APSCUF hosts virtual town hall about state system schools consolidation 

Leadership at APSCUF answered questions for students about schools merging


Joseph Donatucci

Aerial view of Dixon Hall and the James J. Manderino Library.

Veonna King, Staff Writer

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) represents the faculty of Pennsylvania’s 14 publicly owned universities. Last week, APSCUF held a virtual town hall on Thursday for students who had questions about the new consolidation plan which outlines the merging six universities. 

Act 50 passed last June, giving the power to structure universities to the PASSHE Board of Governors. Since then, the Board of Governors and Chancellor Daniel Greenstein have chosen to consolidate. Last fall. the chancellor and Board of Governors and moved forward with exploring the consolidation between six universities including Mansfield University, Lock Haven, Bloomfield, Edinboro, Clarion, and Cal U. 

“The Board of Governors have the power to affiliate, consolidate, merge or expand at universities, expect close that power still rests with legislators in Harrisburg,” said Sean Crampsie APSCUF director of government relations.

According to APSCUF president Jamie Martin, all campus identities will remain with athletics remaining at all six campuses. The six colleges will be broken up into three by direction. For example, northern colleges (Mainselfied, Bloomsburg, and Lock Haven) and western colleges (Cal U, Clairon, and Edinboro) are expected to each become one university. They will also have one accreditation, one faculty, one program array, one budget and one enrollment strategy. While there will be fewer universities, all six of these campuses will remain. 

On April 15, the chancellor will provide his plan to consolidate with the PASSHE Board who will vote to move forward or not. The plan will include impacts, with aspects ranging from the local economy, off-campus student housing, faculty and staff and academic programs. These are some out of 10 items that the chancellor will have to include in the plan. 

If the board decides to approve, then there will open a 60 day comment period for the public and at least two public hearings. In July of this year, the plan will be voted on by the Board if consolidation should be finalized. The decision has to be approved by at least two-thirds of the Board of Governors. If not approved, then this plan will either reappear at a different time or be dismissed.