An Eventful Week for Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

On Monday November 13, the board of governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education appointed Aaron A. Walton to the presidency of Cheyney University. Walton has been serving in the post on an interim basis since May. The university needed special permission from the board to appoint Walton without conducting a national search.

Walton is the former senior vice president of Highmark Inc., the large health insurance firm based in Pittsburgh. President Walton is a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in speech pathology and audiology. He holds a master’s degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

President Walton’s contract runs through June 30, 2021.

On Thursday November 16 the university was informed that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education had extended the accreditation probation period for the university for another year. It was widely feared that the agency would strip the educational institution of its accreditation which would have made Cheyney students ineligible for federal financial aid.

Cynthia Shapira, chair of the state board of governors, said that President Walton had made extraordinary progress. But she warned that the university still faced a large number of problems and that difficult decisions about the university’s future still had to made.

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