Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Wednesday said the future of historic Cheyney University in Chester County is bleak and projected to worsen, unless drastic action is taken at the state level to address escalating debt, falling revenues, and declining enrollments.
Cheyney University’s financial position has consistently deteriorated since 2009 and continues to get worse, said DePasquale, citing a financial analysis of the university’s financial data from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2013.
DePasquale said that while Cheyney University has troublesome finances it is clearly not the only one struggling among the 14 state-owned universities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. A financial review will be included in future audits of state-owned universities.
“The situation at Cheyney University should be a warning to the systemic financial issues facing state universities. Our best and brightest state leaders and stakeholders must work together to develop a long-term plan to ensure the stability of these public universities to provide affordable college education for families across the state,” DePasquale said. “The consequences of inaction are dire.”
Cheyney was founded in 1837 as the Institute for Colored Youth to provide free classical education for qualified young people. Nearly 80 percent of its students are from Pennsylvania. It is the nation’s first historically black university.
“We cannot sit idly by as this historic and prestigious university fights for survival,” DePasquale said.The full audit is available online. Click Here for the full announcement.
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