Slippery Rock Sends Message To Harrisburg: Don’t Cut Funding

SLIPPERY ROCK (KDKA) — Students, faculty and administration at Slippery Rock University are sending a message to Harrisburg.

They held a rally against Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed budget cuts to higher education.

The budget would cut funding at 14 state institutions in half from $465 million to $232 million, resulting in massive cuts in programs outside the classroom.

“Athletics, all those things that add to the environment of the university, but aren’t engaged in the academic part of it,” Provost Bill Williams said.

The proposed cuts would also take a toll on university employees.

“The current proposed budget is actually the equivalent of a 131 positions at Slippery Rock University,” Jace Condravy, a faculty member, said. “Those may not all be faculty positions, but certainly faculty will be included.”

Similar protests were held on the campuses of all 14 state-owned universities. They’re urging students to fill out post cards and send them to their legislators, urging them to stop the cuts before the budget is passed.


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  • FedUpDemocrat

    F#%@IN Republicans .. They all suck

    • Hoss

      Another comment from a member of the party of tolerance and peace.

  • Ryan

    How about spending less time protesting and more time studying. That’s how to learn. I’m sure these kids won’t take time from their next kegger to protest the cuts.

    • SruStudent

      First, the protest was held during common hour at SRU. Tuesdays and Thursdays have one hour set aside during the middle of the day for club meetings and general socialization. This rally did not take away from class time or study time for students. A lot of students on campus are worried about the budget cuts and tuition hikes. Most of us can barely afford school right now. A tuition hike is going to hurt a lot of students.

      And secondly, contrary to popular belief, most college students understandn the importance of their education. They do take school seriously and do not spend every night going out to parties and drinking.

      • Worried College Student

        Ryan- do you even have a clue what is going on right now? Well said SruStudent- you represented us well!

    • Disgruntled SRU Senior

      Sir, I am a student at SRU. I was there, and I don’t party. There are more important things going on in the world.

      As a student, I see many here who do not care about their education and who are here to do just what you claim we all do. There are also those of use who cannot afford anything else, who wish to learn and earn something which enables us to contribute not only to our own future but yours as well.

      Or perhaps your comment suggests something of inner insecurities about your own regretful college days of unawareness and ignorant bliss. At least some of us realise what is going on around us, where we live, and we know that everything, from the water we drink to the exaust from our cars to the politics at the local, state, federal and international levels, does affect our lives.

      Here is one suggestion: Perhaps the Marcellus shale could be taxed, not that it should be happening at all, careless and rushed as it is. If that’s too extreme for you, how about in 2 or 3 years? Texas would be a lovely example.

      • Concerned PA resident who votes

        TAX THE DRILLING!!! Why are we the ONLY state that does not tax the people who are making 2 BILLION DOLLARS OFF OUR LAND??? If times are so bad that we have to cut education our children who are our future- then why not tax the drilling!!! AND I would love to be able to drink my water again— we are on the “to be investigated” list of why our water went bad after the drilling started at the top of our hill…we’re not exactly holding our breath to see when they will show up at our door to “investigate.” GOOD JOB SRU!!! We are behind you!!!

      • Zoeyzotron

        DISGRUNTLED – I had my fair share of fun in college and regret nothing. I miss those carefree days. I also can assure you that no employer will ask for a breakdown on how much time was spend in a bar vs the classroom. What is important is the content of your character and what you can potentially bring to the job.

        Now you have done you part and provided an alternative solution, that is what is important. I may disagree with your suggestion, but there is nothing wrong with a healthy debate. I would counter and suggest that if funding is to be routed to higher education then it must be subtracted from another government program. Long term, high priced debt is unhealthy, dangerous, and quite frankly unacceptable.

        That said, lighten up and have a few beers. Enjoy your Senior year. Good luck in your job search.

    • Zoeyzotron

      SRU and WORRIED – If you want me to hire you one day when you graduate then you better learn that protesting/complaining, better be followed with a proposal to address the issue. Complaining is easy, fixing the issue is difficult. You do not once suggest where the funding should come from. As i am sure you understand that the state of PA no longer has those funds.

  • Walter Sobchek

    for SRU its more like 25% cut. any executive should be able to cut 10% of budget by examining indirect expenditures. time for union and administration to sit down and cooperate to save PASSHE. At the same time union is asking for increases in some benefits, changes in promotion policy so more faculty can be promoted (even those without terminal degrees, who shouldnt have been hired or tenured in first place). insiders also know that some PASSHE colleges should be shut down, like Mansfield, others with relatively low enrollment. Consolidation of SSHE colleges could save lots of money. Too much duplication now. These colleges were designed for 19th century, which is why there are 14 of them (location, transportation) – why doesnt SSHE offer an online degree program, like Phoenix and others? Are there really any jobs for teachers anymore? School district of Las vegas hired lots of SRU teachers – are taxpayers of PA paying for teacher training for nevada – cant nevada train its own teachers? PA top 5 states per pupil higher ed expenditure, top 5 states that lose graduates to other states. We spend alot of money education students for other states!

    • Michelle Keel

      How can a person get the full educational experience by sitting at home on their labtop? You have to create contacts, use your social skils, show up to class on time, participate in person to person conversation, learn to speak up in a classroom, etc. These are all skills that prepare college students for the real world that can not be experience by sitting at home all day in your pajamas doing class online. The majority of PA college students are from PA. Their families and homes are in PA. A new college graduate needs to build experience in their field- and sometimes it does require leaving our state to do that- but I challenge you to see how many eventually return or their goal is to return to work back home. Every teacher I graduated with has returned within 5 years to western pa to teach. And for the location??? Have you mapped out the 14 schools? They aren’t exactly close to one another. AND finally- how is SRU 25% cut?? Please explain- because I attend SRU and would love to hear how we went from 50% to 25% over night.

    • Jace Condravy

      In response to Mr. Sobchek so that he can perhaps comment from a more informed place, “executives” at SRU cut 10% from their budgets over the last two years as state revenues have declined. I work closely with administration and believe that they have already cut what Mr. Sobchek might call “fat”, but we call resources for our students, so there’s not a lot of extraneous personnel and programs left to cut. Furthermore, the union has cooperated with administration over the last decade in trying to “save” the State System; our latest wage freeze proposal is not the first time that the union has accepted no increases in order to help the State System and its students out of a difficult financial spot. And currently, the union is not asking for increases in benefits, nor has it submitted any proposals to change the promotion process in order to increase the number of faculty getting promoted. We have suggested changes to the promotion process in the past, primarily to make the process more fair and to encourage a more balanced evaluation of faculty members’ many contributions to their institutions.

      Mr. Sobchek should also know that SRU actually keeps more of its graduates working in Pennsylvania post degree than come to it from Pennsylvania. We get 90 of our students from PA, but 93% of our graduates stay in PA to work. Finally, SRU’s mission is to be a premier residential university, not an on-line degree producing insititution. Both students and faculty recognize that while occasional on–line courses have their place, the best and most effective learning experiences happen face-to-face.


        Well said! It is nice to see people on here that actually have true facts and know what they are talking about- now all we need is Corbett to do the same!!!

  • Reality Check

    The students only have themselves to blame. Remember when the university allowed the students to decide whether or not a new and expensive student union should be built? I do. The students voted to have a new student union built when the current student union was suffecient. The university doesn’t need a movie theater and they don’t need Starbucks in the dorms. This is college life. Live there for four years while you earn your degree and get out.

  • rick

    I think there could stand to be some cuts in state funded colleges. But, seriously there are a lot of places government needs to put their spending on the chopping block. State employee salaries, health benefits and retirement plans to start. We the people can’t afford it anymore. Nothing is sacred. Any duplication of services which could allow a staff reduction? Are their benefits in line with the “real world”? I would hate to see cuts in college funding assistance, my son is in college. But, really, don’t we have to change something?

  • swin

    I graduated from IUP in 1970. I would hardly recognize the campus today – there have been so many new buildings demolished and new ones built. A number of buildings that were torn down were relatively new when I went there.

    You do have to wonder was this the best use of the money. Many private schools seem loaded with old stately and historic buildings whereas taxpayer run schools seem to be constantly building. Look at Pitt – after they became state related in the mid-1960’s they took over most of Oakland.

    Is this the Port Authority all over again? Keep spending more and more money for capital improvements and forget about day to day expenses and when money is needed, just dig deeper into the taxpayers’ pockets.

    I do know one thing – when I went to IUP, Indiana was a small town servicing a coal mining and agricultural area that just happened to have a state college. Now it’s a small city complete with suburbs and shopping malls and crime that is dominated by its university.

    Although cuts with a hatchet may not be a good idea I sense that some degree of entrenchment is necessary and will be good for both the schools and the towns.

    One other point, I applied for admission to Indiana State College in 1969 and was accepted to Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1970. IUP was the only university at the time – the other 13 state schools were colleges. Now they are all universities. Was it ever the intent of the state to compete, using taxpayer dollars, with all the private universities in the area? And should it have been?
    As an example of government growth, all the state colleges were started as ‘normal schools’ for the purpose of training school teachers who would then work for the state. Now they are full-fledged universities. Considering they no longer serve the function they were intended for then perhaps we should consider privatizing them.

  • swin

    I would like to request that anyone speaking out against a cut in government please do so by suggesting something else that you want to cut instead. Governments at all levels in this country are broke. Something has to be cut. You are not bringing anything to the table but just opposing cuts that affect you. Nobody wants their programs or their benefits cut but cuts will have to be made. So if you oppose one cut, please suggest another to take its place.

    • Zoeyzotron

      Well said SWIN! – Everyone seems to be missing that point.

  • walter sobchek

    state system univ’s are funded about 50% by the state, so 50% of 50% is only 25% overall. PA is losing population relative to other states, probably will lose 2 electoral votes this year, getting smaller, tax base shrinking relative to other states, time to look at what is going on in state budget. No, the state systems univ ARE relatively close to one another, SRU, Calif, Edinboro, Clarion, all within easy 1-2 hr drive. Made sense back with horses, trains, walking, but not much sense now with cars, expressways, the internet. PA has too many state univ, cost too much, also time to look at quality of faculty – most of the faculty only known on campus, they have no national or even regional recognition in their fields. Most faculty have such poor academic records (esp since tenure) they could never find a job anywhere else, in fact, there ARE NO jobs in academia – these professors should thank god they even have a job. If they dont like the cuts they can get a better job somewhere else (not they COULD)

  • Russ

    These state universities are little more than glorified high schools and should be shut down.

    • Hoss

      Thanks for your insight, Russ. My SRU education has helped me build a career and a good life. State universities may not be Ivy League schools, but they do provide an opportunity for receiving a degree at a reasonable cost. I’m sure all the tens of thousands of state university grads also appreciate your comments. Keep that mind of yours open and your horizons broad.

  • Dr Deb Cohen

    Mr. Sobchek, I am a well-known theatre researcher and translator in Costa Rica and Mexico. Professor Thom Cobb won the title of National Dance Teacher of the Year–TWICE! Dr. Thomas Pearcy is such a valued historian that he was the only North American invited to Panama for an important event, and he has also worked by invitation at our National Archives. Our Sport Management program is frequently invited to share their expertise in Europe. As a former member of our university promotion committee, I assure you that most of the 45 portfolios I read each year for three years were very impressive. We also have a review every fifth year post-tenure, in which we evaluate our progress and discuss it with our Deans. The faculty who are here without terminal degrees have been teaching for over 25 years, and were hired before a terminal degree was a requirement. As for jobs elsewhere, some of us would do quite nicely, thank you, but we CHOOSE to teach, because that is what we love to do.

    • Zoeyzotron

      DR DEB – What you said may be well and good but in no way addresses the issue here. Funds have dried up, where do you propose that these funds come from? Please do not complain with out at least suggesting a viable solution.

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