skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, September 30, 2023

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

Educators preserve, shape future with 'ALT NEW COLLEGE'; NY appeals court denies delay for Trump civil fraud trial; Michigan coalition gets cash influx to improve childcare.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A House Committee begins its first hearing in the Biden impeachment inquiry, members of Congress talk about the looming budget deadline and energy officials testify about the Maui wildfires.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

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
Michigan is among 20 states to receive a multiyear grant from the Pritzker Children's Initiative. (SneakyPeakPoints/peopleimages.com/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The coalition known as "Think Babies Michigan" has secured more than $36 million in funding to offer grants to child-care providers for infants and to…


Social Issues

play sound

High rent prices are draining the budgets of many Nebraska renters, who are paying between 30% and 50% of their income on rent. In some parts of the …

Social Issues

play sound

As the federal government nears a shutdown over a budget impasse in Congress, Wisconsin offices that help low-income individuals worry they'll have …


Lewiston, Idaho, sits on the Snake River at the border with Washington. (Guy Sagi/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Indigenous leaders are traveling through the Northwest to highlight the plight of dwindling fish populations in the region. The All Our Relations …

Social Issues

play sound

Washington performs well in a new report scoring states' long-term care systems. The Evergreen State ranked second in AARP's Long-Term Services and …

Cynthia, Tatum and Damareus, with other members of the True Up Peer Network. (Kentucky Youth Advocates)

Social Issues

play sound

A lack of housing options, mental-health challenges and a lack of connections and support have combined to drive an uptick in the number of foster …

Social Issues

play sound

Connecticut advocates are keen to see what will come from the recently established White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The new office …

Environment

play sound

A new report ranks Illinois first among 11 Midwestern states for the amount of clean power capacity under construction, and second for new clean …

 

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