Smart Talk

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.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Shippensburg University President Jody Harpster

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 21, 2015 9:20 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, May 21, 2015:

Dr. Jody Harpster -- the new permanent president of Shippensburg University -- appears on Thursday's Smart Talk.

Dr. Harpster is a Shippensburg graduate and has been an administrator there for the past two decades.  He also has served as interim president twice before being named president in January.

A discussion with the new or outgoing leaders of colleges and universities in Central Pennsylvania is a Smart Talk staple.  It gives the region an opportunity to learn more about the new leader's vision for the school, address current issues related to higher education, and describe the college's place in its local community. 

Most colleges or universities are viewed as anchor institutions and see themselves as having a responsibility to give back and help their communities grow.  We'll find out what that means in Shippensburg's case.

We'll also ask Dr. Harpster about his views on college affordability and preparing students for today's job market.

How has technology changed higher education and learning? 

Are there partnerships and collaborations between institutions that can benefit students?

All issues and topics we'll discuss on Thursday's program.


Dr. Jody Harpster, President of Shippensburg University

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-21 09:36

    A Listener emails:

    I am a student at Shippensburg University and would like to know how the president can justify the large amount of spending on construction and on the campus grounds while having a dropping student body and trying to raise tuition?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-21 09:36

    Pat in Waynesboro emails:

    President Harper says “when you talk to students they are less likely sometimes to get out of their rooms.” When I attended Shippensburg in the early 60’s, they “locked the women up” at night. As freshmen, we had to be in at 9:00 on weeknights. We had no choice but to socialize in the common area as our rooms were tiny there in Horton Hall. In contrast, the men had no rules whatsoever.

    I agree that social media is impacting the personal lives of our young people. It’s sad.

    p.s. My husband and I both got an excellent education at Shippensburg, and we know that the tradition continues.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-21 09:37

    Tamara emails:

    Hello to Dr. Harpster!

    I was glad to hear he was appointed University President -- congrats!

    I am an '81 graduate of SHIP and loved every moment I spent there.

    Dr. Harpster's comments please -- a trend (perhaps?), I find interesting . . . I am still close to many friends and sorority sisters I had while at SHIP. Their children are in college now or have recently graduated -- out of 20 plus friends, only one graduated from SU. The majority have graduated from private colleges and have excelled in their college educations. None of us excelled (we did "okay", we excelled in our careers!), many of of us were first generation college grads, and "enjoyed" our time there -- we took advantage of the 'fun' aspects of college. Thoughts?

    Thank you for your comments,

    P.S. Yeah, no air conditioning in McLean Hall back in my day!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-21 09:50

    Matt in Hanover emails:

    Scott, $200k is NOT a high salary for a university president. Needs to be said.

  • Alison img 2015-05-21 09:51

    Is there a reason a woman SHOULDN'T be "a little bitter" about being confined to her room after 9pm, when men were allowed to do whatever they wanted, as late as the '60s? Come on, Scott. Don't treat people's experiences so lightly, please.

  • Thomas Amlie img 2015-05-21 09:55

    You mention that your budget was cut by $34 million over 10 years, then backtracked. How much has your budget (spending, not allocation from the State) changed over the past 10 years? Up? Down? Flat?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-22 09:36

    A listener emails:

    As a faculty member at Shippensburg University, my jaw hit the ground when I heard President Harpster claim he does not know the plan 2015-16 academic year. Academic affairs administration has announced plans to eliminate all adjuncts, even where doing so will dramatically increase class sizes and undercut the quality of education students receive.