Leaders of Penn State, Pitt and Temple warned the state House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday not to go along with Gov. Tom Corbett's second straight proposal for deep cuts in state aid to the universities, suggesting that the in-state students who could least afford it would be hurt the most.
They also took pains to deflect a question about exposing their schools more fully to Pennsylvania's open records law, saying they already provide extensive information about the way they spend taxpayer money.
The heads of the "state-related" universities are renewing the campaign they mounted last year to defend the value of their institutions to improving Pennsylvania's quality of life, economic fabric and the availability of higher education to lower-income students.
In opening comments to the panel, Pitt's chancellor, Mark Nordenberg, called the funding cuts the dismantling of a long commitment by the state to public higher education. The schools are being pushed toward becoming private universities where tuition is much higher, in-state students get no discount, most students are from out-of-state and community outreach is substantially diminished, Nordenberg said.