Tracey A. Glorioso, communications media major, IUP, Davis Hall. "I think it sounds like we have a long way to go still. But I don't know how confident I feel in students rallying effectively." Photo by David Loomis.
By Elyse Shirley
INDIANA - In his March 8 budget address, Pennsylvania's new Republican Gov. Tom Corbett called for the deepest cut in state spending on higher education in U.S. history.
"I am ... calling on employees in the State System of Higher Education to consider sacrifice," he said. "I ask nothing more of our best educated people than to face up to a hard economic reality."
The reality, according to Corbett, means cutting higher education funds in half, starting as soon as July 1. In 2010-2011, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education received $503 million from the state; the 2011-2012 budget proposes allocating $233 million to PASSHE - a 53.8 percent cut.
Since the announcement, a flurry of confusion and shock has swept students, faculty, administrators and legislators. Peter Roquemore, 21, political science major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was among the former.
"My initial reaction was confusion," said Roquemore in an April 13 interview. "I didn't know what it meant."
Faculty members also express dismay.