The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is considering merging and/or closing some of its campuses this year. The system’s chancellor spoke openly of this to local media. This is beyond the queen sacrifice model, although perhaps they’ll fall back on that.
My readers will be familiar with the powerful drivers forcing this decision: “declining enrollment and financial challenges”. Recall that Pennsylvania, like the rest of the northeast, is producing fewer young people, and isn’t supporting public higher education at the levels it once did.
Virtually all universities in the system have seen enrollment declines, said Ken Marshall, a spokesman for the state system. Following demographic trends, the system’s overall enrollment has declined 12 percent in the last six years.
As another local source put it, “[i]n 2010, there were nearly 120,000 students enrolled in PASSHE schools. Now, there are 105,000.”
This isn’t the case of a couple of outlying institutions suffering unique problems. “Describing the system’s current operations as ‘unsustainable,’ Brogan made clear that he believes major changes are necessary.”
American higher education: how much will it contract?
(thanks to Stephen Landry and Brenda Landis)