Senate confirms three new members to State System's Board of Governors


Dec. 14, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The state Senate has confirmed the nominations of three new members to the board that oversees the 14 universities that comprise Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.

The new members of the Board of Governors are Audrey Bronson of Philadelphia, Leslie Anne Miller of Bryn Mawr and Cynthia Shapira of Pittsburgh. Each of the new member's terms will run through December 2018.

"I look forward to welcoming our three new Board members and to working with each of them on behalf of our universities and our students," said Board of Governors Chairman Guido Pichini. "Each will bring to the Board a unique perspective, as well as a long and distinguished record of public service."

The 20-member Board of Governors is responsible for overseeing Pennsylvania's 14 public universities. The board establishes broad educational, fiscal and personnel policies, and oversees the efficient management of the State System. Among other tasks, it appoints the chancellor and university presidents, approves new academic programs, sets tuition and coordinates and approves the State System's annual operating budget.

The Board comprises 11 members appointed by the governor, three students, four legislators, the governor or a designee and the state secretary of education or a designee.

chancellor frank brogan


"The Board of Governors plays a critical role in the overall success of the State System universities and in the high-quality, high-value educational experiences our nearly 107,000 students receive every day," said Chancellor Frank Brogan. "I, too, am excited about working with the new members to further advance the State System as, together, we seek to best serve the needs not only of the students, but of the entire commonwealth."

Bronson is a trustee at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. She is an ordained minister and consecrated bishop and is the founder and pastor of the Sanctuary Church of the Open Door. She also founded the Sanctuary Christian Academy, a private academic school for students from pre-school to fifth grade; the Sanctuary Bible Institute; and the Sanctuary Counseling and Referral Center.

She retired from Cheyney University in 1984 as an associate professor of psychology after seventeen years of teaching.

She served as dean of the Philadelphia Urban Education Institute, a subsidiary of the African American Interdenominational Ministries, Inc., of Philadelphia and served on the board of One Church, One Child, Inc., of Pennsylvania, a statewide organization that encourages members of African American Churches to adopt African American children. She is the first female to be elected president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity.

Bronson has a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Cheyney University, a Master of Science degree in psychology from Howard University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary.

Miller, an attorney, was general counsel to Gov. Edward Rendell, placing her in charge of the Pennsylvania Office of General Counsel, where she led a staff of more than 450 attorneys who represented the governor's office and 32 executive and independent agencies. Prior to her appointment to the Governor's Cabinet, she was a partner and shareholder in the law firm of McKissock and Hoffman, P.C.

Known as an advocate of programs that advance women, she is also a proponent for work that fosters diversity in both the legal profession and business community. She served as finance committee co-chair during Michael Nutter's mayoral campaign in Philadelphia and later served on his transition team and as an adviser to the mayor. She currently is co-chair of the finance committee of the Katie McGinty for Senate Campaign.

She was the first woman elected president of the 27,000 member Pennsylvania Bar Association during 1998-1999 and also chaired the association's first Commission on Women in the Profession and its House of Delegates and Young Lawyers Division. She has served in a number of roles with a variety of non-profit organizations in the greater Philadelphia region and has received numerous honors, including from both the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Former Governor Tom Ridge named her a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania.

Miller received an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College and a Master of Arts degree in political science from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. She has a juris doctorate from Dickinson School of Law and a Master of Law degree from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

Shapira is president of the David S. and Karen A. Shapira Foundation and a community activist. She previously was a management consultant, providing strategic management services to education and non-profit institutions.

She is chair of the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Federation and serves on the boards of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Point Park University and Brandeis University in Massachusetts. She sits on the Governor's Advisory Board for Education and Workforce Development and previously served on the Pennsylvania Women's Commission under Gov. Corbett. Ms. Shapira has been a board member of the United Way of Allegheny County, The Pittsburgh Promise, WQED and Vibrant Pittsburgh.

Shapira has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Wellesley College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Bronson, Miller and Shapira will join the Board upon the signing of their commissions by Gov. Wolf.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kenn Marshall | 717.720.4045 |