President Presents to Senate Appropriations Committee

Pennsylvania College of Technology President Davie Jane Gilmour testified before the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday in support of the college’s state appropriation request.

For the first time since its affiliation with Penn State in 1989, Penn College was afforded the opportunity to present directly to the Senate. Previously, the college’s budget request was included as part of the university’s testimony before the Appropriations Committee.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal calls for no increase in Penn College’s state appropriation, which at $22.1 million, represents 19.4 percent of the college’s operating budget. Gilmour told committee members the college is requesting an increase of $2 million, which she said would be targeted for additional facilities and equipment support for plastics, nursing and other academic programs.

President Gilmour testifies before the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee in this screen capture from Tuesday's live video feed on PCN.Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, introduced Gilmour and provided a brief overview and history of the college for his Senate colleagues before taking his place with them. He noted the college receives no capital funding from the university.

In her opening statement and in responses to questions posed by senators, Gilmour emphasized the college’s focus on hands-on learning, its 96 percent overall graduate placement rate, its responsiveness to workforce needs, and its diverse array of majors in high-demand career fields leading to family sustaining jobs.

The president also noted that the college draws 90 percent of its students from Pennsylvania, and more than 80 percent of its registered alumni remain in the state. She spoke about starting salaries for graduates, a student loan default rate that is less than the national average, and the reliance on Penn College graduates by employers such as Lycoming Engines and the state Department of Transportation. She also noted how Penn College graduates help address the growing skills gap in many fields, and she anticipated that the college’s plastics graduates could help fill a need associated with Shell’s multibillion dollar “ethane cracker” plant, currently under construction in western Pennsylvania, when it comes online.

The president also spoke of the college’s commitment to its 400 veteran students and the various services provided to them to ease the transition from military service to higher education.

In response to questioning by Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh County and chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Gilmour said the college’s ability to quickly launch in-demand academic programs such as brewing and fermentation science can be attributed to the college’s lack of bureaucracy and its collaborative relationship with industry advisers and donors.

She also reinforced that the institution offers a full college experience – including NCAA Division III athletics, Army ROTC and other activities – to assist students in developing the leadership skills demanded by a rapidly evolving workforce.

She concluded that a Penn College education represents a sound, lifelong investment.

“As a college of technology … we’re not teaching you how to just lay the bricks, we’re not teaching you how to just build the house, we’re teaching you how to become a craftsman, how to have career in that field so that you can advance,” Gilmour said. “And that’s why we have students owning their own companies and moving up the ladder in corporate structure. We think it’s a tomorrow maker.”

To view the testimony as broadcast, visit PCN and click on the icon for “Pennsylvania Budget 2018-2019.”

Related Stories

More Alumni news

More Faculty & Staff news

More General Information news

More President news

More Students news

Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University