Say goodbye to the universities of Clarion, California and Edinboro.
Presentation from Pennsylvania Western University.
This is the new name of the three consolidated public universities included in the western part of the Pennsylvania State Higher Education System redesign.
The Board of Governors unanimously approved the merger in July, hoping the consolidation will resolve years of declining enrollment and rising tuition fees. And Thursday, the state system unveiled the new identity for one of the consolidated campuses.
Bloomsburg, Mansfield and Lock Haven universities will see consolidation in the northeast; however, the state system has not decided what to call them.
âIt speaks to the robust region we all serve. It’s a strong state name, âClarion University President Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson said Thursday after the unveiling.
She added, “It’s a state university, and that’s what we are.”
Pending the approval of Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which accredits universities and colleges, Pennsylvania Western University, or PennWest for short, will represent all three schools. But each university will keep its original name on campus – Pennsylvania Western University – Clarion, Pennsylvania Western University – California and Pennsylvania Western University – Edinboro.
The state system has “no major plans” to change campus signage due to costs, Pehrsson said.
âThe nomination was a thoughtful, data-driven process,â said Pehrsson, adding that input from students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators stepped in to make a final decision. âWe looked at historical names and competitor names to make sure our new name would be distinctive, easy to remember and not conflict. ”
Students and alumni won’t have to say goodbye to the Edinboro Fighting Scots, Cal U Vulcans or Clarion Golden Eagles. The design team, said Pehrsson, incorporated each logo into the new marketing. Student voting on the updated merchandise will begin in the coming weeks.
With a phased implementation process, consolidation will begin in fiscal year 2022-2023. Campuses will have a president and an executive team.
Since students will be taking classes on each campus, e-learning and blended teaching models are likely, leading to layoffs as well. It is also unclear how the consolidation will affect athletic programs and campus student organizations.
The state system is still awaiting a final decision from the National Collegiate Athletics Association on whether regional campuses will retain all of their Division II athletic programs, which contribute enrollment into the 14-university system.
However, Bloomsburg University Bashar Hanna said the state system has been in “constant communication” with the NCAA since the start of the overhaul process to answer questions about how the merger will affect each campus.
Earlier this yearState System Chancellor Daniel Greenstein said there was no definitive timeline for a decision on sports programming, but said the NCAA would decide in conjunction with the Middle States Commission. According to a declaration commission, this process can take up to a year.
Based on the preliminary plans, a sports director will oversee sports programs at each of the consolidated campuses, Hanna said, adding that he was “optimistic” that the six campuses would keep their programs.
“This is a very exciting time,” said Board Chair Cindy Shapira. âNow we’re sort of starting to see it really happen. It’s really, really exciting and a great day for the system.
Marley Parish is a journalist for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, where this story first appeared.