PLBC lauds accreditation for Cheyney University

HARRISBURG, Nov. 26 – Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released the following statements after the announcement of Cheyney University receiving accreditation:

“The retention of Cheyney University’s accreditation is not only welcoming news for the university, but also for African American students here in the commonwealth and across the country. The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus has historically worked with Cheyney University over the years and is committed to doing what we can to foster the education process and success of all people across the commonwealth.  With this accreditation, Cheyney University will remain a viable educational resource to students now and for years to come. I’m proud of the work our legislative leaders have done to support the efforts of Cheyney University and thank the leadership of Cheyney’s President Aaron Walton along with Governor Tom Wolf, Senate Appropriation Chairman Vincent Hughes, House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, House Democratic Education Chairman Jim Roebuck,” said Rep. Stephen Kinsey, PLBC Chairman.

“As a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, the PLBC and I were very involved in investigating and helping to form solutions to right the ship at Cheyney and I’m proud that that same passion has been continued by current PLBC Chairman Stephen Kinsey and his leadership team. Collectively, we’ve been working with leaders in state government, alumni and community members to support Cheyney. We’ve had tremendous support from Governor Tom Wolf and Chair of the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education Cindy Shapira, who recognized the importance of helping Cheyney and were willing to work together to address problems that originated before this administration. I’d also like to thank the Cheyney Council of Trustees and specifically recognize Cheyney President Aaron Walton who made tough decisions that were unpopular at the time but have proven to have been necessary to strengthen the university,” said Rep. Jordan Harris, House Democratic Whip.

“I am excited for the future of Cheyney University and look forward to its growth and positive impact on our next generation of leaders. We have a lot of work to do to preserve its legacy and solidify its future,” said Rep. Joanna McClinton, House Democratic Chairwoman.

“I am very pleased with the affirmation of the accreditation of Cheyney University. Hopefully, this will enable the University to move forward on a sound foundation and continue to provide quality education for their students. As the Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, I look forward to continuing to work with the university to ensure that these goals will be reached,” said state Rep. Jim Roebuck, House Education Committee Democratic Chairman and PLBC Subcommittee Education Chairman.  

“This accreditation is well-deserved. Cheyney University has been a point of pride for the commonwealth and an institute of educational excellence for over 180 years,” said state Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, House Democratic Secretary.

“I am thrilled that so many of us worked together to save this historic treasure located in my beloved Delaware County. My role was to do a deep dive on the financial statements and recommend loan forgiveness to send a strong signal to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that the Commonwealth and PAASHE were deeply committed to the success of Cheyney University. I am profoundly pleased that all the steps taken by every member of the PLBC and others resulted in this validation – merit accreditation announced by the Middle States Commission,” said Rep. Margo Davidson, Southeast Delegation Chairwoman.

The Philadelphia Delegation members and I are happy to see the retention of Cheyney University’s accreditation. I must commend all the leaders at Cheyney University for their efforts to get us where we are today. Also, none of this would have been possible without a large-scale group effort, from legislative leaders to the governor, dedicated to continuing the long tradition of educating the next generation at Cheyney University. I’m happy to continue working alongside these partners and Chairman Stephen Kinsey of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, as we continue to support and secure the education of African American students at the nation’s oldest HBCU,” said state Rep. Jason Dawkins, Philadelphia House Delegation Chairman.   

“There is a bright future ahead for Cheyney University as it embraces this moment. Cheyney will need to seize the momentum of this success and use it to propel itself into the difficult and highly competitive waters of higher education in the 21st century. We cannot take our foot off the gas. We must all continue our support of Cheyney with the same drive and determination that got us to this point. It's up to all of us to help Cheyney become the thriving university that its founders envisioned. I believe we can, and I know we must,” said state Sen. Vincent Hughes, Senate Democratic Appropriations Chairman.  

“I am excited to learn that The Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirmed Cheyney University's accreditation, removing the threat of losing federal student funding. Since the 2017 Appropriations Hearings, I have asserted the data suggests Cheyney University had a strong sustainable future if we appropriately invest and utilize resources and market factors. It was clear that Cheyney’s problems, though layered, were pronounced by an inability to serve the market derived from within the PASSHE system itself. Changes had to be made. I am proud that Cheyney and PASSHE have found a way forward, a credit to the hard work done by the Alumni Association, PASSHE and the Cheyney Council of Trustees. Much work has been done by President Aaron Walton with the support of Governor Wolf. I look forward to Cheyney’s continued progress,” said state Sen. Sharif Street, Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman and PLBC Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chairman.