New chancellor: Closing a state-owned university 'doesn’t make a lot of sense'

Tony Romeo
February 13, 2019 - 4:00 am

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Despite challenges including declining enrollment, the new chancellor of Pennsylvania’s state-owned university system is throwing cold water on the idea of closing one of the system’s 14 schools. 

Appearing at state House Appropriations Committee budget hearings, the new chancellor of the state-owned universities was peppered with questions about the future of the system in light of an  18 percent decline in enrollment since 2010. In particular, Chancellor Daniel Greenstein was asked if closing one of the universities is in the offing. 

“The cost of closing (a) university is a large one-time amount. And you’re still left with the inherited debt obligation which is returned to the state – the pension costs, etc. – which would be then picked up by the state. So, economically, closure doesn’t make a lot of sense," Greenstein said. 

And Greenstein says that doesn’t take into account the economic and educational impact on the community in which the university is located. To address the challenges, Greenstein says the state-owned university system is not being tweaked, but rather, fundamentally transformed to meet the workforce needs of the state.