HERE WE go again.

Last year, Governor Tom Corbett proposed a budget that would have slashed state support for Penn State and other state-related universities by 50 percent. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and much criticism of the new governor – and by the time the final budget was passed, the cuts to higher ed had been whittled down to a merely severe 19 percent.

This year, Corbett is back again with the same ax, asking for a 30 percent cut in state support to three of the four state-related universities – Penn State, Temple, and the University of Pittsburgh. For those of you doing the math at home, that’s a 30 percent cut on top of a 19 percent cut, or just about the 50 percent that Corbett had originally proposed.

Friends, Pennsylvanians, colleagues at state-related universities, lend me your ears: This is silly. Sure, we can do the wailing-and-gnashing routine again, and come July we may even be able to rejoice in a “victory” in which we are slashed only 15 or 20 percent. But, surely, the writing is on the wall, and we should have learned how to read it by now.


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