Martin: Integration of 6 State-Owned Universities Advances, Impacts on Non-Integrating Schools Expressed

HARRISBURG – The redesign of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is advancing as integration of six of its universities moves forward, according to state Sen. Scott Martin (R-Lancaster). 

“We approved this integration plan to allow the system to continue to provide a high-quality education at an affordable cost,” said Sen. Martin, who sits on the Board of Governors for PASSHE. “I am pleased to see the progress being made. The system schools are working collaboratively moving forward to achieve the goal of sustainability. PASSHE still faces many challenges. It’s imperative that cross-subsidization does not continue, as it will place the non-integrating universities into financial peril, because the continuation of that process will ultimately lead to the collapse of the system and the member universities.”

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Martin, and the Senate Appropriations Committee held a public hearing with PASSHE Chancellor Dan Greenstein to discuss the progress of PASSHE following the Board of Governors July 2021 unanimous support for the integration plan.  The plan that was approved administratively integrates six universities into two single accredited entities with a unified leadership team.  

The plan would integrate California University of Pennsylvania as well as Edinboro and Clarion universities in western Pennsylvania into Pennsylvania Western University. Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield universities in northeast Pennsylvania also will be joined together.  The integrations are effective July 1, 2022.

“The West and Northeast have taken different approaches to supporting information technology systems based on the phased-in curriculum development, the rollout of the new universities’ cabinet and organization structures, and their approach to marketing and branding,” Greenstein shared with the committee. “The team is focused on ways to create a consistent and enhanced student experience as they design the integrated university. The work we have achieved to date has been significant, and I want to thank the faculty and staff who have made it possible.”

The historic changes to PASSHE and the authorization for the creation of integration plans were authorized by Act 50 of 2020, which was championed by Martin and Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-6).

CONTACT: Terry Trego

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