Contact Information 

Meadville District Office
900-920 Water Street
Downtown Mall
Meadville, PA  16335
Phone (814) 336-1136
Hours 8 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. (M-F)

Fairview Office (Mondays Only)
Fairview Township Building
7471 McCray Rd., Fairview, PA
Hours 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Monday)
1-800-770-2377

Cranesville Office (Thursdays Only)
Cranesville Borough Office
10195 John Williams Ave.
Cranesville, PA 16410
Phone: 1-800-770-2377
Hours 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Thursday)

Capitol Office
Hon. Brad Roae
151 East Wing
Harrisburg PA 17120-2006
Phone: (717) 787-2353
Fax: 717-782-2902

E-mail:
  broae@pahousegop.com

Why is Tuition So High?
3/28/2012
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) professors received a 6 percent raise in 2008, a 6 percent raise in 2009, and an 8 percent raise in 2010. In 2007, they each received a $1,750 “signing bonus.”

PASSHE tenured professors with 13 years of experience earn $107,869 a year and only have to teach 12 hours a week, or approximately two to three hours per day. Rookie tenured professors get $72,966 a year. Professors get paid several thousand dollars extra if they teach more classes. There are 92 professors, coaches and administrators at Edinboro University who make more than $100,000 a year. Who knows how many there are at all 14 state-owned colleges?

Just at Edinboro University, nine professors are doing “zero work” and getting full pay and benefits this semester because they are on paid sabbatical. The union contract allows 7 percent of the professors to be on paid sabbaticals at any given time. Professors even continue to “earn” paid sick days while out on paid sabbatical. The costs are in the millions when all 14 colleges are calculated.

Spouses, same-sex partners and children up to 25 years of age of PASSHE professors get FREE tuition. This resulted in more than $10 million of lost tuition last year.

PASSHE professors get 15 paid sick days, five paid personal days, and 20 paid vacation days each year, or a total of eight weeks of paid time off.

There have been some interesting statements attributed to Edinboro University professors such as, “If there was any fat, we’ve cut the fat. We’ve cut into the muscle and I think we’re now down to cutting the bone” and “I don’t know where we can possibly find the money to make up for the shortfall.”

The items above clearly show that not all the fat has been cut, and state funding cuts can be easily absorbed. In fact, PASSHE can effortlessly cut its budget in ways that would have zero impact on the students and on the taxpayers.

The following are examples of some of the numbers at state-owned universities. These numbers apply specifically to Edinboro University, but I believe they are good examples of how money is spent at the 14 state-owned universities.

In the current school year, Edinboro University will spend $74,551,428 of its $93,005,787 Educational and General Budget on salaries and benefits. Other major budget items include $13,266,744 for operating expenses, $2,608,006 for utilities, and $1,781,972 for debt service.

Reportedly 80 percent of the Education and General Budget is for salaries and benefits. The average employee of Edinboro University receives $90,916 a year in salaries and benefits. Non-tenured instructors, clerical staff, janitorial staff, et cetera, are not the problem. They work full work weeks and they are not receiving excessive salaries. Tenured professors are the ones who are driving up costs.

For the 2011-12 academic year, Edinboro University received $24,999,210 for its share of PASSHE funding from the state. Tuition and fees paid by the students – including $7,350,339 in Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) grants – were $62,291,280.

The governor’s proposed budget would cut PASSHE funding by 20 percent and cut PHEAA grants by 7 percent. If those cuts take place, there would be $6,293,635 less PHEAA and PASSHE money for Edinboro University. What could be done without impacting students and taxpayers if Edinboro University had $6,293,635 less to spend?

Just eliminating paid sabbaticals would save approximately $1 million a year. If the remaining salary and benefit costs were reduced by 7 percent, that would be the other $5,293,635. Edinboro University could still spend $83,241 per employee with these cuts. Tuition would not have to go up, taxes would not have to be increased and no classes would be eliminated.

All 14 campuses have similar proportional budgets with opportunities for no tuition increase.

In my opinion, professors earning more than $100,000 a year can afford a 7 percent pay and benefits cut more than students can afford a tuition increase. Professors who only teach 12 hours a week can afford a 7 percent cut more than the struggling taxpayers can afford a tax increase.

The real budget problem at PASSHE universities is the union contract for the professors. The real problem is not the amount of state funding. The professors should be providing complete information to the students on why tuition keeps going up.

I would encourage everyone to contact PASSHE at 717-720-4000 and insist on contract concessions for the professors in the new union contract. I also challenge the students to ask their professors if they are willing to accept major contract concessions to avoid a tuition increase.

My goal is to prevent a tuition increase. A union contract that is fair to the students, taxpayers and professors would prevent a tuition increase. If the new union contract is not fair, tuition will go up.

PASSHE colleges are meant to serve the students, not the professors. The union contract needs to reflect this very important point.

Click here for more information.

State Representative Brad Roae
6th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Dan Massing
dmassing@pahousegop.com
717.772.9845
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