That has coincided with increased tuition and fees for students in an attempt to make up the difference.
The PASSHE schools have also faced internal challenges, Goldman said. Eichelberger called the employment contracts for PASSHE employees the most restrictive union contract I've ever seen and said they make it impossible to do anything.
At the same time, state-related schools, community colleges and Thaddeus Stevens College all of which receive state funding are all anticipating enrollment increases. and one of the lead authors of the report, spent much of Monday's nearly two-hour hearing presenting his team's findings and fielding questions from legislators.He questioned student-to-staff ratios, asking Goldman if employment levels should mirror enrollment levels and implying that current contracts don't allow that to happen.Should we be laying off staff if we have fewer students? Yes, senator, Goldman responded, adding that to make schools successful in the long run they have to be able to match staff size with enrollment. That was the question at the center of a joint hearing of the state Senate and House education committees Monday morning in Harrisburg.The topic was the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, a group of 14 state-owned universities that includes Kutztown University.A continuation of the current system, even if modified, won't work, he said.Goldman, much to the chagrin of several legislators, said options four or five, where state system schools would find themselves under the thumb of state-related institutions, have the best prospects for success.However, he added, the feasibility of implementing those options may not be great given the complex changes that would have to take place.While the hearing remained quite civil, it was quickly clear that the legislators on hand had some very strong feelings about the options detailed in RAND Corp.'s study.The most important matter is the cost of higher education, said Sen.Andrew Dinnamin, minority chairman of the Senate Education Committee.