Seth Ickes – Staff Writer
CLARION, Pa.- Clarion University held an open forum this week for provost candidate Bryan DePoy, someone in favor of differential tuition, the charging of students for differing tuition amounts depending on their intended program of study.
Currently serving as the vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Lake Erie College where he began in late 2014, DePoy has previously served as the dean of Youngstown State University from 2009 up until his move to Lake Erie College.
The open forum was attended by numerous university administrative employee, faculty teaching members and a few students.
While DePoy weighed in on numerous different subjects relevant to his interest in Clarion University’s provost position, one question from a forum attendee directly involved new developments in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
Differential tuition has been a recent popular topic in PASSHE news. Differential tuition means students would be charged differently depending on the program they enter. Currently, Clarion University students pay the same amount of tuition regardless of major.
DePoy stated that he would support a differential tuition program at Clarion University, reasoning that because “professional” programs lead to higher returns for graduates, an increase in tuition would make sense for those programs.
He also stated that programs geared more towards “general education” would cost less under a differential tuition program. In addition, DePoy stated that he would attempt to make a bridge between “professional” classes and “general education” classes at Clarion University.
Last week, PASSHE Chancellor Frank Brogan stated that the consolidation and closure of some state schools might be necessary due to drops in enrollment and funding including numbers at Clarion University. DePoy stated that he would not like to see the closure affect Clarion University and hopes to work toward preventing any closure or consolidation if he becomes provost.
DePoy expressed that he wanted to make sure Clarion University has good credibility with political institutions, such as the Pennsylvania state legislature, in order to avoid consolidation or closure and that he would “fight tooth and nail” to prevent it.
DePoy put great emphasis on fostering a sense of community between Clarion’s campus and the surrounding communities as provost. Diversity and inclusion were another subject DePoy emphasized heavily as integral to fostering a good campus community.
DePoy stated the chief role of a provost is to be an “advocate” and wishes to make the provost’s job at Clarion University “transparent and inclusive.”