Your recent commentary, “PASSHE Chancellor says everything on the table for state system to survive” rightly addressed the serious nature of the challenges facing the 14 universities within Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education — challenges that universities across the nation are confronting. Thank you for recognizing and acknowledging these critical issues.
In your commentary, however, you made the claim that Chancellor Frank Brogan in his recent appearances before the state House and Senate appropriations committees did not ask for more money for the universities while putting “every asset the State System has to offer on a platter.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, the Board of Governors has asked for an additional $87.7 million in state funding next year, which would represent the largest one-year increase in the state system’s history. The chancellor made that request clear during both of the budget hearings.
Countless students, faculty, staff and administrators — including the chancellor — fought hard over the past several months to convince the state to increase funding to the system this year, and were successful. State funding to the system was increased by $20.6 million in the recently completed 2015-16 state budget. It is the first increase the system has received in eight years. It is vital that the Commonwealth continue to increase its investment in Shippensburg and the other universities next year, as well, and in the years ahead.
While the chancellor will continue to advocate for that increased investment, it is just as important that the system examine all of its operations as it plans for the future. When the chancellor said, “Everything must be on the table,” he meant exactly that. We will look at every part of the organization, including the Office of the Chancellor, to make sure our resources are optimally invested both at the university level and at the system level.
The bottom line is simple: We must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure our students continue to have access to high-value, high-quality educational experiences that prepare them for success in their futures.
Media Relations Manager
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and are not representative of The Slate or its staff as a whole.