Robert W. Bogle the President and CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune newspaper, a proud Cheyney University alumnus and long-time chairman of the Cheyney University Council of Trustees has been confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate to become a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors. At the behest of Governor Tom Wolf, Bogle accepted nomination to the PASSHE Board of Governors, and will tender his resignation as a member and chair of the Cheyney University Council of Trustees.
Mr. Bogle will be a welcomed addition to the PASSHE Board of Governors. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new position. He is a businessman, an executive, an influential community leader, and he has faithfully served for decades as a member and chair of the Cheyney University Council of Trustees. These experiences give him keen insight into the inner working of PASSHE, higher education and the rough and tumble political process in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania many of his new colleagues may not possess.
Contrary to popular misconception members of Council of Trustees for the PASSHE schools have limited “power”. They are bound by legislatively prescribed duties and responsibilities. They are required under Pennsylvania legislative Act 188 to: conduct an annual inspection of the facilities, approve the annual university budget, review contracts and purchases, approve academic and degree programs, approve charges for room and board, assist the university president by reviewing recommendations for policies and procedures on admission standards, discipline and expulsion of students, assist the university president in reviewing and recommending policies and procedures governing the use of institutional property and facilities, assist the university president in developing relationships between the university and the public, evaluate the president of the university annually and submit recommendations to the PASSHE Board of Governors.
During his tenure as COT chair; Bogle has had to contend with and skillfully navigate executive, legislative and PASSHE policies that have undermined not only Cheyney’s operations and viability but that have also endangered the entire Commonwealth system of higher education! He and the COT have had to suffer inept presidents foisted upon them by PASSHE, they have had to deal with decades of discriminatory underfunding, blatant violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution and failure to comply with a 1999 agreement between the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Also problematic is the fact Pennsylvania is ranked 48th in college affordability, state appropriations for PASSHE declined 35.3% between 2009 to 2013 and Pennsylvania ranks third highest in college graduate debt in the nation. Despite these obstacles Bogle has always strove to find ways to help the university survive and fulfill its mission.
Governor Tom Wolf unlike his immediate predecessor supports education from pre-school to post secondary. Gov. Wolf has worked assiduously to counter the cold-hearted policies of Tom Corbett who slashed funding for all levels of education in the Commonwealth. Gov Wolf personally intervened to save Cheyney and keep his promise that the historic institution would not close on his watch.
Bogle will be sorely missed on the Council of Trustees; the good news is he will be on a body which along with the governor, legislature and chancellor determine policy for the entire state system not just Cheyney. The downside is he will be outnumbered and can be easily out voted on the larger board of governors. However, Robert Bogle can be extremely persuasive, and he will make a large imprint anywhere he goes on behalf of Cheyney University and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
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