Harrisburg – The state Senate has confirmed Joar Dahn, president of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Community Government Association, to serve on the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.
Dahn, a senior political science major at Bloomsburg, joins Brian Swatt, president of the Student Government Association at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, on the 20-member board that oversees Pennsylvania’s 14 public universities.
Dahn was elected CGA president in April 2017 and serves as the organization’s chief executive officer. He is responsible for supervising the CGA-owned University store, Honeysuckle Student Apartments and the organization’s employees and professional staff. A Board of Governors Scholar, he also serves as the president of the Class of 2019 and the African Student Association at Bloomsburg. As CGA president, Dahn developed the initiative, “Beyond the Fountain,” a day of dialogue among residents of Bloomsburg and students about the issue of racism in the community.
He also is a member of the Bloomsburg University Foundation, where he was involved in organizing and recruiting donors for the “It’s Personal” campaign, which raised more than $61 million to support the university. He has received numerous awards and honors while a student at Bloomsburg, including the Bloomsburg University Legacy of Leadership award and the International Student Association Award of Excellence.
“It is always exciting to welcome new members to the board, especially our student leaders who bring a unique and vital perspective to our deliberations,” said Board of Governors Chairwoman Cynthia D. Shapira. “I look forward to Joar joining our discussions and to his participation in our decision making as we move forward with redesigning the State System.”
The System Redesign began last year with a top-to-bottom review of the universities and the Office of the Chancellor. As a result of that review, the Board established three priorities to guide the redesign: ensuring student success; leveraging the universities’ strengths; and transforming the System’s governance structure. The Board also affirmed its commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of all 14 institutions within the System so that each may continue to serve students, its region and the Commonwealth.
The Board of Governors has overall responsibility for planning and coordinating the development and operation of the State System. It establishes broad fiscal, personnel and educational policies under which the universities operate.
The student members who serve on the Board are selected from among the sitting student government presidents at the universities at the time a vacancy occurs. Once appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate, a student member may serve until he or she is graduated. The student members participate in all discussions of the Board and have the same voting rights as all other members.
In addition to three students—there currently is one vacancy—the Board comprises 11 members appointed by the governor, four legislators, the governor or a designee and the state secretary of education or a designee.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, enrolling more than 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more in certificate and other career-development programs. Collectively, the 14 universities that comprise the State System offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. Nearly 520,000 State System university alumni live in Pennsylvania.
The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. The universities also operate branch campuses in Oil City (Clarion), Freeport and Punxsutawney (IUP), and Clearfield (Lock Haven), and offer classes and programs at several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and in Center City in Philadelphia.