Five of 14 Pennsylvania universities in the state system, including Cheyney State University, have warned that they may lay off faculty at the end of the next academic year, state system officials said Wednesday.

Under union bargaining agreements, the universities must notify union leaders by Aug. 1 if they intend to eliminate jobs at the close of next spring's semester. Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, and Mansfield Universities also sent out notices.

Several universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education took the same step last year, and ultimately 14 of 4,200 faculty members were cut across the system. Cheyney was one of the universities that sent the notice last year but wound up laying off no faculty, said spokeswoman Gwen Owens.

The move comes as the 112,000-student system copes with declining enrollment and flat state funding. - Susan Snyder