Integration Insights Monthly
June 9, 2021
This message finds us amid a very important time in the process of the proposed integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities. Plans continue to take shape as we look ahead to the PASSHE Board of Governors review of comments from the public comment period and the Board’s vote this summer.
We invite you to read the plans and offer comments through any of the following opportunities:
The State System values your input and has developed processes that ensure we consider every comment we receive. Every comment is being reviewed for how it might help inform the next update of the plans. While all comments are welcomed, you are encouraged to share actionable suggestions that can help enhance the plans. Prior to the Board’s next vote, a report will be produced that outlines how the plans evolved based on the input received.
The Board of Governors will hold public hearings to receive public comments regarding the proposed university integrations plans. While each hearing is designated for a particular plan, the Board welcomes comments on either or both plans at all sessions.
- June 9, 2021 at 8 a.m. (Western plan) - VIEW RECORDING
- June 9, 2021 4:30 p.m. (Western plan)
- June 10, 2021 at 8 a.m. (Northeastern plan)
- June 10, 2021 4:30 p.m. (Northeastern plan)
VIEW the hearings live on YouTube
PARTICIPATE in the hearings through ZOOM
REGISTER to speak during a hearing; registration is welcome, but not required in order to offer public comment during the hearing.
Submit Public Comments
Online Form: Submit comments here
Office of the Chancellor, University Integrations Public Comment
Dixon University Center, 2986 N. Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Integration Insights Monthly
May 11, 2021
1) Highlights from the Plan
- More than 500 students, faculty, staff, trustees, and community leaders helped shape the Northeast Integration plan. Below are some of the highlights:
- A single faculty providing instruction in a unified academic program array. Students will be able to select from an expanded array of academic programs, including nearly double the program options for Mansfield and Lock Haven students.
- 75% of our enrollment is clustered in 8-10 disciplinary areas and these academic programs will continue to be delivered 100% in-person on all three campuses. A typical student will take most in-person courses at their home campus and some courses through real-time remote learning.
- Significantly expanded opportunities for adult students seeking to re-skill and up-skill through non-degree credentialing courses.
- Each institution’s name, logo, mascot, and identity will be preserved. An integrated entity name will be established and used for accreditation purposes.
- Students will enjoy on-campus housing, student clubs and organizations, athletics, and vibrant campus life on all three campuses. Athletics remains an important part of our campus culture, and we are pursuing a path with the NCAA where each campus will retain its current complement of teams.
- Students can design a university experience that works for them with dedicated support services on each campus.
- A single President and leadership team with one reporting relationship to the Board of Governors through the Chancellor.
Read the Northeast Integration Plan
2) Integration Insights Process and Timeline 5-11-21
- Share the implementation plan(s) with the public, holding at least two public hearings and taking public comments on the plan
- Submit the implementation plan(s) for final approval by the Board
- Begin implementation (July 2021 - August 2022)
- Welcome first class of students to integrated university in August 2022
April-July 2021—Public Comment Period
On April 28 the Board of Governors took the next step in System Redesign by voting to approve implementation plans for the Northeast and West university integrations so that we can begin a 60-day public review/comment period before the Board considers final approval this summer.
Your feedback is important and may be shared through the designated State System options.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the Chancellor
University Integrations Public Comment
Dixon University Center
2986 N. Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110
June 2021 Public Hearings
June 9, 4:30-6 p.m.
June 10, 4:30-6 p.m.
Zoom Links TBD
July 15, 2021—Board of Governors’ Meeting
Board votes whether to provide final approval of proposed implementation plans for West and Northeast integrations.
4) Next Steps
As we learn more through the 60-day public comment period work continues to evolve the plan to bring three institutions together to create an affordable, quality student experience. Through integration we are committed to:
- Preserving Yesterday: We will preserve the founding principles of each campus and the communities we serve.
- Adapting to Today: We will answer the greatest challenges facing higher education: access, cost, opportunity, quality, and relevance.
- Building a Stronger Tomorrow: We will change the trajectory of public higher education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and will enhance the value of degrees from Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities.
As this work continues, we are all making plans for the Fall 2021 semester to be held in-person. We remain wholly committed to supporting our current students and recruiting future Huskies, Bald Eagles, and Mounties.
March 5, 2021
Plans for the proposed integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities, resulting in a new integrated university, continues to take shape as we look ahead to their consideration by the PASSHE Board of Governors.
The goal of the Northeastern Academic Affairs team is to increase program options for students from high school dual-enrollment through associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. Leveraging the academic strengths of each university promises the growth potential to pursue emerging areas of student interest and develop career and degree pathways grounded in both student and workforce demand.
The combined array of the new integrated university will offer a robust educational experience with enhanced access points for students across the region. In the future, students will realize the benefit of expanded access to all disciplines on all campuses.
The increased options will provide students with more opportunities to access exemplary, affordable degree programs and well-qualified faculty while taking part in high-impact experiences aimed at ensuring career readiness.
Regionally, this means a significant broadening of the program array options. For Lock Haven and Mansfield students, this expansion leads to nearly double the bachelor’s degree program options from which to choose.
Expanded academic opportunities and alignment with workforce development initiatives means that the Northeastern universities will be able to offer an exemplary educational experience for all students—including outlined pathways for efficient degree-completion programs. Students will have more choices than ever before and the flexibility to complete a degree that works for their lifestyle and their timeline.
Middle States Accreditation:
The Western Integration completed a significant integration milestone: the submission of the Preliminary Complex Substantive Change Form to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Last week, the Western integration (California, Clarion, and Edinboro) outlined its plan to integrate (Middle States uses the term “consolidate”) to create a single integrated/consolidated university, and explains why integration/consolidation is a good fit for the partner universities.
In the weeks ahead, the Northeastern universities will be following the same accreditation process. Middle States recommended that one set of integration partners submit first and await feedback before the second set of partners makes its submission.
While not identical, the forms submitted to Middle States are aligned and consistent, with common boilerplate, timelines, and details. Some areas that will align with our forthcoming Northeastern integration submission include:
Administrative Hub: Middle States requires the integrated university to identify one partner campus as its administrative unit for accreditation purposes. Middle States recommends that the university that completed the accreditation process most recently act as the administrative unit for the integrated entity. Based on this recommendation, Bloomsburg has been identified as the administrative unit for accreditation purposes. If we do not select an existing accreditation, Middle States would recognize the new integrated university as a brand-new entity that is not accredited, and thus we would be pursuing accreditation for the first time. This is all contingent on the feedback received by the Western integration per its Middle States submission.
For the purposes of the submission, Middle States uses the term “main campus” to describe the administrative unit. Although this designation is required by MSCHE accreditation policies and appears in the submission for compliance purposes, we have clearly stated to Middle States that the three campuses of our integrated university will operate as collaborating partners in all other respects.
Naming process: Middle States officials are aware that the integrated university will have a new name, which has yet to be determined. We are working with Ologie, a branding and marketing firm, to conduct research and engage with prospective student and parent audiences to provide naming convention recommendations to the leadership group that align with the goals of integration: retaining the name, brand and historic identity of the universities.
Functional areas: A tentative organizational chart is being developed. This is required for the Middle States submission, and depicts the integrated university organized into a basic, three-level org chart (office of the president > divisions > functional areas) which is still evolving; it will be expanded to include job titles and other details in the months ahead. We will share the organizational chart when it is ready to be submitted.
No potential changes will impact our legal responsibility to honor collective bargaining agreements.
Both the Northeastern and Western integration teams have made a formal proposal to the NCAA to retain the full complement of intercollegiate sports on all partner campuses. We continue to pursue this path with the NCAA and are encouraged by the thoughtful response to our request. For current student-athletes and those currently being recruited, this path would provide the ability to retain our existing sports teams.
As you can see, creating the integrated university is a complex and multi-faceted project. Bloomsburg University is well represented among the 500+ individuals who are involved in innovating and re-imagining student-centered higher education in Pennsylvania. Their work informs recommendations that will be shared with the Board of Governors as we seek to shape our future as a premier provider of higher education for northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond. I am immensely proud of and thankful for their work, and I encourage all of you to stay informed as the process continues.
Plans for both the Northeastern and Western integrations will be presented to the PASSHE Board of Governors at its upcoming meeting in April. Board affirmation would initiate a 60-day period for public comment, culminating in a decision by the Board at its July meeting.
We expect further updates to include greater detail on the academic program array and organizational structure. I will keep our Bloomsburg community informed as planning continues and opportunities for your input arise. For a deeper dive into System Redesign or to share your feedback, visit www.passhe.edu/integrations.
INTEGRATION: ONWARD AND UPWARD TOGETHER
Onward and Upward is more than just our brand. It’s the foundation upon which our University was built and a commitment to lifting up our students and our region, propelling them toward success. That is why it is important to us that you know about the ongoing work toward the potential integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield Universities. Read more.
Dr. Bashar Hanna to be Lock Haven University's Interim President
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today selected Dr. Bashar Hanna to serve as interim president of Lock Haven University, starting Feb. 5, 2021.
Hanna will continue to serve as president of Bloomsburg University, a position he’s held since 2017. And he has extensive experience with the State System, including time served at Kutztown University as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and interim provost from 2005 to 2009. Read more.
Integration plans on track for Board consideration this spring
Integrating six universities into two entities would expand student opportunities, improve affordability.
Momentum is building toward successfully integrating multiple universities as a means of expanding student opportunities thanks to the work of more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff and volunteers, Chancellor Dan Greenstein told Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Board of Governors at its quarterly meeting Thursday.
Planning has involved 19 working groups and 216 subgroups thus far in the effort to integrate California, Clarion, and Edinboro universities in Western Pennsylvania and Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities in Northeastern Pennsylvania into two multi-campus institutions. The System is moving toward its next milestone – the presentation of implementation plans to the Board at its April meeting. Read more.
Proposed partnership a chance to grow
By: John Wetzel, state secretary of corrections and member of the Bloomsburg University Council of Trustees.
(This op-ed originally appeared in the Press Enterprise and the Sunbury Daily Item, February 2021)
As Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Corrections, I have seen first-hand how education can change the lives of individuals and impact their families for generations. It can take a person from a life behind bars to a life where he or she can be a successful, productive member of society. A college degree can and does make a positive difference in the life of the graduates and their families. Read more.
PASSHE Northeast Integration Gains Momentum
The process to integrate Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities continues to gain support and momentum through three virtual meetings that took place in January. The State System’s Chancellor, Dan Greenstein, joined by university presidents Bashar Hanna (Bloomsburg), Robert Pignatello (Lock Haven), and Charles Patterson (Mansfield), gathered with more than 200 government, business, and community leaders to discuss the State System’s integration plan. The plan, set to be voted on in July, is focused on expanding learning opportunities and making college more affordable and accessible for students while maintaining university identity, traditions, and community connections. Read more.
New Partnership to be Explored by Three PA State System Universities
A new partnership between Bloomsburg University, Lock Haven University, and Mansfield University has the potential to alter the face of higher education in eastern and north-central Pennsylvania for years to come.
As part of the ongoing system redesign plans within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (State System), the universities will explore opportunities to collaborate and build on their existing strengths, create greater efficiencies, and expand affordable, high-quality educational opportunities for students throughout the region and beyond. Read more.
As you may know, the Board of Governors in July authorized Chancellor Greenstein to review the financial impacts of potential integrations within the State System.
One of the pairings that was originally identified was an integration between Lock Haven and Mansfield. The initial financial analysis suggests that the addition of Bloomsburg to this pairing provides the needed support, stability, and scalability to increase the probability of success for the State System’s regional landscape.
With Lock Haven and Mansfield, and in partnership with the Office of the Chancellor, we will assess this potential integration. As we continue to collect the data, I want to emphasize that this is an ongoing process. Where the process ultimately leads will be driven by the analysis of the data and the potential for leveraging our strengths for the benefit of our students and their success.
Throughout this process, I look forward to working with you to expand our existing collaborations with Mansfield, and to include Lock Haven in these partnerships. I also look forward to capitalizing on the many talents of our faculty and staff, and assure you that our strong history of almost 200 years will continue to flourish. I am grateful to all of you that we are in such a position to explore potential partnerships. As the Chairperson of our Council of Trustees, the Honorable Mary Jane Bowes, notes, “the fact that the System would entertain the notion of Bloomsburg assisting other System institutions is itself an endorsement of the hard work of BU’s faculty and staff in situating the University amidst many unknowns.”
During the months ahead, we will continue discussions with the Office of the Chancellor, our Council of Trustees, our many stakeholders, as well as our colleagues at Lock Haven and Mansfield.
Bashar W. Hanna