PSAT-Choice Overview – The Penn State Alumni Trust – Choice (PSAT or PSAT-Choice) began with the goal of righting the course of our University’s governing structure, starting with the Board of Trustees, to remove the veil of secrecy and transform the Board and our Administration into a responsive and transparent organization that truly has the mission and advancement of our University as its core focus.
Weekly Topic – What are your views on the Penn State’s budget, tuition, and / or facilities expansions issues.
Scott Fozard, 1989 (facebook.com/Fozard.4.BOT) – We have an apparent disconnect between the public perception of PSU’s budget / tuition woes and the ongoing level of facilities expansion. I say apparent because the lack of BOT transparency makes it challenging to properly assess the issues. The BOT has not taken responsibility for the effective utilization of University resources and has not provided leadership to enhance resource utilization and effectively communicate its strategy relative to the contradictions from facilities expansion and budget / tuition concerns.
Sam Zamrik Ph.D., 1961, 1965 (http://kttekweb.com/samyzamrik/) – With expected budget cuts, it is imperative that a thorough review of Penn State expenditures be scrutinized and this idea to keep building new facilities has to stop. The cost of the Millennium building of $228 million is outrageous, even if the claim is coming for contributions. Plus look at the Hockey arena of $89 million from a donor, but there is still a question about the upkeep cost that Penn State has to endure.
Joanne C DiRinaldo, EdD, 1978 (http://www.joannedirinaldo.com/). - In order to address Governor Corbett’s proposed budget cut plan by 20% to the state system of higher education, Penn State will either have to reduce expenses, increase tuition or take more out of the endowment. Endowments have historically been used to fund research and not for the taking care of business, “teaching students.” Let’s take a closer look at Penn State’s approximately $2B endowment fund.
Myke Triebold, 1972,82 (http://pennstatetrustee.com/) - As the land grant university for the Commonwealth, Penn State is deserving of the Lion’s share of state money for higher education–and the BOT has failed its responsibility to maintain this relationship. The large scale building (and resulting rise in administrative and maintenance costs) that has occurred over the last 20 years has caused the tuition to become the highest in the nation and created a “private university” impression for lawmakers in Harrisburg.
Scott Munroe, 1998 (http://www.facebook.com/scott.k.munroe)- As Penn State now goes through the latest rounds of potential budget cuts we are forced to look at the way in which our Board of Trustees have miss-managed our University’s budget. We have one of the lowest percentages of State Funding of any Land Grant University, one of the highest gaps in Educational Quality verse available Faculty resources (of a top 50 ranked University), the highest in-state tuition rates for a public institution, and we are still building at an alarming rate thus increasing our serviceable debt and our administrative and operating costs all, while our available funding is decreasing. This is not a model for long term success and we need to find a way to effectively make our tuition more competitive while closing the gap in Educational Quality and faculty resources.