Unprecedented University Change
System Redesign includes the unprecedented step of
creating two regional institutions on July 1, 2022, by bringing together three universities in western Pennsylvania (California, Clarion, and Edinboro) to create Pennsylvania Western University (PennWest), and three universities in northeastern Pennsylvania (Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield) to create Commonwealth University. These two new powerhouse institutions provide students with access to more academic programs and opportunities while providing greater financial stability to the universities. The effort demonstrates the creative, collaborative approach to problem solving that System Redesign has inspired.
Historic Funding Increase
As part of the System Redesign effort, the State System has worked hard to restore its reputation with the legislature and governor by listening to their concerns and taking action to rebuild trust. In the process, the System cultivated bipartisan legislative support that resulted in a
historic funding increase of $75 million (16 percent) to $552.5 million in the 2022-23 state budget and an additional 6% in the 2023-24 budget. What's more, Pennsylvania has provided $125 million in one-time federal funds for PASSHE universities and $65 million for targeted university debt relief.
This unprecedented funding recognizes that the System is delivering positive results and more opportunities for students while creating a much better chance that businesses will have the educated workforce they need.
Redesign Enters New Phase – Reinvest & Renew
With the increased state investment, State System universities are moving forward with the most impactful phase of System Redesign—expanding opportunities and improving outcomes for all our students, including reaching students who have been historically underserved by universities and colleges. As the System pushes forward with innovation, it will explore items such as the following examples:
- Program mix and pathways (e.g., non-degree credentials; three-year baccalaureate degree)
- Student supports (e.g., holistic advising)
- Delivery modalities (e.g., online learning)
- System opportunities (e.g., innovations from faculty, staff, and students)