Via the State APSCUF blog:
“We’d like to believe that we have enough influence with 120,000 [PASSHE] students to convince legislators that the governor’s sense of the importance of public higher education is wrong,” he said. “We’re not just going to roll over.” – Slippery Rock President Robert Smith
I’m not especially surprised by the wide variety of responses issuing from PASSHE presidents, but I have to say I’m especially heartened to hear one who sounds a little feistier than the others I’ve seen/heard so far.
All I can really hope is that, if the PASSHE presidents collaborate on their responses to this nightmare, the energy that President Smith displays here diffuses (not defuses) to the others. Under the kind of threat Governor Corbett has thrown down at us, a little anger seems entirely appropriate, doesn’t it?
That’s yet another reason it’s important for everybody, at WCU and system-wide, to attend a rally on your campus this Tuesday, Mar 22. And to write, call, fax, smoke signal, messenger pigeon, whatever it takes–get word to your legislators that you want them to fight for a budget that will keep our system healthy.
This morning, a WCU faculty member with a child in the West Chester Area School District sent me this link, with a letter issued last week by the district’s Superintendent.
I’m posting it on the blog for a couple of reasons.
First, I’m concerned that some members of the WCU community aren’t yet convinced of the gravity of the situation, and I hope that seeing yet another example (with concrete, and large and scary, numbers included) of what this budget will do to education will light the fire under your toes (or wherever it needs to get lit).
Second, I’m concerned that some members of the community believe, for whatever bizarre reason, that the faculty’s (and staff’s, and students’) responses to the proposal are somehow aimed at selfish faculty interests–that somehow the faculty are insidiously pushing a selfish agenda on everyone else as we fight to protect a university system to which we’re deeply committed, and learning conditions for students without which you can’t flourish. Seeing this letter from the WCASD Superintendent, therefore, is intended to demonstrate that the loud and angry reaction and call for response isn’t ideologically or selfishly motivated.
Go take a good look at what the Governor’s budget will do to our local schools. And then think about what that means for you–as faculty at WCU, as parents of K-12 students, as WCU students preparing for teaching careers, as anybody who actually cares about the well-being of our state and not just the elite economic interests that paid for your term in the Governor’s mansion.