Cal U Old Main

Observer-Reporter

California University of Pennsylvania’s Old Main building

California University of Pennsylvania has tightened its belt – and squeezed out $700,000.

“We’ve basically reorganized our colleges and academic departments,” said Christine Kindl, spokeswoman for the university. “This enables us to utilize facilities a little more efficiently.”

Cal U. has consolidated colleges and departments in a way that, according to Kindl, will save $700,000 a year. That is key for a university that has endured a 27% drop in enrollment since hitting a peak in 2011.

Declining enrollment is an issue facing all 14 state-owned universities that comprise the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Enrollment at PSSHE schools has fallen a collective 20% since the system reached a peak in 2010.

Three undergraduate colleges at Cal U. have been consolidated to two: the College of Education and Liberal Arts, plus the Eberly College of Science and Technology.

Cal U. also consolidated its academic departments from 22 to 11.

“We did not eliminate departments,” Kindl said. “We simply consolidated and organized in a way that’s a little more efficient and logical.”

Some departments, which were accredited by the same organization, were aligned together.

Last fall, one dean announced internally he would retire, and has. That position has been eliminated, Kindl said.

PSSHE requires California, and the other 13 schools in the system, to have a financial sustainability plan within two years.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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