John J. Mika, Ballot Position No. 63

John J. Mika ’85 Edu
Teacher, United States Government, US Dept. of Justice FCI Schuylkill, Education Dept.
Tower City, Pa.

Read Mika’s 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?

PSU should look at its land grant status. Funds from the Government are matched by those from the state. Recently, state funding for Education has been cut drastically we should try and compell our govenor to raise his funding for Education. We should look at Marcellus-Shale drilling and tax them directly for Education Funding. Pennsylvania’s casinos should also be compelled to help fund education in PA as was one oftheir origional promises. There are more options but time and space here limit my response.

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.

Again, costs must be trimmed to make a college education affordable. This was an origional intention of the land grant status. One way may be to work with the NCAA to cut scholarships and give athletes a stippend. This would save money but could create problems. Also, if an athlete left school for the pros, they would be responsible to pay back the amount of their entire scholarship with a fine attached. PSU has great athletic facilities; renting the baseball complex or new ice arena to professional teams with hearty contracts is another way to keep rising costs down.

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

Without getting into the guts of the Hatch, the two Morrill Acts and a few others the basic mission of a land grant university is to keep the cost of a college tuition affordable to the people. There are many ways to do this but it starts with funding from the state. If not there other options can and must be explored. An example would be Cornell University; which is private but has four statutory colleges supported by the State of New York thus fulfilling its land grant status.

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