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State universities’ leader calls on lawmakers to ‘set this State System and more importantly, Pennsylvania up for success’

Chancellor Dan Greenstein says the system needs a 2% – or $9.5 million – increase in its yearly state appropriation.

  • Jan Murphy/PennLive
State System of Higher Education Chancellor Daniel Greenstein.

 Dan Gleiter / PennLive

State System of Higher Education Chancellor Daniel Greenstein.

(Harrisburg) — Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities are “at a turning point” and the leader of the State System of Higher Education says Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers play a major role in determining the course of public higher education in the commonwealth.

In his annual State of the System address, system Chancellor Dan Greenstein laid out the work on the system’s transformation that has occurred in the 499 days he has held his position. But he said it has gone as far as it can without some extra state funding.

Specifically, he said the system needs a 2% – or $9.5 million – increase in its yearly state appropriation for 2020-21 for a total of $487 million. He also said the system needs the initial $20 million installment of a five-year $100 million commitment to pay for the transformation to ensure it remains affordable, viable, and relevant to employers’ workforce needs.

″This can has been kicked down the road for many years,” Greenstein said. “Let me confirm. There is no more road. The State System bears a responsibility for this yes. But our elected state leaders share that responsibility, and so we ask our partners to collaborate with us to support our efforts and set this State System and more importantly, Pennsylvania up for success.”

Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster County, who serves on the system’s board, said he believes there will be interest amongst his legislative colleagues to support the system’s redesign efforts.

This file photo shows Shippensburg University, which saw enrollment decline by 312 students this year, for a total of nearly 6,100.

Dan Gleiter / PennLive

FILE PHOTO: With 95,802 students enrolled, the State System of Higher Education now has about the same enrollment as it had 20 years ago, according to the official fall semester student count released on Tuesday. At Shippensburg University (shown here), enrollment declined by 312 students this year, for a total of nearly 6,100.

 

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