“Back to State” Information for Faculty and Staff
Updated Sunday, July 12, 2020
For current information on University news and actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparations for returning to on-campus work and learning in Fall 2020, visit the “Back to State” webpage, which includes regularly updated answers to extensive FAQs.
- The Office of Human Resources COVID-19 information site and “Return to Work“ resource site provide critical information for University employees, including guidance for supervisors with teams that must do on-site work. At this time, all Penn State employees who are currently working remotely should plan to do so unless otherwise informed.
- Guidance on work adjustments for faculty is available here, and an evolving Classroom Guidance for Instructors document is posted on the website for the Office of Student Conduct. The document describes the steps that faculty can take to provide a positive learning environment and manage COVID-19-related concerns in the classroom.
- Penn State’s “Keep Teaching” website includes guidance on Returning to Instruction and details about Flexible Instructional Modes for the Fall 2020 semester, as well as frequently updated FAQs.
- Nine video messages from Penn State leadership and experts on key “Back to State” topics can be viewed here.
- A comprehensive archive of news digests summarizing developments since early April is available, along with a complete list of relevant news items. The digests now are distributed via email at least twice weekly (on Tuesdays and Fridays) for key stakeholders to share with faculty and staff.
- Penn State is augmenting outreach via multiple platforms to share key information. To support this effort, faculty are encouraged to submit questions via this online form so leadership can read and respond to them in upcoming communications. Questions may be submitted anonymously or with identifying information.
- To help create a safer learning, living, and working environment for all faculty, staff, and students, new policies will be in effect this fall at all Penn State campuses in alignment with public health recommendations and Gov. Tom Wolf’s requirements for higher education institutions.
- In a message published July 8, Penn State President Eric Barron addresses recent changes in regulations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, their impact on international students, and the University’s opposition to the rule changes.
- On July 7, Penn State’s Interfraternity Council voted to indefinitely suspend Greek life social events out of concern for public health amid the pandemic.
- Course delivery details for Fall 2020 will continue to evolve in the coming weeks.
- The University has updated directives for meetings, visitors, and Visiting Scholars on campus, as well as updated guidance and requirements for University-related domestic travel. All Penn State employees must follow existing travel guidance.
Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
Dr. Nicholas P. Jones is the Executive Vice President and Provost of The Pennsylvania State University. Reporting directly to President Eric J. Barron, Dr. Jones serves as Penn State’s chief executive officer in the President’s absence, and he is involved in nearly all University operations.
As the University’s chief academic officer, Dr. Jones oversees all academic units (colleges, schools, and campuses) and major academic support units, such as the University Libraries and the Offices of Educational Equity, Affirmative Action, and Information Technology Services. He works closely with fellow administrators, deans of academic colleges and other units, and many others across the University to set academic priorities and allocate funds to move them forward. Dr. Jones also serves as Penn State’s chief budget officer and chair of the University Strategic Planning Council, which authored the current University-wide strategic plan.
Learn more about Provost Jones, including his robust background in higher education and his work as Penn State’s Executive Vice President and Provost since July 2013. Also, read select news stories about and involving Provost Jones during his tenure at Penn State.
In higher education, the quality and effectiveness of our work profoundly and substantively impacts our students. At Penn State, we are committed to ensuring that our students receive an education that effectively prepares them not only for the modern workforce, but also for the challenges they will encounter during their lives.