Philadelphia, November 25, 2019 – Senator Street was pleased to learn that he Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirmed Cheyney University’s accreditation removing the threat of losing federal student funding.
For many years the future of Cheyney University has existed in a state of purgatory, imperiled by millions in debt and an inability to adhere to Middle States’ standards. This placed the accreditation of one of the nation’s oldest institutions of learning for African Americans in perpetual risk, which would lead to a loss of state and federal funding necessary for survival. State Senator Sharif Street, Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman and PLBC Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chairman, has maintained the belief that the future of the University was a promising one, if certain steps were taken, and offered the following statement:
“Since Appropriations Hearings in Harrisburg in 2017, 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 attorney and activist Mr. Michael Coard and 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 and a host of stakeholders and leaders in the General Assembly. I look forward to Cheyney’s continued progress.”
Cheyney University, established on February 25, 1837, was the first institution of higher learning for African Americans and has been vital to the development of African American culture and leaders and society. Since 1989, at least five historically black colleges and universities have closed their doors. Cheyney University will continue a distinguished legacy.