By Amy Majani, APSCUF Intern, ESU Student
With flexibility as a recurring theme throughout its meeting, APSCUF President Steve Hicks addressed the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to stress the importance of involving faculty in any potential curriculum changes in the future.
More so, he revisited concerns APSCUF had raised with flexibility with tuition and fees in January’s BOG meeting. Hicks echoed a concern about out-pricing students thereby having students major by price rather than their interests.
He also emphasized the need for PASSHE to embrace what it does best: provide a grounded liberal arts education to its students that can be applied to a wide array of careers.
This Board of Governors’ meeting was perhaps a glimpse into these conversations. Following the dialogue on flexibility, among the recommendations from the Academic Affairs committee, was to allow universities to approve changes to existing programs without needing Board approval. Institutions would be allowed to make changes to certifications, certificates of completion, and initiate new certification, minors, and certificate of completion programs.
This however would not include degree programs. Furthermore, there was an approval of pilot programs allowing Clarion University to charge all undergraduate students on a per-credit basis, and Millersville to reduce its Center City tuition by 10 percent.
Any future dialogue on restructuring PASSHE, as well as any actions that will follow such a string of dialogue, will have to put students at the center of it-reminiscent of those the system was founded to serve.