Facing deep state aid cuts and pressure to submit to Right-to-Know legislation, Penn State University -- the commonwealth's flagship public campus system -- appears open to the idea of becoming a private university. Karen Peetz, the new chair of Penn State's board of trustees, told the university's Faculty Senate Tuesday that Penn State representatives have looked at Cornell University, an Ivy League institution in upstate New York, as one potential model for the future..."I think the Cornell model is of great interest," she said. Cornell, whose main campus is in Ithaca, N.Y., is a private university but also serves as the land grant institution for the state of New York. Four of Cornell's colleges, called contract or statutory colleges, receive state aid, said Simeon Moss, a Cornell spokesman. They include Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Ecology, Industrial and Labor Relations, and Veterinary Medicine. The university receives about $160 million toward those statutory colleges. It has provided reduced tuition over the years for in-state students. "We're a private university that contracts with the state," he said. "We run cooperative extension and other services."
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