January 25 – People at Penn State University are getting quite anxious about the $94 million in cuts to the budget that will be coming in the next few weeks.
The cuts will be effective next year.
Enrollment is down more than 20% across Penn State’s statewide footprint over the last few years.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “Revenue is not meeting expenses, so they’re going to roll out about $94 million in cuts. Hard to say what that looks like. You have to assume it could be staff cuts, program cuts.”
Some campuses only have a few hundred students.
Barkdoll wondered, “Could there be a scenario that campuses close? So we’ll certainly want to watch that very closely.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM asked, “How much does that president make?”
“Oh, she’s in the millions,” Barkdoll confirmed. “Maybe they’ll cut her salary.”
Ryan scoffed, “Oh, no, no, no. She’s certainly not going to get a haircut. Now it’s time to send some of these less performing packages and schools out the door or you could just dabble into your endowment. I mean, you certainly have enough sitting in that bank account.”
Barkdoll said, “One of the things that comes up in these discussions, you look at these downward enrollment trends, but the budget never goes down in conjunction with the decreased enrollment or they don’t cut staff or programs. All that stuff stays the same even as enrollment keeps dropping. That seems to be something she’s trying to focus on. So we’ll see what the board does.”