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PAST MESSAGES
About the
STRATEGIC SYSTEM REVIEW
 
  
 
 
July 12, 2017
 
 
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Friends:
 
Last year, we undertook an important effort to better understand the challenges facing the State System—the same challenges facing many universities around the country. The Board of Governors launched a strategic review of the System’s 14 universities and the Office of the Chancellor—with the intent of ensuring our ability to provide a high-quality, affordable experience.
 
This has been an incredibly inclusive process. Over the last several months, NCHEMS—the consultant hired to assist with this effort—conducted more than 100 meetings across the state. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, business and community leaders, and elected officials participated in these meetings as part of the review. In addition, NCHEMS received comments and suggestions from more than 800 individuals through the website established for this project.
 
NCHEMS has analyzed a wide range of student, program, and financial data, as well as regional and national trends in higher education and workforce demands and today presented a series of recommendations for the future of the State System.
 
Now, the Board of Governors will carefully review those recommendations and gather additional feedback from all stakeholders before making any decisions regarding which options to pursue in the near-, mid-, and long-term. (Click HERE to download those recommendations and share your thoughts.)
 
Our dedicated faculty, staff, and university leaders do a tremendous job providing outstanding educational opportunities to students, and have done so for many years. Through this review—and the important steps we will take in the months ahead—we must boldy transform our universities for the future. The primary goal throughout this process is to ensure the State System universities can continue to provide an excellent, high-value education to students today and long into the future.
 
Our message to students is simple: As our 14 universities prepare to open their doors in the fall, we’re confident that this process will make us stronger and better poised to help you succeed. That’s our commitment to you, and our commitment to all of Pennsylvania.
 
​Cynthia D. Shapira
​Chair, Board of Governors​
Frank T. Brogan
Chancellor​
 
 

 
 
July 11, 2017
 
 
 
Consultant’s recommendations available July 12
 
The consultant assisting with the Strategic System Review will share its recommendations during the quarterly Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday afternoon. The Board of Governors will then review the findings and determine next steps in the months ahead.
 
The review has been an inclusive and collaborative process in which the consultant, NCHEMS, conducted more than 100 meetings across the state. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, business and community leaders, and elected officials participated in these sessions, most of which were held at the 14 university campuses. In addition, more than 800 individuals have offered comments and suggestions through the website established for this project.
 
As always, the Board of Governors quarterly meeting will be webcast live at www.passhe.edu. The meeting begins at noon, though the NCHEMS report will take place after regular committee business is completed. Additional bandwidth has been secured for the webcast; however, if you are unable to connect to the live presentation, it will be archived for viewing online later in the evening. (NOTE: The NCHEMS PowerPoint presentation also will be posted online once available.)
 
 

  
 
June 29, 2017 
 
 
Consultant’s recommendations due July 12
 
The Strategic System Review consultant, NCHEMS, has been hard at work over the past several months and is firmly on-schedule. At the July quarterly Board of Governors meeting, the NCHEMS team will share its findings and recommendations during the public session on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 12.
 
The Strategic System Review has been an inclusive, transparent, and collaborative process, and it is important that the findings be delivered in the same manner. As such, NCHEMS will present its report during the public session so that everyone receives the same information at the same time. (The presentation also will be webcast live at www.passhe.edu.)
 
Following the public presentation, the NCHEMS team will conduct a series of individual Q&A sessions with stakeholder groups including student leaders, faculty and staff union leaders, legislative leaders, Board members, university presidents and trustees, and System staff.
 
Throughout the strategic review, anyone interested in the process has been encouraged to visit the website to get updates and to provide their personal ideas, insights, and opinions. That website continues to be available at: www.NCHEMSproject.com/system-review.   
 
 
 

  
 
June 6, 2017
 
 
Data analysis now underway; review on-track
 
The consultant (NCHEMS) assisting the Board of Governors with the Strategic System Review is hard at work analyzing the data collected over the past several months as it works toward developing recommendations for the State System. Additionally, the team from NCHEMS is reviewing the considerable stakeholder input that has been garnered through their campus visits, face-to-face meetings, conference calls, and via the survey on the website.
 
The review continues to move along as scheduled, with NCHEMS slated to make a presentation to the Board of Governors in July. Throughout the process, students, faculty, staff, and anyone interested in the process has been encouraged to visit the website to get updates and to provide their personal ideas, insights, and opinions. That website continues to be available at: www.NCHEMSproject.com/system-review.   
 
 
 
 
May 16, 2017
 
 
System review on-schedule; Phase 3 underway
 
The State System’s strategic review is moving along as planned and is on-schedule. NCHEMS—the consultant assisting the Board of Governors with the strategic review—has visited every university in the State System and has held meetings with numerous stakeholders. NCHEMS is beginning Phase 3 of the strategic review, which will include analysis of the data collected. This will help shape the recommendations that NCHEMS will provide to the Board of Governors this summer.
 
Even during this phase, additional input will continue to be collected. Students, faculty, staff, and anyone interested in providing input into the strategic system review may visit www.NCHEMSproject.com/system-review to provide ideas, insights, and opinions directly to the NCHEMS team using a webform on that site.   
 
 
 

 
 
April 25, 2017
 
 
Consultant continues stakeholder meetings in preparation for Phase 3 of the strategic review
 
The consultants assisting the Board of Governors with the strategic review have been meeting directly with System stakeholders and will continue those efforts in the coming weeks. Team members from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) have already visited with students, faculty, staff, and alumni at more than one-third of the 14 universities, with the balance of campus visits slated for this week. NCHEMS also is meeting with trustees, labor leaders, and elected leaders as part of the data collection phase of the review.
 
According to the timeline, Phase 3 of the review, which includes analysis of the data that is being collected, will begin after stakeholder meetings are completed. Input will continue to be collected through the website that was created for the review. All stakeholders are encouraged to visit www.NCHEMSproject.com/system-review to track the progress of the review and to utilize a webform through which they can provide ideas, insights, and opinions directly to the NCHEMS team.  
 
 

  
 
 
April 11, 2017
 
 
The Strategic System Review is marching forward, and we are committed to ensuring all stakeholders are kept up-to-date along the way. Below is an update for you on a few important items:
 
Consultant scheduled to visit every State System university
The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) is assisting the Board of Governors with the Strategic Review. NCHEMS will visit each of the 14 State System universities during the month of April. At these day-long sessions, they will gather input from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other stakeholders. The team from NCHEMS also is making efforts to meet with union leaders, elected leaders, and with university trustees. The review is expected to conclude this summer, after which NCHEMS will provide its recommendations to the Board of Governors.
 
Website launched
NCHEMS has launched a webpage to ensure everyone has an opportunity to track the progress of the Strategic System Review and to provide input along the way. On the website, users can see an overall timeline for the process and see a status marker for where the team is on that timeline. There are also details available for what has happened to-date and a web form through which anyone can offer input directly to NCHEMS during the data collection phase of the study.
 
You can visit the website at www.NCHEMSproject.com/system-review.
 
 
 

 
 
 
April 4, 2017
 
 
The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)—the consulting firm selected to assist the Board of Governors with the Strategic System Review of the 14 universities and the Office of the Chancellor—has launched a website at which the public can track the progress of the review and offer their thoughts on the future of the State System. Click below to visit the website created by NCHEMS:
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
March 1, 2017

 
Dear students, faculty, staff, and friends:

Recently, the State System made its case for more investment from the Commonwealth during appropriations hearings held in the House and Senate. The Board of Governors has requested an increase of $61 million over our current appropriation. Our universities continue to face enormous cost pressures, but they also continue to be innovative and more efficient with their existing resources. Increased investment by the Commonwealth is essential to our mission of providing high-quality, affordable educational opportunities for our students.
   
Those hearings were important, but are just one part of our advocacy effort. We continue to advocate on behalf of our students, faculty, and staff to secure the investment necessary to support our universities and the important educational opportunities they provide. You can follow these advocacy efforts in social media using the hashtags #investinOURuniversities and #fundPAfuture.

During the hearings, we received a number of questions regarding our Strategic System Review, which is taking a top-to-bottom look at the operations of all 14 universities and the Office of the Chancellor. The discussions about this review have raised some questions, and we’d like to provide you with answers (see below). 
  
We hope you find this information helpful, and look forward to great days ahead for our universities and the State System.
 
Cynthia D. Shapira                                     
Chair, Board of Governors 
  
Frank T. Brogan
Chancellor
 
 

 
 
  
January 27, 2017


 
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Friends:

Yesterday, we delivered the "State of the System” address and talked about the accomplishments and successes achieved last year across the State System. The event also provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges our 14 public universities are facing—much like those that public universities in other states are facing. Nationwide, universities are dealing with declining enrollment, lagging public funding, and rising operational costs. As a System, we are addressing those challenges and looking for how to turn them into opportunities.
   
Every day, we make the case for increased investment in our 14 public universities. As we go into this budget cycle, we will be making every effort with our lawmakers to advocate for the System. At the same time, we look forward to a broader conversation about the important role of higher education in Pennsylvania and how we can ensure nothing prevents our universities from being the engines of opportunity they are intended to be.

As we discussed yesterday, we are undertaking a strategic system review of everything we do, from top to bottom. We are approaching this review with no preconceptions on the outcome. Instead, we want to work together to chart a path forward that is right for our universities, our System, our state, and—most important—our students. Our students—those currently enrolled and those who will enroll in the future—deserve our total commitment to ensuring they will continue to receive the highest quality education at the lowest possible cost. That has been at the heart of our mission since the System’s founding, and will remain our focus long into the future.
  
In the months ahead, we look forward to engaging with students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders in this endeavor. Throughout this process, we will have open, honest, and candid conversations as we work to ensure the future sustainability of our System. That is our shared commitment to each of you.
 
Cynthia D. Shapira                                     
Chair, Board of Governors 
  
Frank T. Brogan
Chancellor