Council of Trustees Handbook

Higher Education Pennsylvania’s diverse higher education sector - consisting of public and private colleges and universities - helps students gain the knowledge and skills they need to pursue their ambitions. Because educated citizens are crucial to the commonwealth’s vitality, the people of Pennsylvania annually invest sizable budgetary resources in the form of institutional support and financial aid grants, which help to make a quality postsecondary education more affordable. This briefing surveys the different types of higher education activities supported by the commonwealth and looks at budgetary trends. Over the years, the General Assembly has not used a consistent methodology to distribute funding between the different types of institutions. However, change may be on the horizon. Act 70 of 2019 established the Public Higher Education Funding Commission, which will examine a host of higher education-related goals, issues, and metrics to recommend a formula to distribute state appropriations to public institutions. Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education consists of 14 state-owned universities across the commonwealth. Formally established in 1982 by Act 188, PASSHE’s purpose is to provide high quality education at the lowest possible cost to students. Many of the system’s institutions were initially set up to train teachers and evolved into state colleges and universities that now offer a wide range of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, as well as limited doctoral programs. In recent years, the General Assembly has made a single annual appropriation to the system through the General Appropriations Act; PASSHE then distributes the support to member universities through a formula set by the system’s Board of Governors. The formula accounts for factors such as enrollment, instructional costs, support services, and building and grounds costs. The 14 PASSHE universities are:  Bloomsburg University  California University of Pennsylvania  Cheyney University  Clarion University  East Stroudsburg University  Edinboro University  Indiana University of Pennsylvania  Kutztown University  Lock Haven University  Mansfield University  Millersville University  Shippensburg University  Slippery Rock University  West Chester University