Student Life Editor
Dan Greenstein, Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or PASSHE requested $100 million from the Commonwealth to continue the system’s redesign over the course of five years.
The gears for the PASSHE redesign, the ideas to “cross-educate” among the 14 state schools, have cranked even further.
Last week, the chancellor requested an additional $10 million to implement his plans for the system reboot. The Board of Trustees approved the request, giving the Chancellor permission to request the money from legislators.
The board agreed to request the $100 million in supplemental funding. After a debate on rather a $300 million request may be more beneficial, the board collectively agreed that $100 million would be the requested price.
“There are two basic issues: one is to improve our infrastructure, technology [and] systems so that we’re more cost-effective, and by being more cost-effective, we can use our money more wisely,” said Greenstein.
With the recent changes to ESU’s campus –– renovations to residential halls and condensing space on campus –– structural change is in the near future for many PASSHE schools.
The chancellor says the hope is for students at any PASSHE university to have access to the resources at other system universities.
“But the other thing is capability. One of the big hopes is that students at any university can have access to the educational programming at other universities,” said Chancellor Greenstein. “I think our faculty realizes the power we have if we were able to operate as a sharing system.”
The chancellor says, with over 5, 000 faculty members, students should have more opportunities.
In addition to making campus technology more advanced, the funding could also make moving transcripts from university to another far easier.
However, the aspirations for the extra funding comes with some concerns. The biggest concerns with the general plans are how to work collectively with each university.
The chancellor asked “what does mean to share academic programming” as a question many faculty members have asked.
Leila Bouchekouk, Student Government Association President, does not have a strong opinion on the redesign as a whole, she says she will always value what is most beneficial to students.
She explains why this additional funding could be good for the university.
“I think having a sister institution is always a great thing because there are certain problems that are not unique to ESU,” said Bouchekouk. “So, establishing better connections and channels with other universities is a good thing.”
The redesign seeks to increase enrollment rates across the entire system while continuing its mission to provide affordable education.
The funds will go toward increasing online education and creating the idea of a united system.
“I’m glad that he’s requesting more money. We’re doing the most we can with as little as we have, but it’s just not enough,” said Bouchekouk.
“There has to be a response from legislatures, if they truly value education, they will put more money into it.”
The initial redesign document states:
“When our 14 State System universities succeed, we all win…the State System generates more than $6 billion in economic impact for Pennsylvania. We are the backbone of economic health for many communities and provide a pipeline of talent for employers.
The focus on funding the renewal plan combats the system’s declining enrollment rates.
The 14 state schools include Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.
Chancellor Greenstein’s request for additional funding will go towards furthering the chancellor’s new vision to leverage all 14-state school’s academic resources, changing many campuses in the future.
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