Integration moves forward announcing new university name

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 27th, 2021 at 8:44 PM
Integration moves forward announcing new university name by Emma McNeeley
New name of the western integrated university pictured above. Photo: California University of Pennsylvania Video/TNS

For the past year, discussions and questions about an integration between Edinboro, Clarion and California universities have been steadily brewing. Only basic information has been supplied to students via email to help them understand what this integration means and why. On Oct. 14, Interim President Dr. Elizabeth Dale Pehrsson released a video announcing the name of the newly integrated university: Pennsylvania Western University. This video was met with mixed feedback from Edinboro students. 

Pennsylvania Western University — Penn West for short — is officially debuting in the fall 2022 semester. The name reveal has made students realize that the integration is inching closer, and many have begun to express concerns and questions they feel have gone relatively unanswered when it comes to their education. They quickly took to social media platforms Instagram and Facebook to voice their opinions on pages like BoroBarstool and EdinboroNow. 

“I just want to make sure that my education quality is as good if not better than if we didn’t merge in the first place,” said freshman Virginia Jeffrey. She added that although she hasn’t been here as long as others, her main concern is her education. 

Charisma Ferringer, a sophomore, said “My biggest concern would have to be, and what I personally believe is on everyone’s mind, is the ability for the campus to remain in its own identity.” 

“I know that this integration benefits the university financially,” Ferringer explains. “However, I did come to Edinboro for a reason. I’m very proud to be here and I love this university. I would hate to see everything change and change the traditions that this campus holds.” 

As plans have been progressing, emails called “Integration Insights” have been sent in an attempt cover the basics about the reasons for integration and what changes are currently taking place. Beginning next fall, and the curriculum from all three schools will be combines and phased in over the next three years to transition; the goal is to focus on the strengths of the three campuses to make a unified curriculum. 

It has also been clarified that students will not have to change campuses, and they can continue at their originally chosen school. This integration will also not require additional credits that extend a student’s time to complete their degree. The email Dale sent out also included a link with more information on integration education plans. 

The last and most recent piece of informationreleased via email explained that, “students who complete their degree requirements by June 30, 2022 will receive a degree from their current university (California, Clarion, or Edinboro). Students who complete their degree requirements after that date will receive a degree from the new integrated university; your campus location will be reflected on your diploma. 

In addition to current Edinboro students, many alumni also have thoughts on the integration. 

“I think it’s ridiculous the merger requires a name change. It’s a conglomerate of universities that have their own great qualities,” said Michael Wolff, who graduated in spring of 2021. “I feel lucky that I was able to graduate as an Edinboro student under what I think is one of the best undergrad Psychology programs, and I feel like those qualities will be taken away with the integration.”  

A poll put up by EdinboroNow’s Instagram received a variety of answers, reflecting the conflicting emotions the campus is currently experiencing. Many students while they didn’t mind or hated the new name shared the consensus that it was boring and uncreative. At least two responses believed the new name is fine and that students and alumni are overreacting to a minor detail that will overall benefit this school. 

However, on the opposite end, some students feel strongly that they applied to Edinboro University and it is important to them that their diploma reflect that. The impending integration remains causing divide within students, staff, and alumni on how to feel. 

 Emma McNeeley is a news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com

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