Marta Pepe Forney, Ballot Position No. 18

Marta Pepe Forney ’00 H&HD
Physical Therapist, Doylestown Hospital
Doylestown, Pa.

Read Forney’s official bio and position statement here (PDF format).

Answers to Questions

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

I believe continued advocacy to Governor Corbett on the investment return Pennsylvania gets from it’s monies into state-related Universities is a must. The state needs to be reminded how much return they get on their investment with Penn State and dropping their investment will only hurt their return to the state of Pennsylvania. Now, bringing up “state-related”, Penn State has been strongly opposed to PSU becoming truly a state school by asking that we remain exempt from opening all of Penn State’s financial records. Though the state won’t fully admit to this, it’s hurting out contributions from the state and I do not believe it is unreasonable to meet the requirements of being a state school if we want to be financed as such. That transparency not only increases our state funding but hopefully increases donor confidence in our university.

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 needs to compare the in-state to out-of-state ratio as compared to neighboring state schools and state schools of the Big Ten. Many schools’ out-of-state tuition is two to three times that of the in-state where as Penn State’s is not even double, which is placing strain on Pennsylvanians. Secondly, the school should consider tuition freezes. This can be either university wide or by year of enrollment.  For example, a 2012 student would pay the same tuition throughout their degree program. Then a 2013 student would have a slightly higher tuition, however will remain at that rate for the duration of their degree program. Lastly, staff consolidation, staff salary and benefits, as well as purchasing agreements within and among campuses must be considered.

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

I don’t believe our land grant mission needs to take any form other than the one it took initially 150 years ago; The state of Pennsylvania helps support Penn State financially and, in turn, Penn State educates students of modest means in practical degree areas, participates in research and provides community service throughout the state. It’s unfair to believe the mission needs to change because one party is not holding up their end of the deal. We are THE Pennsylvania State University and we provide more to the state of Pennsylvania than they invest. How can our namesake state continue to ask for the same output with less input?

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