Monday, April 20, 2015

State System Day on the Hill

Last week, approximately 140 representatives from our 14 universities descended upon the Capitol for our yearly advocacy day. The group worked as one to share the important message of investing in the System. Our students—who are the best ambassadors for the State System and our universities—took center stage as they shared their educational experiences with legislators, many of whom went through the same experiences, sometimes at the same schools. It’s a valuable connection from both perspectives.

We also announced the results of an economic and employment impact study that revealed the State System has a $6.7 billion total positive impact on Pennsylvania. That means the State System produces nearly $11 in economic impact for every $1 invested by the Commonwealth through its annual appropriation. This funding is an investment—not an expenditure—in a reinvented system that is dedicated to the success of 110,000 students. This return on investment is a tremendous added benefit to the high-quality, high-value education the universities provide to students.

(Watch the press event held in the East Wing Rotunda of the Capitol during State System Day on the Hill to release the results of the study.)

We know there are many other groups that ask the General Assembly for support, but I think it’s fair to say that our well-informed representatives and our economic impact study made a very compelling case on the System’s behalf.

While our advocacy day on the hill is over, our job is not. Advocating for investment in the System can be accomplished by everyone in various shapes and forms throughout the year. The stronger our unified message is, the harder it will be for anyone to doubt what the State System can and will do for the students we serve and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.