Pennsylvanians criticize plans to merge California, Clarion and Edinboro universities

Members of the public have their chance to weigh in on plans to consolidate six of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities this week. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) board of governors is hosting virtual public hearings.

Passionate opposition was shared at the first hearing about merging California, Clarion and Edinboro universities. Most speakers asked the system board to delay the merge or forgo plans to consolidate schools altogether.

Two new universities would be created as part of the proposed consolidation. California, Clarion and Edinboro would form a “West” group and Bloomsburg, Mansfield and Lock Haven universities would form a “North East” group. Each group would share one president but all campuses would remain open. Faculty and curricula would be integrated.

During the first hearing, some criticized technical glitches as an example of the future of education for college students in Pennsylvania. Some speakers had poor connections or trouble unmuting to make their comments.

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