Bad bill for universities
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State Rep. Brad Roae, R-Crawford, has introduced a 10-bill "Keep Tuition Affordable" package that would greatly harm Pennsylvania's public universities if it is passed.
The governor's withdrawal of a significant amount of financial support was bad enough: The Roae Amendment would weaken our system even more. Tuition would be frozen and student activity fees would be optional, putting academic programs and many student services at risk.
Support for faculty research (sabbaticals) would be withdrawn. Faculties at other public and private universities are encouraged to keep current in their fields through sabbatical leave: Our faculty would be at a disadvantage.
Curricular innovation and the opportunity for students to study a broad range of subjects also would be stifled by an emphasis on "job-ready" majors. These are only a few of the many destructive facets of this amendment.
Our ability to maintain educational quality, support innovative programs and compete for high-quality faculty and staff would be severely compromised if this amendment passes. Legislators who support this amendment are showing a serious lack of concern for the citizens who depend on our public higher education system.
The writer is on the faculty of Slippery Rock University.
First Published July 9, 2012 12:00 am