With the proposed budget cut on the university, the department of Academic Affairs held a town hall meeting on Thursday in Sykes to discuss possible solutions to fill the funding gap. Dr. Linda Lawmers, Provost, led the discussion on the possible outcomes of the budget cut to the university. The purpose of the discussion was to inform the faculty, staff and students in attendance of the possible solutions. In addition to informing, Lawmers wanted to engage a conversation with the concerned faculty.
Lawmers set a scenario that if Governor Corbett cut funding by 25 percent, tuition would increase by 9 percent, and there would still be about a $9 million gap in funding.
However, President Weisenstein has set aside a stabilization fund that was intended to carry West Chester through the proposed cut. Unfortunately, the fund will only be able to carry the university through next year. The stabilization fund would only be a short-term solution.
The discussion continued with Mary Pat Werley, Academic Affairs Budget Manager She laid out different principles the university was going to stick with throughout the budget cuts. Werley assured the faculty and staff that above all, the university will focus on the mission to provide a quality education and a meaningful reputation.
In addition, Werley said that the Department of Academic Affairs will be focusing on the long term goals even if it means some “uncomfortable” changes, such as lay-offs. She said that the department would keep everything on the table and hold nothing back. Lastly, she said that the department would try to engage the faculty and staff in a transparent process.
Dr. Jack Waber voiced his concerns for students saving money.
“Students can beat the tuition increases by taking summer courses over the summer sessions,” he said. Lawmers said that students will be able to save money due to the fact that some fees are not required over the summer sessions.
These solutions are not final, and will continue to change as the budget continues to change. Lawmers said that updates can be found on the Academic Affairs website in the future.
T.J. Cromyak is a student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at AC651771@wcupa.edu.