​​They're the first students selected through new state statute


HARRISBURG, Pa. – Two students joined the Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today, the first to be nominated and accepted under a new state statute that streamlined the process.

The Board during a special meeting unanimously approved the nominations of:

Zakariya Scott from Johnstown, Pa., a member of Bloomsburg University’s Class of 2023. Scott is majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.
Alexander Roberts from Brookville, Pa., a member of Edinboro University’s Class of 2022. Roberts is majoring in political science and serves as parliamentarian and chair of several committees of the Student Government Association, is president of Model NATO and Model UN, and is a German language tutor.

“We are honored to have had excellent candidates to consider for the two open student seats, and are excited that Zakariya and Alexander will join the Board at this critically important time when we are focused on student success and ensuring affordable, high-quality education remains accessible to all Pennsylvanians,” said Cindy Shapira, chair of the Board of Governors.

Three of the 20-member Board are to be students selected with the advice and consent of their university presidents. Due to graduations earlier this year, two of those student seats opened, allowing for Scott and Roberts’s appointments.

Act 50 of 2020 provided the Board of Governors for the first time the ability to make student appointments, making Scott and Roberts the first to serve on the Board under the new provision. Prior the Act 50, appointments were made the Governor.

“One needs only spend a few minutes with these two students to understand the intelligence, earnestness, and heart they will bring to their role as student members on the Board of Governors,” said Chancellor Dan Greenstein.

The Board of Governors is responsible for planning and coordinating the operation of the State System. The Board establishes broad educational, fiscal, and personnel policies, and oversees the efficient management of the State System.

As many as 11 members of the Board are appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania with the consent of the state Senate. Six of those 11 are to be residents of the Commonwealth and five shall be selected from the trustees of member universities. No more than one trustee per university may serve on the Board.

The rest of the Board includes the Governor or a designee; the Secretary of Education or a designee; two state Senators and two state Representatives appointed by caucus leaders; and three students. 

Scott and Roberts join Stephen Washington from Shippensburg University as the Board’s student representatives.

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.

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