At its July 2020 meeting, the Board of Governors authorized the Chancellor to review the financial impacts of potentially integrating operations at selected State System universities as part of Phase 3 of System Redesign. This effort is intended to help all State System institutions sustainably provide their students and their communities with affordable, quality higher education for years to come.
University integration seeks to utilize multi-university scale to provide superior academic options for students and achieve cost efficiencies to ensure State System institutions continue serving their regions for years to come. Integrations would also allow for expansion into adjacent markets to better meet regional education and workforce needs by combining the capacities and scholarly expertise at institutions. Finally, integration would allow for anchor institutions that support economic development and regional stability to preserve their important institutional identities.
This process is just beginning, and we will help define the end result. Know that it will continue to be a process that is consultative, transparent, and inclusive of the many voices and perspectives that make our University great.
At its October Board Meeting PASSHE’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the financial review and assessment process. Between now and April an implementation plan will be developed in a broadly consultative process conducted by task forces made up of representatives from the three integrating universities. A final plan will be presented to the Board of Governors next July for implementation in the fall of 2022.
For LHU’s current and prospective students this process can mean an enriched academic experience and more opportunities. In the future, you would have access to a wider range of affordable quality programs and experiences than exist now through leveraging the strengths of three institutions.
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 integration 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 and importance to civic life and economic growth.
“Our institution has seen many changes in the past 150 years—all while always fulfilling our core mission—to serve students and provide them a quality and affordable education that will equip them for a lifetime of success. I am confident that we will continue that mission and soar higher into the future.” – LHU President Robert Pignatello
PASSHE Board of Governors’ Approved Timeline
July 2020 – October 2020
Conduct a review of the financial stability of System universities assuming the continuation of present operations and potential university integrations
October 2020 - April 2021
Develop an integration plan or plans for candidate integrations identified by the review
April 2021 – July 2021
Submit integration plan or plans for public comment (April 2021) and submit integration plan for final approval by the Board (July 2021)
July 2021 – August 2022
Implement university integrations
Timeline Actions To-date
- Board of Governors directs the Chancellor to pursue university integrations
- Lock Haven University and Mansfield University to explore university integrations
- Financial stability review begins.
- University financial review teams are composed. For Lock Haven University: President, Provost, Chief Financial Officer, APSCUF Representative, and Executive Director of Strategic Communications.
- University financial review teams conduct ongoing assessments of a combined academic array, business practices and organizational structures
- University integrations addressed at the President's annual State of the University address
- Bloomsburg University added to the integration exploration with Lock Haven University and Mansfield University.
- University financial review teams continue assessments of a combined academic array, business practices and organizational structures
- University financial review teams for Northeastern universities continue assessments of a combined academic array, business practices and organizational structures
- The Board of Governors affirms the ongoing institutional integrations process and authorizes the Chancellor to proceed with the development of appropriate integration plans for review by the Board in 2021.
- Community Town Hall hosted for local leaders to address integration goals, timeline, planning process, and answer questions.
- Employee and Student Town Halls held virtually to address integration goals, timeline, planning process, and answer questions.
September 16, 2020
New Partnership to be Explored by Three Pennsylvania State System Universities
September 26, 2020
Lock Haven Express Editorial: We’re working to preserve LHU’s heritage
November 12, 2020
As university integration moves forward, your voice matters
LHU will continue to add additional FAQs about university integration as questions arise. You may submit questions for inclusion by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also view the State System’s FAQs for more general information about university integrations.
The State System’s mission is to provide affordable, high-quality public higher education across the Commonwealth, and this approach is designed to bolster that mission. At a time when universities across the country are financially challenged, it’s incumbent upon the State System to creatively ensure that its institutions are open, vibrant, and centered on student success. The goals of an integrations approach are to maintain or expand high-quality educational opportunities for students across the state, position institutions for growth, and meet regional economic and workforce needs.
Yes. That’s a prime reason why the State System is exploring an integrations approach that keeps all institutions open, focuses on student success, and uncovers cost efficiencies, which directly impact the total price a student pays. Any eventual plan would be designed to ensure our universities continue offering students the programs they want and their regions need. Integrations provide the State System with its best opportunity to balance its responsibility to provide a quality education at an affordable price for students.
Yes. In fact, its’ never been a better time to be a student at LHU. You will be able to finish your program of study and earn your degree at LHU. You will also have access to many new opportunities, experiences, and degree programs that will arise from university integrations.
Yes. LHU will continue to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs as normal. As envisioned, university integration will allow LHU students greater access to courses, minors, majors, degrees, and stackable credentials. For a full list of current degree programs, visit our academics page.
No. You can expect a traditional, residential campus experience at LHU with courses delivered on campus and with the close personal interaction with your professors that LHU is known for. Integration will create many new opportunities to access courses, majors, minors, majors, degrees, and stackable credentials. Some courses and programs may be conducted remotely and through hybrid modalities across the identified campuses. This is a model that LHU has undertaken with great success in the Physician Assistant and other programs.
No. As envisioned, university integrations would allow for courses and programs to be conducted in-person, remotely, and through hybrid modalities across the identified campuses.
The outcome of university integration is purposeful in its intent to retain the Lock Haven's historical identity, brand, campus experiences, and value proposition.
The State System’s mission is to provide affordable, high-quality public higher education across the Commonwealth, and this approach is designed to bolster that mission.
The State System is at the beginning of what will be a lengthy review, consultation, and planning process, with an estimated time of over a year from review to final proposal and more time required for implementation. Lock Haven University will continue to field the full complement of varsity athletics programs on campus as this process continues.
The process for integrating State System universities is defined by law in Act 50. It is transparent, consultative, analytical, and intended to seek solutions, not implement solutions that have been predetermined. The process is conducted in partnership with the General Assembly through quarterly check-ins with House and Senate Education and Appropriations Committees.
As an implementation plan is developed between now and April, Lock Haven University and the State System will engage with stakeholders throughout the process to keep them informed and to help inform our decisions. The review and plan development process will be broadly consultative and transparent. This is the beginning of a lengthy process and there is no predetermined plan or outcome. Our charge is to work together with our sister institutions to develop a plan that follows the state system’s vision for university integrations. Our top priority is to keep students at the center of this process and to maintain access and affordability while meeting local workforce needs, leveraging our combined strengths, and improving our financial condition.
The State System is at the beginning of what will be a lengthy review, consultation, and planning process, with an estimated time of over a year from review to final proposal. It would be inappropriate to speculate on the potential employment impacts of any potential multi-university integration, but the State System remains committed to an open, transparent, and consultative process from start to finish.
Any proposed integration would be required to follow an extensive consultation, and reporting process. This includes a year of review, including public reports to the Legislature.
Please view the PASSHE integration site for more information: