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LHU News

A Message from President Pignatello

Dear Campus Community,

Today the State System’s Board of Governors authorized the Chancellor to review the financial impacts of integrating operations at selected System universities. The authority to explore and execute an integrations approach for PASSHE institutions is supported by Act 50 of 2020, a new bipartisan law supported by the Pennsylvania Legislature and signed into law by Governor Wolf.

The system’s primary considerations for the campus integrations include maintaining or expanding educational opportunities for students in our region, providing affordable education options for students while stabilizing the system financially, and honoring the history, identity, and legacy of system institutions.
Lock Haven University is under consideration for integration with Mansfield University. Other system universities are under consideration as well. This is both the next step in system redesign and the beginning of a process that will work to leverage our combined strengths, increase opportunities for the region’s students, and continue our mission of providing an affordable, quality education that drives social mobility and economic development.

Three potential integrations are currently being examined:

  • California and Clarion – An integration would seek to stand up a low-cost, high-quality, fully online undergraduate degree and degree-completion program that is not currently available in Pennsylvania.
  • Edinboro and Slippery Rock – An integration that would strengthen and broaden available academic opportunities by aligning two educational programs into one, driving down costs and coordinating enrollment strategies.
  • Lock Haven and Mansfield – An integration that would develop non-degree and stackable credentials that meet workforce needs in selected high demand occupations and concentrating on adult students, all in partnership with regional employers.

The integrations will involve, initially, financial review of both institutions. As the planning process moves forward it will be highly consultative, seeking feedback from all stakeholders across each University. Numerous reviews and approvals will also take place along the way. This will be a deliberate process and you will be invited to participate. The planning phase is expected to take about a year with new unified operational models in place for fall 2022.

Please know that as we begin this process there is no predetermined outcome. The Board’s approach would assess the ability of paired institutions to operate under a unified leadership team reporting through the Chancellor to the Board of Governors. It would also assess the ability to have a single faculty and staff, a single academic program array, a unified enrollment strategy, and a single budget, all while honoring the local identity of the original institutions. Again, this is the beginning of a multi-step, broadly consultative process. There will likely be several different models explored and the Board’s action permits the exploration of other models and combinations of institutions as part of the integrations approach.

I wanted you to hear this message first from me. I encourage you to read Chancellor Greenstein’s blog post which further details the system’s considerations for the campus integration process.

Exploring the possibilities involving integration with Mansfield University is a positive next step in the direction we’ve been heading. We have been actively discussing increased collaboration with Mansfield since last year as we look to expand our offerings to the adult market, provide stackable credentials, and partner with local employers. The integration provides an opportunity for strengthening our offerings to students, better aligning programs with local workforce needs, expanding our market reach and fulfilling our mission by achieving economies of scale through greater efficiency. This includes looking at more affordable degrees and credentials both for credit and non-credit in areas that will prepare our students for meaningful careers in a changing economy and a post pandemic world.  

For LHU’s current and prospective students this process will mean an enriched academic experience and more opportunities. In the future, you will have access to a wider range of programs and experiences with the same campus experience that has long made LHU The Haven.

For our faculty and staff, this is an opportunity to continue our mission of serving students and to inform and shape the future of public higher education in our region and the nation. The collective talent of our faculty and staff will be integral to this process as we work together to reconceive, rebuild, refresh and expand the opportunities we offer to all our students.   

Our local communities, employers, and organizations will continue to find a great partner in Lock Haven University as we become even more responsive to the ever-changing needs of Pennsylvania's workforce and leverage new partnership opportunities through greater scale and reach.   

Finally, for our alumni, friends, supporters, and residents of the surrounding communities, know that the integrations approach is an opportunity for Lock Haven University to provide an even more vibrant educational experience while honoring our historic identity and 150 years of rich traditions.

There are and will be many questions that will be answered along the way, but we are ready to take this journey. We are a Haven Family. We are Bald Eagles. We will remain so. Our institution has seen many changes in the past 150 years—all the while fulfilling its core mission—to serve students and provide them a quality education that will equip them for a lifetime of success. I am confident that, together, we will continue that mission and soar higher into the future.


Questions About the Article?

Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations

Elizabeth Arnold
213 Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center
(570) 484-2293

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