Responded to budget challenges (2011 and 2012); introduced Responsibility Centered Management
When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed the new state budget June 30, it came with the news that the 14 state-owned universities will receive 18 percent - or $90 million - less in funding than last year. The funding cut amounts to about $802 less per full-time student.
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the universities it governs had held their collective breath since February, when Corbett announced his intent to cut funding by 54 percent. Since then, students, faculty, staff and alumni, along with supporters of higher education, advocated for the funding to be restored. Lawmakers in Harrisburg heard the plea and did restore much of the funding.
With the 18 percent reduction, however, Clarion University students, along with their peers at other state-owned universities, will face a tuition increase of 7.5 percent for 2011-12, PASSHE announced June 30. The tuition increase amounts to $218 per full-time student, per semester. The adopted tuition rate retains the promise by PASSHE leaders that the students and their families would not be asked to shoulder the full burden of replacing the lost funding.
PASSHE's Board of Governors sets tuition rates for the 14 state system schools, while the individual universities determine fees. Clarion University Council of Trustees will meet July 21 to set the fees for programs and services the university offers students, at which time students will know the full cost for the 2011-12 academic year.
With the decreased funding, Clarion is facing a projected budget shortfall of more than $8 million in 2011-12, Clarion University President Karen Whitney said. That number factors in the tuition increase and is based on a projected decrease in enrollment of five percent.
"To be clear, until we know exact numbers of all our revenues, expenses and enrollment for 2011-12, this will continue to be a best guess. We must guess and not wait for the final calculation, because budget decisions must be done in a timely manner to be most effective," she said.
Clarion University has undergone fiscal reorganization with the implementation of Responsibility Centered Management. RCM divides the operating budget into 12 responsibility centers to aid in generating revenue and managing expenses. Whitney said all responsibility centers will share in the shortfall.
"We will now begin the difficult task of identifying specific areas where we can reduce our budgets to bring them into balance," she said.
Whitney emphasized that it is especially important for Clarion University to focus on its mission and the way that students, teaching, applied research and public engagement count in meeting that mission.
"As we finished the spring semester, we all knew that this would be a difficult summer for our budget," Whitney said. "While we have the privilege of doing what we love to do - teaching, research, public service, as well as offering services, programs and facilities in ways that make Clarion so special - at the same time we are also taking action across the university to increase revenues and decrease expenses."
In 2010, celebrated first observance of Founders’ Day in 2010
New Clarion University President Karen Whitney will initiate a new tradition September 10 with the first observance of Clarion University Founders' Day. The celebration begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Center for Academic Excellence, Level A, Carlson Library and is free and open to the public. All attending are encouraged to wear Clarion University blue and gold.
Sept. 10, 1867, is the date of the founding of Carrier Seminary, which evolved over the next 143 years into today's Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
"It is most appropriate that we celebrate the courage and conviction which inspired the founding of this great university 143 years ago," said Clarion University President Karen Whitney. "As we move forward in continued service to the commonwealth and to northwestern Pennsylvania, considering our past will help us define our future."
According to the 125th Anniversary History of Clarion University of Pennsylvania by Dr. Samuel Farmarie, in 1865 the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was informed of the merits of establishing seminaries to further the endeavors of the church and appropriately observe its centennial. In March 1866, a convention was held in Clarion to initiate the establishment of a seminary. By July, funds had been raised to construct a building. On March 18, 1867, the contributors met to organize a board of trustees.
In 2012, awarded the first joint honorary degrees
On May 12 at its 2012 Spring Commencement, Clarion University awarded its first joint honorary degrees to alumna Jane France and her husband Chris Allison. Jane and Chris each received the Doctor of Public Service degree at the 10 a.m. ceremony. As part of his remarks at the morning event, Allison honored his wife, Jane, and her commitment to and love for Clarion University.
|Presentation of first joint honorary degrees to Jane France and her husband Chris Allison
Announced change from Venango Campus to Venango College; name change effective July 1, 2012
During the 2011-12 academic year, Clarion University-Venango Campus has celebrated 50 years of growth and community partnerships. As the campus embarks on its next 50 years, it will do so with a new moniker - Venango College of Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Following a year of discussion within the university and community, Clarion University President Karen Whitney has announced that on July 1, 2012, Venango College will join the three colleges of the Clarion campus - the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Services, and College of Business Administration. She made the announcement during the 50th Anniversary Founders Dinner April 26 at Robert W. Rhoades Center, Venango Campus.
Advocated for book center location on Main Street; store will open in July/August 2012
Clarion University will nestle into downtown Clarion when a new retail store, Golden Eagle Landing, opens this summer in the former S&T Bank building on Main Street.
The Main Street location will add to the vitality of the downtown business community, as well as provide an off-campus site where shoppers can find clothing, gifts and more. Golden Eagle Landing is a division of Clarion University Book Center.
The idea developed from the thought that a Main Street store that is all about Clarion University would be good for both the community and the university.