www.HouseAppropriations.com/HDAPPROPS@hacd.net 717-783-1540 Higher Education: Primer March 25, 2022 - Page 2 Act 50 and University Consolidation Changing demographics across significant parts of the commonwealth and corresponding declines in university enrollment, along with cost pressures and cuts to state funding led to significant financial challenges at the State System. In response, the General Assembly passed Act 50 of 2020, which laid out a process by which the system’s Board of Governors could consolidate multiple universities. After initial evaluation by the chancellor and staff, two sets of three universities were proposed to be integrated into two new universities with multiple campuses. Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield Universities were proposed to merge in a northeast group, while California, Edinboro and Clarion were proposed in western Pennsylvania. Working groups at the universities in conjunction with the chancellor’s office prepared preliminary integration plans to outline the steps and work necessary to integrate the universities. The board approved the preliminary plans in April 2021, which opened a statutorily-required public comment period. On July 14, 2021, the Board of Governors unanimously approved the final integration plans, clearing the way for the largest changes to the structure of PASSHE since its inception almost 40 years ago. Each integrated university will have a single administration, but multiple campuses. The faculty will develop a phased-in integrated curriculum for a new shared program array. The plans anticipate the first class of students at the new institutions will enroll for fall 2022.