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New Group Seeks to Change Penn State Governance

The controversy continues at Penn State over a new healthcare plan initiative.
PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - The controversy continues at Penn State over a new health care initiative.

Penn State announced changes to their health care plan last month. Since then, university employees have been fighting back.

A few weeks ago, we spoke with a professor who started an online petition against the changes. Now, he's taking yet another step.

It's an ongoing battle that Brian Curran continues to fight.

"Administration dictates and we continue to follow," he said.

After starting an online petition against the new wellness program last month, Brian is taking another step.

"It started here at University Park, but it's not restricted to University Park," he said.

As President of the Penn State American Association of University Professors Advocacy chapter, Brian is working to promote shared governance.

The group formed about a week and a half ago. Their main goal is to promote shared governance within the university, something they say has been missing. Brian also says a lack of communication between university administration and faculty is a problem, and maintains the university never told its employees the change was coming.

Penn State disagrees. In a statement to WTAJ, they say "A wide variety of faculty and staff constituencies were consulted before the health care changes were launched, back as far as October 2011, including with the full Faculty Senate itself."

They also say they value shared governance at the university and balance it with their need for administrative accountability.

Brian says so far, the AAUP Chapter for Advocacy is in its early stages, and says the university can expect to hear more from them soon.

"You can expect that you're going to hear from us and we're going to try our best to make our voices known and our views known," he said. "We're going to do it in the most positive way we can."
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