Penn State Extension in Grave Danger of Closing Due to State Budget Impasse
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
STATE COLLEGE – Penn State President Eric Barron warned the General Assembly last week that Penn State Extension and Agricultural Research was in grave danger of shutting down unless a budget impasse, which has left the programs with no funding since last July 1, was resolved quickly.
Barron said that unless funding could be assured by this July 1, the start of the 2016-17 fiscal year, 1,100 employees in statewide Extension and Research offices would lose their jobs, gutting the programs that provide technical assistance and education to Pennsylvania famers and the green industry.
In addition, approximately $80 million in matching federal funds and research grants would be forfeited.
The uncertainty created by this budget impasse has many of Penn State’s top agricultural researchers and educators looking for other positions, knowing that their jobs may be eliminated in four months. Top out-of-state universities are actively recruiting in University Park. So even if the budget situation is resolved, Penn State may still lose some of its best and brightest agricultural researchers and educators to other states.
Years of research on plant pests and diseases important to the green industry, such as emerald ash borer, Asian long horned beetle, hemlock wooly adelgid, boxwood blight and artillery fungus, will be lost.
It’s important that you write and call your state legislators and Governor Wolf now! Please go to PLNA’s Legislative Action Center and urge them to solve this budget crisis immediately! If you have already done, please do it again.