Presidential Vision and Goals

A Transformational Penn State Experience

Penn State strives to create transformational experiences for students, faculty, and staff across our twenty-four Commonwealth Campuses and online World Campus.

President Neeli Bendapudi has established a vision for Penn State central to advancing our land-grant mission to be a unique source of education, success, and lifelong opportunity for students from all walks of life; professional achievement for our faculty and staff; and an engine of research, discovery, and economic development for Pennsylvania, the nation, and world.

Our community works together to enhance the University’s:

  • Purpose—We differentiate ourselves as a land-grant university by uniquely serving the commonwealth and beyond.

  • Agility—We are an institution that quickly adapts to dynamic needs of our people and society.

  • Opportunity—We leverage our knowledge and expertise to pursue opportunities and drive meaningful outcomes.

Penn State is pursuing the following goals and priorities over the next five years.

Enhance Student Success

With a focus on access and affordability, we are committed to providing an abundance of opportunities to help students succeed inside and outside the classroom. In a complex, competitive and changing world, we prepare students for in-demand careers and to be highly employable after graduation.

Focus areas:

  • Align education offerings and advising with employment trend and employer experiences data.

  • Develop avenues for students to tap into alumni network for mentorships and job searches.

  • Make paid internship opportunities possible for all students.

  • Establish a curricular and co-curricular map for each student to help them discover and engage in a range of engagement opportunities.

  • Integrate cutting-edge research and engagement opportunities in the classroom.

  • Focus on student mental health and financial literacy.

Grow Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Our world-class research enterprise is grounded in an interdisciplinary spirit, teamwork, and a dedicated group of researchers and scholars. Penn State’s breadth of expertise will enable the University to further enhance scholarship and creative activity and to tackle the most pressing challenges facing the commonwealth, nation, and world.

Focus areas:

  • Identify key research areas for greater investment and growth.

  • Increase research expenditures to lead Penn State to top research rankings.

  • Build a robust pipeline of historically marginalized and underrepresented researchers/scholars.

  • Support faculty at all campuses in their research activities, across their careers.

  • Pursue large Program Project (P01) grants and incentivize interdisciplinary and multi-university partnerships that increase research funding and scale of impact.

  • Increase biomedical and health-related research, translational research, and commercialization opportunities.

Increase Land-Grant Impact

As Pennsylvania’s only land-grant university, Penn State is uniquely positioned to help students and serve the commonwealth. With a presence in every county in the state, we will focus on the needs of the commonwealth to promote economic development and research innovation, grow the workforce, and help local businesses, while providing a world-class education to students at twenty-four campuses across the state.

Focus areas:

  • Develop a plan for leveraging the Commonwealth Campuses and current extension and outreach structure to further fuel economic development in the state.

  • Build stronger networks with the business community throughout Pennsylvania.

  • Increase number of advocates for Penn State within the Pennsylvania Legislature.

  • Attain per-student funding equal to the per-student allocation for other state-owned or state-related universities.

Foster Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Penn State is committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) across our campuses so our faculty, staff, and students can fully realize their potential in an environment of inclusive excellence.

Focus areas:

  • Inventory DEIB activities across the campuses, academic and administrative units, and colleges.

  • Establish baseline metrics and goals for campuses and units to close DEIB gaps.

  • Increase recruitment of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff.

  • Close gaps in graduation rates across backgrounds and identities.

  • Diversify Penn State’s faculty across all ranks and tracks.

  • Create robust communities of support for faculty, staff, and students of all backgrounds.

  • Create equitable professional development and advancement opportunities for staff at all levels.

Transform Internal Operations

We will continue to reimagine, innovate, and evaluate new ways of how we work to make Penn State easy to navigate for all students, faculty, and staff; look for opportunities to better serve students; and focus on effective and efficient fiscal stewardship as a modern world-class university.

Focus areas:

  • Implement budget model and adapt model to support institutional and leadership needs.

  • Develop a pipeline of internal experts for innovative ideas on continuous improvement.

  • Streamline operations and processes to create efficiencies and potential savings.

  • Work effectively in a shared governance model.

  • Achieve a balanced budget by July 1, 2025.

  • Implement the Compensation Modernization Initiative to become an employer of choice.

  • Implement technological systems to make work easier, evaluate outdated systems, and act on recommendations.

Transforming Health Through Academic and Clinical Synergy

As Penn State’s academic health system, the College of Medicine and Penn State Health drive advancements in state-of-the-art patient care, data-informed community and public health, innovative medical education, and cutting-edge research to serve our region, the commonwealth, and society in unparalleled ways. Collaboration across the University, including among colleges and campuses, interdisciplinary research institutes, and allied health programs, enables enhanced opportunities to lead transformational impact and innovation in health promotion and disease prevention. Together, Penn State and Penn State Health will maximize health and wellness for our communities, the commonwealth, and beyond.

Focus areas:

  • Leverage the uniqueness of Penn State’s land-grant mission, academic infrastructure, and health enterprise to address pressing issues of today and solve the health challenges of tomorrow.

  • Align the health enterprise to support and contribute to healthcare discoveries through medical and graduate education and research that transform care and health for people everywhere.

  • Establish Penn State, through its academic health system and broad University collaborations, as a model for innovation in rural health programming and care delivery that serves community needs in Pennsylvania and beyond.

  • Increase Penn State’s national health education and research prominence and strategic partnerships to shape medical and health programming across the University.

  • Attract world-class clinicians, investigators, and educators to provide exceptional patient care, research, education, and inclusive innovation for the next generation of health professionals.