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NCAA Approves Full Complement of Athletic Teams at Integrating Universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education

Contact: Kevin Hensil, khensil@passhe.edu

Harrisburg, PA – The integrating universities of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield in the northeast and California, Clarion, and Edinboro in the west have received approval from the NCAA Division II Membership Committee to offer a full complement of athletic programs on each campus that currently hosts them. The student-athletes and their teams will remain in the NCAA and compete for championships when the university integrations take effect on July 1, 2022.

“The NCAA’s decision is another major step toward building these powerhouse institutions and is great news for our universities, our system, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, and above all, our student-athletes,” said Dr. Daniel Greenstein, chancellor of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. “I congratulate the university leaders, students, faculty, staff, and trustees for this accomplishment. The excitement of intercollegiate athletics will continue for players and fans when the integrated universities begin enrolling students in August.”
Dr. Bashar Hanna, president of Bloomsburg and interim president of Lock Haven and Mansfield universities, served as the State System’s liaison to the NCAA and is the integration leader for the northeast. Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield will integrate under the name of Commonwealth University and will host intercollegiate sports on each campus.

“I extend our thanks to our NCAA colleagues and the Membership Committee for its consideration and approval of our plan to maintain the full complement of athletic teams at Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield,” said Hanna. “Through our collaboration, we’ve ensured that our student-athletes have the opportunity to compete as they do today. Intercollegiate athletics hold a special place as part of the fabric of each of our campus communities and institutional brands. Together we can confidently move forward into the 2022-23 academic year and beyond - to cheer on the Huskies, Bald Eagles, and Mounties.”
California, Clarion, and Edinboro universities are uniting as Pennsylvania Western University (PennWest) with intercollegiate sports on each campus. PennWest integration leader, Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, president of Clarion and interim president of California and Edinboro universities, expressed her thanks to the student-athletes and coaches on each campus for their commitment to NCAA competition.
“This approval reflects the confidence in our campuses to successfully operate these programs and the important role that a strong intercollegiate program plays on a college campus,” said Pehrsson. “It also recognizes the impact that our student-athletes have on our campuses and in our communities. We are excited to continue the strong legacy of our Vulcans, Golden Eagles and Fighting Scots.”

Universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education are members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

In March the integration of California, Clarion, and Edinboro universities and the integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield universities received initial approval by the institutional accrediting agency, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The accreditation assures students, families and communities the universities have completed a rigorous review process and provide a high-quality education.
The new universities will begin enrolling students in August.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education oversees 14 four-year public universities educating more than 93,000 students across the Commonwealth. The State System offers more than 2,300 degrees and certificates in more than 530 academic areas.​