Harrisburg, PA (WENY)-- The Chancellor of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education delivered an annual speech to the 14 state schools Wednesday afternoon. Chancellor Dan Greenstein gave his State of the State System Address at PASSHE headquarters in Harrisburg. After recapping the promises delivered in 2019, he gave an outlook on 2020, describing it as a turning point for the State System.

“The state of our system is fluid. We’re at a turning point. This year, with our state partners, we will decide the course of public higher education in this Commonwealth,” says Chancellor Greenstein.

Chancellor Greenstein pointed to successes in 2019, like increasing transparency and accountability within the State System, and implementing a tuition freeze. 

In 2020, one of the Chancellor’s goals is to establish a system where students at one PASSHE university can access classes and programs at another in the State System. Another goal is to develop budget plans that ensure all 14 state schools are financially sustainable in five years. Redesigning the State System is another goal that will be on the radar in 2020.

“We are implementing a strategy, we are on a path, and because the challenges we are addressing are shared across U.S. higher education, the nation is watching,” Chancellor Greenstein says.

The State System will be asking for a $487 million appropriation from the Pennsylvania Legislature. That’s a 2 percent increase from the current fiscal year. In a separate line item, PASSHE will also be asking for a separate 20 million dollar investment in a five-year plan for the State System redesign. The redesign is a 5-year, $100 million plan the Chancellor says will lead to cost savings and potential revenues. According to Chancellor Greenstein, the State System is projecting cost savings of between $80 million to $120 million in the next 5-10 years.

“Our system redesign is bold, it is transformational, and it is underway. We have delivered on the promises made for it in 2019, and I’m confident that we will deliver again in 2020,” Chancellor Greenstein says.

Pennsylvania ranks 48th in the nation in public higher education funding. Chancellor Greenstein called on elected officials to increase funding, and help set PASSHE up for success in the future.

“This public system is fundamentally transforming itself. This year, together, we will decide what path that transformation takes,” Chancellor Greenstein said as he closed his speech.

PASSHE oversees 14 four-year public universities educating more than 90,000 students. They include Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.