In New Book, Retired Cal U President Urges State Leaders to Give Stakeholders a Voice in Public Higher Education

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Angelo Armenti Jr., the former Villanova University Dean and 20-year President of California University (Cal U), recently announced the release of his new book, Privatization Without a Plan: A Failure of Leadership in Pennsylvania Public Higher Education.

Privatization Without a Plan

Public higher education stakeholders deserve to have their voices heard.

Angelo Armenti Jr., the former Villanova University Dean and 20-year President of California University (Cal U), recently announced the release of his new book, Privatization Without a Plan: A Failure of Leadership in Pennsylvania Public Higher Education.

Born from a presentation that he was invited to give at Kutztown University, Privatization Without a Plan examines the Act 188 statutory purpose of state-owned universities in Pennsylvania—to provide “high quality education at the lowest possible cost to the students”—against a backdrop of critical analysis that evaluates trends in funding, enrollment, and representation for public higher education stakeholders.

“After two decades at Cal U, I saw hundreds of examples of just how important public higher education is to our communities,” Armenti said. “Public higher education gives students that can’t afford private universities a chance to achieve their dreams. The tragedy is that if we allow our system to continue on its current path, this chance, this hope, will be destroyed.”

In Privatization Without a Plan, Armenti identifies the key factors that are contributing to what he describes as “mission failure” for public higher education in Pennsylvania, which encompasses state-owned universities spiraling into bankruptcy and rapidly rising tuition rates for students.

“It’s no secret that the State is providing less and less funding to public universities,” Armenti said. “The core problem is that these state-owned universities are still governed as though the State were providing the majority of the funding when the truth is that private stakeholders are now providing over seventy percent of the funding but have no real representation at the state level. Public higher education stakeholders deserve to have their voices heard.”

Armenti hopes that his book will spark a conversation and inspire a collective solution to this challenge.

Privatization Without a Plan: A Failure of Leadership in Pennsylvania Public Higher Education is on sale now, available from Amazon.com in paperback and e-book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Angelo Armenti Jr. served as President of California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) from 1992 to 2012. Before that, he was a Dean at Villanova University, a professor of physics, and author of The Physics of Sports, Volume 1 (American Institute of Physics, 1992). During his career at Cal U, Armenti is credited with establishing numerous funding sources for scholarships and for campus revitalization projects, efforts that were made in part to address the problems that he describes in Privatization Without a Plan. Now retired, Armenti spends his time advocating for the preservation of public higher education in Pennsylvania and writes for his blog at http://angeloarmenti.blogspot.com/.

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Marshal Carper

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