Edward H. Ridings III, Ballot Position No. 65

Edward H. Ridings III ’71 Sci
General Surgeon, Vallemont Surgical Associates, Inc.
Lewistown, Pa.

Read Ridings’ official bio and position statement here (PDF download).

Answers to Questions

1. In view of sharply declining state appropriations, what steps should Penn State be taking to secure its financial future?

The 3 questions posed do take considerable time to evaluate and propose some solutions. The problem of decreasing State appropriations is directly coupled with the problem of the rising cost of tuition nation wide. Solutions to this problem must be possible but at this time certainly seem elusive.

2. The rising cost of tuition nationally is making college less affordable for many students. Outline the steps you believe Penn State should be taking to address the issue.

Penn State may want to consider developing a branch that becomes a lending institution. Although lending money to students for tuition can create a large risk, it could also create long term income for the University. Penn State has always been excellent in motivating the alumni to donate, why not expand this ability to recovering the loan and interest income.  Penn State could structure the payment plans in a more individualized system that would encourage repayment. We could also do a much more thorough job in evaluating the needs of each individual student for loans and their ability to repay. Our goals at Penn State would be to produce competitively educated alumnae that are proud to repay us for their education. Lending institutions just want their money.

I am not even sure the thought above is financially feasible or legal but what needs to happen is we need to continue to “brainstorm” new solutions that should be evaluated.  The structure and legal details would need to be worked out by lawyers and others that are more expert in their fields than me.

Of course, continuing discussions with the Governor for more funding must never stop. Every dollar more in our state funding is one less dollar in someone’s tuition bill.

3. What form should Penn State’s land-grant mission take in the 21st century?

Of the 3 questions the easiest one is regarding Penn State’s land grant mission and what form that should take it in the 21st century. The triad of education, research, and service seem to perfectly summarize the direction that we need to continue at Penn State. As the world campus increases in popularity and usage, Penn State’s ability to touch even more lives increases dramatically. In my view, there would be no change to our approach to the land-grant mission.

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