We’re building something new. And you can be part of it.
This is an exciting time for our Cal U community. California University of Pennsylvania is in the midst of a project that considers integration with Clarion and Edinboro universities – two schools that also have a rich heritage here in western Pennsylvania.
The goal is to create new opportunities for students, including a wider variety of academic programs, and to hold down the cost of higher education for students at all three campuses.
What is ‘university integration’?
Each campus will keep its own name and identity as Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro combine their strengths to offer every student a richer academic experience.
Imagine giving students more choices – more chances to take specialized electives within their major, to add minors that enhance the value of a degree, or to study with an expert professor who happens to be on another campus.
Campus life will be vibrant, whether a student chooses to live in a residence hall or commute from home to California, Clarion or Edinboro. Student clubs and organizations, leadership and service opportunities, even late-night pizza parties will still be part of the traditional college experience.
Integration also benefits students – including working adults – who prefer online learning. Our universities are longtime leaders in online education. Together, we’re building an even more robust online operation to meet the needs of Pennsylvania’s students and employers.
Imagine letting students choose the campus experience that suits them best. Or offering them an online degree or certificate from a real bricks-and-mortar university with deep Pennsylvania roots.
Students win when their university is financially strong. University integration is designed to create efficiencies that can make higher education more affordable for families across Pennsylvania and beyond.
Plans call for one leadership team, a single faculty and staff, a unified program array and a single, combined budget. Our universities will save money by working together – and those savings will be re-invested in ways that benefit our students. That could mean new courses, new equipment, expanded student services and holding down or, in some cases, lowering costs.
Whether you learn, live or work at Cal U, you’ll be part of a university that’s planning to be bigger and better. A university designed to empower all students to build the successful life they envision.
Imagine being part of a new university – one that’s not only affordable, but boldly focused on meeting students’ needs, now and in the future.
Learn more about integration
The integration of Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro universities is part of System Redesign, an ongoing effort to reshape Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.
Our University Integration plan is in its early stages, and there are still many unknowns. Learn more at the State System’s University Integrations website, where you can leave feedback, read answers to Frequently Asked Questions and explore other resources.
System redesign resources:
- System redesign
- University Integrations website
Submit your questions or feedback about university integration and System Redesign
To our faculty, staff and students,
A new phase of our collective journey begins today as I take on the momentous task of leading all three Western Integration campuses. It is an honor and a privilege to assume this responsibility.
As president of Clarion, interim president of Edinboro and – as of today – interim president of Cal U, I am excited about our future. Together we are engaged in building a new enterprise that will reshape public higher education in Pennsylvania. Without a doubt, this is a historic moment for our campuses, the State System and all three of our campus communities.
Each of our schools has a proud history and a unique campus culture. We are indeed “sister” institutions, united as one family yet individual in personality and style. What matters most is what we have in common: strength, resilience, and a commitment to empowering our students to enrich their communities by building great careers and fulfilling lives.
I look forward to meeting more of my Cal U colleagues in the next few weeks and getting to know you better. As your counterparts at Clarion and Edinboro already know, I am an avid bicyclist, so you may see me rolling through the quad or pedaling the Loop Road on my new bike, “Rosie,” as I get to know the campus.
Before long I will settle into a routine, sharing my time among our three campuses. Leadership is not just about the president, it’s about the presidency, which encompasses campus leaders with a wide range of expertise.
Later this week you’ll hear more about our leadership structure, including plans for a “campus administrator” at each location to deal with emergencies, participate in ceremonial events and serve as a representative of the president as needed. I am very confident that with strong local leadership, we will settle into a comfortable rhythm.
I want to thank Robert Thorn for his service to Cal U during the past six months. He was asked to step in as interim president during a time of great change and uncertainty, and he willingly accepted the challenge. His efforts have strengthened our partnership and positioned Cal U for a successful fall semester. We all owe him a debt of gratitude, and I am glad that he will continue to serve our new institution as senior vice president and chief operations officer (COO).
I also am grateful to everyone who was involved in the integration planning. I realize that you sacrificed a good deal of personal time as you balanced integration tasks with your campus responsibilities, all in the midst of a pandemic.
Finally, thank you to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and university friends for embarking on this historic journey with me. Your dedication, talent and energy are essential to our success.
Let’s move forward together.
Interim President, California University of Pennsylvania
President, Clarion University
Interim President, Edinboro University
To our Cal U community:
Today’s Board of Governors vote to approve the Northeast and West Integrations is a vote of confidence in the 1,000+ people who developed the first phase of the plan and are poised to usher it into the implementation phase.
Centered always on student success, our shared vision is to expand affordable, high-quality educational opportunities for our students, to grow as we serve new student populations, and to meet economic and workforce needs across the Commonwealth. This vote in support of integration will ensure that our campuses remain open, vibrant, and focused on student success long into the future.
Continuing our collaborative and comprehensive approach to implementation will allow us to build a more nimble, sustainable and student-centered university. At California, Clarion and Edinboro, we remain committed to our students, our faculty and staff, our alumni and our communities. Together we will build a strong, secure future for public higher education in Pennsylvania.
To our Cal U students: Rest assured that your current academic options remain the same, with exciting new opportunities on the horizon. You will be able to complete the program you’ve begun, and we’ve made it our mission to build even stronger pathways to support your timely graduation. The campus experience you’ve chosen will remain vibrant, complete with on-campus student services and supports designed to meet your academic and personal needs. As new options become available, we'll let you know so that you can remain passionate Vulcans, as you are today.
What today’s vote means:
- We are charged to move forward with the implementation process. Not everything will be accomplished at once, but we will move toward our goals, making thoughtful adjustments as needed.
- We are working toward becoming a single university – but not every detail of our organization will be ready immediately. Faculty have provided feedback on the structure of colleges and academic departments; staff can expect a similar opportunity to review the divisional structure, likely by early August.
- We are shaping a robust academic program array that reflects our current enrollment and looks ahead to future needs of our students, employers and the communities we serve. A phased approach to this critical task will allow for increased faculty engagement in curriculum synthesis, provide more time to address program accreditations, and give students added reassurance regarding their path to graduation.
- We are taking thoughtful steps to shape a financially sustainable future for our campuses. At the same time, we will continue to advocate for increased state investment in our students, our campuses, our new university and the State System.
- We are engaged in a complex process that requires strong leadership, as well as a commitment to shared governance. In a separate vote today, the Board appointed Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson as interim president of Cal U, effective August 1. When “Dr. Dale” assumes her new duties, I will step into a new role as Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer (COO). In this role, I will serve on the presidential cabinet for implementation and continue as an integration team lead.
Today’s Board vote is a bold move. It will take energy, talent and commitment to make the Western Integration a success. I am counting on each of you to help build a brighter future for our students, our campus and the university we are working to become.
Robert J. Thorn
To our faculty, staff, alumni and friends,
Tomorrow, July 14, the State System’s Board of Governors is poised to take a historic vote on the integration of California, Clarion and Edinboro universities.
Should the Board approve our integration plans, Cal U and its sister institutions will harness our collective strengths to ensure continued access to affordable, high-quality higher education in western Pennsylvania.
You most likely have seen the chancellor’s email that was sent yesterday with a link to his blog, so you are aware that we’ve adjusted the integrationplans based on feedback provided during the 60-day public comment period. The updated plans can be viewed here. A community impact report and student survey were commissioned in response to what we heard.
- The impact report clearly shows the economic benefits of integration. It demonstrates that our communities have suffered as campus enrollments have declined, creating a downward spiral that integration is designed to curb.
- Results of the student survey show that students – both current and prospective – are willing to take some courses online in order to have access to a wider range of degrees and majors, keep the cost of education down, and/or reduce the time it takes to complete a degree. An overwhelming majority of parents – 99% – are willing to have their child take some courses online for the same reasons.
Based on feedback, timelines regarding academic programs also have been adjusted. Should the Board approve, the academic program array will be in place when integration commences in Fall 2022. However, the new versions of those programs will phase in over a longer timeframe, no later than Fall 2024. Advantages of this pacing include launching a thoughtfully developed, integrated curriculum; providing additional time for increased faculty and student engagement; and greater certainty for both new and current students, with clear paths to graduation.
In addition, we believe the NCAA will support our plan to keep the full complement of sports on each of our three campuses. As for Middle States, the accreditation process is moving forward on schedule. Should the Board approve our integration plans, this work will move more quickly as the implementation process begins.
I invite you to tune in to the livestream of the Board of Governors’ meeting tomorrow. Click here to access the System’s YouTube channel. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m., and the vote on integration is expected between 2 and 5 p.m.
Robert J. Thorn
To our campus community:
Today the Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education voted to approve the proposed implementation plan for integrating Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro universities. The board’s vote launches a 60-day public comment period, followed by a final vote in July.
The Western Integration plan, developed by more than 400 students, faculty and staff at Cal U and our partner universities, is available online at www.passhe.edu/integrations.
I encourage you to review the plan, which places student access, affordability and success at the forefront. Together with our partners, we can do more for our students than any one campus can do alone.
Until the public comment period closes on June 30, all members of our campus community, as well as the general public, may submit their comments about the plan to the State System office, which will share them with the board for its consideration.
Your comment may be submitted by mail, email or online, or at one of the virtual public hearings scheduled for June 9 and 10. Look for details at www.passhe.edu/integrations.
More information about today’s board meeting is available in a news release from the State System.
This is an important moment in our University’s history. California has transformed itself many times over the past 168 years, and that evolution continues. As we proudly honor our past, we are taking steps to address today’s challenges and build a brighter future for our community, our campus and our students.
Robert J. Thorn
To our Cal U community,
Months of painstaking work by more than 400 students, faculty and staff have resulted in a comprehensive plan for integrating California, Clarion and Edinboro universities.
This week we’re putting the finishing touches on the document and supporting data – more than 300 pages in all – that will be presented April 28 to the Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.
The document outlines a detailed plan to leverage our campuses’ individual and collective strengths to increase educational opportunities for all students, invest in new markets, and create an integrated university that will be sustainable for years to come.
Naming process: During the past month, a focus group representing a variety of stakeholders from all three campuses – undergraduate, graduate and online students, faculty and staff, trustees and community members – have engaged with a team from Carnegie Dartlet, an industry leader in reputation research and strategy, to define the integrated university’s identity and determine its name.
Next month, Carnegie Dartlet will combine this consensus-driven approach with quantitative research to deliver details of the integrated university’s “personality” and market position, as well as potential names for the new institution. In-depth market research into three of those potential names will result in a comprehensive name analysis report and market study that will guide the final selection. We expect to have exciting news to report this summer.
It is important to note that we’ll continue to identify our campuses by their location names – California, Clarion and Edinboro – as part of the overall naming convention. At Cal U, we will always be Vulcans!
Feedback on program array: During the last week of March, faculty and staff at all three campuses had the opportunity to review a draft of the unified array of academic programs proposed for the integrated university. More than 200 individuals submitted feedback that is being used to refine the Academic Program Array before it is included in the Board of Governors report.
Organized by broad disciplinary fields, the Academic Program Array draft outlines the campus(es) – including the virtual campus – where degree programs will be offered, and whether each program will be delivered in person, through real-time remote learning or online.
Decisions regarding program location and delivery modality were determined using multiple factors, including existing campus, availability of faculty and facility resources, campus reputation in that discipline/major, program accreditation and more. Colleges and department structures have yet to be determined.
In other news: Students have begun to receive a weekly email, Integration Insights for Students,designed to reinforce basic concepts about the Western Integration. The document is being made available to faculty and staff through various media. …The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has responded to a query from Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson and is expected to provide feedback on the Preliminary Substantive Change Request shortly. … We continue to await word on our request to the NCAA to pursue a path that would retain the current complement of athletics teams on each partner campus.
Should the Board approve our integration plans on April 28, as anticipated, the public will have 60 days to submit comments online or at one of two public hearings that will be held before a final Board vote on integration in July.
The integration plan and supporting data will be posted April 29 at www.passhe.edu/integrations/west-plan, along with a form to submit your comments online. I encourage you to review the report and share your feedback.
Meanwhile, Cal U and its partners continue to look for opportunities to share services and best practices that benefit our campuses and our students. Together, we are moving toward a brighter and more sustainable future.
With best regards,
Robert J. Thorn
To our Cal U community,
Plans for the proposed integration of California, Clarion and Edinboro universities continue to take shape as we look ahead to their consideration by the PASSHE Board of Governors.
Last week, the Western Integration project reached an important milestone: submission of crucial paperwork – Preliminary Complex Substantive Change Forms – to our accrediting body, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Each partner university submitted a preliminary form that describes our plan to integrate (Middle States uses the term “consolidate”) California, Clarion and Edinboro to create a single integrated/consolidated university. The submission outlines the proposed change and explains why integration/consolidation is a good fit for California and our partner universities.
While not identical, the forms submitted to Middle States are aligned and consistent, with common boilerplate, timelines and details. Some highlights:
Administrative hub: Middle States requires the new Integrated University to identify one partner campus as its administrative hub for accreditation purposes. To meet that requirement most efficiently and provide a seamless transition, the Integrated University will retain the accreditation and degree-granting authority of California, the partner school that most recently completed the Middle States accreditation process.
Middle States uses the term “main campus” to describe the administrative hub. Although this designation is required by MSCHE accreditation policies and appears in the submission for compliance purposes, we have clearly stated to Middle States that the three campuses of our new Integrated University will operate as partners in all other respects.
Naming process: Middle States officials are aware that the Integrated University will have a new name, which has yet to be determined. Within the naming convention for the new integrated/consolidated university, we expect to incorporate the current location name (California, Clarion, Edinboro) for the partner campuses.
Functional areas: A tentative organizational chart, also required for the Middle States submission, depicts the Integrated University organized into seven functional areas: Academic Affairs; Student Affairs; Strategic Enrollment Management; University Advancement; Administration and Finance; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Virtual and Global Education. This basic, three-level org chart (president > direct reports > functional areas) is still evolving; it will be expanded to include job titles and other details in the months ahead.
The process of filling positions at the Integrated University is still being developed. We anticipate a transition period during the implementation phase of the project, with some roles filled by appointment and others through an interview process. No potential changes will impact our legal responsibility to honor collective bargaining agreements. In the meantime, retirement incentives are being offered through System Redesign.
Once Middle States has reviewed the Preliminary Complex Substantive Change Form and each university responds to any questions or information requests, Western Integration planners will prepare the more in-depth Complex Substantive Change Forms, which identify how each partner university will meet Middle States standards within the integrated/consolidated entity.
The Northeastern Integration will be following the same accreditation process in the weeks ahead. Middle States recommended that one set of integration partners submit first and wait for feedback before the second set of partners makes its submission.
In other news …
Meanwhile, Western Integration working groups have used enrollment, completion, faculty complement and regional workforce data to identify approximately 80 disciplinary units, or areas of study, that will be offered at the Integrated University. The goal is to expand academic opportunities and offer an exemplary educational experience for all students, while retaining expert faculty, meeting workforce needs and reducing costs by sharing programs across the partner campuses.
Some academic programs will be delivered in person at multiple locations, others at one or two campuses, based on student demand, faculty complement, facilities and other factors. Academic hubs will be identified as coordinating points for faculty and resources in program delivery. Program structure, assessment and program-level accreditation locations and processes will be determined in the coming months.
The developing model calls for general education courses to be delivered on all three partner campuses. A typical student at the Integrated University would take in-person courses delivered on their home campus, plus some hybrid, remote-learning or online courses with faculty based at another campus. Fully online degree programs will be offered through the “virtual campus” as well.
Finally, both the Western and Northeastern integration teams have made a formal proposal to the NCAA to retain the full complement of intercollegiate sports on all partner campuses. We continue to pursue this path with the NCAA and are encouraged by the thoughtful response to our request. For student-athletes currently being recruited, this path would provide the ability to retain our existing sports teams.
As you can see, creating the Integrated University is a complex and multi-faceted project. Cal U is well represented among the 400+ individuals who are involved in innovating and re-imagining student-centered higher education in Pennsylvania. Their work informs recommendations that will be shared with the Board of Governors as we seek to shape our future as a premier provider of higher education for western Pennsylvania and beyond. I am immensely proud of and thankful for their work, and I encourage all of you to stay informed as the process continues.
Plans for both the Western and Northeastern integrations will be presented to the PASSHE Board of Governors at its upcoming meeting. Board affirmation would initiate a 60-day period for public comment, culminating in a decision by the Boardat its summer meeting.
You can expect further updates that include greater detail on the academic program array and the financial impact analysis in the coming weeks. I will keep our Cal U community informed as planning continues and opportunities for your input arise. For a deeper dive into System Redesign or to share your feedback, visit www.passhe.edu/integrations.
Robert J. Thorn
To our faculty, staff, students and alumni,
This afternoon the Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education unanimously affirmed that plans to integrate Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro universities should move forward.
The Board’s action was taken after a financial review conducted by the State System showed that integration has the potential to build a more sustainable future for all three institutions.
More importantly, the analysis shows that integration will expand academic opportunities and help to make higher education more affordable for our students and their families.
Although Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro have been exploring possibilities for several months as part of the overall System Redesign, the planning phase of our integration is in its early stages. Many questions have yet to be answered, and our faculty, staff, students, alumni and communities will have a chance to provide input in the months ahead.
How can integration help students academically?
As it’s envisioned now, integration would create a single accredited university – a powerhouse that would offer a broad array of in-person and online courses on three different campuses, each with its own identity, culture and traditions.
Cal U would continue to offer in-person classes and a vibrant campus experience to resident and commuter students.
When academic programs are combined into a unified array, students will have an expanded “menu” of on-campus and remote-learning options to choose from. Students at Cal U, for example, could learn from faculty on campus or choose to study with professors based at Clarion or Edinboro.
Our students would have more academic choices – and access to a wider range of faculty expertise – than any one of the partner schools currently can provide.
Online learners would benefit from integration, too. As you know, Cal U Global Online has delivered 100% online education for more than 15 years. Clarion and Edinboro have strong, nationally recognized online offerings as well.
Together, the schools expect to assemble a robust online program that’s competitively priced and aligned with the Commonwealth’s workforce needs. Such a program should be especially attractive to adult learners, including the roughly 1 million Pennsylvanians who’ve earned some college credits but never finished their degree.
As a first step, Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro have aligned their academic calendars for Spring 2020, and a limited number of courses are being shared across campuses.
How can integration help students financially?
Students benefit when their university is financially secure. Tuition costs are less likely to rise, and students can count on adequate support for academic programming, student services, scholarships and more.
Combining operations at Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro undoubtedly will uncover cost efficiencies and economies of scale. These savings will be re-invested to enhance the student experience and rein in the overall cost of college attendance.
As a single university serving more than 15,000 students, the new, integrated entity will be better positioned to control costs for students and their families. If you are a Cal U student, or a future Vulcan, there is no better time to be part of our campus community.
Operational savings also could bolster the university’s financial reserves, assuring a strong and stable future for our campus and the students of our region.
Cal who? Cal U!
Integration will certainly bring changes, but rest assured, Cal U will remain. Leaders at all three campuses are committed to maintaining their local identity and honoring their vital, longstanding ties to alumni and the local community.
You will be kept informed as plans develop, but here’s what’s ahead:
Cal U and its partners will begin now to develop a plan for integration that focuses on benefits to students. The State System’s timeline calls for planning to be completed as soon as April 2021, followed by a 60-day period for public comment. The earliest an integrated university could begin accepting students would be August 2022.
Even then, Cal U will endure. Over 168 years our school has grown from a tiny academy to a normal school, a teachers college and now a comprehensive public university. This is another moment of transformation, another chance to build on our past and invent a future that is brighter for us all.
With warmest wishes,
Geraldine M. Jones
Integration Insights for Students
FAST FACTS ABOUT INTEGRATION
Here are some questions students are asking about integration.
What’s happening with integration now?
The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education approved the integration plan April 28, triggering a 60-day public comment period that extends through June 30. After hearing from the public (which includes students!), the Board is expected to hold a final vote on the plan in July 2021.
How can I learn more about the integration plan?
The plan to integrate California, Clarion and Edinboro universities is posted online at www.passhe.edu/integrations. You can dig into the full plan and supporting data if you wish, or read the Executive Summary at the start of the document to get an overview of the plan.
How can I share my feedback and comment on the integration plan?
Public comments submitted to the State System office through June 30 will be shared with the Board of Governors for consideration. You can submit your comments by mail, email or online. Two virtual public meetings also are planned, on June 9 and 10. For details about submitting your public comments, visit www.passhe.edu/integrations.
FAST FACTS ABOUT INTEGRATION
Here are some questions students are asking about integration.
Will I still have access to student services and academic support?
Yes! Services such as financial aid, student accounts, health/wellness services and more will be available on every campus. You’ll also have access to advising and academic support programs that can help you to succeed.
Will Cal U still have student clubs and organizations?
Yes! There will still be many opportunities to engage in student government and other campus activities, to grow your leadership skills, and to make new friends through student clubs and organizations.
When will integration go into effect?
You can expect to see the benefits of these changes beginning in Fall 2022, provided the integration plan is approved by the Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education and other regulatory agencies.
Speak up: Pennsylvania’s Board of Governors meets April 28 to review integration plans. With their approval, a 60-day public comment period will begin. In next week’s Integration Insights, we’ll let you know how to submit your comments.
FAST FACTS ABOUT INTEGRATION
Here are some questions students are asking about integration.
Why is integration being proposed?
Integration will allow Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro to harness our collective strengths to give you access to the very best our partner campuses have to offer. At a time when many universities across the country are financially challenged, integration creates opportunities to share resources across our campuses, enhance the student experience and ensure the Integrated University’s sustainability for years to come.
Will I have less access to academic programs after integration?
No. All students will benefit from access to a greater range of academic programs than any single university can offer. This means more choices when it’s time to build your schedule, so you can stay on track toward timely graduation.
Will integration affect my financial aid and scholarships?
Your financial aid and scholarship commitments will carry over. As always, privately funded scholarships will be awarded based on the donor’s criteria.
FAST FACTS ABOUT INTEGRATION
Here are some questions students are asking about integration.
Is Cal U going to close?
No. Cal U students will still have a vibrant campus experience and the opportunity to live on campus.
Is California going to lose its identity?
No. We’ll keep our Cal U traditions, Vulcan mascot, school colors and historical identity while expanding academic opportunities for you and your fellow students. You’ll have the best of both worlds!
Am I going to have to take all my classes online?
Not unless you choose to enroll in a fully online program. You may be able to complete your program fully in-person or through a mix of in-person, remote learning and online courses. You’ll have access to an expanded array of electives and courses in many specialty areas.
More opportunities for students. That’s the driving force that propels California University of Pennsylvania toward a proposed integration with Clarion and Edinboro universities.
With the initial financial review completed and the initiative affirmed unanimously by the Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, the trio of Western Pennsylvania universities is formulating plans to combine and collaborate, rather than compete.
As envisioned now, a Cal U-Clarion-Edinboro integration would create a single accredited university – a powerhouse that would offer a broad array of in-person and online courses on three different campuses, each with its own identity, culture and traditions.
It’s a bold concept with the potential to benefit students both academically and financially.
Once academic programs are integrated into a unified array, students will have an expanded “menu” of on-campus and remote-learning options to choose from. Traditional students at Cal U, for example, might learn from faculty in California or study with professors based at Clarion or Edinboro. Students on each of the three campuses would have more academic choices than a single partner currently can provide – and more choices create more opportunities for students to shape their future.
Online learners will benefit from integration, too. Cal U has delivered 100% online degree and career-focused certificate programs for more than 15 years; Clarion and Edinboro also have strong online offerings. Together, the schools expect to assemble a robust online program that’s competitively priced and aligned with the Commonwealth’s workforce needs. Such a program should be especially attractive to adult learners, including the roughly 1 million Pennsylvanians who’ve earned some college credits but never finished their degree.
Combining operations at Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro undoubtedly will uncover cost efficiencies and economies of scale. These savings will be re-invested to enhance the student experience and rein in the overall cost of college attendance. For generations, all three institutions have unlocked a brighter future for students from all backgrounds, including those who are the first in their families to attend college. As a single university serving more than 15,000 students, the new, integrated entity will be better positioned to control costs for students and their families.
Although Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro have been exploring possibilities for several months as part of the overall System Redesign, the planning phase of integration is in its early stages. Many questions have yet to be answered; many possibilities remain to be explored. Leaders at all three campuses are committed to maintaining their local identity and honoring their ties to alumni and the local community. But we are convinced that integration is the way forward.
Over its 168-year history, California has proved its resilience. Through hard work and dedication, a small, private academy on the banks of the Monongahela River transformed itself into a normal school, a teachers college, a state college and a comprehensive public university. This is another moment of transformation, another chance to build on our past and invent a future where all students are empowered to reach their full potential. For the sake of our students and the opportunities they deserve, Cal U must continue to evolve.
Geraldine M. Jones is president of California University of Pennsylvania, which serves nearly 6,900 undergraduate and graduate students. Founded in 1852, Cal U is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education