Emergency fund available to assist employees

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State employees who find themselves in need of emergency financial assistance have a place to turn.

In his January 2009 letter to the University community, Penn State President Graham Spanier emphasized the University’s commitment to assisting faculty and staff by doubling the funding available through the Employee Assistance Fund.

The fund, established about a decade ago, assists employees who find themselves in difficult financial circumstances. During the current fiscal year, the University’s renewed commitment to this effort has provided emergency assistance to more than 90 employees.

The fund provides financial support to help employees through temporary circumstances, including 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 covered by insurance, and other temporary financial hardship beyond the control of the applicant.

It is anticipated that individuals will have sought help from sources outside of the University before seeking assistance from the Employee Assistance Fund.

Active full-time employees can initiate the process by sending a written request to Billie Willits, associate vice president for Human Resources, 505 James M. Elliot Building, University Park, Pa. 16802. Requests may be e-mailed to The correspondence needs to include the reason for the request, the amount requested and sufficient supporting documentation. If the request is approved, the applicant will be notified of the grant amount, which will be deposited automatically into their checking or savings account.

Last Updated June 17, 2009