The academic faculty of Pennsylvania’s state universities are struggling to learn the hard economic lessons that those of us living outside that blue-nosed bubble of scholastic privilege have already come to terms with. The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), the union that represents college instructors and coaches, has agreed to negotiate wage freezes with the various state colleges throughout Pennsylvania. But APSCUF still doesn’t really get the over-riding reality that is facing state- supported higher education and its faculty.
Considering that Governor Corbett has proposed slashing in half the state’s contribution to higher education budgets, the unionized faculty have offered up their pay increases in an attempt to forestall layoffs. But acquiescing to a one-time only pay freeze is not going to solve the budgetary woes of the Penn State University system nor resolve the floundering finances of the smaller state supported Mom and Pop shops. Penn State has spent decades gobbling up small independent colleges to expand their market presence and they have saddled themselves with aging facilities and an over-padded payroll. The handwriting is on the chalkboard—college closures and faculty layoffs are inevitable.
But the artful academes still expect the Pennsylvania taxpayer to fork over the funds. Notice the tone of entitlement here from Steve Hicks, President of APSCUF.
We want to do our part to support our universities and respond to the governor’s call for a one-year wage freeze. We want to be part of the solution. We hope the General Assembly does its part by meeting the Commonwealth’s obligation to the state system of higher education by restoring the critical funds necessary for our students to have the same opportunities their brothers, sisters, and parents had to improve themselves and to secure Pennsylvania’s future. Post Gazette
Ah, it’s always about the kids, the next generation, and the common good. How wonderfully altruistic these high flyers are in agreeing to go without a raise for one whole year—such self-sacrifice brings tears to the eyes of the bled white taxpayers. And now that our unionized brothers and sisters have shown themselves to be such great team players, the Pennsylvania legislators better belt up and meet their ‘obligation’ because it’s all about keeping that cash coming in. Forget re-assessing the state system’s mission, never mind all that silly talk about reorganization, and don’t give a thought to the out-of-control curricula that does absolutely nothing to prepare young men and women for the real world of work. In other words, pay no attention whatsoever to the self-serving bureaucracy that has become a canker sore on the body politic.
If Harrisburg actually approves the Governor’s budget as is, then state-supported higher education here in PA will experience an epileptic fit of seismic proportions. So fasten your seat belts, Educrats, it could be a very bumpy ride.