Pennsylvania’s public universities would have to compete for state subsidies should a proposal circulating in the state Senate gain traction.
PennLIVE reported that state Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh County, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and state Rep. Ryan Aument, R-Lancaster Coounty, chairman of the House Education Committee, are working on a proposal calling for the formation of an 11-member commission. That group would design a funding formula for higher education that would weigh university performance on measures including graduation and retention rates, affordability, financial aid, student debt and job placement.
The Legislature doles out cash annually to four state-related universities — Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln — as well as the 14 state-owned universities under the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
For years, the institutions have had to appear before the Legislature every winter and plead their case for funding in the upcoming budget year.
PennLive reported that officials from Pitt and Penn State applauded the proposal that could dramatically change that process.