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Thread: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

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    Default Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    https://www.philly.com/education/che...-20190228.html

    For those who can't read the article due to subscription here's what it says:

    Cheyney University, facing continued enrollment struggles and a nearly $10 million cash-flow problem, got a little more breathing room Wednesday after Gov. Tom Wolf met with leaders of the state university system. They decided to continue to support the school’s efforts to transform, and postponed any decision on whether the system would make Cheyney another loan.

    The meeting at Wolf’s Harrisburg office included Daniel Greenstein, the new chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education; board of governors chair Cynthia Shapira; Cheyney president Aaron Walton; and State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.).

    Walton said after the meeting that all “agreed to support Cheyney’s exciting plan for transformation that includes public-private partnerships and other innovation alternatives aimed at securing Cheyney’s long-term future.”

    The meeting followed a Senate budget hearing last week, during which Greenstein said the historically black university was “highly likely” to lose its accreditation this year.

    Rather than wait for the hammer to fall, Greenstein said, Cheyney should plan for that likelihood and figure out a new path, perhaps one in which it affiliates with another university as a department or school, or provides career training programs that don’t require accreditation.

    None of those scenarios envisioned Cheyney — which has lost two-thirds of its enrollment since 2007 — as a fully accredited university.

    Enrollment at Cheyney University
    The number of students enrolled each fall has fallen by 67 percent since 2007, compared with a drop of 10 percent for the other 13 Pennsylvania state-supported universities.

    The system, Greenstein said at the Senate hearing, must begin to plan for a transition for current employees and students, and ask itself hard questions, such as whether it is appropriate to enroll new students for next year.

    “There are lessons to be learned from what has happened at Cheyney,” Greenstein said. “Whatever happens, I hope we will take the time and create the space to learn those lessons so they will never be repeated in this commonwealth or this country.”

    The system, Greenstein said at the Senate hearing, must begin to plan for a transition for current employees and students, and ask itself hard questions, such as whether it is appropriate to enroll new students for next year.

    “There are lessons to be learned from what has happened at Cheyney,” Greenstein said. “Whatever happens, I hope we will take the time and create the space to learn those lessons so they will never be repeated in this commonwealth or this country.”

    The school has received a two-year extension from the commission to fix its finances, and there is no mechanism to provide a third.

    In addition, Cheyney may have to repay the federal Department of Education tens of millions because of mismanaged financial aid stemming from a 2015 review, Greenstein said. And enrollment has fallen to 415 students this spring, Greenstein said, down from more than 1,400 a decade ago.

    The board of governors had been considering voting Thursday on extending Cheyney the $10 million. Another loan would seem to counter what system leaders promised in 2017 when they agreed to forgive Cheyney $30 million in prior loans if it maintained a balanced budget for the next four years.

    And another lifeline from the state system, some fear, could hurt Cheyney’s accreditation, showing the commission that the school didn’t maintain a balanced budget.

    The money lent to Cheyney has come from the other 13 universities in the state system, many which also have lost enrollment and are struggling. For the first time since 2001, the system’s overall enrollment dipped below 100,000 this year, and Greenstein said projections call for an additional 2 percent drop next year.

    Walton said he remains confident that the university can finish the fiscal year with a balanced budget and he’s prepared to aggressively raise funds to close whatever gap there is. He said he’s also confident the university will keep its accreditation and noted that the school still has eight months to work things out before Middle States decides.

    “We have until June 30 to balance the budget," said Walton, a retired executive who took over at Cheyney nearly two years ago. “That’s what we have to do, and we’re going to do it.”

    Both Hughes and Walton noted that the school has seen a 33 percent increase in applications and a jump in students who have paid deposits for the fall.

    But Greenstein laid out other numbers about Cheyney: Six-year graduation rates between 15 percent and 25 percent. Nearly a third of its students default on student loans. Cheyney performs, he said, below other historically black colleges and universities, as well as universities generally.

    But he would not recommend closing it, he said.

    Other options that have been discussed include converting Cheyney into a training ground for teachers who work in inner-city districts or a place that trains the next generation of public policy leaders in social justice and race equity, Greenstein said.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Glad to see that Greenstein is a realist and appears to be bringing the hammer down on Cheyney, regardless of what the CU advocates say. My impression is that he sees it as his job to actually deal with the problem and is ready to follow through.

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    This article was posted today as well. https://lancasteronline.com/news/loc...81b84929f.html

    Walton is “probably one of the most creative leaders in higher education today,” Greenstein said.

    “At the same time,” he said, “it is my opinion that Aaron has arrived several years too late.”

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    Default Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Reality is that they may have to see if they can partner with West Chester where there is a shuttle between the campuses and Cheyney students take some of their credits over at WCU without WCU having to admit them fully.
    Last edited by IUPNation; 02-28-2019 at 04:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPNation View Post
    Reality is that they may have to see if they can partner with West Chester where there is a shuttle between the campuses and Cheyney students take some of the credit over at WCU without WCU having to admit them fully.
    That makes too much sense for the Commonwealth to ever put that into action. While we all know that's the most feasible option if you just have to preserve the campus, they'll continue to dump cash into dead soil and repeat hiring incompetents to mange the funds. If they just want to keep Cheyney as an higher education institution turn it into a trade school or junior college for those kids who don't qualify for admission into WCU/IUP/Kutztown the larger state schools. Do 2 years graduate with an associates and get guaranteed admission into one of those 3 schools.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by shipfbfan12 View Post
    That makes too much sense for the Commonwealth to ever put that into action. While we all know that's the most feasible option if you just have to preserve the campus, they'll continue to dump cash into dead soil and repeat hiring incompetents to mange the funds. If they just want to keep Cheyney as an higher education institution turn it into a trade school or junior college for those kids who don't qualify for admission into WCU/IUP/Kutztown the larger state schools. Do 2 years graduate with an associates and get guaranteed admission into one of those 3 schools.
    Why not gain admission to schools that need students, not necessarily the largest? Perhaps they could gain admission to the most selective of the state schools. The larger state schools in order are WCU, IUP, Bloom, and SRU.

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart View Post
    Why not gain admission to schools that need students, not necessarily the largest? Perhaps they could gain admission to the most selective of the state schools. The larger state schools in order are WCU, IUP, Bloom, and SRU.
    If one can't gain admission in to IUP right now they may want to consider a different path. Just sayin'

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart View Post
    Why not gain admission to schools that need students, not necessarily the largest? Perhaps they could gain admission to the most selective of the state schools. The larger state schools in order are WCU, IUP, Bloom, and SRU.
    Which is another reason why it doesn't make any sense to shuttle Cheyney students to West Chester for classes. WCU isn't looking for students to fill empty classrooms these days.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
    If one can't gain admission in to IUP right now they may want to consider a different path. Just sayin'
    unfortunately, your mostly right about that. But . . . many Cheyney students will struggle at most other state system schools. Its that bad.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Fightingscot82 View Post
    This article was posted today as well. https://lancasteronline.com/news/loc...81b84929f.html
    And here's one from The Philadelphia Tribune. Robert Bogle is a Cheyney alum and Chairman of the Cheyney Board of Trustees. He is also President and CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune.

    https://www.phillytrib.com/news/loca...b856be7ea.html

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by iupgroundhog View Post
    And here's one from The Philadelphia Tribune. Robert Bogle is a Cheyney alum and Chairman of the Cheyney Board of Trustees. He is also President and CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune.
    I wonder how much he annually contributes to his alma mater.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Horror Child View Post
    I wonder how much he annually contributes to his alma mater.
    I don't know but if smoke and mirrors were dollars he would be the biggest benefactor.

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by ironmaniup View Post
    unfortunately, your mostly right about that. But . . . many Cheyney students will struggle at most other state system schools. Its that bad.
    I agree they take on a lot of kids who otherwise would and frankly should be at their local community college but their Honor's Program kids would thrive at any PSAC school they just opt for Cheyney for the free tuition and room and board. No student loans at CU or pay back loans for 10 years at WCU, it's a no brainer in these times. I attended Cheyney as a freshman back in 2001-2002 and more than half our freshman class were enrolled in remedial English/Math courses because they couldn't pass the entrance English/Math exams. I was one of the few to miss those remedial courses that set you back a semester from graduating on time in 4 years unless you go to summer school.

    Lets not forget that the state kept appointing thieves and incompetent people to oversee the finances. Just sad to see what was created to be a legacy institution for the underprivileged turn into a crap hole.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by shipfbfan12 View Post
    I agree they take on a lot of kids who otherwise would and frankly should be at their local community college but their Honor's Program kids would thrive at any PSAC school they just opt for Cheyney for the free tuition and room and board. No student loans at CU or pay back loans for 10 years at WCU, it's a no brainer in these times. I attended Cheyney as a freshman back in 2001-2002 and more than half our freshman class were enrolled in remedial English/Math courses because they couldn't pass the entrance English/Math exams. I was one of the few to miss those remedial courses that set you back a semester from graduating on time in 4 years unless you go to summer school.

    Lets not forget that the state kept appointing thieves and incompetent people to oversee the finances. Just sad to see what was created to be a legacy institution for the underprivileged turn into a crap hole.
    Agreed, and its a shame for those students that could really benefit from what Cheyney had to offer. keep in mind there is a significant number of students that do better closer to home, so transferring to another PASSHE school isn't a one for one option.

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by shipfbfan12 View Post
    I agree they take on a lot of kids who otherwise would and frankly should be at their local community college but their Honor's Program kids would thrive at any PSAC school they just opt for Cheyney for the free tuition and room and board. No student loans at CU or pay back loans for 10 years at WCU, it's a no brainer in these times. I attended Cheyney as a freshman back in 2001-2002 and more than half our freshman class were enrolled in remedial English/Math courses because they couldn't pass the entrance English/Math exams. I was one of the few to miss those remedial courses that set you back a semester from graduating on time in 4 years unless you go to summer school.

    Lets not forget that the state kept appointing thieves and incompetent people to oversee the finances. Just sad to see what was created to be a legacy institution for the underprivileged turn into a crap hole.
    Names and positions of the individuals that the state appointed to oversee the finances? Surely if there were thieves they would have been indicted.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Cheyney's record of PSAC MBB basketball championships will never be surpassed. It is a shame what has become of that storied program too.

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart View Post
    Cheyney's record of PSAC MBB basketball championships will never be surpassed. It is a shame what has become of that storied program too.
    In the 70’s John Chaney coached the men and Vivian Stringer the women.

    It is a shame.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Horror Child View Post
    Names and positions of the individuals that the state appointed to oversee the finances? Surely if there were thieves they would have been indicted.
    not necessarily, universities often cover things up to avoid bad publicity. then there is thievery that happens by misleading potential students, who they know will not succeed in college, but have access to aid. remember this "Lapses in oversight could cost Cheyney $29 million" - people were let go but not indicted. https://www.philly.com/philly/educat...9_million.html

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    The series of accounting and fiduciary mismanagement at Cheyney just shows how little oversight there is by the state. I recall there being an issue of not collecting receipts for purchasing cards and another issue with never rectifying travel per diems. Both incidents resulted in millions misspent on personal purchases. I believe there may have been issues with missing property. All from the lack of internal audit on the campus, system, and state levels.

    They only exacerbate the enrollment decline. Cheyney has always been small. But the system dictates most of their personnel costs. They're the college version of Penn Hills School District.

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    Default Re: Cheyney Gets a Temporary Life Line

    Quote Originally Posted by ironmaniup View Post
    not necessarily, universities often cover things up to avoid bad publicity. then there is thievery that happens by misleading potential students, who they know will not succeed in college, but have access to aid. remember this "Lapses in oversight could cost Cheyney $29 million" - people were let go but not indicted. https://www.philly.com/philly/educat...9_million.html
    The Board of Governors unanimously selected Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital to be president of Cheyney in 2007, a post she held until her retirement from there in 2014. She was appointed by the state, so perhaps she is the thief or incompetent individual that shipfbfan12 was referring to? She died this past August from cancer at the age of 66 after serving as provost and interim president at another HBCU in Florida.

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