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July 12, 2017
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Kathryn Morton, or 717-236-7486

After consultants for Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities today presented their initial findings from a systemwide review, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties awaits more details, president Dr. Kenneth M. Mash said.

“We found today’s presentation to be a bit vague,” Mash said. “We really need to study the details that will come out in the full report.”

APSCUF is glad the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems did not suggest closing or merging universities, which would close opportunities for students, Mash said.

“We certainly agree that there needs to be greater cooperation,” he said. “We all need to row in the same direction for the students of our Commonwealth. We also need to tackle the fundamental question of how to fund public higher education in Pennsylvania. College is becoming increasingly unaffordable, and Pennsylvania must make a commitment to educate students from working-class families. We think the real answer lies in the Commonwealth providing tuition relief so that more students can afford to attend our universities and have a chance to pursue the American Dream.”

NCHEMS’ suggestions about changes in governance would take time, Mash said.

“Changes in the law would really need to be thought through, with a focus on what is doable and what is correct for the Commonwealth,” he said.

APSCUF remains disappointed in the limited amount of faculty input in the study and the failure to consult faculty about the research design, Mash said.

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education hired NCHEMS in March to conduct a strategic review of the 14-university system. NCHEMS presented its findings and recommendations at a packed meeting of the State System’s Board of Governors. Click here to view slides from the presentation. A full report is due out next week.

APSCUF did not have any preview of the report. Neither did the State System, it posted on its website. Mash and other APSCUF leaders are meeting with the NCHEMS team this evening for a Q&A session.

APSCUF represents about 5,500 faculty and coaches at the State System universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.