Commonwealth System of Higher Education
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: Lincoln University, the Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, and the University of Pittsburgh. The designation establishes the schools as an "instrumentality of the commonwealth" and provides each university with annual, non-preferred 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. It is the only public-private hybrid system of higher education of its particular type in the United States, although some other schools, such as Cornell University, the University of Delaware, and Rutgers University, all also have public-private partnerships of their own kind.
Because their annual state allocations account for 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.
Before the creation of the "state-related" legal status in the 1960s, Lincoln University, Temple University, and the University of Pittsburgh were fully private universities. 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.
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. It was thus eligible to have 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. 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.
The following universities (listed with their branch and regional campuses) are members of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education
- Lincoln University, Lincoln University, PA
- Lincoln University - University City
- Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
- Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Rankings of universities
|School||U.S. News & World Report, Best Universities 2021||U.S. News & World Report, Best Business Schools 2020||U.S. News & World Report, Best Education Schools 2020||U.S. News & World Report, Best Engineering Schools 2020||U.S. News & World Report, Best Fine Arts Schools 2017||U.S. News & World Report, Best Law Schools 2020||U.S. News & World Report, Best Library & Information Studies Schools, 2018||U.S. News & World Report, Best Medical Schools, Research & Primary Care 2020||U.S. News & World Report, Best Nursing Schools, Masters & Doctoral 2020||U.S. News & World Report, Best Public Affairs Schools 2020||CMUP, Top Public American Research Universities 2017||The Wall Street Journal/THE US College Rankings 2019||Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019||QS World University Rankings 2020|
|Lincoln University||119th, 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||63rd, National Universities (University Park)||33rd (Smeal)||39th||35th||69th||64th (University Park)
|N/A||"unranked"||26th & "unranked"||82nd
|Temple University||102nd, 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||58th, 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
Endowments (FY 2018*)
Research and Development Expenditures (FY 2017)
- Statutory college, the private-public contractual system of higher education schools and colleges in New York State.
- "State-Related Universities". Pennsylvania Department of Education. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- Barlow, Kimberly K. (March 17, 2011). "How state budget process works". University Times. 43 (14). Retrieved April 9, 2012.
- 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.
- Dane, Perry; Stein, Allan; Williams, Williams (2014). "Saving Rutgers-Camden". Rutgers Law Journal. 44: 337–412. SSRN 2302826.
- Schackner, Bill (February 17, 2008). "Pitt, Penn State escape parts of open records law". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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- 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).
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- "Best Engineering Schools 2020". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Best Fine Arts Schools 2017". US News & World Report. 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Best Law Schools". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Best Library and Information Science Programs". US News & World Report. 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Best Medical Schools: Research". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Best Medical Schools: Primary Care". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Best Nursing Schools: Master's". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Best Public Affairs Programs". US News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- 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.
- "The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2019". Times Higher Education. September 4, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. August 15, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "QS World University Rankings". QS Top Universities. 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "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.
- "University Facts". Lincoln.edu. November 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Rankings by total R&D expenditures". National Science Foundation. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2019.