Pa. universities to ask for a 4 percent increase in state funding

The system overseeing Pennsylvania's 14 state universities will ask the state for a $16 million or 4 percent increase in funding for 2014-15.

The amount was approved Thursday by the board of governors overseeing the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

That's a smaller percentage than Pennsylvania State University is asking, but more than Temple University's request.

Penn State last month agreed to ask for a 5.1 percent or $14.7 million increase. Temple last week agreed to ask for 3 percent or $4.2 million more.

Under the current plans, the state system would spend $18 million on new program development and expansion of study areas aligned with the state's workforce needs.

The system over the last five years added 56 new academic programs in areas such as software engineering, applied science, safety management and allied health fields. It also put a moratorium on 158 programs with low enrollment, meaning that the programs are being phased out as students graduate. In addition, 40 programs were cancelled and another 90 reorganized, the system said.

The system serves about 112,000 students. The 14 universities are: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.