Partnership is key to attaining tuition goal

In a few days we will discuss and vote on Penn State trustee Anthony Lubrano’s resolution for our alma mater to switch from being a defendant to a plaintiff in the Corman-McCord lawsuit against the NCAA.

Penn State was forced by the court to join this lawsuit as a defendant. Our resolution seeks to correct this error by asking our legal counsel to move Penn State from defendant to plaintiff.

The arguments in support of this switch will be articulated, again, at next week’s board of trustees meeting.

But I must emphasize an equally compelling argument as to why Penn State should join this suit as plaintiffs: partnership.

This suit was brought by Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and state Treasurer Rob McCord, friends of Penn State. I humbly suggest another reason to ask my fellow trustees to support this resolution: partnership.

One of the most important issues, in which there is unanimous board agreement, is the need to reduce tuition. Notice I said reduce, not increase by a smaller amount.

Penn State gets the lowest dollar support from its state than any Big Ten school and the lowest per-student dollar support from the Pennsylvania General Assembly than any state-supported school — not just Temple, Pitt and Lincoln but all the state-supported schools, such as Shippensburg and West Chester, etc.

I’ve personally talked to Corman, state Sen. John Yudichak, state Rep. Scott Conklin and Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team about the need for better state support for Penn State.

They’re on our side, but we need to show that we’re on their side.

Therefore, I ask for support from my fellow trustees for Penn State to switch from defendant to plaintiff in the Corman-McCord lawsuit, not just based on the merits of doing this but for the additional reason to reach out to our elected officials, Corman, Yudichak, Conklin and Wolf, for an enhanced partnership.

Does voting for this resolution guarantee a reduction in tuition? No. But it would certainly help enhance our partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which accounts for about $300 million in state appropriations to Penn State, a factor that contributes to the level of tuition at Penn State.

Therefore, a vote for the Lubrano resolution is an important step toward lower tuition.