Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education was established by statute on July 1, 1983, although the
14 universities that comprise the State System have a much longer history dating back to the 19th century.
The universities combine to enroll the largest number of Pennsylvania residents among all four-year colleges and universities in the Commonwealth. With nearly 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more enrolled in certificate and other career-development programs, the State System is a vital contributor to the Pennsylvania economy. Collectively, the State System universities offer
more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. The universities have nearly 800,000 living alumni, the vast majority of whom reside in Pennsylvania.
The State System is undertaking a
System Redesign, which began last year with a top-to-bottom review of the universities and the
Office of the Chancellor. As a result of that review, the Board established three priorities: ensuring student success; leveraging the universities’ strengths; and transforming the System’s governance structure. The Board also affirmed its commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of all 14 institutions within the System so that each may continue to serve students, its region and the Commonwealth.
Board of Governors is responsible for oversight of the State System. The Board establishes broad educational, fiscal, and personnel policies. Among other tasks, the Board appoints the chancellor and each university president, approves new academic programs, sets tuition, and coordinates and approves the annual State System operating budget. Additionally, each university has a Council of Trustees that serves as a policy-setting board for the university.
Chancellor is the Chief Executive Officer of the State System and is responsible for its management. The Office of the Chancellor is housed at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and includes:
Dixon University Center in Harrisburg provides a hub for State System operations and for universities to serve the Harrisburg community through a variety of programs. It provides free, flexible space for academic programs offered by State System universities. Additionally, private institutions, non-profit organizations, and businesses rent space at the center for academic programs, meetings, and functions.
Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Trustees (PACT) conducts conferences and workshops on topics of common interest, updates on System issues and national trends in higher education, as well as opportunities for professional development and an exchange of ideas with trustees from other State System universities.
The Board of Student Government Presidents is a unified board of 14 student government presidents that exchanges ideas, discusses common issues and interests, and serves the interests of State System students. The group also works to influence policy decisions and advocate on behalf of the State System.