PSU spending out of control

Here we go again on Penn State tuition, as Penn State is the most expensive non-private university in the nation.

The PSU Board of Trustees and administration is asleep at the wheel.

During the last 15 years, inflation drove educational costs up by 50 percent.

But PSU has increased tuition rates by 200 percent.

Why? The reasons are as obvious — and infuriating — as they are indefensible.

Fifteen years ago, every dollar of tuition was used to pay for educational and instructional activities, including the salaries of educational administrators.

Today, nearly one-third of every dollar of tuition is funneled off to pay for expenses completely unrelated to education and instruction of students – primarily to fund bloated non-educational bureaucracy and unchecked capital spending.

The ratio of non-educational, non-research bureaucrats has more than doubled relative to the number of professionals actually performing the educational and research missions of the university.

But PSU leaders only point the finger at Harrisburg – even though the state appropriation is a much smaller factor in the rising costs.

Penn State annually charges more than $400 million more in tuition than it spends on educating and instructing students.

PSU could reduce tuition by 25 percent today, even without any increase to the state appropriation, if it simply stopped diverting funds from the students to finance their own administrative largess.

And each year the stifling, wasteful bureaucracy only grows worse.

PSU leadership? They simply don’t care. And honesty doesn’t serve their self-interests.

So they formed a bureaucratic committee to study the issue — and raised tuition again. The irony is staggering.

Barry Fenchak

State College