State university system chancellor assumes post, comments on cuts
Frank Brogan became the chancellor of the State System of Higher Education on October 1. Brogan took time to talk to the press on his first visit to Clarion University; his message to reporters was that the cuts the state universities are currently facing are an unfortunate necessity. He noted that the system needs to refocus and become more competitive and while the cuts may be painful now the state universities cannot continue to “operate efficiently” in their current structure.
Brogan envisions looking at which programs are strongest at each university and marketing those programs. Cutting programs with low enrollment will help save costs and allow the schools to put more money and marketing into their strongest offerings. Brogan feels the current system is a bit antiquated; 14 universities with very similar academic programs. The state schools draw 90 percent of their student body from in-state with 80 percent remaining in the state after graduation. In order to stay competitive, the universities need to address the state’s economic needs by producing graduates that are needed in the state’s economy. Overall in the last five years the system has halted programs with low enrollment and introduced 56 new programs in areas like software engineering, applied science, safety management, and allied health.
Brogan would also like to implement a seamless transfer system between the community colleges and the universities. Making it easier to transfer by offering the same courses could help increase the number of students who enter the university system. Florida, where Brogan previously served, has a similar system.
Candidates for Governor set to debate in February
Several candidates for Pennsylvania Governor have agreed to participate in a debate at the PA Progressive Summit in February. The Summit will be held in Harrisburg from February 28 and March 1 and is expected to draw nearly 1,000 people. The debate will be set for 6 PM that Friday. Participants at this time are John Hanger, Jo Ellen Litz, Katie McGinty, Ed Pawlowski, Max Meyers, Rob McCord, Tom Wolf and Allyson Schwartz.