Organizational success, not to mention longevity, requires the ability to adapt and stay forward thinking in a sea of constant change. Here, Scott Miller, Ph.D., dean of Edinboro University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Business and interim dean of the College of Science and Health Professions, discusses the University’s 165th year and the exciting transformation under way in 2022. Miller will assume the role of senior vice president of Academic Affairs for the western integrated university, effective July 1, 2022.2
Edinboro University is marking its 165th year in 2022. Tell us what this milestone means to the University and Edinboro borough.
Edinboro University and the Borough of Edinboro community are privileged to celebrate Edinboro’s rich, 165-year legacy, including its many economic and cultural contributions to northwestern Pennsylvania, the broader Commonwealth and beyond. Since its founding in 1857 by residents who wanted greater educational opportunities for their children, Edinboro has drawn strength from the community that surrounds it and, in turn, has added to the community’s vitality.
Through a century and a half of change – as a private academy, normal school, state teachers’ college, state college, and today’s public, comprehensive university – Edinboro’s tradition of creating opportunities, transforming lives and serving the community and its employers has continued.
This milestone year holds special significance for us as we embrace and shape the next step in Edinboro’s evolution — integrating with two sister campuses, while holding tight to the history, heritage and customs that make Edinboro such a special place.
Tell us about the programs available to students today.
Throughout its long history, Edinboro’s offerings have evolved and expanded to include more than 100 areas of academic study. Our stellar programs in the arts, sciences, business and many other fields with national and international recognition prepare students for careers that match their ambitions and passions, while simultaneously meeting employer needs. Integration is another step in our evolution as we continue to adapt. Integration will enable our combined university — the second largest in western Pennsylvania — to offer students even more opportunities and to have an even greater positive impact on the communities our campuses serve.
On July 1, 2022, Edinboro University will become part of Pennsylvania Western University, or Penn West, when it merges with Clarion and California universities. What does this change mean?
This is an exciting time for Edinboro University. The goal is to create new opportunities for students, including a wider variety of academic programs with opportunities to expand the faculty expertise to which students have access, and to hold down the cost of higher education for students. Together we are engaged in building a new enterprise that will reshape public higher education in Pennsylvania for the benefit of the students and Commonwealth. Without a doubt, this is a historic moment for our campuses, the State System and all three of our communities.
Each of our schools has a proud history and a unique campus culture. We are indeed “sister” institutions, united as one family, yet each campus will maintain its individual personality and style. We will remain the Edinboro Fighting Scots, Clarion Golden Eagles and California Vulcans.
All currently enrolled students will be able to complete their degrees on the campus where they are currently enrolled, and campus life will remain vibrant. Plans call for one leadership team, a single faculty and staff, a unified program array and a single, combined budget. Our universities will save money by working together — and those savings will be re-invested in ways that benefit our students.
What are the advantages of such a consolidation?
Helping students succeed and contributing to the region’s vitality remain the core components of Edinboro’s mission. Students win when their university is financially strong. Our potential for impact will be all the greater as we harness our collective strengths as one university.
University integration is designed to leverage the strengths of each campus and create efficiencies that can make higher education more affordable for families across Pennsylvania and beyond. And, most importantly, students will have more choices — more chances to take specialized electives within their major, to add minors that enhance the value of a degree, or to study with an expert professor who happens to be on another campus.
As one university, we will have a robust program array that positions the University and the Commonwealth for success and long-term sustainability. To learn more about Edinboro University, visit edinboro.edu.