Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

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Not to be confused with Pennsylvania's Commonwealth System of Higher Education.
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)
Established July 1, 1983
Type Public University System
Chancellor Frank T. Brogan (Salary $337,525 (2014))[1]
Academic staff

111,000 students (2014)[2]

119,513 students (2010) [3]
Location Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus 14 campuses
Affiliations NCAA Division IIPSAC
Keystone Library Network

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a large public university system in the United States. It is the tenth-largest university system in the United States and 43rd largest in the world. The system comprises 14 state-owned schools, all of which are NCAA Division II members by virtue of being members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.[4][5]

The PASSHE should not be confused with Pennsylvania's other state-funded university system, the Commonwealth System of Higher Education that includes the land grant university (Pennsylvania State University) and three historically private universities (Temple University, Lincoln University, and University of Pittsburgh). While Commonwealth System members are separate legal entities with their own charters, boards, and endowments, the PASSHE is a state agency whose chancellor and board are appointed by the governor.


The Normal School Act of 1857 was passed on the last day of session on 20 May 1857.[6] Its passage created 12 normal school districts in the state in which to establish private corporations answerable to the State Superintendent of Common Schools.[7] Afterward, the School Code of 1911 mandated that the Commonwealth purchase all the normal schools. The normal schools evolved from state normal schools, to state teacher's colleges, to state colleges. Act 188, which was signed into law on November 12, 1982 and came into effect on July 1, 1983, established the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and converted those state colleges into universities.

Universities and Locations[edit]

The system is a composition of the following 14 universities in Pennsylvania:



Related Organizations

PASSHE universities also operate four branch campuses. The Office of the Chancellor is situated in the capital city of Harrisburg at the Dixon University Center.

Rankings for the Universities[edit]

Campus U.S. News & World Report Ranking
Bloomsburg 95th, Regional Universities (North)
California 135th, Regional Universities (North)
Cheyney Rank Not Published, Regional Universities (North)
Clarion Rank Not Published, Regional Universities (North)
East Stroudsburg 116th, Regional Universities (North)
Edinboro 126th, Regional Universities (North)
Indiana 177th, National Universities
Kutztown 116th, Regional Universities (North)
Lock Haven Rank Not Published, Regional Universities (North)
Mansfield 135th, Regional Universities (North)
Millersville 81st, Regional Universities (North)
Shippensburg 93rd, Regional Universities (North)
Slippery Rock 93rd, Regional Universities (North)
West Chester 74th, Regional Universities (North)
  • Rankings according to the 2014 U.S. News & World Report Rankings.[8]


As established by the founding legislation, Act 188 of 1982, the primary mission of the State System of Higher Education "is the provision of instruction for undergraduate and graduate students to and beyond the Master's degree in the liberal arts and sciences, and in the applied fields, including the teaching profession." Additionally, the purpose of PASSHE is "to provide high quality education at the lowest possible cost to students." [9]


A 20-member Board of Governors oversees the system. Additional power is vested in the Councils of Trustees at the constituent universities.

Board of Governor's membership includes: four state legislators, three students, the Governor of the Commonwealth (or a designee), the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education (or a designee), and 11 citizens appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate.[10]

The Board of Governors sets general policy for PASSHE. It also appoints the chancellor, who serves as the system's chief executive officer, and the university presidents. The chancellor is an ex officio member of each university's Council of Trustees.


Roll of Chancellors[edit]

  • Frank T. Brogan; Chancellor, Oct 01, 2013 – [11]
  • Dr. Peter H. Garland; Acting Chancellor, Mar 01, 2013 - Sep 30, 2013[12]
  • Dr. John C. Cavanaugh; Chancellor, Jun 2008-Feb 2013[13]
  • Dr. Judy G. Hample; Chancellor, 2001–2008
  • Dr. James H. McCormick; founding Chancellor, 1983–2001

Board of Governors[edit]


  • Chairman Guido M. Pichini
  • Vice Chairman Aaron A. Walton, M.S.
  • Vice Chairman Marie Conley Lammando
  • Rep. Matthew E. Baker
  • Gov. Tom Wolf
  • Rep. Michael K. Hanna
  • Ronald G. Henry
  • Kenneth M. Jarin
  • Bonnie L. Keener
  • Jonathan B. Mack
  • Joseph F. McGinn
  • C.R. "Chuck" Pennoni
  • Sen. Jeffrey E. Piccola
  • Harold C. Shields
  • Robert S. Taylor
  • Secretary of Education Ronald J. Tomalis
  • Sen. John T Yudichak

Current enrollment and alumni[edit]

Almost 109,000[3] undergraduate and graduate, part-time and full-time, students attend PASSHE universities. Nearly 90 percent are Pennsylvania residents and 64 percent remain in Pennsylvania after graduation. Minority enrollment also is at an all-time high. A record total of 13,860 minority students—nearly 12 percent of the total student population—are taking classes at PASSHE universities. There are more than 617,000 PASSHE alumni, including more than 454,000 who live and work in Pennsylvania.

Facilities and employees[edit]

The total university campus comprises approximately 4,700 acres (19 km²). A total of 862 buildings with nearly 25 million square feet (2.3 km²) house classrooms, residences, administrative offices, and student support services. PASSHE employs more than 12,169 professional and support staff, most covered by collective bargaining agreements, making it the 16th largest employer in the commonwealth. The various libraries are connected through the cooperative Keystone Library Network.


Tuition at System universities for the 2012/13 academic year is $6,428 per year for Pennsylvanian undergraduate students and from $9,642 to $16,070 per year for nonresident students. The graduate student tuition is $429 per credit hour for Pennsylvanians, and $644 per credit hour for out-of-commonwealth students. Pennsylvanian students also pay a $358 annual instructional technology fee, which is $542 for nonresidents. Board and room charges vary, as do local fees. Students may apply for a variety of commonwealth and federal financial assistance programs and campus scholarships, as well as grants and loans.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jan Murphy (October 28, 2014). "Salaries on the rise for presidents, chancellors at the 14 state universities". Harrisburg Patriot News - 
  2. ^ The Daily item, Pa. university enrollment slips again, September 29, 2014
  3. ^ a b Press Releases - PASSHE universities set ninth straight enrollment. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  4. ^ Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  5. ^ NCAA Division Division II Member Sports Links. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  6. ^ John Edward Merryman, The Indiana Story 1875–1975: Pennsylvania's First State University ... Clearfield, Pennsylvania: Kurtz Brothers, 1976 (p. 18).
  7. ^ Merryman, pp. 18–20
  8. ^ "Best Colleges 2014". US News and World Report. 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  9. ^ PASSHE Board of Governors, Leading the Way, Jul 2004.
  10. ^ Pennsylvania General Assembly, "Act 188 of 1982." Available at:
  11. ^ "Pages - Chancellor". PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education). Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Press Releases - PASSHE Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh accepts...". PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education). Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Escack, Steve (7 August 2013). "Frank T. Brogan, Florida educator and ex-lt. governor, named Pennsylvania System of Higher Education chancellor". The Morning Call - Allentown, PA. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Pages - BOG Home. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
  15. ^ Pages - Tuition Schedule. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.

External links[edit]