skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, June 24, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Economists: Restructuring Plan "Disastrous" for PA Universities

play audio
Play

Friday, April 30, 2021   

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new report says the proposed consolidation of Pennsylvania's 14 public universities would mean significant job losses and economic decline in surrounding communities.

On Wednesday, the Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education - or PASSHE - voted to advance a plan to consolidate six campuses into two larger institutions, and to reduce faculty and staff levels systemwide.

If approved, the plan would eliminate more than 1,500 jobs in 2023.

Report co-author Michael Ash - chair of the Economics Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst - said that would cause further job losses in communities where the universities are major employers, costing the surrounding counties millions in lost revenue as well as local and state tax revenue.

"This will rank in the top 1% of layoffs in Pennsylvania since 2011," said Ash. "This is a very large economic impact."

PASSHE Chancellor Daniel Greenstein says enrollment has dropped 21% in the past decade and without consolidation, the system could face dissolution or have to close campuses.

But Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, blamed decades of declining state spending for higher education for the enrollment drop. He said state funding for PASSHE has fallen to just 38% of the level it was in 1983 and '84.

"Those universities," said Stier, "which were once the engines of social mobility in Pennsylvania, have become much less effective at that task as tuition has gone up, making PASSHE schools less accessible to working people."

He said the price of a four-year education as a percent of the median income in Pennsylvania is now tied with Alabama as the second least affordable in the country.

Ash pointed out most of the untenured faculty at the universities - those most likely to be cut - and almost 60% of students enrolled in the system, are women.

"Some of the campuses have female enrolment as high as 70%," said Ash. "So, as these cuts arrive, there'll be a disproportionate impact on the female enrollment of the PASSHE system."

The vote in the Board of Governors launched a 60 day public comment period on the proposal. A final vote is scheduled for July.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …


Social Issues

play sound

Summer is here, but some Wisconsin households juggling higher consumer costs and other basic needs might feel like a vacation is out of reach…

Social Issues

play sound

An interim North Dakota legislative committee this week got an update from state leaders on potential moves to reconnect kids in foster care with thei…


Social Issues

play sound

More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid …

About a quarter of Americans hold unfavorable views of both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. (Christian Delbert/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently dismissed a case brought by Republican Arizona attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, Republican Cochise …

Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's business community is alarmed after Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised the controversial House Bill 2, known as the "Bathroom Bill," at …

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the group Radical Elders are participating in a Chicago tech conference this weekend to explain the impact of technology on older Americans…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021