Ambiguous Status Is Costly to 4 Pennsylvania Universities

June 29, 2009

Pennsylvania State University and other "state-related" institutions in Pennsylvania -- Lincoln and Temple Universities and the University of Pittsburgh -- have long debated whether they are public institutions or not. They depend on state appropriations and favor in-state applicants, but they have more independence than the state-owned institutions, and periodically assert that they should not be treated as public institutions (such as when groups are seeking information from them under state open records laws). Now Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, is embracing that position, and proposing to exclude them from the federal stimulus funds intended to minimize state cuts to public higher education, The PIttsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The four institutions would collectively lose $40 million under this plan.

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