New PASSHE Chancellor Frank Brogan visits Kutztown University, talks about campus safety, declining revenue & enrollment

Patriot photo by Lisa Mitchell Kutztown University President Dr. F. Javier Cevallos with the recently appointed PASSHE Chancellor Frank T. Brogan, during his visit to Kutztown University on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Campus safety, declining revenue and declining enrollment were a few topics discussed by the recently appointed Pennsylvania State System of Higher EducationChancellor during his visit to Kutztown University on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Frank T. Brogan became the fourth PASSHE chancellor on Oct. 1. A lifelong educator, Brogan previously served as chancellor of the State University System of Florida, was president of Florida Atlantic University and was twice elected lieutenant governor of the state of Florida, according to a KU release.

Brogan hosted an open forum for students, faculty and staff, according to a KU Relations release.

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Regrettably, the forum was a monologue, during which one hurried question was taken at the very end, and not answered. Mr. Brogan was then hustled off to a press conference, KU computer scienceprofessorDan Spiegel writes in an emailed statement to the media.

As a faculty member at Kutztown, I deeply regret the impression Mr. Brogan left with me and, I am certain, other faculty, that attending a press conference was more important than beginning a dialogue with the systems faculty on the substantive issues before us, writes Spiegel. I intend to invite Mr. Brogan to return to our campus at the earliest opportunity for the purpose of working to correct this unfortunate first impression and actively engage in the discussion that was promised and did not occur today.

Questions from the media were taken at a press conference.

The Patriot asked about PASSHE addressing safety and alcohol concerns.

The most important thing we do on campus is teaching and learning, responded Brogan. You cannot teach in an unsafe and undisciplined environment.

He said everyday we have to wake up to make sure campuses are the safest they can be, statistically speaking PASSHE campuses are safe, but also never surrender to the idea that when they are safe that its good enough.

Brogan said he recently met with police chiefs in Harrisburg. We talked about the critical nature of health, safety and welfare issues on our campuses.

He said every campus, big or small, has redoubled their efforts to train personnel, to put into place technology and communication systems to notify people when there is something happening, To make sure to look for opportunities to reach out to their own student body and remind them that safety is everybodys business and their own personal safety is their responsibility first and foremost, said Brogan.

As we look at issues of on-campus crime or on-campus problems such as drinking, weve got to remember that sharing best practices is front and center, he said.

Brogan said PASSHEs 14 universities essentially deal with the same issues when it comes to health, safety and welfare of students.

Thats what those police chiefs were doing, sharing ideas, he said.

Continue to refine the Town Gown relationships that we have, theyre always very fragile relationships. Make certain we are all on the same sheet of music when it comes to health, safety and welfare of the students... to make sure were approaching these issues from a common platform, said Brogran.

Concluding his response, he said, It is an issue, student safety, that is one that you can never take your eye off of, it will change from day to day, its a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week proposition.

As chancellor, Brogan believes some of the challenges will be declining revenue due to the economy and declining enrollment due to students becoming more mobile. Many are choosing schools in other states.

Were looking at program alignment... to make sure students have access to degrees that they need to contribute to the Commonwealth in the years to come, he said. Were also looking at online education. Its a major growing part of the portfolio of all higher education.

Brogan talked about the commitment of transparency and accountability.

PASSHE is headed for a position of prominence that is undeniable... now in the throes of Recession is the time to make the statement to the people of the Commonwealth that this system is dedicated to the future of PASSHE and to the Commonwealth, he said. Were willing to tackle the tough challenges that we face together to make certain that when this Recession is over were better poised to meet the needs of the Commonwealth for the next 25 to 50 years.

As PASSHEs chancellor, Brogan serves as the State Systems chief executive officer, which operates 14 comprehensive universities with a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 students. The chancellor works with the Board of Governors to recommend and develop overall policies for the System.