The Chancellor is the Chief Executive Officer of the State System and is responsible for its management. The System Office comprises a small policy staff that works in the Office of the Chancellor (OOC) plus a combined group of staff from around the system who serve the universities and the OOC through shared services.
The Office of Academic and Student Affairs focuses on shaping policies and supporting academic programs that enable universities to successfully serve students and provide high-quality educational experiences. Academic and Student Affairs partners with the Commonwealth's public and private sectors to assure that graduates have the knowledge and skills to serve as the next generation of leaders.
The Office of Administration and Finance utilizes sophisticated budgeting, accounting, cash, and facilities management systems to support the universities need to generate and sustain resources. Administration and Finance works with universities to continually rethink entrepreneurship, flexibility, and new ways of conducting operations.
The State System collects a wealth of data from its 14 universities, the Commonwealth, and national sources. Through the effective use of this data, the Office of Advanced Data Analytics generates decision analytics to empower executive leadership to answer questions and guide strategic decisions. By optimizing and disseminating this educational intelligence, Analytics supports and advances the State System’s and the universities’ strategic priorities of student success, academic relevance, educational value, regional responsiveness, and alignment to Pennsylvania’s workforce needs.
The Offices of Human Resources, Employee Benefits, and Labor Relations provide support to the universities and the Office of the Chancellor. The offices are responsible for processing and distributing pay, providing human resources consulting and SAP services to university staff. They manage compliance with benefits, human resources, and payroll requirements by analyzing, reviewing, and remaining current with IRS tax regulations and reporting requirements; the Fair Labor Standards Act; federal and state laws; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Management Directives, Executive Orders, and Administrative Circulars; collective bargaining agreements, side letters, and arbitrations; and Human Capital Management compliance, System policies, procedures, and standards.
The State System and its universities are committed to cultivating diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments that allow all members of the State System community to thrive. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was established in August 2020 to engage institutional and system leaders to develop, implement, and evaluate outcomes-based strategies that address inequities in all areas including but not limited to student access and achievement; faculty and staff recruitment and development; and campus receptivity. The work will be grounded in, will build upon, and will elevate the promising initiatives and thought leadership already occurring across the universities.
The Office of Legal Counsel provides representation to our 10 universities. The Office of Legal Counsel consists of the Office of Chief Counsel and the Offices of University Legal Counsel, which are both located at the Office of the Chancellor in Harrisburg. Most attorneys are assigned two universities as primary clients. In addition, the attorneys have developed areas of specialization, such as: intellectual property, student affairs, employment discrimination, real estate, institutional development, construction contracting, litigation and technology.
The Office of Public Affairs is responsible for communicating and connecting with the State System’s internal and external stakeholders through three major functions: media relations, governmental relations, and communications. Public Affairs connects with members of the media, elected and appointed government officials, community/business leaders, and the public to convey the value of Pennsylvania's public universities. Public Affairs also coordinates with the public affairs staff at the universities to maximize the impact of outreach efforts at both the local and statewide levels.
The State System through the Office of the Chancellor and Shared Services continues to focus its efforts on activities which result in cost savings, cost avoidance, and efficiency. These activities leverage the collective power of the State System to serve our universities and the Office of the Chancellor. The Shared Services Center is governed by our universities with a mission to work collaboratively to deliver services that improve efficiencies and reduce costs throughout the System to better serve our students and employees. Presently, the portfolio of shared services work in this area includes Advanced Data Analytics, Facilities, Finance, Human Resources/Payroll, Information Technology, Human Resources/Payroll, Information Technology, Other Academic and Legal Support, Procurement, and Labor Relations.