Mark S. Connolly, Ballot Position No. 78
Read Connolly’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?
With all due respect to the Alumni Association, I do not agree that it’s time to “go beyond the events of the past five months that have received so much attention”. It is true that the impending cuts in PA state support to the general fund are a serious concern. But so is the view of the candidates on issues such as the structure of the Board and the standing orders under which it operates. So it an independent review of the actions of the BOT. So is a review of the repressive limitations on candidate’s getting out their message through Alumni Association social media. To secure it’s financial future, Penn State should stop living the fantasy that the state will provide a meaningful increase in funding. It’s not going to happen. Instead, find ways to live without state contributions to the general fund. I’m not talking about going private. I’m talking about eliminating the need for the state’s paltry annual appropriation.
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.
The University of North Carolina sets in state tuition at about $5600 per year. That’s $2800 per semester!!! And let’s not try to explain that by cost of living differences. There is something seriously wrong for PSU in state tuition to be $16000. The goal, in my mind, is to identify a plan to reduce tuition by $10,000 for each and every Pennsylvania resident. This plan cannot be developed without getting into the weeds of University finances. If elected I will undertake this. The students of a great land grant institution deserve no less.
3. What form should Penn State’s land-grant mission take in the 21st century?
Elect a scientist, inventor, and experienced technology leader to the Penn State Board of Trustees. See more at marksconnolly.com. Vote #78. (“9in3″ … it’s a marathon, not a sprint”)