CLEARFIELD – Local leaders and officials at Lock Haven University have been actively discussing plans to improve the financial position and support of its Clearfield campus and develop new pathways to grow enrollment in its service area for the future.
At a recent meeting of stakeholders held at the Clearfield campus, three working groups comprised of university and community members were created to develop actionable plans that will keep and expand access to higher education in the region. These working groups will focus on academic programming that serves the surrounding communities, marketing and recruiting outreach to surrounding school systems and industries and fundraising efforts to support academic programs and assist students with their education. These working groups will begin deliberations shortly and continue their work throughout the next year.
“Although the financial challenges that Lock Haven University and PASSHE face continue, Lock Haven’s commitment to, and confidence in, the Clearfield campus and community remains strong,” said Dr. Robert Pignatello, LHU president.
In an earlier stage of sustainability planning, LHU had considered the option of closure of the Clearfield campus. However, in the final plan submitted on Sept. 4, closure of the Clearfield campus was removed as one of the solutions under review. Instead, LHU is embarking on collaborative discussions with constituents from the Lock Haven and Clearfield campuses as well as the Clearfield community to innovate, ideate and explore actionable, sustainable means to strengthen the campus and balance revenue and expenditure.
“Our commitment is to provide high quality, affordable educational opportunities for students of all ages in the surrounding community,” said Dr. Ron Darbeau, LHU provost. “The faculty and staff will continue to work with students to honor this commitment.”
Clearfield County Commissioners Tony Scotto, board chairman, John A. Sobel and Dave Glass issued a joint statement following the university’s announcement.
“[We] thank Lock Haven University for their vote of confidence in our area. The university’s announcement – which removed the closure of the Clearfield campus from consideration – shows that our community remains an important part of LHU’s future.
“We look forward to working with the University’s leadership to ensure that LHU Clearfield remains a viable option for local students for many, many years to come.”
LHU Clearfield offers nine undergraduate majors, including bachelor and associate degree programs. LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth.