Commonwealth System of Higher Education

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The Commonwealth System of Higher Education is a statutory designation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that confers "state-related" status on four universities located within the state. The designation establishes the schools as an "instrumentality of the commonwealth"[1] and provides each university with annual, non-preferred[2] financial appropriations in exchange offering tuition discounts to students who are residents of Pennsylvania and a minority state-representation on each school's board of trustees. Legally, the universities remain separate and private entities, operating under their own charters, governed by independent boards of trustees, and with assets under their own ownership and control, thereby retaining much of the freedom and individuality of private institutions, both administratively and academically.[3] It is the only public-private hybrid system of higher education in the United States that is so constituted, although Cornell University, the University of Delaware, and Rutgers University[4] represent alternative types of public-private university hybrids.[5]

Universities of the Commonwealth System are considered public universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching because they offer reduced tuition for citizens of the Commonwealth and therefore are often referred to as "public" universities in publications, by the state, and the schools themselves. Because their annual state allocations that supplement less than 10% of their budgets, universities in the Commonwealth System tend to have higher tuition costs compared to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education which contains 14 state-owned and operated universities. Because of their independence, universities in the Commonwealth System are exempt from Pennsylvania's Open Records law except for a few minor provisions.[6]

History[edit]

Before the creation of the "state-related" legal status in the 1960s, Lincoln University, Temple University, and University of Pittsburgh were fully private universities.[5] Temple and Pitt were granted state-related status by acts of Commonwealth's legislature in 1965 and 1966, respectively. Lincoln University, a historically black university, was designated as a state-related university in 1972.[7]

Although the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) was founded as a private school, it was later designated as the Commonwealth's sole land-grant institution. It was repeatedly defined as a "state-owned university" in numerous official acts and Pennsylvania Attorney General opinions from its creation as a land-grant, then named the Pennsylvania State College, in 1855. It was thus applicable to having its road system and buildings on state campuses constructed using state funding, paying its employees through state-issued checks, and having them eligible to collect state employee retirement system benefits.

Penn State was already treated and referred to as a public state-related university by the Commonwealth, including receiving non-preferred appropriations, when the other three universities were designated as state-related institutions by the legislature. In 1989, Penn State asserted a public status in court for the purpose of not having a private bank branch's operations on its University Park campus subject to local county taxes, while simultaneously asserting private status for the purpose of not having to reveal the salaries of its top administrative employees.[8] With the enabling legislation changing the failing Williamsport (PA) Area Community College to the affiliated "Pennsylvania College of Technology" in 1989, Penn State was reaffirmed as a "state-related" institution.

Universities[edit]

The following universities (listed with their branch and regional campuses) are members of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education

Lincoln[edit]

Lincoln University - University City

Penn State[edit]

Pitt[edit]

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford (4-year undergraduate and graduate)
University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg (4-year undergraduate)
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (4-year undergraduate)
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville (2-year undergraduate)

Temple[edit]

Temple University Ambler (4-year undergraduate and graduate)
Temple University Fort Washington (Graduate)
Temple University Harrisburg (1-year undergraduate and graduate)
Temple University, Japan Campus (4-year undergraduate and graduate)

Rankings of universities[edit]

School U.S. News & World Report, Best Colleges 2020 (undergrad)[9][10] U.S. News & World Report, Best Business Schools 2020[11] U.S. News & World Report, Best Education Schools 2020[12] U.S. News & World Report, Best Engineering Schools 2020[13] U.S. News & World Report, Best Fine Arts Schools 2017[14] U.S. News & World Report, Best Law Schools 2020[15] U.S. News & World Report, Best Library & Information Studies Schools, 2018[16] U.S. News & World Report, Best Medical Schools, Research[17] & Primary Care[18] 2020 U.S. News & World Report, Best Nursing Schools, Masters[19] & Doctoral[20] 2020 U.S. News & World Report, Best Public Affairs Schools 2020[21] CMUP, Top Public American Research Universities 2017[22] Wall Street Journal/THE US College Rankings 2019[23] Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019[24] QS World University Rankings 2020[25]
Lincoln University 119, Regional Universities (North) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Pennsylvania State University 57th, National Universities (University Park) 33rd (Smeal) 39th 35th 69th 64th (University Park)
71st (Dickinson)
N/A "unranked" 26th & "unranked" 82nd
(Harrisburg)
16th-17th 104th 98th 93rd
Temple University 104th, National Universities N/A 45th 124th 15th (Tyler) 48th (Beasley) N/A 60th & 85th (Katz) N/A & 72nd N/A N/A 168th 301st-400th 651st-700th
University of Pittsburgh 57th, National Universities (Pittsburgh Campus) 43rd (Katz) 33rd 47th (Swanson) N/A 77th 10th 13th & 14th 12th & 9th 35th 13th-15th 80th 89th 140th

Endowment and research[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Statutory college, the private-public contractual system of higher education schools and colleges in New York State.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "State-Related Universities". Pennsylvania Department of Education. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  2. ^ Barlow, Kimberly K. (March 17, 2011). "How state budget process works". University Times. 43 (14). Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Alberts, Robert C. (1986). Pitt: The Story of the University of Pittsburgh 1787–1987. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 343. ISBN 0-8229-1150-7.
  4. ^ Dane, Perry; Stein, Allan; Williams, Williams (2014). "Saving Rutgers-Camden". Rutgers Law Journal. 44: 337–412. SSRN 2302826.
  5. ^ a b Deibler, William E. (May 8, 1967). "Discover State-related Universities Found Only in this State; 3 of Them". The Gettysburg Times. Gettysburgh, PA. p. 9. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  6. ^ Schackner, Bill (February 17, 2008). "Pitt, Penn State escape parts of open records law". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  7. ^ "About Lincoln". Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. April 9, 2013.
  8. ^ Roy v. Pennsylvania State University, 568 A.2d 751, 130 Pa.Commw. 468 (1990); Pennsylvania State University v. County of Centre, 615 A.2d 303, 532 Pa. 142 (1992).
  9. ^ "Best Regional Universities North Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 9, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 9, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  11. ^ "U.S. News & World Report Best Education Schools 2020". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  12. ^ "Best Business Schools 2020". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "Best Engineering Schools 2020". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "Best Fine Arts Schools 2017". US News & World Report. 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  15. ^ "Best Law Schools". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  16. ^ "Best Library and Information Science Programs". US News & World Report. 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  17. ^ "Best Medical Schools: Research". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  18. ^ "Best Medical Schools: Primary Care". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  19. ^ "Best Nursing Schools: Master's". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  20. ^ "Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  21. ^ "Best Public Affairs Programs". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  22. ^ Lombardi, John V.; Abbey, Craig W.; Craig, Diane D. (2018). The Top American Research Universities: 2017 Annual Report (PDF). The Center for Measuring University Performance. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-0-9856170-7-3. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  23. ^ "Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2019". Times Higher Education. September 4, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  24. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. August 15, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  25. ^ "QS World University Rankings". QS Top Universities. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  26. ^ a b c d "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY17 to FY18". 2018.
  27. ^ "University Facts". Lincoln.edu. November 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  28. ^ "Rankings by total R&D expenditures". National Science Foundation. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2019.

External links[edit]