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LHU integration a step closer

LOCK HAVEN – Integration of Lock Haven University with Mansfield and Bloomsburg took a big step forward this week.

The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the governing body of the 14 state-run schools, on Wednesday affirmed the system’s efforts to continue planning for the integration of six of its universities.

Those six include Bloomsburg-Lock Haven-Mansfield and California-Clarion-Edinboro.

As PASSHE Chancellor Daniel Greenstein has outlined, the goal is for the combined universities to share a single administration, a combined management enrollment strategy, faculty and staff and offer common academic programs.

The three schools also would operate under a single annual budget.

It does not mean, he has said, that the three schools will share a single campus.

The physical footprint of the combined university, its name and other major details have not been decided.

PASSHE expects to present a detailed implementation plan to its Board of Governors in April. The plan then would be presented for public comment.

The combined university tentatively would accept its first students in August 2022.

Combining the universities not only will cut costs but also is an opportunity to create new academic programs, including job training programs, and reach new students, including adult students, Greenstein said.

‘The opportunity to build new is so powerful,’ Greenstein said. ‘We need to stop looking in the rear-view mirror and look forward.”

Three hundred faculty members statewide – including approximately 47 at Lock Haven over two years – could lose their jobs as state-owned universities return to 2010 student-faculty ratios, as mandated by PASSHE, said Jamie Martin, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.

Read the full story in Friday’s print and online edition of The Express.

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