Campus Life

Town Hall for faculty, staff to open dialogue with leadership, discuss direction

A University Town Hall Meeting to discuss necessary strategic and operational changes at Penn State is planned for 3:30 to 5 p.m. on June 2, in Room 112 of the Kern Building on the University Park campus. Credit: L. Reidar Jensen / Penn StateCreative Commons

UPDATE, May 28: The location for this meeting has changed. It will be held in Room 112 of the Kern Building on the University Park campus. Those joining the conversation online can do so by visiting this link.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A University Town Hall Meeting to discuss necessary strategic and operational changes at Penn State is planned for 3:30 to 5 p.m. on June 2 in Room 112 of the Kern Building on the University Park campus with Provost Nick Jones and Senior Vice President David Gray. The meeting is an opportunity for faculty and staff to talk about the direction of the University, and to discuss its strengths, challenges and future opportunities. The meeting is being sponsored by Penn State Today and the University Staff Advisory Council (USAC) as an avenue for the internal community to keep informed about pending changes and to ask questions or share concerns and ideas.

Topics like healthcare, the ever-changing landscape of information technology, new human resources policies and the transformation of that area will be covered. Also to be discussed will be recent rankings by third-party evaluators such as Moody's and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education — reports that look favorably on the University's forward path, but make recommendations for improvement.

Jones and Gray plan to provide an overview of some anticipated changes and then open the discussion to questions from attendees and viewers. The session will be streamed live online for Commonwealth Campuses to participate at http://bit.ly/1FFLX7c. Commonwealth Campuses also will be able to submit questions via email, Twitter and MediaSite Live for immediate response by Jones and Gray.“There is a vast amount of change either underway or expected to begin at Penn State — major changes in our many enterprise systems, changes to the way we define inclusion, changes to our approach to cyber security and changes in compliance requirements, to name just a few, “ said Jones. "We hope these town hall meetings will give faculty and staff an opportunity to talk about these issues, provide valuable input and understand how we are approaching them.”“We see this as an ongoing conversation with our employees,” Gray added. "We are a great university, but we must respond in an always-evolving environment, and to distinguish ourselves as leaders. It’s important for us to engage in ongoing dialogue as we move forward together.”The June 2 Town Hall Meeting is the first meeting of its type planned for the coming year. The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 22 in Robb Hall of the Hintz Alumni Center on the University Park campus. That meeting also will be live streamed online for participation from the Commonwealth Campuses.Jones and Gray encourage participants or viewers to submit questions or discussion points in advance via email at the following address questions@psu.edu. During the meeting, participants can submit questions via the above email address or through Twitter with the hashtag #PSUstrong. The questions will be read during the question-and-answer period, keeping anonymous the name of anyone submitting questions, but indicating the Penn State location from where the question originated. Future meetings, messages and events will be announced throughout the year.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS NOW: Submit questions ahead of and during the town hall meeting by sending them to questions@psu.edu.

“USAC is proud to co-sponsor this event with Penn State Today. Being informed about change and the rationale behind the change, as well as how any change may impact our daily work routine, is critical to the continued success of Penn State, as well as to maintaining trust and dedication of our internal community,” said Jeremy Werner, chair of USAC. “We hope that faculty and staff will take advantage of this opportunity for frank conversation with senior leadership.”USAC, the University Staff Advisory Council, was formed in January 1995, when the associate vice president for Human Resources appointed the body (formerly known as the Staff Advisory Committee) to act in an advisory capacity to senior administration through the vice president for Human Resources. USAC is composed of 30 members from across the campuses, colleges and units, including liaisons representing the president’s equity commissions.Penn State Today is the University’s official news source, providing timely news for faculty, staff and students at all campus locations. A primary goal of Penn State Today is to help employees and students understand Penn State strategies, accomplishments, values, culture and goals by delivering clear messages, and building a sense of community and shared experience among the people who learn and work at Penn State every day.

Last Updated September 04, 2020

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