Penn State leaders to answer questions at May 19 virtual Town Hall

Penn State President Eric Barron will host a virtual Town Hall at 3:30 p.m. on May 19 to answer faculty and staff questions surrounding the University's response to the coronavirus. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State President Eric J. Barron will host a virtual Town Hall at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, to answer the University community’s questions regarding how Penn State continues to manage the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, including the recent announcements on workforce changes, plans for summer and work being done by the task groups to return students to campus and employees to work.  

The hourlong event, to be livestreamed at, will feature Barron and Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones, along with key faculty and administrative leaders involved planning Penn State’s return to work and learning strategies. 

“As we continue to weather this unprecedented crisis, we wanted to hold this Town Hall to give our faculty and staff an opportunity to ask questions and for us to answer them with as much information as we have at this time,” Barron said. “We understand the many questions in our community as the University works through this unpredictable, challenging time, and we hope that this Town Hall will help you better understand how the University is tackling the challenges.”

Two Penn State administrators and a faculty expert – leaders of key task groups guiding the University through this challenge — will accompany Barron and Jones. They are:

  • Damon Sims, vice president for student affairs and co-chair of the Return to Campus and Community task force;
  • Lorraine Goffe, vice president of human resources and co-chair of the Return to Work task force; and
  • Matthew Ferrari, associate professor of biology, researcher in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and co-chair of the Public Health and Science Assessment task force. 

While the University’s current plan is to prepare for a return to campus in the fall to resume in-person instruction, these leaders and others are contingency planning should circumstances or guidance from the government and public health authorities change. General questions about recently announced measures and other coronavirus-related concerns may be submitted in advance and during the event by email at or anonymously through this Google form. Queries received by email will not have their identities shared.

Faculty and staff members with specific questions pertaining to their personal situation or circumstances should pose them to their immediate supervisor, unit leader or human resources representative, as panelists will only address questions of a broad nature.

The event will also be recorded and archived for later viewing. For the latest information about Penn State’s response to the coronavirus, go to

Last Updated May 19, 2020