HARRISBURG — Six of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities will be consolidated into two new institutions under a unanimous vote Wednesday by the State System of Higher Education’s governing board.
Bloomsburg, Mansfield and Lock Haven universities in northern Pennsylvania will form one institution; California, Clarion and Edinboro universities in western Pennsylvania the other. The change will be phased in, starting later in 2022.
They will have new names that have not been selected, but the plan is to keep all six campuses open with their own identities and brands, including existing sports teams. Both new institutions will have their own presidents and top administrators.
The university system wants to cut student costs by 25% by getting them to graduate more quickly, enrolling high school students, raising more money from donors and grants and expanding federal work study offerings.
There are 94,000 students in PASSHE, as it’s known, and enrollment has fallen by more than 20% since 2010.
Chancellor Daniel Greenstein said students enrolled in the affected universities will be able to finish their degrees, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. In-person instruction and residences on campus will remain.
“For years, there’s been a lot of people that we need to do something,” board member Sam Smith said. “I believe this is the best thing we can do.”