The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)’s Board of Governors (BoG) appointed a new chancellor on Monday.
Daniel Greenstein will be made the fifth PASSHE chancellor in September. For the past six years, he has led the postsecondary success strategy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation is one of the largest supporters of public higher education, and award more than $125 million in grants and contracts every year, according to a PASSHE press release.
As the program’s director, Greenstein worked with higher education leaders to create initiatives that would promote economic mobility and raise educational-attainment. Additionally, he created and implemented a national strategy to increase the number of degrees awarded and decrease the gap of achievement between majority and non-majority students.
Greenstein earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He also studied at the London School of Economics and earned a Ph.D. in social studies from Oxford University.
Prior to working with the Gates Foundation, he was a top administrator in the University of California system for six years. He was vice provost of strategic planning, programs and accountability in the office of the university’s president.
BoG chairwoman Cynthia D. Shapira said Greenstein’s selection will move PASSHE to the forefront of public university systems.
“With the appointment of Dr. Greenstein as chancellor, the state system makes the strong statement that we are committed to our mission of providing accessible, affordable, quality higher education to students while serving the needs of the commonwealth, even as we redesign ourselves for the future,” Shapira said.
Greenstein said the redesign of the state system was a courageous step, but it has put PASSHE at the forefront of innovation.
“I am eager to work closely with the board, as well as with faculty, staff and trustees at the universities of this great public system as we solidify our future and fulfill our public obligation to our students and the state,” he said.
Student success is more than getting a degree, Greenstein said, claiming that it also means universities prepare their students with the skills, education and ability to work collaboratively that they need to engage in the new economy.
He said this applies to all students, regardless of where they are from or what background they have. Almost 90 percent of students are Pennsylvania residents who stay in the area to live and work after they graduate. The universities drive the economic development because of these students, according to Greenstein.
The search for a new chancellor began in the fall of 2017 after former Chancellor Frank Brogan retired. Karen Whitney, former president of Clarion University, has served as interim chancellor since his retirement, and she will continue to serve until Greenstein arrives on Sept. 4.
“The state system couldn’t have found a better individual to lead the way forward as we continue with our system redesign,” Whitney said. “Dan Greenstein is an energetic, innovative, nationally respected leader. I look forward to working with him over the next several months during this period of transition.”