There will be some changes coming at three of Pennsylvania’s fourteen state-owned universities.

Clarion, Edinboro and Slippery Rock are trying to close multi-million budget shortfalls.

And all fourteen are seeing the same financial problems.

First – there was the recession.

Then the state slashed its funding by eighteen percent.

Student enrollment has been dropping for three years –

And that trend is expected to continue for several more.

Degree programs are being eliminated or restructured because there aren’t enough students.

And at least Clarion and Edinboro have talked about job cuts.

That’s probably inevitable – but it shouldn’t be the only way to cover budget deficits.

At least Slippery Rock’s president – Cheryl Norton – reached out to the university community before announcing any changes –

Asking for suggestions on ways to save money and bring in more revenue.

There are a lot of very smart, creative people on those campuses – and among the alumni –

Who are vested in seeing the universities succeed and grow.

Administrators should tap that resource – as they try to re-tool their schools for the future.

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