Against SSHE exit

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Thank you for letting the public know about the West Chester University Foundation’s involvement in paying expensive lobbyists to support Senate Bill 1275 (“University’s Foundation Bankrolling Effort to Exit State System,” March 14). For a foundation that stewards student scholarship funds to also spend money trying to make college less affordable is at best ironic.

While your reporting was excellent, we cannot leave trustee Eli Silberman’s claim of “widespread support on campus” for this bill without comment. Where is his evidence for widespread support? It doesn’t come from the students. Why would students support a change that would lead to a significant tuition hike?

Perhaps Mr. Silberman mistakes faculty silence for support. So why the silence? There has been little to no opportunity to voice opposition to the trustees. Today, there will be 10 minutes allowed for comment at the council of trustees meeting. Lisa Millhous, president of the local chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, will get precisely two minutes to present the case for widespread faculty opposition to secession.

While we recognize that there may be a diversity of viewpoints on campus about this legislation, all faculty at West Chester University realize that we educate a large number of first-generation college students, and that we (and other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools) are the most affordable four-year option in the commonwealth.

Furthermore, many of us sought employment at West Chester University precisely because of the university and State System’s commitment to an affordable college education. Faculty don’t want to see students lose a chance at a college education because of increased tuition, and we — the undersigned as well as widespread others — are not in support of secession.

MARGARET ERVIN
Associate Professor
HANNAH ASHLEY
Professor
West Chester University English Department
West Chester, Pa.

Margaret Ervin is Academic Development Program faculty member, and Hannah Ashley is Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies program coordinator.


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