Today, the PASSHE Board of Governors met at its quarterly meeting to consider the 2014-15 budget, increases in tuition and technology fees, and a host of other policy issues that will impact students and faculty. Major policy changes approved included:
- Setting tuition for 2014-15 at $6,830—a three percent or $198 increase over last year.
- Increasing the technology fee by $54 per student.
- Changing the allocation formula which determines the amount of state dollars given to each university. (For an outline of the allocation formula changes, click here.) Some universities will see increases as a result of the changes, some will see decreases.
- Approving more tuition flexibility pilot programs for East Stroudsburg, Millersville, Mansfield and Cheyney Universities.
- Approving the imposition of additional program-specific fees at Edinboro University for Arts and Nursing programs, including a nursing fee equal to 25 percent of tuition.
- Lifting the 12 credit cap on Lock Haven’s per credit educational services fee.
- Allowing Mansfield to set specific high-cost program fees.
- Creating a new Protection of Minors policy that spells out duties of all employees including faculty when it comes to handling abuse of minors on campus. The policy outlines employee responsibilities in the areas of training for child abuse prevention, interacting with minors, and mandatory reporting of child abuse.
- Changing the Board of Governors by-laws related to voting.
APSCUF President, Kenneth M. Mash addressed the board regarding the continued acceptance of flat funding from the state after a $90 million cut and demanded greater advocacy by the State System to legislators and the public. Without an increase in tuition/fees and further cuts, the State System will be operating with a $58 million deficit with flat funding from the state.
Mash stated that the universities cannot ride out this storm by simply passing the burden of cost onto the students through tuition increases, creating a patchwork of additional fees, and asking Presidents to cut programs, services, and faculty and staff further. Citing the clear return on investment the Commonwealth receives from investing in PASSHE, Mash called for our story to be heard to avoid these pitfalls in the future (flat funding, increasing tuition, and asking universities to cut more.)
An example of the cuts on campus can be found in the list of programs placed in moratorium in just the past six months, which was outlined during this week’s meetings. According to the State System, 33 programs have already been placed into moratorium (with a heavy amount coming from foreign language programs.) If PASSHE is not responsive to the call for greater advocacy, this list will only get bigger.
To read the entire Board of Governors agenda, please click here.