Are Penn State cuts a preview of higher education divide?

The gap between Penn State University’s sprawling main campus and its 20 branches can be measured these days in ways more personal and profound than highway miles.

Stung by double-­digit enrollment losses, the branch campuses and their students are about to lose 10% of their faculty and staff to buyouts starting this month. Those employees helped bring a flagship public education at less-than-main-campus prices to locales in or around New Kensington, McKeesport, Uniontown, Monaca and Shenango in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

But University Park appears to be on a different trajectory.

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