Effort would strengthen institutions for the future while honoring their local identity
Effort would strengthen institutions for the future
while honoring their local identity
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education took another important step forward in its System Redesign effort by authorizing the Chancellor to review the financial impacts of integrating operations at selected System universities.
While honoring institutional identity, university integration may enable the System to ensure that all of its 14 institutions can sustainably provide their students and their communities with affordable, quality higher education for years to come.
“We have a unique opportunity to shape the future of public higher education in Pennsylvania, ensuring it continues to act as an engine of social mobility and economic development for all," Chancellor Greenstein said.
A financial review is the first step towards integrating universities as outlined in Act 50 of 2020 – legislation that passed the General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in July.
Act 50 requires a detailed, transparent, and broadly consultative review, planning and implementation process, one that will be undertaken over the next two years.
The Board's resolution directs Chancellor Greenstein to examine three potential integrations, which include:
For the purposes of the review the Chancellor will explore the financial impacts of university integrations that operate with:
“We are looking at these three combinations because they show enormous potential to sustainably serve more students, expand educational opportunity for their regions, and leverage the universities' proximity to one other," said Greenstein.
Greenstein further noted that the board action allows the review to assess other combinations of universities and integration approaches, adding “we will let the data drive the process as we seek the most effective and reliable means of sustaining affordable higher education for all Pennsylvanians."
“We are optimistic about what this approach will mean for our three foundational goals of System Redesign – student success, leveraging our scale to achieve cost efficiencies, and restructuring our governance," said Board chair Cindy Shapira. “Exploring this approach is a key part of our effort to support students currently enrolled and those considering these institutions as places to earn a life-changing degree. We're focused on their future and the future of the entire State System with today's Board action."
For more information, please see the answers to these
frequently asked questions and Chancellor Greenstein's
Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education oversees 14 four-year public universities educating more than 95,000 students. The State System offers more than 2,300 degrees and certificates in more than 530 academic areas. 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.