By Ryan McFadden
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors appointed Daniel Greenstein to fill its vacant chancellor seat.
Selecting Greenstein is the Board’s attempt to shape PASSHE into a public university system that promotes social mobility, according to East Stroudsburg University’s press release.
According to the press release from ESU, Greenstein’s work at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation showcases his determination to make college accessible to students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds, according to Allan Golston, President of U.S. Programs with the Gates Foundation.
Golston is thrilled that Greenstein was selected to be PASSHE’s Chancellor because he has seen his work ethic and motivations firsthand.
“Dan is passionately committed to the role that higher education institutions play as drivers of economic and social mobility,” said Golston. “He has helped us at the Foundation and in the field see the power and potential of institutions like Pennsylvania’s state colleges and universities to deliver transformative experiences for students no matter where they come from or what they dream of, using data and innovation to drive great outcomes for students.”
The Gates foundation annually awards $125 million worth of grant and contract money to public higher education systems like PASSHE.
Board of Governors Chairwoman Cynthia D. Shapira believes Greenstein will have an immensely positive impact on PASSHE, saying he will use his experience and skills to “write the template for 21st Century public higher education in the nation.”
“With the appointment of Dr. Greenstein as chancellor, the State System makes the strong statement that we are committed to our mission of providing accessible, affordable, quality higher education to students while serving the needs of the Commonwealth, even as we redesign ourselves for the future,” said Shapira.
Greenstein reinforced his vision of creating an accessible public university system, saying “and let me be crystal clear, I do mean all of our students; regardless of zip code or background, all must and all will have an opportunity to succeed.”
PASSHE’s new chancellor spent almost a decade in leadership roles in the University of California higher education system. There he introduced UC online, a long-range enrollment plan that used transparency to legitimize the distribution of state resources to California’s universities.
Greenstein’s role as chancellor is building on the momentum already created by the PASSHE system’s top-to-bottom revamp through leadership that will drive PASSHE to the forefront of public university systems, according to East Stroudsburg University’s news release.
Greenstein described the pride he feels to accept this position and the responsibilities that come with his selection. The chancellor-to-be also drove home his motivations of improving the accessibility and social mobility of college.
“The 14 universities that make up this system play a vital role for the people and the Commonwealth,” said Greenstein. “These universities are the lifeblood of countless who live in communities across Pennsylvania. Nearly 90 percent of our students are residents who stay here to live and work after they graduate, making our universities the engines that drive economic development and strengthen the very fabric of our society.”
Greenstein will assume the Chancellor’s seat in September, filling the open seat left by former chancellor Frank Brogan.
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