Friday, February 12, 2016

Gov. Corbett's Commencement Flap

Students, faculty and alumni at Millersville University, a state school in Lancaster County, have signed a petition protesting the school's choice of Gov. Corbett at commencement speaker.

Gov. Corbett's Commencement Flap

ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Corbett is facing a number of hot-button issues of his own making - at a time when his approval numbers are low.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Corbett is facing a number of hot-button issues of his own making - at a time when his approval numbers are low.

Cental Pennsylvania media outlets are reporting on student, faculty and alumni protests over Millersville University's choice of Gov Corbett as this year's commencement speaker.

An online petition opposing the choice has drawn more than 1,000 signatures, according to a local TV station and a Lancaster newspaper.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News Thursday ran an image from an online protest portraying Corbett as an eye-patched pirate (the school's nickname is Marauders) with the words "Pillaging Public Education Doesn't Make You a Marauder!"

You can view the story and the image here.

Corbett's press secrtary, Kevin Harley, an alum and appointed trustee of the state school in Lancaster County, told The Patriot that critics represent only a small portion of 8,725 student body.

"I can tell you the governor is looking forward to speaking to the graduates. It's a day about them and their accomplishments and a day the governor is very proud of. The governor will make sure the focus is on the students and their accomplishments," Harley said.

Commencement is scheduled May 18 on the campus. University officials say there is no thought of rescinding the invitation to Corbett.

The Lancaster New Era editorialized on the issue, laying out data on state funding for higher education under Corbett and calling on students to hear the governor out.

Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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