Penn State has had its PR machine working overtime, lamenting its financial predicament due to the commonwealth’s budget fiasco.
The University of Illinois, facing a much larger loss of revenue due to a similar fiasco in its state, announced a suspension of all construction spending and an across-the-board reduction of all administrative budgets.
What did Penn State do?
▪ In the past three months alone, approved new construction spending of more than $250 million — none of it for mission-critical construction (they did so over the strong objections of the governor’s representative on the board of trustees).
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▪ Continues to increase administrative bloat to the point where 57 percent of research dollars procured by faculty for on-campus research is allocated to covering “administration and overhead.”
▪ According to Penn State’s own financial statements, for the last fiscal year it brought in $1.8 billion of tuition revenue, despite spending only $1.3 billion on “instruction.” Where did all that money go?
▪ We won’t even begin to discuss the hundreds of millions squandered in commissioning of the Freeh report.
Penn State’s administration has become so fat and bloated that they can no longer bend over to tie their own shoes, let alone tighten their belt.
President Eric Barron’s protestations are akin to your neighbor — who lives in a $2 million home, with a live-in maid, and takes winter vacations in Aspen and summer vacations in the Caribbean — knocking on your door and asking you to help him out by paying his utility bills for him.
Barry Fenchak, State College