College cuts: Pennsylvania’s higher ed on the chopping block

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Last year's cuts to higher-ed funding in Pennsylvania brought Penn State students and mascot the Nittany Lion to the Capitol building in Harrisburg in protest. More cuts in Gov. Tom Corbett's budget proposal this year could do the same. (AP file photo)

Hour 1

Last week, for the second year in a row, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced that his budget for 2012-2013 would include steep cuts in higher education funding.  The state-related universities Penn State, Temple and Pitt would see a 30 percent reduction in funds (on top of the 20 percent cut they took last year) and the 14 state colleges and universities would see cuts in state funding of about 25 percent.  The schools say that tuition hikes may be the only way to cope despite the growing problem of affordability for the commonwealth’s students and their families. How will Pennsylvania’s public colleges and universities survive the cuts and what will they mean for students, educators, the corporate sector and the state’s economic well-being?  Can we be providing higher education more efficiently and productively and what are the challenges in doing so?  We turn to JONI FINNEY of the University of Pennsylvania, who studies the financing of higher education, and DANIEL HURLEY, director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

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[audio: 021612_100630.mp3]

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