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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

CDT Letter Writer Understands PSU Problems

Jude Spak, a Patton Township resident, wrote in to the Centre Daily Times last Friday in a damning letter to the editor that spoke more truths than resident Penn State spin artist Bill Mahon has spoken in his life. Read through Jude’s letter and see for yourself:

Centre Daily Times — Letters to the Editor — PSU spending out of control

If Eat ’n Park restaurant had an increase of customers of 3.1 percent, would its chairman allow an increase in staffing of 10.7 percent?

Even more to the point, if the restaurant chain had an increase in the number of customers of 2,562, would its chairman authorize an increase in staff of 3,969? I think not.

Then why has the chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees allowed that to occur at the university?

The 10.7 percent increase in Penn State personnel from 2002 equates to roughly 3,969 staff while the on-site student enrollment has increased by 2,562.

So university President Graham Spanier has added 1,347 more staff than he has students.

This makes no fiscal sense and clearly demonstrates a mind-set that a bottomless well of revenues exists, either from tuition or the state appropriation trough. The terms “cut” or “control costs” never seem to enter the administration’s lexicon.

The result has been an increase in university spending from $2.4 billion in 2002-03 to $3.4 billion currently — an increase of 41 percent — while on-site enrollment has increased only 3.1 percent, resulting in tuition skyrocketing from $8,008 to $12,284. And all this in an economic environment of modest inflation.

It’s time for the trustees to get active and rein in the profligate spending and focus on carrying out Penn State’s mission as a land-grant university.

Jude J. Spak Patton Township

What Jude says here is absolutely dead-on, and the courage of this local resident in standing up against Penn State administrators’ fiscal abuses of power should serve as a rallying cry for all of us who have been fighting the battle for transparency, accountability and common sense in Old Main.

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Hey, what do you know, someone has seen fit to use some facts in discussing tuition hikes. Thats something Billy Mahon has yet to even fathom attempting. The bottom line is that This letter is calling at the unmistakable reality of life here at Penn State, i.e. the constant rape and pillaging of student wallets and bank accounts by an administration that prefers to raise prices rather than cut the fat out of an operation so overloaded with redundancy that it might as well create a department of redundancy department.

If I can suggest the first staff who need to be slashed out of the budget, allow me to name the gruesome twosome of Billy Mahon, AKA our resident Mouth of Sauron (Those who have read Lord of the Rings will get the humor here) and of course, our favorite planner of spontaneity, one Lisa Powers. These two are the first who should go for their contributions towards keeping the balance of power twisted and held from the students here at our “Student Centered University”

Call my thoughts on this matter a little severe, but it is past due that change occur. To start we can get some honesty coming from the Ivory tower of Old Main. Maybe after that some student friendly policies. And maybe after that, some better prices for tuition. Call me a dreamer, but its something worth dreaming of.

Don’t forget about those staff members who have been at the University for YEARS who have not been given proper salary increases DUE TO the hiring of such FLUFF positions.
Tuition goes up, staff is paid less, services dwindle, but Please let Spanier and his wife get raises and put their kids through Penn State without paying diddly-squat.

[…] Bill Mahon, our administrators constantly strive to do “more with less.” Yet given the empirical and incidental evidence, this is clearly not the case. In fact, Penn State’s administration […]

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