SRU partnership with Edinboro U is part of PASSHE’s proposed integrations strategy
July 16, 2020
HARRISBURG, Pa. — As part of its ongoing System Redesign efforts, the board of governors for Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education has authorized Chancellor Daniel Greenstein to begin reviewing a proposed strategy to improve the operating structure and academic programming at six of its universities by more deeply integrating their operations.
According to the State System, university integrations - while preserving local institutional identity - would seek to use combined multi-university scale to improve academic options for students and achieve cost efficiencies to ensure these institutions continue serving their regions for years to come.
The three potential integrations include:
- Slippery Rock University and Edinboro University. This integration would look to strengthen and broaden available academic opportunities by combining educational programs from each institution into one, instituting joint cost reductions and coordinating enrollment strategies.
- California University and Clarion University. This integration would seek to stand up a low-cost, high-quality, fully online undergraduate degree and degree-completion program that is not currently available in Pennsylvania.
- Lock Haven University and Mansfield University. This arrangement could develop non-degree and stackable credentials that meet workforce needs in selected high demand occupations and concentrate on adult students, all in partnership with regional employers.
The integrations strategy is a result of the new opportunities provided to the State System via Act 50 of 2020, signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Tom Wolf.
"We have a unique opportunity to shape the future of public higher education in Pennsylvania in ways that can strengthen our institutions as pathways to social mobility, maintain their affordability, and build upon the quality education they currently provide," said Greenstein.
"Each of the State System institutions can and has made great achievements while acting alone," said SRU President Bill Behre. "However, this proposal challenges us to envision what can be accomplished when we collaborate to leverage our strengths and find new ways to enhance and revitalize the education opportunities in our state.
"As a partner in the State System, SRU will help continue to define its shared, strategic vision and where that can take us together as we move toward a future of influence and involvement. The impact of public higher education benefits all of western Pennsylvania, makes a meaningful difference in the many communities we serve and our involvement will expand SRU's role as an academic and professional ally."
Behre said that the State System and its institutions must be courageous and creative as all parties bring to life what he calls "a shared vision for our future."
"This integration will clearly define a new era of influence and involvement that helps us to boldly share our remarkable University and its people with a much larger audience," Behre said. "Through this exercise our University will not only contribute positively to the State System's goal of improved structure and programming, but help to drive it."
"We are optimistic about what this integrations strategy will mean for our three foundational goals of System Redesign - student success, leveraging our scale to achieve cost efficiencies, and restructuring our governance," said Cindy Shapira, board chair. "Exploring this strategy is a key part of our effort to support students currently enrolled and those considering these institutions as places to earn a life-changing degree. We're focused on their future and the future of the entire State System with today's Board action."
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