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Penn State plans to cut funding to WPSU by 20%

Photo of the outside of the WPSU building and satellite dishes.
Emily Reddy
WPSU is based at Penn State's University Park campus.

Penn State plans to cut funding to WPSU by 20%, a decision that was announced this week as part of the university's presentation of budget changes and a blueprint for reviewing all of its programs, colleges and campuses.

Larry Terry, vice president for Outreach, which oversees WPSU, said the cut was a collective decision from the president's office and the provost and finance offices, as Penn State emphasizes student success.

"They're trying to invest where they believe they're going to get the most value for that investment in students," Terry said. "And so my assumption is that looking at WPSU's connectivity directly to students, whether historically or over the last couple years, was examined. And that's really the primary criteria I'm seeing now is, every unit is being evaluated based on their direct connection to student success, particularly in the academic realm.”

Terry said it will be difficult to address the decrease in funding without looking at staffing.

"So whether that's through natural attrition, retirement, or other sort of discussions we have to have, it probably will be difficult to not address personnel in this situation," he said.

The change is slated to take place in 18 months. Many Penn State colleges and units will see cuts of 3% or 5%. The Commonwealth Campuses are slated to see funding go down 14.1%. Only one other unit — International Affairs — is listed on the university website as being slated to get a higher percentage cut than WPSU.

WPSU includes public radio and public television throughout central Pennsylvania. In 2022, WPSU got about a third of its revenue from the university.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.