In the midst of ongoing contract negotiations with APSCUF, Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh will be leaving the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education at the end of February for a job in Washington D.C.
Cavanaugh, who has been the executive director at PASSHE since July of 2008, announced his resignation at the end of December. Cavanaugh has resigned to lead the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area in Washington, D.C. He will be the voice for the 14 private and public universities in the D.C. Area.
PASSHE Executive Vice Chancellor Peter H. Garland will take over as an acting Chancellor upon Cavanaugh’s departure.
Garland already had several senior level leadership positions with PASSHE since January 2002 when he was first appointed as executive associate to the chancellor.
SRU faculty hope working with Garland’s leadership will be more effective in resolving the ongoing contract negotiations with PASSHE.
The faculty union has been negotiating a contract for two years. In “Strategic Thinking about How Costs and Goals Interact,” Cavanaugh co-wrote an outline two years ago about the need for university administrators to employ cost-reduction measures and preserve quality.
Daniel McIntosh, a political science professor, would disagree with Cavanaugh’s tactic. He anticipates a new PASSHE chief operating officer.
“I’m glad [Cavanaugh’s] gone because I hope experts can negotiate a fair contract,” McIntosh said. “He ran it like a business. He would measure the money and mismeasure the learning.”
McIntosh hopes the new chancellor will focus on more quality education.
Spokesman Kenn Marshall said Cavanaugh is moving on because of his new position.
“I don’t think his decision will affect the result of the negotiations,” Marshall said. “The next meeting is next Friday.”
The Board of Governors will take several months to search for a replacement for the acting chancellor after February.
Cavanaugh runs a system of public universities that include Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pa.
The Executive Offices are located at Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.