Cheyney, PA – Daniel Greenstein the Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education visited Cheyney on April 26th to share his vision for the direction of Pennsylvania’s higher education system and its fourteen state owned universities. According to Greenstein the system needs to be redesigned and is in the early stages of establishing the design team which includes university presidents, the Board of Governors, an advisory committee and the chancellor. Greenstein and the design team are formulating the process.
Faculty, students and alumni came to hear what the Chancellor had to say especially given remarks he recently made during Senate budget hearings. Greenstein’s remarks were deemed by many to be in direct opposition to Cheyney’s efforts to regain full accreditation and move the university into a brighter future as a redesigned and reinvigorated university.
In the past two years two studies by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and the Rand Corporation respectively, reviewed and examined PASSHE and came to differing conclusions in terms of what to do to save the floundering system, whether to merge schools or revamp PASSHE altogether, although neither study called for closing any universities.
When asked directly about both studies, Greenstein acknowledged both studies but specifically stated school closure was bad public policy and that that decision had to be made by the legislature not the chancellor or the Board of Governors. He also addressed school consolidation saying name strength, identity and the benefits to the local communities where the universities are located would be lost if the schools were merged. Greenstein’s visit raised more questions than he answered.
Greenstein’s visit to Cheyney was part of his system wide tour to tout his plan for a sharing system and the need for system redesign. He stated he would return in the fall with an update and progress report on the process.