Board is responsible for allocating students’ “student fee” toward, in this case, organization funding, as well as counseling services, cultural programs, lectures, and musical performances.

“The Collegian AIG plans now to meet with the board of directors of The Collegian Inc. to brainstorm ways to support the student newspaper,” the newsletter reads.

The Collegian’s subsidy cut will not affect the outlet until the 2024-25 school year.

Original Story:

Penn State has proposed an over 50% decrease in The Daily Collegian’s funding, according to a letter published by Editor-in-Chief Megan Swift Sunday night. The Collegian is appealing the reported funding cut.

The proposed cut is from $425,000 in 2023 to $200,000 in 2024. Swift was personally informed of the possibility of the proposal over winter break but could not share specific timing details because it was “confidential.”

In September, the Penn State Board of Trustees approved an $8.6 billion operating budget, which included a $149 million general funds deficit.

“The explanation we were given is that it was due to the budget deficit and funding cuts being made across the university,” Swift said.

The Daily Collegian is Penn State’s 136-year-old student-run newspaper and media source. Onward State is an independent student-run blog that does not receive any funding from the university. The two are not affiliated.

The Collegian Alumni Interest Group, which fittingly is a group of The Daily Collegian alumni, published a post asking folks to send a letter to Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi to not cut The Collegian’s support. The petition has garnered over 250 signatures as of 2 p.m. on Monday, March 27. Swift explained that The Daily Collegian Board of Editors “had no say” in it, as the board operates independently of the alumni group.

In the post, the alumni interest group said the news was, “shocking since most cuts were no more than 15 percent.”

At this time, it’s unclear if most cuts were 15% or less. A Penn State spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

“So basically the 15% thing you would honestly have to fact-check that yourself. I could not tell you if that is true or not,” Swift said.

The Collegian received a consistent $500,000 in funding until dropping to $450,000 and $425,000 in the last two years, respectively. Swift wrote that The Collegian Board of Directors sent a letter to Bendapudi to hold the cut to $361,250, which is 15%.

According to Swift, the funding is “in exchange for all Penn State students to gain free access to our website and print product.”

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a washed-up biology grad and former associate editor. Her legacy will live on through stories like “10 Questions With State College Sensation ‘Hot UPS Bae’”. If you’re a STEM girlie, this is your sign to take the leap of faith and learn to write. It’s pretty fun. Colleen misses the hate mail and can be reached at [email protected] or via LinkedIn.

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