Penn State Intercom......December 12, 2002

University establishes Employee Assistance Fund;
gift spurs aid program for those with special needs

Penn State has established an employee special assistance fund designed to provide financial support for faculty and staff facing a wide range of personal or family hardships.

Through an initial private gift of $2 million, the fund has been created as an endowment with its annual yield used to support employees in need. The University hopes that establishment of this fund will encourage employees and members of the Penn State community to make further contributions to help build the endowment.

"We're thankful to have received this substantial gift that further enhances the University's efforts to put its people first," said President Graham B. Spanier. "This fund will help cover a broad range of extenuating financial circumstance that will enhance the quality of life and improve the mental, emotional and physical well-being of employees and members of their household."

The new fund will provide financial support for temporary circumstances such as family tragedies; destruction of home or property by fire or other disaster; short-term disabilities where income is curtailed; uncompensated funeral expenses; catastrophic or unusual medical expenses not already covered; and medical insurance for uninsured members of employee households who are otherwise without coverage; temporary supplements to cover extended-care facilities while an employee is arranging for Medicaid; and temporary financial hardship beyond the control of the individual.

The scope of employee hardships that this fund is designed to help overcome is not limited. However, with limited funds available, the level of support available for certain requests may be modest in relation to overall need.

Expenditures from the fund will be made by the associate vice president for human resources. It is anticipated that individuals requesting assistance from this fund will have sought help from other sources external to the University, if appropriate, before seeking assistance from this fund.

Available funds not disbursed to employees in a particular year will be added to the endowment principal or carried over to the next year for disbursement.