Pa. universities' faculty, staff warned of possible layoffs

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stagnant state subsidies and declining enrollments are threatening jobs at several universities in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.

Faculty leaders said employees of six state universities, including Clarion and California universities in western Pennsylvania, received letters notifying them that faculty and staff positions could be cut to balance the budget this fall.

"Money is the bottom line," said Elizabeth McDaniel, president of the faculty union at Clarion She identified the other four state schools as Cheney, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro and Mansfield universities.

Systemwide, state subsidies declined from $484 million in 2007-08 to $412.7 million in 2011-12. They have remained flat since.

In a July 12 email, Clarion President Karen Whitney wrote that the school is weighing its options. It has an $8 million deficit and enrollment that declined 8.7 percent from 2008 to 2012.

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