(HARRISBURG) – Today, Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25), emphasized his continued support for ensuring the future success of Mansfield University.
Scarnati explained that he has been actively engaged in conversations with University President Fran Hendricks, PASSHE Chancellor Frank Brogan, Mansfield Students, Trustees, Alumni and Faculty regarding the challenges facing the University.
“Mansfield University has undoubtedly had a positive impact upon our region and the many past and present students who have called the campus home,” Scarnati said. “Providing quality educational opportunities within our region continues to be a top priority of mine. It is important that as we move forward we provide Mansfield and the other PASSHE schools with the flexibility they need to make positive changes to ensure their success for years to come.”
According to Scarnati, Chancellor Brogan has assured him that at this time, closures of the universities will not take place. While PASSHE is not looking at immediate closures, a great deal of attention has been drawn to the struggles facing many of the institutions.
“Mansfield must be given the tools they need to evolve with our changing times,” Scarnati stated. “I have asked that Mansfield show the Legislature a plan to turn the situation around, and I am pleased that the University is putting a plan into action. President Hendricks has already been extremely proactive in his approach and is moving forward with consolidation of functions. He has also made it clear that incremental funding to attract students is a necessary part of Mansfield’s future success plan, which is something I will be fighting for in Harrisburg.”
Mansfield University President Fran Hendricks ’79, expressed gratitude for Senator Scarnati’s support of the University.
“Mansfield University is a difference maker,” Hendricks said. “It changes lives through its array of high quality academic programs, affording its graduates opportunities previously unimagined. Senator Scarnati is a champion of public higher education for the State of Pennsylvania. His support of Mansfield University has ensured this institution which is strategically located in Pennsylvania’s northern tier continues to serve as a center of educational excellence and workforce provider for the region it serves and the Commonwealth. I salute the Senator’s efforts in helping us prepare Mansfield University for its next 160 years of making a difference in the lives of our students, their families and our great state.”
Scarnati also noted that the Senate recently approved a resolution that requires an independent study of the future of the State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to be completed by the end of the year. Senate Resolution 34 requires the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to study the future and sustainability of the 14 state-owned universities across the state.
“The LBFC study will take place following the study that PASSHE is currently engaged in and will help us understand, from an unbiased perspective, why enrollment at certain universities is declining, what the urgent needs are and how we best move forward to ensure the students of Pennsylvania can receive a quality and affordable degree,” Scarnati said. “Mansfield is certainly an important part of our community and an institution that we want to see thrive for generations to come.”
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