Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett recently proposed massive cuts in state support to public universities. In March Corbett, a Republican, released a budget that reduced state funding by 50 percent, from nearly $1.1 billion to $554 million.

Earlier in the week he suggested a way for the state universities to offset his cuts. According to an article by Sean McCracken in the Erie Times-News:

Gov. Tom Corbett… said some universities could make up for the loss of state funds by opening their campuses to natural-gas drilling.

Speaking at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania at a conference for the trustees from the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools, Corbett said six universities on the Marcellus shale formation could open to drilling.

It was unclear what Corbett planned to do about the financial situation at the eight Pennsylvania state schools that are not situated on the shale formation.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer