Frequently Asked Questions

Employee impacts

In light of Gov. Tom Wolf’s phased reopening plan for Pennsylvania, which calls for telework to continue when feasible even where other activities are set to resume, Penn State faculty and staff at all campuses who are currently working remotely should plan on continuing to do so through at least the end of May, unless otherwise advised by their supervisor or unit leadership.

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Penn State, like nearly every other higher education institution across the country, has been allocated emergency funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which is part of the CARES Act signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 27.

Penn State has been allocated about $55 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, half of which – or approximately $27.5 million – is directed by law to be distributed as emergency cash grants directly to students in need. Penn State will be able to award cash grants to certain students to pay for expenses incurred related to COVID-19 disruptions, including course materials and technology, food, housing, health care and childcare. The other half, approximately $27.5 million, will be used to help pay employees with a connection to the educational mission of the University per the guidance that funds should be used to address costs related to the “significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.”

It’s important to note that this funding, which comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, is completely separate from the small business Paycheck Protection Plan, though both were established by the CARES Act. None of the funding allocated to colleges and universities was intended by Congress or the president to go to small businesses.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund allocations are based on the number of Pell Grant recipients and full-time-equivalent (FTE) enrollment at each educational institution. Penn State has more than 19,000 Pell students and an FTE on-campus enrollment of more than 76,000 across our 24 campuses. Both of those numbers are among the highest in the country.

The University is grateful that the Department of Education prioritized this funding to support students who have the most need and has committed to disbursing these funds quickly, as we are eager to supplement our ongoing efforts to provide financial relief for our students who need it the most. Over the past decade, Penn State has prioritized access and affordability for our students, knowing that one-third of them are first-generation college students. Since the pandemic began, Penn State has received hundreds of applications from students for grants from our existing institutional emergency financial relief fund, and these additional funds will greatly expand our efforts.

Penn State leadership has appointed a task group to develop a plan for the distribution of these additional federal funds. The group will include Student Affairs, the Office of Student Aid, the Bursar, the Graduate School, our Commonwealth Campuses, general counsel, and additional broad representation, and will be working quickly to begin disbursements as soon as possible to students in need.

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In the face of severe financial impacts to the University brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic, on April 23 Penn State President Eric J. Barron announced some salary adjustments; a 3% across-the-board cut to university budgets in the next fiscal year; and his intention to work with the Board of Trustees to freeze tuition for the 2020-21 academic year to limit student costs. Read the president’s message to the university community here.

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Penn State joins a multitude of other universities and colleges facing similar serious fiscal situations and critical choices to avoid impacting their core missions of teaching, research and service, as they contend with the unprecedented financial challenges caused by the global pandemic. Our economy has been crippled by the need to enact social distancing. And no enterprise is immune, including Penn State.

At this time, as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, some of our employees do not have work they can perform. In order to support these employees despite the lack of work at this time, the University will continue to pay them 50% of their salary from May 4 to June 30. These employees will continue to receive their benefits based on the adjusted salary received. This includes our Teamsters Local Union No. 8 employees, as the University and their representatives have reached a tentative agreement, which we anticipate finalizing in the near future.

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Your supervisor and HR consultant will reach out to you and assist in this process and answer any questions you may have.

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The nation and all universities face many uncertainties, and there may still be a need to impose measures like these in the future. Please reference President Barron’s April 23 message for details.

At this time, Penn State is taking these difficult steps with careful thought and consideration. Our strategies are based on detailed analysis and scenario planning to provide adequate time to assess, as much as possible, how our revenue projections are faring, and what stimulus and other supports are available. We hope to return to more normal on-campus operations by the fall, but at this time no one can fully predict what will happen with the pandemic.

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University leaders will communicate before June 30 on next steps and any additional steps that need to be taken to manage the impacts of the pandemic.

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All University-affiliated international travel involving students, faculty and staff is suspended until further notice. Given the uncertainly due to COVID-19, we recommend that University personnel avoid making travel reservations in order to avoid the costs and disruption that might come with future cancellations. If travel is essential, requests should be screened by and submitted through unit executives to Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones at provost@psu.edu and include a description of why the travel is mission critical. For the Applied Research Laboratory, essential travel will be reviewed by Senior Vice President for Research Lora G. Weiss at OSVPRTravel@psu.edu. For the College of Medicine, essential travel will be reviewed by Interim Dean of the College of Medicine Kevin Black at dean@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

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All University-affiliated domestic air travel involving students, faculty and staff is suspended through at least June 30, 2020. Any nonessential travel, including between Penn State campuses, should be avoided in accordance with Pennsylvania’s statewide Stay at Home Order. Virtual meeting options, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, are encouraged.

If travel is essential, requests should be screened by and submitted through unit executives to Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones at provost@psu.edu and include a description of why the travel is mission critical. For the Applied Research Laboratory, essential travel will be reviewed by Senior Vice President for Research Lora G. Weiss at OSVPRTravel@psu.edu. For the College of Medicine, essential travel will be reviewed by Interim Dean of the College of Medicine Kevin Black at dean@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

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For employees needing support, the Penn State Employee Assistance Program (EAP), through the EAP+Work/Life program, offers short-term counseling from licensed EAP professionals, by phone, email or in person to help employees better cope with personal, family and work issues. EAP also offers access to Personal Health Advocates, who can help navigate healthcare and insurance systems, efficiently and dependably. More information is available at https://hr.psu.edu/health-matters/employee-assistance-program.

For a full list of resources available to students and other members of the Penn State community, visit https://virusinfo.psu.edu/resources.

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Penn State Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in coordination with University Health Services and Human Resources, has developed new protocols related to COVID-19 to help protect the health of employees who are continuing to perform mission-critical functions on campus.

These processes include instructions for supervisors who are responding to reported COVID-19 cases, the University’s cloth mask requirement, cleaning procedures, and guidance for employees working on campus. In addition, they include direction for employees to contact Penn State Absence Management at absence@psu.edu or 814-865-1782 if they are self-quarantining, exposed to or develop symptoms of the virus.

Additional information is available on Penn State News and at https://ehs.psu.edu/covid19.

For additional health and safety FAQs for employees working on campus, visit https://ehs.psu.edu/sites/ehs/files/employee_working_on_campus_questions.pdf.

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The health of the Penn State community is our highest priority, and we must all do our part in preventing the possible spread of coronavirus. Penn State faculty and staff are encouraged to stay home if they feel sick, particularly if they have a fever. We are asking faculty and employee supervisors to be flexible with work and class absences.

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The U.S. Department of State has issued a worldwide Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory and is advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends avoiding all nonessential international travel. Penn State is extending the same guidance to all students, faculty and staff.

Penn State is urging faculty, staff and students to be vigilant and to continue to exercise good judgment to stay as safe as possible, and to follow the latest stay-at-home orders from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. We have placed restrictions on University-affiliated travel, and though we cannot dictate decision-making pertaining to other professional and personal travel, such travel is strongly discouraged. In addition to the risk to their personal health, travelers should be aware of the elevated risk to other members of the community — including individuals with compromised immune systems and the elderly — should they become infected.

Travelers should consult the CDC’s website for the latest travel health notices, and research the restrictions imposed in the country they plan to visit, as well as any U.S. government restrictions that could impact their return to the United States, as the global travel situation is changing frequently. With widespread, ongoing transmission of novel coronavirus worldwide, if you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days, stay home and monitor your health.

The CDC recommends that individuals stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact, especially if they are at higher risk of severe illness. If you must travel for personal reasons, follow any state and local travel restrictions currently in place.

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See HRG11 Family and Medical Leave.

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Per HR16 employees are eligible for unpaid leave up to one month if they are within their first six months of employment. If employed over six months, additional unpaid leave is available. Please refer to the policy for the outline of eligible leave based on your length of employment at the time your leave begins. Please contact Absence Management for leave information and required documentation.

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At this time, faculty and staff that are self-quarantining should reach out to Absence Management directly at absence@psu.edu or 814-865-1782.

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Additional details are available at https://hr.psu.edu/covid-19-coronavirus.

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The academic mission of the University is paramount as we engage in a strategic budgeting process in response to COVID-19. Our faculty are core to the implementation of that mission and we aim to support faculty to the extent possible as we move forward. Faculty, like all Penn State employees, will be compensated for any work performed. Any faculty member engaged in teaching a course will receive full compensation for the course taught. Those faculty members who have a 36-week appointment period and are paid over 12 months will receive their salary as specified in their offer letter.

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To give University employees appropriate time to complete their 2019-20 performance management cycle, Penn State Human Resources is extending the time needed to complete the final step of the process (end-of-year review) to Friday, May 1, through Friday, July 31.

Previously, this step was to begin on Wednesday, April 1, with completion by Sunday, May 31. However, due to the current coronavirus pandemic, Human Resources, in agreement with University leadership, believed it was in the best interest of our employees to extend the time frame.

Additional details are available on Penn State News.

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For members of our research community who work at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), please continue to follow ARL-specific guidelines, which ensure critical national security needs are maintained while also maximizing social distancing and adopting remote working protocols.

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Penn State Information Technology has created a website to answer your questions and provide links to resources that faculty and staff may need to prepare for their remote work.

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The University has made the decision to temporarily close the Bennett Family Center and the Child Care Center at Hort Woods effective Monday, March 16, until further notice. Centers managed by Bright Horizons at Penn State’s Harrisburg and Behrend campuses, as well as Daybridge in Innovation Park, are also temporarily closed effective Monday, March 16, until further notice. Families will be informed of any changes to the operations of the child care centers.

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Yes, if their position is one that lends itself to telecommuting. The telecommuting guidelines permit flexible scheduling, so long as the employee is able to meet their obligations and be available when asked to be available by their supervisor.

For staff members whose position does not lend itself to telecommuting, we’re encouraging leaders to be as flexible as possible, as creative as possible and looking at opportunities for telecommuting. For example, there may be work that lends itself to telecommuting that simply haven’t been done in the unit — projects, for example. And so we ask all employees to work with their unit leadership and their HR representative to think creatively about the kinds of work they can take on during the time of change and transition for the organization

To provide our employees with the necessary tools and resources needed to perform their work remotely, Penn State Human Resources has created a remote work website. This site will provide our employees and managers/supervisors with valuable information to help them as they transition into remote working, including a page with answers to frequently asked questions.

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As a follow-up to Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones’ March 20 announcement, it is important that everyone who can work from home do so immediately and completely until otherwise notified.

These arrangements will allow for the safety of our employees by promoting social distancing and will be needed to flatten the curve for the current pandemic.

To provide our employees with the necessary tools and resources needed to perform their ongoing work remotely, Penn State Human Resources has created a remote work website. This site will provide our employees and managers/supervisors with valuable information to help them as they transition into remote working, including a page with answers to frequently asked questions.

For any further questions, please direct them to your specific Human Resources Strategic Partner and/or Consultant.

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The University continues to operate. With the extension of remote course delivery, faculty will continue fulfilling their teaching obligations. Staff who are able to telecommute will continue to do so. Some staff are still needed on campus to fulfill critical roles. The University will work individually with staff whose particular job responsibilities make telecommuting difficult and are taking into very serious consideration the health and financial well-being of our employees. 

Faculty members are expected to meet their faculty obligations during this period, including conducting online instruction for classes. All courses should be taught synchronously at the time that they are scheduled. This is important for three reasons. First, it will avoid time conflicts that will otherwise arise for students if faculty are independently moving the time of their classes. Second, students who receive financial aid through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) state grant program will lose access to this aid if courses are not delivered synchronously. Finally, this will enable our technology to function well and support course delivery.

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In the face of this unprecedented national and global crisis, Penn State is meeting its education, research and service mission through the extraordinary contributions of all of our employees. We could not be prouder of our community’s response.

While most of our employees are working remotely, some who perform mission-critical functions, categorized as such by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, are required on site, provided they adhere to proper social distancing guidelines.

The safety and well-being of all Penn State employees is our priority. We are working diligently to meet the PPE and other safety-related requirements that keep our employees safe, and enable them to deliver these services, which include things like housing, IT, maintenance, utility systems, and lab and animal care, to name a few.

To be clear, this is consistent with published guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which we have confirmed with that office.

It’s important to keep in mind that our campuses are mostly empty. Buildings can be accessed only by approved personnel. And of course, if there was a safety concern associated with any of our buildings, we would close and disinfect them, in accordance with stringent public health practices.

Some — though not most — technical service employees have indicated they will refuse to work on-site to perform these functions without being paid additional compensation. Such actions are neither justified nor provided for in our union contracts, and will not be permitted.

It is important to understand that, in the auxiliary units alone, our estimated revenue losses for the semester will exceed $95 million. (Penn State’s overall revenue losses incurred as we fulfill our mission in a depressed economy will be much higher.) It’s these revenues that provide the base funding for employees’ salaries.

We value each and every employee at Penn State, and know we can count on you to help get us through this challenging time, and continue to provide for our students and communities the world-class education and life-affirming research and service our university is known for. The students, families and communities we serve have never relied on us more than now.

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Will employees continue to work remotely over the summer, too? (UPDATED 5/1)

In light of Gov. Tom Wolf’s phased reopening plan for Pennsylvania, which calls for telework to continue when feasible even where other activities are set to resume, Penn State faculty and staff at all campuses who are currently working remotely should plan on continuing to do so through at least the end of May, unless otherwise advised by their supervisor or unit leadership.

Permalink

Penn State Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in coordination with University Health Services and Human Resources, has developed new protocols related to COVID-19 to help protect the health of employees who are continuing to perform mission-critical functions on campus.

These processes include instructions for supervisors who are responding to reported COVID-19 cases, the University’s cloth mask requirement, cleaning procedures, and guidance for employees working on campus. In addition, they include direction for employees to contact Penn State Absence Management at absence@psu.edu or 814-865-1782 if they are self-quarantining, exposed to or develop symptoms of the virus.

Additional information is available on Penn State News and at https://ehs.psu.edu/covid19.

For additional health and safety FAQs for employees working on campus, visit https://ehs.psu.edu/sites/ehs/files/employee_working_on_campus_questions.pdf.

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To give University employees appropriate time to complete their 2019-20 performance management cycle, Penn State Human Resources is extending the time needed to complete the final step of the process (end-of-year review) to Friday, May 1, through Friday, July 31.

Previously, this step was to begin on Wednesday, April 1, with completion by Sunday, May 31. However, due to the current coronavirus pandemic, Human Resources, in agreement with University leadership, believed it was in the best interest of our employees to extend the time frame.

Additional details are available on Penn State News.

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For members of our research community who work at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), please continue to follow ARL-specific guidelines, which ensure critical national security needs are maintained while also maximizing social distancing and adopting remote working protocols.

Permalink

Penn State Information Technology has created a website to answer your questions and provide links to resources that faculty and staff may need to prepare for their remote work.

Permalink

The University has made the decision to temporarily close the Bennett Family Center and the Child Care Center at Hort Woods effective Monday, March 16, until further notice. Centers managed by Bright Horizons at Penn State’s Harrisburg and Behrend campuses, as well as Daybridge in Innovation Park, are also temporarily closed effective Monday, March 16, until further notice. Families will be informed of any changes to the operations of the child care centers.

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Yes, if their position is one that lends itself to telecommuting. The telecommuting guidelines permit flexible scheduling, so long as the employee is able to meet their obligations and be available when asked to be available by their supervisor.

For staff members whose position does not lend itself to telecommuting, we’re encouraging leaders to be as flexible as possible, as creative as possible and looking at opportunities for telecommuting. For example, there may be work that lends itself to telecommuting that simply haven’t been done in the unit — projects, for example. And so we ask all employees to work with their unit leadership and their HR representative to think creatively about the kinds of work they can take on during the time of change and transition for the organization

To provide our employees with the necessary tools and resources needed to perform their work remotely, Penn State Human Resources has created a remote work website. This site will provide our employees and managers/supervisors with valuable information to help them as they transition into remote working, including a page with answers to frequently asked questions.

Permalink

As a follow-up to Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones’ March 20 announcement, it is important that everyone who can work from home do so immediately and completely until otherwise notified.

These arrangements will allow for the safety of our employees by promoting social distancing and will be needed to flatten the curve for the current pandemic.

To provide our employees with the necessary tools and resources needed to perform their ongoing work remotely, Penn State Human Resources has created a remote work website. This site will provide our employees and managers/supervisors with valuable information to help them as they transition into remote working, including a page with answers to frequently asked questions.

For any further questions, please direct them to your specific Human Resources Strategic Partner and/or Consultant.

Permalink

The University continues to operate. With the extension of remote course delivery, faculty will continue fulfilling their teaching obligations. Staff who are able to telecommute will continue to do so. Some staff are still needed on campus to fulfill critical roles. The University will work individually with staff whose particular job responsibilities make telecommuting difficult and are taking into very serious consideration the health and financial well-being of our employees. 

Faculty members are expected to meet their faculty obligations during this period, including conducting online instruction for classes. All courses should be taught synchronously at the time that they are scheduled. This is important for three reasons. First, it will avoid time conflicts that will otherwise arise for students if faculty are independently moving the time of their classes. Second, students who receive financial aid through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) state grant program will lose access to this aid if courses are not delivered synchronously. Finally, this will enable our technology to function well and support course delivery.

Permalink

In the face of this unprecedented national and global crisis, Penn State is meeting its education, research and service mission through the extraordinary contributions of all of our employees. We could not be prouder of our community’s response.

While most of our employees are working remotely, some who perform mission-critical functions, categorized as such by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, are required on site, provided they adhere to proper social distancing guidelines.

The safety and well-being of all Penn State employees is our priority. We are working diligently to meet the PPE and other safety-related requirements that keep our employees safe, and enable them to deliver these services, which include things like housing, IT, maintenance, utility systems, and lab and animal care, to name a few.

To be clear, this is consistent with published guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which we have confirmed with that office.

It’s important to keep in mind that our campuses are mostly empty. Buildings can be accessed only by approved personnel. And of course, if there was a safety concern associated with any of our buildings, we would close and disinfect them, in accordance with stringent public health practices.

Some — though not most — technical service employees have indicated they will refuse to work on-site to perform these functions without being paid additional compensation. Such actions are neither justified nor provided for in our union contracts, and will not be permitted.

It is important to understand that, in the auxiliary units alone, our estimated revenue losses for the semester will exceed $95 million. (Penn State’s overall revenue losses incurred as we fulfill our mission in a depressed economy will be much higher.) It’s these revenues that provide the base funding for employees’ salaries.

We value each and every employee at Penn State, and know we can count on you to help get us through this challenging time, and continue to provide for our students and communities the world-class education and life-affirming research and service our university is known for. The students, families and communities we serve have never relied on us more than now.

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Why is Penn State accepting funding from the federal government?

Penn State, like nearly every other higher education institution across the country, has been allocated emergency funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which is part of the CARES Act signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on March 27.

Penn State has been allocated about $55 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, half of which – or approximately $27.5 million – is directed by law to be distributed as emergency cash grants directly to students in need. Penn State will be able to award cash grants to certain students to pay for expenses incurred related to COVID-19 disruptions, including course materials and technology, food, housing, health care and childcare. The other half, approximately $27.5 million, will be used to help pay employees with a connection to the educational mission of the University per the guidance that funds should be used to address costs related to the “significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.”

It’s important to note that this funding, which comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, is completely separate from the small business Paycheck Protection Plan, though both were established by the CARES Act. None of the funding allocated to colleges and universities was intended by Congress or the president to go to small businesses.

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund allocations are based on the number of Pell Grant recipients and full-time-equivalent (FTE) enrollment at each educational institution. Penn State has more than 19,000 Pell students and an FTE on-campus enrollment of more than 76,000 across our 24 campuses. Both of those numbers are among the highest in the country.

The University is grateful that the Department of Education prioritized this funding to support students who have the most need and has committed to disbursing these funds quickly, as we are eager to supplement our ongoing efforts to provide financial relief for our students who need it the most. Over the past decade, Penn State has prioritized access and affordability for our students, knowing that one-third of them are first-generation college students. Since the pandemic began, Penn State has received hundreds of applications from students for grants from our existing institutional emergency financial relief fund, and these additional funds will greatly expand our efforts.

Penn State leadership has appointed a task group to develop a plan for the distribution of these additional federal funds. The group will include Student Affairs, the Office of Student Aid, the Bursar, the Graduate School, our Commonwealth Campuses, general counsel, and additional broad representation, and will be working quickly to begin disbursements as soon as possible to students in need.

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In the face of severe financial impacts to the University brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic, on April 23 Penn State President Eric J. Barron announced some salary adjustments; a 3% across-the-board cut to university budgets in the next fiscal year; and his intention to work with the Board of Trustees to freeze tuition for the 2020-21 academic year to limit student costs. Read the president’s message to the university community here.

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Penn State joins a multitude of other universities and colleges facing similar serious fiscal situations and critical choices to avoid impacting their core missions of teaching, research and service, as they contend with the unprecedented financial challenges caused by the global pandemic. Our economy has been crippled by the need to enact social distancing. And no enterprise is immune, including Penn State.

At this time, as a result of the impacts of COVID-19, some of our employees do not have work they can perform. In order to support these employees despite the lack of work at this time, the University will continue to pay them 50% of their salary from May 4 to June 30. These employees will continue to receive their benefits based on the adjusted salary received. This includes our Teamsters Local Union No. 8 employees, as the University and their representatives have reached a tentative agreement, which we anticipate finalizing in the near future.

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Your supervisor and HR consultant will reach out to you and assist in this process and answer any questions you may have.

Permalink

The nation and all universities face many uncertainties, and there may still be a need to impose measures like these in the future. Please reference President Barron’s April 23 message for details.

At this time, Penn State is taking these difficult steps with careful thought and consideration. Our strategies are based on detailed analysis and scenario planning to provide adequate time to assess, as much as possible, how our revenue projections are faring, and what stimulus and other supports are available. We hope to return to more normal on-campus operations by the fall, but at this time no one can fully predict what will happen with the pandemic.

Permalink

University leaders will communicate before June 30 on next steps and any additional steps that need to be taken to manage the impacts of the pandemic.

Permalink

The academic mission of the University is paramount as we engage in a strategic budgeting process in response to COVID-19. Our faculty are core to the implementation of that mission and we aim to support faculty to the extent possible as we move forward. Faculty, like all Penn State employees, will be compensated for any work performed. Any faculty member engaged in teaching a course will receive full compensation for the course taught. Those faculty members who have a 36-week appointment period and are paid over 12 months will receive their salary as specified in their offer letter.

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What is Penn State doing about the health and safety of employees still working on campus?

Penn State Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in coordination with University Health Services and Human Resources, has developed new protocols related to COVID-19 to help protect the health of employees who are continuing to perform mission-critical functions on campus.

These processes include instructions for supervisors who are responding to reported COVID-19 cases, the University’s cloth mask requirement, cleaning procedures, and guidance for employees working on campus. In addition, they include direction for employees to contact Penn State Absence Management at absence@psu.edu or 814-865-1782 if they are self-quarantining, exposed to or develop symptoms of the virus.

Additional information is available on Penn State News and at https://ehs.psu.edu/covid19.

For additional health and safety FAQs for employees working on campus, visit https://ehs.psu.edu/sites/ehs/files/employee_working_on_campus_questions.pdf.

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The health of the Penn State community is our highest priority, and we must all do our part in preventing the possible spread of coronavirus. Penn State faculty and staff are encouraged to stay home if they feel sick, particularly if they have a fever. We are asking faculty and employee supervisors to be flexible with work and class absences.

Permalink

See HRG11 Family and Medical Leave.

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Per HR16 employees are eligible for unpaid leave up to one month if they are within their first six months of employment. If employed over six months, additional unpaid leave is available. Please refer to the policy for the outline of eligible leave based on your length of employment at the time your leave begins. Please contact Absence Management for leave information and required documentation.

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At this time, faculty and staff that are self-quarantining should reach out to Absence Management directly at absence@psu.edu or 814-865-1782.

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Additional details are available at https://hr.psu.edu/covid-19-coronavirus.

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Can I travel internationally?

All University-affiliated international travel involving students, faculty and staff is suspended until further notice. Given the uncertainly due to COVID-19, we recommend that University personnel avoid making travel reservations in order to avoid the costs and disruption that might come with future cancellations. If travel is essential, requests should be screened by and submitted through unit executives to Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones at provost@psu.edu and include a description of why the travel is mission critical. For the Applied Research Laboratory, essential travel will be reviewed by Senior Vice President for Research Lora G. Weiss at OSVPRTravel@psu.edu. For the College of Medicine, essential travel will be reviewed by Interim Dean of the College of Medicine Kevin Black at dean@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

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All University-affiliated domestic air travel involving students, faculty and staff is suspended through at least June 30, 2020. Any nonessential travel, including between Penn State campuses, should be avoided in accordance with Pennsylvania’s statewide Stay at Home Order. Virtual meeting options, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, are encouraged.

If travel is essential, requests should be screened by and submitted through unit executives to Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones at provost@psu.edu and include a description of why the travel is mission critical. For the Applied Research Laboratory, essential travel will be reviewed by Senior Vice President for Research Lora G. Weiss at OSVPRTravel@psu.edu. For the College of Medicine, essential travel will be reviewed by Interim Dean of the College of Medicine Kevin Black at dean@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

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The U.S. Department of State has issued a worldwide Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory and is advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends avoiding all nonessential international travel. Penn State is extending the same guidance to all students, faculty and staff.

Penn State is urging faculty, staff and students to be vigilant and to continue to exercise good judgment to stay as safe as possible, and to follow the latest stay-at-home orders from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. We have placed restrictions on University-affiliated travel, and though we cannot dictate decision-making pertaining to other professional and personal travel, such travel is strongly discouraged. In addition to the risk to their personal health, travelers should be aware of the elevated risk to other members of the community — including individuals with compromised immune systems and the elderly — should they become infected.

Travelers should consult the CDC’s website for the latest travel health notices, and research the restrictions imposed in the country they plan to visit, as well as any U.S. government restrictions that could impact their return to the United States, as the global travel situation is changing frequently. With widespread, ongoing transmission of novel coronavirus worldwide, if you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days, stay home and monitor your health.

The CDC recommends that individuals stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact, especially if they are at higher risk of severe illness. If you must travel for personal reasons, follow any state and local travel restrictions currently in place.

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I’m a faculty or staff member in need of support. Who should I contact?

For employees needing support, the Penn State Employee Assistance Program (EAP), through the EAP+Work/Life program, offers short-term counseling from licensed EAP professionals, by phone, email or in person to help employees better cope with personal, family and work issues. EAP also offers access to Personal Health Advocates, who can help navigate healthcare and insurance systems, efficiently and dependably. More information is available at https://hr.psu.edu/health-matters/employee-assistance-program.

For a full list of resources available to students and other members of the Penn State community, visit https://virusinfo.psu.edu/resources.

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