Vermont Business Magazine The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees, which includes the University of New Hampshire, said in a statement last week that it strongly supports Governor Chris Sununu’s visionary and timely plan to create one system of higher education in New Hampshire. The Board believes that joining USNH with the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) is the best possible approach to securing, for the long term, the state’s capacity to offer all its residents affordable, accessible, and diverse pathways to a high quality education, from technical certificates to advanced graduate degrees to programs for lifelong learning and professional growth.
One of the hallmarks of the state’s higher education systems is the diversity of mission and capability among its eleven institutions. The Governor’s plan makes it possible to take full advantage of the capabilities shared by our member institutions while preserving the diversity and excellence represented in their missions and identities.
The USNH Board said they are deeply concerned about the accelerating structural trends challenging higher education across the country and the growing financial pressures these trends are forcing upon our students and their families, our member institutions, and the state’s budget. We believe the unified governance structure called for in the Governor’s plan best enables the state to strategically and proactively address these ongoing threats.
It is an essential next step, they said, in the journey toward securing the long-term financial health of our public higher education institutions and preserving – indeed enhancing – the many and diverse contributions of public higher education to our local and statewide economies.
"We are cognizant of the critical role public higher education will play in advancing our state as we recover from the pandemic and believe the Governor’s call to combine the two disparate systems into one would create a stronger, more competitive, more efficient, and more sustainable driver of the state’s economic and cultural well-being than two separate systems. We look forward to working with the Governor, the legislature, and especially our esteemed colleagues at CCSNH as we chart this new path toward the future of public higher education in New Hampshire."
The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) enrolls 32,000 students and consists of four public institutions: Granite State College, Keene State College, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire. USNH strives to ensure the availability of appropriate and accessible higher educational opportunities throughout New Hampshire and addresses critical state workforce needs. A 29-member Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the University System.
Source: Concord, NH. (February 12, 2021) - The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees