Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Harrisburg University president vacations in China, excels at stupid

Our administration figured they could fix our retention and enrollment problems if they could aquire some students that cant leave easily recruit internationally. No, I'm not kidding. In 2011, Harrisburg University sent Mel Schiavelli on an all expense paid vacation business trip to China for an entire month to recruit students. This was not the only trip, just the most recent.

There are so many problems with this, I hardly know where to start. I guess I'll just make a list.

1) I'm pretty sure China is not in the Pennsylvania Capital region.
2) Harrisburg University's mission is to help the students and business of the Pennsylvania Capital region.
3) Harrisburg University's mission does not include international students unless they happen to live in the Pennsylvania Capital region.
4) Harrisburg University does not have an English as a Second Language program.
5) Harrisburg University does not have a support system (student services, cultural center) for Chinese students.
6) Harrisburg University does not have any staff that speak Chinese.
7) Harrisburg University has not met their primary mission, it's not the time to start a new mission.

In the fall of 2011, Harrisburg University welcomed four Chinese students. Predictably, two of the four have already left the university before even completing a single semester.

I'm not even going to editorialize. The stupid has made me speechless. Just pause here a moment with me and we'll just stare blankly and with disbelief at the stupid. Stupid.

The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is an independent educational institution offering academic and research programs in mathematics, science, and technology designed to meet the needs of the region's youth, workforce, and businesses, and to expand, attract, and create economic opportunities in the region. - Harrisburg University Mission Statement

Founded to address the need of Pennsylvania's Capital Region for increased educational opportunities in applied science and technology-related fields, the vision of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is to provide academic programs at undergraduate and graduate levels...” -Harrisburg University Vision Statement

“This University has been, from the very beginning, an endeavor of, by and for the citizens of the Commonwealth. We are a university born of this community and, with continuing help, our graduates will play a key role in stimulating the growth of Pennsylvania's knowledge-based economy” -Ryan T. Riley, AVP of Development and Alumni Relations at Harrisburg University.

“Now that we've built the foundation for STEM education, we must ensure that our university flourishes with the region's best and brightest students. The HU vision means investing in our students, building our community and strengthening Central Pennsylvania's economy” - Mel Schiavelli thanking contributors.


  1. Another example with how out of touch with reality our elitist and indulgent administration has become. Common sense be damned. No respect for the mission or the university, it's all just a money grab.

  2. 4 students will bring in almost $90,000 in 1 year, who's stupid now?

  3. The Chinese do spell better than do you spell Harrisburg?


  4. Anonymous said... "4 students will bring in almost $90,000 in 1 year, who's stupid now?"
    Well that would be you moron. Why the hell should the school waste resources to send Mel to China when first of all the school is in financial exigency!!!!???? Secondly there are good students from decent school districts all around Harrisburg that aren't even being considered for recruitment. Recruiting locally right now makes a hell of a lot more sense than China. It would seem that HU is only interested in trying to get students from disadvantaged backgrounds (inner city) that will qualify for every single form of government aid so they can continue to work the system for free money. This is just corporate welfare. Many of those kids don't have the first clue as to what a well equiped lab should contain so there's another bonus for the provost. He doesn't need to buy anything for the labs. You won't miss what you never had or knew you needed.

  5. HU is acting like a for-profit school chasing $. They have taken millions out of the local and state economy. They should be following their mission to serve Pennsylvania. You have to walk before you can run. HU can't even crawl. I guess they did figure out that if they go 12000 miles away nobody will have heard of their lousy reputation.

  6. "The Chinese do spell better than do you spell Harrisburg?"

    Hehe thanks I fixed it. And BTW the Chinese do everything better than me :)

  7. "4 students will bring in almost $90,000 in 1 year, who's stupid now?"

    Congratulations, now you are thinking like an HU administrator. Spend $50K to recruit 4 students, collect $90K in tuition and brag about a $40K profit. And provide no support for the students to survive at an American university. So what if they leave? There are many more students in China. Oh and they are graduate student's - are they even full time?

  8. Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

    Harrisburg University Student Government Association would like to invite you to it's inaugural Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 5:00 P.M. in the 14th floor auditorium. We've invited the President and Provost of the University to speak with us to address some of the pressing issues on students' minds today.

    To submit your questions for this historic event, please send them to SGA by 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 29. For your convenience, we've set up multiple avenues to do this:

    Send an email to

    RSVP and comment on our Facebook Event Site

    Speak with a Senator

    Leave written questions with Kim Bowman

    Or, for complete anonymity, complete the survey found here

    All questions will be handled confidentially by SGA.

    This is your chance to hear facts directly firsthand; not your friend of a classmate whose neighbor's roommate heard through her mother's cousin who read some blog on the interwebs... so, BE THERE.


    Jackie Turner

    HU Student

    President of HU SGA