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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Scott LaMar and WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.


Hosts: Scott LaMar and Mary Wilson

Smart Talk: Changes in store for PA state-owned universities?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 16, 2014 4:12 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday June 17, 2014:

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The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is made up of the 14 state-owned universities. Its mission includes providing high quality education at the lowest possible price to students.

Lately, PASSHE has been re-examining itself and new Chancellor Frank Brogan has publicly stated that the system may have to rethink it's model.

Money is always a challenge and has been more so during the three years of the Corbett Administration when state funding was reduced and hasn't been increased.  At a recent legislative hearing, Brogan pointed out that state funding was once at at 75% but now stands at about 27%.

Legislation has been proposed that would allow institutions to leave the system.

Pennsylvania has more than 300 colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education so competition is an issue too.

The state-owned universities have been wrestling with the question of whether to or where to allow guns on campus.

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Chancellor Frank Brogan

We'll talk with Chancellor Frank Brogan about these issues and others when he appears on Tuesday's Smart Talk.

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Comments: 6

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-06-17 08:30

    Cynthia from Camp Hill emails:

    Is it typical of the PA state universities to offer either full or partial athletic scholarships to students?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-06-17 08:39

    Donna emails:

    Regarding your “student athletes” that you mentioned would be there whether or not they were playing a sport… How many of them actually graduate?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-06-17 08:53

    Dana posts:

    to the recent caller at 9:45--- professors in PASSHE don't make that much money compared to corporate leaders and CEO's. For example, with a recent job posting for a starting professor (at least 8 years of education) makes the same amount as a starting accountant (with only 4 years of education).

  • Sharon img 2014-06-17 08:58

    ChancellorBrogan's failure to defend the mission statement of the PASSHE schools following the complaints by the called named Leonard is DISGRACEFUL. The Chancellor failed to defend the liberal arts mission that teaches students to "think logically, read critically, write clearly, and verbalize ideas in a succinct and articulate manner; they also broaden students' knowledge of the world, past and present." PASSHE schools are not trade schools. Studies have shown that employers in our increasingly globalized world value the kind of nimble thinking taught to liberal arts students. Even more DISTURBING is Chancellor Brogan's failure to respond to the caller's attack on Gender Studies. "Why do we even need Gender Studies," the caller asked. I remind the Chancellor and Scott LaMar, neither of whom had anything to say about this critical point, that the New York Times had a front page article last week about the problem of sexual violence on college campuses across America. Or consider former President Jimmy Carter's new book about the problem of global violence against women and about sexism across the globe. He called that the problem of our time. Your failure to defend the relevance of Gender Studies is a failure to care about the health and safety of over one half of your student body, and that is DISGRACEFUL. You are part of the problem.

    • Deirdre Folkers img 2014-06-17 18:35

      I agree with you strongly. College is not intended as vocational training -- it is first and foremost an educational experience. Certainly college graduates will need to obtain viable employment -- but you don't necessarily have to obtain employment in your area of study. Many people who have gone on to be very successful in business graduated as liberal arts majors - with degrees (for example) in philosophy or history. The myth that liberal arts majors can't get good jobs is just that -- a myth. A strong liberal arts graduate will have good written communication skills, strong presentation skills and strong research skills, They should be able to think critically and creatively -- and they will be able to learn what they need to know on the job.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-06-20 09:09

    Sharon from Carlisle emails:

    Dear Mr. LaMar,

    I’m writing in response to your Radio Smart Talk show about the future of PASSHE schools that aired on 6/17/14. I called in to comment, but there wasn't enough time on your show for me to speak. Your interview left me angry with Chancellor Brogan and deeply disappointed with you as a reporter. I’m inclined to stop contributing to WITF as a result of my frustration with your sexism and anti-intellectualism on that program.

    Chancellor Brogan's failure to defend the mission statement of the PASSHE schools following complaints by the caller named Leonard is DISGRACEFUL. The Chancellor failed to defend the liberal arts mission that teaches students to "think logically, read critically, write clearly, and verbalize ideas in a succinct and articulate manner; they also broaden students' knowledge of the world, past and present." (That is a quote from Shippensburg University’s Mission Statement.) PASSHE schools are not trade schools. Studies have shown that employers in our increasingly globalized world value the kind of nimble thinking taught to liberal arts students.

    Even more DISTURBING is Chancellor Brogan's and your failure to respond to the caller's attack on Gender Studies: "Why do we even need Gender Studies," the caller asked. Neither of you had anything to say about this critical point. I remind you that the New York Times had a front-page article last week about the problem of sexual violence on college campuses across America. Or consider former President Jimmy Carter's new book about the problem of global violence against women and about sexism across the globe. He called that the problem of our time. Your failure to defend the relevance of Gender Studies is a failure to care about the health and safety of over one half of the student body, and that is DISGRACEFUL. As a reporter, doesn’t your job require more of you than to blindly and blandly agree with any comment made on your show? Shouldn’t the issue of violence against women - an issue that is all the news – figure into your comments? That radio show made me believe that you are both part of the problem.

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