Chancellor Dan Greenstein at Mansfield commencement


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Student Journeys


Changing more than hearts and minds

I am reflecting on a powerful moment from a meeting this week during which Sen. Art Haywood shined a bright light on the persisting issues of racism, inequity, and intolerance that continue to plague society and persist within institutions of higher education. The Senator and I have spoken since then, and I expressed my appreciation for his leadership and for his commitment in our shared interest to give voice and agency to those who are marginalized.

The stories he shared from students and others at our universities are real and they are painful to hear. I know this because I have heard them too while meeting with our students, as I do quite frequently. And those stories must be heard and honored if real change is to occur.

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Dr. Daniel Greenstein became the fifth chancellor of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education on September 4, 2018. In that role, he serves as chief executive officer of the State System, which operates Pennsylvania’s 14 public universities, serving nearly 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more enrolled in certificate and other career-development programs.​ The chancellor works with the Board of Governors to recommend and develop overall policies for the System.

Greenstein previously led the Postsecondary Success strategy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he worked with other higher education leaders across the country on initiatives designed to raise edu​cational-attainment levels and to promote economic mobility, especially among low-income and minority students. He developed and implemented a national strategy for increasing the number of degrees awarded and for reducing the attainment gaps among majority and non-majority students at U.S. colleges and universities.

Before joining the foundation, Greenstein was Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Programs for the University of California (UC) system. In that role, he oversaw system-wide academic planning and programs, including the University of California Press; the California Digital Library; the UC system’s Education Abroad Program; internship programs in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento; and UC Online Education.

Greenstein has created and led several internet-based academic information services in the United States and the United Kingdom, and served on boards and acted in strategic consulting roles for educational, cultural heritage, and information organizations. He began his academic career as a senior lecturer in Modern History at Glasgow University in Scotland.

He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford. An enthusiastic cyclist, Dan and his wife, Melissa, have two children.