Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Consolidation Coming Soon

Collapse

Support The Site!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Consolidation Coming Soon

    The reconstituted PASSHE board would have the authority to consolidate schools, eliminate programs, turn existing schools into branch campuses of other universities, create new schools, and share back-office services.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/pages.press...-0009-300W.jpg

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bart View Post
    The reconstituted PASSHE board would have the authority to consolidate schools, eliminate programs, turn existing schools into branch campuses of other universities, create new schools, and share back-office services.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/pages.press...-0009-300W.jpg
    About freakin' time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post

      About freakin' time.
      Easy for you to say, since IUP is not included.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bart View Post

        Easy for you to say, since IUP is not included.
        It's long overdue from a business stand point.

        Comment


        • #5
          The link doesn't work. Where can we find this article?

          Comment


          • #6
            Link doesn't work for me either.

            Comment


            • #7
              Type PASSHE into Google ... you'll get several hits from different media outlets.

              Comment


              • #8
                So how will the board wield their surgeons blade? Case can be made for three "Universities" (Lets call them East Pennsylvania University, Central Pennsylvania University and West Pennsylvania University). The three main campuses would be the current IUP (West PU), Bloomsburg (Central PU) and West Chester (East PU). WPU would have satellite campuses at Cal, Slippery Rock and Edinboro, CPU would consist of Lock Haven, Ship and Millersville and EPU would have satellite campuses at Kutz, and E Stroud. As for Clarion, Mansfield and Cheyney, Clarion and Mansfield would close while Cheyney would be completely absorbed by EPU but would maintain the name Cheyney University.

                The million dollar question for us is who keeps football? Obviously the three "Main Campus" plus probably WPU-California, WPU-Slippery Rock, CPU-Shippensburg, CPU-Lock Haven, EPU-Kutz and EPU-E Stroud. That would make a 13 team conference which is not an ideal number but if they kept 13 schools in the PSAC and they chose to continue the E/W break down, it could look like:

                PSAC West

                IUP
                Cal
                SRU
                Gannon
                Hurst
                SHU
                Shepherd

                PSAC East

                WCU
                Lock Haven
                Bloom
                ESU
                Kutz
                Ship

                More likely they jetason one of either Gannon, Hurst, Seton Hill or Shepherd.
                Last edited by boatcapt; 06-24-2020, 06:49 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by boatcapt View Post
                  So how will the board wield their surgeons blade? Case can be made for three "Universities" (Lets call them East Pennsylvania University, Central Pennsylvania University and West Pennsylvania University). The three main campuses would be the current IUP (West PU), Bloomsburg (Central PU) and West Chester (East PU). WPU would have satellite campuses at Cal, Slippery Rock and Edinboro, CPU would consist of Lock Haven, Ship and Millersville and EPU would have satellite campuses at Kutz, and E Stroud. As for Clarion, Mansfield and Cheyney, Clarion and Mansfield would close while Cheyney would be completely absorbed by EPU but would maintain the name Cheyney University.
                  That's drastic change, and I don't see PA doing anything that monumental, at least not in my lifetime...I think they'll more than likely look at moving Cheyney under West Chester's umbrella. Perhaps a merger between Mansfield and Lock Haven. Glaciers have melted faster than the PA legislature doing anything these days...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WarriorVoice View Post

                    That's drastic change, and I don't see PA doing anything that monumental, at least not in my lifetime...I think they'll more than likely look at moving Cheyney under West Chester's umbrella. Perhaps a merger between Mansfield and Lock Haven. Glaciers have melted faster than the PA legislature doing anything these days...
                    I could see Clarion falling in to this to some capacity ... perhaps under SRU's rule.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post

                      I could see Clarion falling in to this to some capacity ... perhaps under SRU's rule.
                      Yeah I just wasn't exactly sure which umbrella they'd fit under best...I'm pretty sure I remember reading something about one of the Shippen girls being a British spy in Colonial days...Do we need a new name for that school south of Harrisburg? (JOKE)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WarriorVoice View Post

                        That's drastic change, and I don't see PA doing anything that monumental, at least not in my lifetime...I think they'll more than likely look at moving Cheyney under West Chester's umbrella. Perhaps a merger between Mansfield and Lock Haven. Glaciers have melted faster than the PA legislature doing anything these days...
                        Perhaps. Of course it could be like a willow as opposed to a glacier. They have been bending in the wind for a long time now. Evantualy even willows break in the wind.

                        If I were a betting man, I'd say that there will be some quick action (Attaching Cheyney to WCU and closing Mansfield) and things that will take a few years to take place (be they the changes I predict or the ones you project).

                        But as this is an athletic board. Who do you project maintains athletics and football specifically? PASSHE schools that evade the knife but are still in financial straights could save a pretty penny by cutting athletics out of their annual budget.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My apologies{


                          By Jan Murphy | [email protected]


                          *This story has been updated.
                          State lawmakers have approved legislation that would radically change the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education within the next three years.
                          The bill, which represents the most dramatic change ever made to the 1982 law that created the state system, is now before Gov. Tom Wolf.
                          The Senate on Wednesday voted 47-3 to approve a bill that would open the door for most of the 14 state universities to create, expand, consolidate, transfer or affiliate an institution or college. But importantly to lawmakers and communities that host a university, it does not permit a school to close.

                          “I believe truly with a plan like this with this limited opportunity for reform that we have that we will establish this State System of Higher Education and the 14 member institutions that serve proudly throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania another century of success in meeting their core mission,” said Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster County, who seres on the system board.

                          Sen. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson, R-Bucks County, a West Chester University alum and trustee, said with the legislation “we will continue to make the State System schools great centers with strong academic programs for future students. I look forward to seeing how these schools continue to evolve and meet the needs of our students, families and communities.”

                          The system reform bill immediately went to the House of Representatives, which voted 201-0 to concur on changes the Senate made. It now goes to Wolf for his consideration.

                          The governor’s spokeswoman, Lyndsay Kensinger, gave no indication as to whether it would gain his signature.

                          The bill temporarily shifts decision-making authority that currently rests with the Legislature to the system’s Chancellor Dan Greenstein and its 20-member governing board.

                          The system, the world’s 43rd largest, includes Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester universities.

                          Lawmakers as well as system officials see the need for such sweeping changes because without them, as Greenstein has said, “the status quo won’t lead to long-term solvency of the system.” The system’s enrollment has declined steadily in recent years and some of the universities are facing stiff financial challenges.


                          The State System of Higher Education will need to “dramatically” accelerate its redesign because “the status quo won’t lead to long-term solvency of the system,” said system Chancellor Dan Greenstein. Photo courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services


                          Greenstein said in a statement, “This bill represents some of the most significant improvements to how the State System operates in our 38-year history. The reforms will allow us to build upon the substantial progress we’ve already made toward ensuring affordability for students and financial sustainability for our universities. This landmark achievement is the direct result of our university constituencies coming together behind our redesign.”

                          The legislation wouldn’t allow dramatic changes to happen overnight.

                          In fact, it provides at least a one-year window once a final implementation plan is approved by the system’s board for students, staff, faculty and administrator to adjust to any change that may be coming to a program, college, service or university.

                          But before a decision is made, a lengthy vetting process will take place.

                          It begins with the chancellor’s office preparing a proposed implementation plan. The plan is shared with lawmakers followed by a 60-day public comment, at least two public hearings, and consultation with stakeholders. Feedback allows for the plan to be altered before it is presented to the system’s governing board, which must approve changes permitted under this legislation by at least a two-thirds vote.

                          Once that occurs, the chancellor is required to provide quarterly reports to the General Assembly on the implementation’s progress. The bills limits the system’s authority to make the reforms that are permitted under this legislation to three years before that authority returns to the General Assembly.

                          However, any change that is still in the process of being implemented at the three-year mark would be permitted to be completed, Martin said.

                          “The goal is to keep it as time restricted as possible,” Martin said.

                          Jamie Martin, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, made it clear that the faculty union believes the significant changes the legislation would allow should be considered a last resort.

                          But she added: “We are supportive of the measures in the amended bill that requires transparency, a clear plan from the chancellor/State System, allows enough time to hold public hearings and solicit input from stakeholders, and requires a two-thirds vote by the board of governors before a plan can be implemented.”

                          For Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks County, who also serves on the system board, the accountability requirements and many layers of reporting built into the process seemed a bit too much.

                          “If there’s anything I’ve learned in my years in the Senate is sometimes we use reports as a way to kind of delay action,” she said, in her remarks made remotely to her Senate colleagues on Wednesday. “If there’s anything that needs to happen in this system, we need the ability to move quickly. We have to be fleet of foot so to speak because the issues that are hitting us are hitting us quickly.”

                          The need to reform

                          System officials have seen the writing on the wall more than four years ago that as a whole, its 14 universities were on an unsustainable path. As the system’s former Chancellor Frank Brogan said in 2017, “We are the people who have to have the courage to step up and sound the clarion call for change.”

                          Declining enrollment and funding cuts by that time had put the system in a financially precarious position. The years that have gone by have done nothing to reverse that course.

                          The system has seen its enrollment decline by 20 percent over the past decade, to just under 96,000 last fall. As of June 5, its first-year student enrollment for the fall semester had declined 1.7 percent from the same time last year.

                          In another sign of troubles, Mansfield University this spring required up to a $6 million loan from the system to pay its bills to make it through the remainder of this year. Cheyney University, in recent years, has had to obtain similar loans totaling $40.3 million to keep its doors open.

                          Cheyney’s financial instability, among other issues at the nation’s oldest historically black university, nearly cost it its accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the regional accrediting agency. But a promise made last fall by Gov. Tom Wolf to help the school eliminate its mountain of debt prevented the commission from taking that unusual action.

                          System officials have said nine of the 14 universities project the need to dip into their reserves to cover a combined $146 million in operating expenses through the next three years.

                          Currently, the system anticipates a $52 million financial loss through the summer due to the pandemic even after accounting for the federal CARES ACT funding. And to help it deal with its fiscal woes, it is nearing the end of a window of its third retirement incentive offered to employees to try to reduce its workforce.

                          With that as a backdrop, time is of the essence for the public universities to make the necessary changes to get all 14 of its universities back on sounder financial footing. But not all of them are in such a financially shaky condition – and the Senate-passed bill recognizes that.

                          It specifically bars West Chester University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the system’s two largest universities, from being consolidated or affiliated with another institution.

                          Why make exceptions

                          The carve out for West Chester and IUP from being further affiliated or consolidated with another institution was one of several compromises that had to be made to garner enough support in the Senate to pass the chamber.

                          In advocating for making those exceptions, Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-Chester, who is a faculty member at West Chester, said it serves as an acknowledgment that these two universities “are simply succeeding.”

                          “With the number of students and their graduate programs, they are in a very different situation than are the other 12 institutions,” Dinniman said.


                          Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster County, said the State System of Higher Education reform legislation allows the system to be proactive to address the enrollment and fiscal problems it faces. Screenshot from Pa. Senate website June 24, 2020





                          Martin said sharing services or joint purchasing arrangements across universities wouldn’t really benefit West Chester and IUP, with more than 10,000 students, in the same way it would the smaller schools in the system.




                          The carve out for these two universities was among the concerns that led Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Mercer County, to join Sens. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin County, and Scott Hutchinson, R-Venango County, in opposing the bill.




                          “I understand that there are some universities struggling with enrollment, but if we are going to be searching for efficiencies and collaboration, why wouldn’t we include every university in the conversation, instead of focusing only on those schools with fewer than 10,000 students?” Brooks said in a statement. “One of my concerns is that this bill seems to target smaller schools. Universities with more than 10,000 students should not be excluded from the provisions of this legislation.”




                          Making an exception for those two schools was disappointing to the bill’s sponsor, House Education Committee Chairman Curt Sonney, R-Erie County. He said he’s thrilled there are universities in the system that are sustainable.




                          “Unfortunately, that’s not been the case in all of them,” Sonney said. “The reality is if the system fails, they all fail. This bill was really designed to allow the system to finally function as a system with one central authority because we want all 14 universities to survive and thrive, not just a few.”




                          That one-for-all-and-all-for-one mentality has permeated discussions at the system’s governing board meetings since Greensten’s arrival in the fall of 2018. The chancellor has talked about “systemness” and a “sharing system” as the foundation for his and the board’s vision for redesigning the higher education institutions they oversee.




                          Along with sharing some back office administrative services across universities to produce some cost savings and keep tuition rates affordable, Greenstein, in another example of the reforms he envisions, also wants to see students have the opportunity to take any of the more than 11,000 courses offered at system universities regardless of where they are enrolled.




                          It’s unclear at this point how this exception for West Chester and IUP affects those system redesign plans although system board Chairwoman Cindy Shapira said in a statement, “This bill supports all three principles of our Redesign effort – student success, leveraging our strengths, and transforming our governing structure.”




                          Speaking on the bill generally to her Senate colleagues, Schwank expressed her hope that it doesn’t “retard some of the changes that we actually need to see in the system.” She also reminded senators that the state hasn’t been living up to its responsibilities to the system for many years and said that is one of the reasons the system is in the situation it now faces.



                          Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks County said a misgiving she has about the State System reform bill is the layers of reporting it requires because that could delay action on the system's redesign. "We have to be fleet of foot so to speak because the issues that are hitting us are hitting us quickly.” Screenshot from Pa. Senate website June 24, 2020



                          No university will close




                          The bill does not allow a university to close.




                          “One of the goals of what we’re trying to accomplish here is to ensure there is a footprint of these campuses in every community where they are currently located,” Martin said. “That’s not to say some might be potentially smaller ... but every community, a goal here, was to make sure no one was losing that presence.”




                          Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, a longtime champion for Cheyney University, made a point of getting it clarified on the Senate floor to be memorialized in the Senate journal that the legislation would not thwart Cheyney’s status as a historically black college and university.




                          “This institution is an important treasure to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and an important treasure to the nation,” Hughes said. “It’s something that we need to protect.”




                          Martin described the Senate changes to the bill as a “hodgepodge” of ideas. It incorporated elements of the House bill along with some asks from system officials, labor unions, university trustees, and more.




                          It also includes changes that affect the powers and duties of university councils of trustees, including their ability by a two-thirds vote to opt out of a shared services arrangement. It alters the powers and duties of university presidents as well as the appointment and removal of student members to the system’s governing board, among others.




                          It does not allow for property to be sold or transferred to a university foundation, and it doesn’t affect university foundations in any way, Martin said.




                          Sonney’s version of a system reform bill passed the House on June 9 by a vote of 200-2. In urging his House colleagues to support his version of the bill, Sonney indicated he understands doing nothing is also not an option and could lead to some universities being forced to close – which would be a costly decision.




                          “By one estimate, it could cost up to $150 million to actually close just one of the system schools between bonded indebtedness and contractual agreements, that would be a worst-case scenario,” Sonney said.




                          He along with Martin spoke of the need for urgent action by the General Assembly given. The Legislature is now at the tail end of its two-year legislative session. If bills aren’t enacted by the end of the session, they must begin anew in the next legislative session.




                          Plus, Sonney said the system needs to get moving on reforms.




                          “The sky is falling on the system,” he said. “It’s crashing down.”




                          But Martin also made a point of saying that the state universities aren’t experiencing anything that other colleges and universities across the state and nation aren’t struggling with so “we have to be very proactive."




                          *This post was updated to include Sen. Michele Brooks’ statement as well as those of system officials and to reflect the fact that this legislation now sits on the governor’s desk.




                          Jan Murphy may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by boatcapt View Post

                            Perhaps. Of course it could be like a willow as opposed to a glacier. They have been bending in the wind for a long time now. Evantualy even willows break in the wind.

                            If I were a betting man, I'd say that there will be some quick action (Attaching Cheyney to WCU and closing Mansfield) and things that will take a few years to take place (be they the changes I predict or the ones you project).

                            But as this is an athletic board. Who do you project maintains athletics and football specifically? PASSHE schools that evade the knife but are still in financial straights could save a pretty penny by cutting athletics out of their annual budget.
                            Two points from the article: no school will close and WCU and IUP will not be combined with any other school) So WCU stands alone and Mansfield will not close.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bart View Post

                              Two points from the article: no school will close and WCU and IUP will not be combined with any other school) So WCU stands alone and Mansfield will not close.
                              Insane speculation being a great tradition on this MB I'll step up and say that the first two mergers will be SRU/CLARION and LHU/MANSFIELD. Four in the West appears to be the minimum but who knows. In the East it seems another merger would be logical but I can't see which one. Any guesses ?

                              Comment

                              Ad3

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X