Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Chancellor Daniel Greenstein spoke about PASSHE’s shared system redesign plan during an open forum with faculty, staff and students at Kutztown University on April 29.

According to Greenstein, the redesign will focus on instructional delivery and student support by providing shared academic access to all students of the 14 PASSHE universities. He said the plan will also focus on university operation to ensure that the largest part of every dollar is spent on what matters most, the students and their success. Also, the redesign will address organizational culture and governance as it will strive for transparency.

“Imagine a world where faculty and staff routinely discuss and have input into the decisions that we made at the universities and system levels,” said Greenstein. “A sharing system also invests in its faculties and its staff and it seeks to strengthen its culture.”

Greenstein said that PASSHE is not alone in public higher education facing theses kind of challenges such as low enrollment and budget cuts.

“Transformational movements require people, ideas and time. We are the people. I am convinced that we have the ideas, and I am certain that right now is the time,” he said.

In closing, he said “You have the collective talent to not just address these challenges, but to address them elegantly. Don’t ever forget that. You should be proud of your history. You should be as proud of your future.”

Following the presentation, attendees participated in an open Q&A session.

One of the questions was about collective accountability.

Greenstein said, “In order to thrive, university leaders, faculty and staff should act as a team, and not competing against one another as the 14 PASSHE universities are all working for the greater good of the students and the commonwealth.”

Another question was about tangible ideas that leaders on KU’s campus at can start implementing.

Greenstein said, “There are things that people can do at the individual level. How we are interacting with one another, showing respect, and assuming good intent? We all need to have civil discourse. At a system level, we need to encourage the behavior of faculties connecting with one another across all 14 universities. We need to have a conversation of what it means to empower faculty and staff. The limit of our opportunities is the limit of our imaginations.”

Concerns were also raised about what happens when the university culture is not changing.

He said, “We are inviting universities to set concrete goals where the presidents will review each other’s budgets and strategies which how we will strengthen our collective accountability.”

For more info on the Shared System redesign, visit http://www.passhe.edu/taskgroup/Pages/Default.aspx.

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