Harrisburg – The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has conferred the status of chairman emeritus upon Kenneth M. Jarin, who served as board chair from July 2005 to June 2011.
The board also named former board member C.R. “Chuck” Pennoni governor emeritus. Pennoni served on the board for nearly a decade before resigning in December 2012.
“Ken Jarin and Chuck Pennoni contributed enormously to the success of PASSHE and our universities during their tenures on the Board of Governors,” said board chairman Guido M. Pichini. “Both are true leaders who always put the best interests of students first. They are well deserving of this honor.”
Emeritus status can be granted by the Board of Governors on individuals who, while on the board, displayed “an exemplary record of service through demonstrated commitments of time, talent and resources” and “documented leadership in advancing the mission of the State System of Higher Education in its service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
A partner in the law firm Ballard Spahr, which has offices in 13 cities in the United States, including Philadelphia, Jarin, of Newtown, was appointed to the Board of Governors in April 2005 by then-Gov. Edward G. Rendell. He was elected board chairman in July 2005 and was re-elected by his fellow Board members to five additional one-year terms.
During Jarin’s tenure as chair, the board hired five university presidents, as well as former Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh. PASSHE also became one of the first public university systems in the United States to participate in the Voluntary System of Accountability, a national program designed to provide the public – especially prospective students and their families – detailed information about the universities and how they operate, and adopted major revisions to its nationally recognized performance funding program to place a greater emphasis on student advancement and success.
PASSHE universities also introduced their first professional science master’s programs and the state system set its all-time enrollment record during the time Jarin served as board chair. The universities maintained their status as the lowest-cost four-year universities in the commonwealth, while increasing significantly the number of academic programs accredited by professional organizations nationally.
Pennoni, of Bryn Mawr is chairman of the board of Pennoni Associates, Inc., of Philadelphia, a firm he founded in 1966, and served as interim president of Drexel University. He was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2003, also by Gov. Rendell, and served several terms as board vice chair.
As chair of the board’s Finance, Administration and Facilities Committee, Pennoni was instrumental in the development of several key initiatives involving practices such as strategic sourcing and collaborative purchasing, which resulted in significant cost savings for the entire state system, including all of the universities. His knowledge, experience and expertise strengthened PASSHE’s investment management policies to help ensure the greatest possible return, especially during the nation’s historic economic downturn.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth, with about 115,000 students. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. About 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and the Philadelphia Multi University Center in Philadelphia.