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HARRISBURG – The president of the union that represents over 6,000 faculty members and coaches at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities today called on the presidents of four universities to return their recent pay increases to their respective universities’ educational budgets.

Steve Hicks, President of State APSCUF (The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties), urged the presidents of Kutztown University, Mansfield University, East Stroudsburg University and Cheyney University to make the concession.

In the fall, Kutztown, Mansfield and East Stroudsburg Universities, citing financial challenges, announced faculty layoffs for the upcoming year (2011-12). Cheyney University continues to confront a sizeable debt and declining student enrollment. Cheyney administrators have used its financial difficulty to justify its failure to hire permanent faculty; it currently has the highest percentage of temporary faculty among the state-owned universities.

“It is simply irresponsible for people who are laying off faculty to accept raises while claiming financial hardship,” Hicks said. “It represents the worst of corporate America where CEOs make bad management decisions, layoff employees without conscience, and walk away with their pockets lined for doing it.”

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) recently announced that all eligible Presidents at Pennsylvania’s state-owned Universities would receive pay increases. That includes Kutztown President F. Javier Cevallos (5%), Mansfield President Maravene Loeschke (5%), East Stroudsburg President Robert Dillman (2.5%), and Cheyney President Michelle Howard Vital (4.5%).

“As a general rule we [APSCUF] believe that a quality system of higher education demands competitive salaries,” Hicks continued, “but it is hard to fathom that students and their families would see these pay increases as an appropriate use of their tuition dollars. We believe that the citizens of the Commonwealth would choose faculty in the classroom over increased pay for these university presidents.”