By Olivia Nyce
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) announced the new name for one of its integrated campuses on Oct. 14. California, Clarion and Edinboro universities will be called Pennsylvania Western University, or PennWest for short, starting in the fall of 2022.
“The PennWest name was selected through a months-long process that included workshops and focus groups with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members,” said a statement on Edinboro’s website.
The integration of these schools is addressing the problems of declining enrollment and increasing costs at these schools.
“The goal is to create new opportunities for students, including a wider variety of academic programs, and to hold down the cost of higher education for students at all three campuses,” said Clarion University on their website.
Currently, there are no plans for KUto be integrated with other schools.
“We’re not part of a merger now, and we don’t want to be part of a merger in the future because Kutztown is a unique place,” said Thomas Stewart, Professor and Department Chair for Academic Enrichment at KU.
PASSHE is a state agency that oversees 14 state-owned colleges, including KU. This organization consists of a 20-member Board of Governors who collaborate to serve their students by providing education at the lowest possible cost.
As explained by the PASSHE website, “The 14 universities provide high-quality educational experiences while continuing to be among the most affordable four-year institutions in Pennsylvania—striving to provide every student, regardless of zip code or family background, the opportunity to achieve success and upward mobility.”