State System will ‘transform’ itself to expand educational opportunities for students

Jan 17, 2019

New chancellor delivers first ‘State of the System’ address.

Chancellor Dan Greenstein speaking.

Harrisburg – Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education will transform itself, with the member universities working more closely together to expand educational opportunities for students while reducing the costs with which they operate, Chancellor Dan Greenstein said Jan. 16 in delivering his first State of the System address.

“In a transformed system, our universities stop competing on every dimension. Instead, they organize to leverage their enormous collective operating scale, to utilize their tremendous collective talent in ways that extend and expand opportunities for all,” Greenstein said.

“In a transformed system – a sharing system – every student on every campus has access to the full breadth of academic programming at every other campus across the system. 

“To future students thinking about where to pursue their degree, hear me on this: in a transformed system, we organize entirely around you and your success, rather than asking you to organize around us.”

Greenstein laid out his vision for the State System after being formally sworn in as the System’s fifth chancellor, a position he has held since September. Afterward, he detailed his recommendations to the Board of Governors at the beginning of its regular, quarterly meeting.

“We have been engaged in the System Redesign process for more than two years,” said Board Chair Cynthia D. Shapira. “We hired Dan Greenstein as chancellor to lead real transformation because of his vast knowledge of the higher education landscape and because of his strong interpersonal and executive skills. He has demonstrated all in his first five months on the job, and in the bold initiatives he outlined for us today.”

Shapira administered the oath of office to Chancellor Greenstein during the brief ceremony that preceded his inaugural address. Gov. Tom Wolf and several campus representatives welcomed the new chancellor with individual remarks.

“Dr. Greenstein comes to the State System at a time of tremendous challenge and tremendous opportunity,” the governor said. “I was proud to participate in the selection of Dan as the new chancellor, and I welcome the opportunity to work with him on a new vision of our public universities. We need a strong State System that provides every student with an affordable education, so they can succeed in Pennsylvania.” …

To best serve every student in Pennsylvania, all of the higher education sectors in the state must work together, Greenstein said. … 

“I’m not talking about making modest adjustments to our enterprise; we won’t tweak our way out of this,” he said. “The challenges we face are too great; the stakes, too high.

“What I’m talking about is fundamental transformation and redesign. As daunting as it might sound, this kind of transformation is essential if the universities of this State System are to continue as critical assets of the commonwealth, as engines of economic development and social mobility, as vital and contributing parts of communities across Pennsylvania.

“This is our mission. This is our collective destiny. And I have no doubt, we will succeed – together.” 

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