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Integration is complete

LHU, Bloomsburg, Mansfield universities become Commonwealth University

MANSFIELD — After more than a year, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s wish to combine Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield universities is finally complete.

Commonwealth University, the banner which the three universities exist under, has been cemented as of Friday.

Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, who previously served as president of Bloomsburg and interim president of LHU, was named president of Commonwealth.

“My sincere thanks go to the teams at each of our universities who have dedicated themselves tirelessly to the integration process and to creating opportunities for a new generation of students to follow their dreams and pursue lives of meaning and success,” Hanna said. “I’m confident that we have the right teams of people in place to proceed courageously and compassionately, grounded in the mission of supporting student success and changing lives through education.”

The integration process took several steps in the spring to make Commonwealth a reality.

On March 15, Middle States Commission on Higher Education provided initial approval for accreditation — which is required by the U.S. Department of Education.

“Together, Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield embody the power of three, which will create a higher education experience, the likes of which is not possible without integration,” Hanna said.

In March, the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education voted to approve the name Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania to represent the integrated entity for Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities.

The final piece of the puzzle came in late April when the NCAA approved to proceed with the proposed plan to retain a full complement of NCAA athletic programs on the campuses that currently host them.

Each campus will maintain its full complement of sports offerings and will continue to use its respective location name, existing logos, colors, mascots, and traditions.

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