(Updated July 12, 2017)
Q. What is the status of the review?
A. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)—the consultant assisting with the review—has finished data collection and analysis and has publically released its recommendations for the future of the State System. Next, the Board of Governors will engage its constituencies to review the recommendations—gathering additional input from students, faculty, staff, and others—and will make decisions regarding which options to pursue.
Q. Is there a plan to close any universities?
Q. When will the consultant’s recommendations be implemented?
A. The Board of Governors, chancellor, university trustees, and presidents received the consultant’s report at the same time as students, faculty, staff, and alumni during the public meeting on July 12. The next step will be for everyone to review the recommendations and gather input regarding which are most viable for immediate, mid-term, and long-term implementation in the months and years ahead.
Q. How will the review affect current students at the universities?
A. In the short-term, there will be no impact on students; any organizational changes that might be made in the future would require implementation over time. Such changes must, first and foremost, benefit students. In the long-term, this review is focused on ensuring high-quality, affordable higher education is available for Pennsylvania’s students, and any recommendation that is pursued must do that.
Q. Should students continue applying to our universities and enroll in the fall?
A. Absolutely. The 14 State System universities will welcome more than 100,000 students to their campuses for the upcoming fall semester. This review will make the State System stronger, which should give students and parents even more confidence in the System’s long-term commitment to its ongoing mission. What’s more, any changes that might occur as a result of the review will be carefully implemented over time as the State System evolves.
Q. Has the public had an opportunity to participate in the strategic review?
A. Yes. Because we are Pennsylvania’s public universities, every resident of the Commonwealth has a stake in our success. NCHEMS held more than 100 meetings across the State System universities and met with hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters of the universities. NCHEMS also is hosting a public website, where more than 800 individuals have already provided their input on the process.
Q. Why is this review taking place now?
A. The State System and its 14 universities are facing unprecedented challenges, including lagging state funding and declining enrollment at most universities—challenges similar to those facing virtually all of public higher education in America. At the same time, the universities are preparing for the future by aligning their academic offerings to meet the needs of students and employers. This review is intended to help the universities and the System identify new opportunities that will allow us to better serve students in every region of the Commonwealth through high-quality educational experiences at an exceptional value.