New Book Outlines a Five-Point Solution to the Problem of Pennsylvania’s Ongoing ‘Privatization Without a Plan’

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.¹ Although much of the book is devoted to describing the many problems caused by privatization, it also outlines a five-point plan for solving those problems.

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend

Privatization Without a Plan

A viable solution to the problems caused by privatization without a plan involves addressing and resolving at least five key issues.

Chesterbrook, PA (PRWEB) January 19, 2014

The book describes the effect that conflicted decisions by PASSHE’s 100% political leadership is having on the students and the 14 PASSHE universities in Pennsylvania, which include Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.

Those decisions are conflicted, according to Armenti, because they are incompatible with the Act 188 statutory purpose² of the PASSHE universities, which is to provide ‘High quality education at the lowest possible cost to the students.’ The best evidence for that incompatability is the fact, as documented in the book, that the PASSHE Board of Governors has failed to deliver that statutory purpose to the majority financial stakeholders—the students, parents and donors, primarily alumni—since 2002.

According to the book, a viable solution to the problems caused by privatization without a plan involves addressing and resolving at least five key issues without which, those problems will remain unresolved:

Issue I: There Must be a Plan for the New PASSHE. 1) A plan, as in privatization with a plan, must be developed, approved and implemented for the creation and introduction of a new PASSHE to serve the students of Pennsylvania. 2) The plan should preserve the statutory purpose of old PASSHE—high quality education at the lowest possible cost to the students—in the charter of the new PASSHE.

Issue II: New PASSHE Must be Accountable. 1) The plan for the new PASSHE must contain provisions to ensure that it will be totally accountable to all stakeholders, including the majority stakeholders—students, parents and donors, primarily alumni—of the new PASSHE universities. 2) The plan must ensure delivery of the new PASSHE purpose to students, as promised in Act 188, and must anticipate and deal forthrightly with any and all harsh realities that might stand in the way of that delivery—whether demographic, economic, political or otherwise.

Issue III: The Majority Stakeholders Must be Fairly Represented in Governance . 1) Governance shares on the new PASSHE Board of Governors must honor and reflect the respective Majority/Minority Funding Shares of the financial stakeholders. 2) Governance shares on the new PASSHE Councils of Trustees must honor and reflect the respective Majority/Minority Funding Shares of the financial stakeholders.

Issue IV: A Fiduciary Relationship between New PASSHE and the Students is Required. 1) The new PASSHE BOG must adopt, promulgate and foster a fiduciary relationship between the new governing board and the students including a duty of care, a duty of loyalty, and a duty of obedience to the statutory purpose of the New PASSHE universities. 2) The new PASSHE BOG must avoid any and all conflicts of interest, based on the dictionary definition of the term: “A conflict between the private interests and the official duties of a person in a position of trust.”

Issue V: The New PASSHE Must Have Independent Legal Counsel. 1) As a system of universities in which more than 70% of the annual operating funds come from the private checkbooks of private citizens, it is imperative that the new PASSHE operate in strict accordance with the law as interpreted by independent legal counsel. 2) The new PASSHE should abide by the same rules regarding independent legal counsel as the State Related universities do, since PASSHE’s degree of financial independence is similar.

The recently introduced Pennsylvania Association of State Colleges and Universities (PASCU) was created “to preserve the statutory purpose of public higher education in Pennsylvania: ‘High quality education at the lowest possible cost to the students,’ and for that reason, according to Armenti, PASCU will endeavor to educate all PASSHE stakeholders, and especially PASSHE’s majority stakeholders, not only about the problems of privatization but also about possible solutions, including the one just cited.

¹ 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. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=angelo%20armenti.
² https://www.keepandshare.com/doc/6772880/act188-pdf-405k.

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 (American Institute of Physics, 1992). During his career at Cal U, Armenti is credited with establishing numerous funding sources for student scholarships and for campus revitalization projects, efforts made in part to address the problems that he describes in Privatization Without a Plan. In June of 2012, Armenti founded a non-profit corporation entitled The Pennsylvania Association of State Colleges and Universities (PASCU) whose mission it is to preserve the purpose of public higher education in Pennsylvania. He also writes for his weekly blog at http://angeloarmenti.blogspot.com/.


Contact