Letter to the editor | Slow the rise of tuition

March 12, 2014 

Penn State’s governance and long-range planning committee meeting last week primarily focused on board of trustees reform.

Not surprisingly, little or no progress was made, and discussion moved to the importance of having a student representative on the board when tuition is set during the July board meeting.

That’s fine, but more important is the actual discussion on tuition.

Based on recent hearings in Harrisburg, it appears Penn State is pointing to still another impactful tuition increase this fall. I’m sure the increase will be couched in myriad reasons this is necessary.

Before Penn State rubber-stamps another tuition increase, it should study what’s happening at another Big Ten institution.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has managed to freeze tuition for the past two years and will do it again this year. A 5 percent cut in meal plans also has been applied.

How? This was made possible by a universitywide commitment in which every faculty and staff colleague participated. Among other initiatives, Daniels has offered $1 million for any department or program to build a three-year degree and the first to offer a competency-based degree.

With a majority of recent graduates either unemployed or working at jobs that do not require a college degree, and with an estimated 45 percent living at home, isn’t it time Penn State takes a hard look at the way it’s doing business?

Ted Sebastianelli, State College

The writer is an alumni candidate for the Penn State’s board of trustees.

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