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STATE COLLEGE, PA — The Association of State College and University Faculties today announced its endorsement of Tom Wolf in the 2014 Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Election.

“After careful consideration of all candidates in this very important election, APSCUF has decided that Tom Wolf best defines and supports the issues and programs most beneficial to our membership,” said Steve Hicks, President of APSCUF, the union representing more than 6,000 professors and coaches in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

“The brightest hope for ensuring a strong economic future for Pennsylvania is for the 14 state-owned universities to be able to continue producing high quality graduates that invigorate the workforce,” said Hicks. “On average, about 80 percent of PASSHE graduates remain in Pennsylvania and become productive employees who contribute to growing the economy.

Mr. Wolf’s background in academia and his dedication to promoting the benefits of diverse higher education programs align with APSCUF’s mission to provide the highest quality college education in Pennsylvania at the most reasonable cost in classrooms led by first-class professors,” Hicks said.

“I am thankful to receive support from the men and women who work every day to deliver quality and affordable access to higher education in Pennsylvania,” said Tom Wolf. “Our state’s colleges and universities must be an integral part of building a 21st century workforce, and I share APSCUF’s vision that we have to increase access to higher education for lower and middle-class families as well as address the rising costs of higher education.”

“For a long time, we thought APSCUF and the other unions were going to stay neutral in this primary; our focus was on defeating Governor Corbett, whose cuts to PASSHE have led to higher tuition and tough choices on the 14 campuses,” said APSCUF Committee for Action through Politics Chair Bradley Wilson.

Wilson, a Slippery Rock University philosophy professor, chairs the committee that made the recommendation to endorse Wolf. “But then we had the opportunity to meet candidates and look at their records and their proposals and Tom Wolf changed our minds. We were particularly impressed by his track record as a private-sector businessman: his negotiating in good faith with his employees and providing a fully-funded defined benefit pension program speaks volumes. We were also impressed with his persona as something new, not just another politician.”