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The Board committees consult each other during off-cycle meetings

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four Penn State board committees met virtually Oct. 20 in a series of off-cycle meetings.

The committee meeting included equity and human resources; Academic Affairs, Research and Student Life; Awareness, development and community relations; and Governance and long-term planning.

The Equity and Human Resources Commission:

  • Review of the University’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Scorecard and discussion of Penn State’s DEIB priorities and metrics for DEIB. The scorecard, created by the University’s Office of Institutional Planning, Evaluation and Research, focuses on four key metrics: student graduation rates; professors at different ranks; staff leadership development opportunities; and employee “belonging” scores, as measured by various employee surveys. The dashboard, which is still in its early stages, will seek to identify gaps and trends within each of the metrics, pipelines for groups and how areas of need could be addressed. Officials hope to make the dashboard available to the public once it is completed and approved in a few months;
  • Discussed feedback and results from the Broadening Understanding and Inclusion Through Learning and Dialogue, or BUILD, program which was launched as a pilot program last summer. BUILD is a new, university-wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) education initiative for Penn State employees, designed to support efforts to University to foster and promote a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment. The full board also plans to participate in the BUILD program; and
  • Heard an update on Penn State Compensation Modernization Initiative, which began in the fall of 2020 with the goal of creating modern, competitive compensation structures and clear, supportive career development resources for staff. The initiative is completing its wage market assessment phase and beginning to develop the wage structure. Officials expect the initiative to be completed in early 2023.

The Academic Affairs, Research and Student Life Commission heard a round table on “The Future of the Higher Education Workforce: Trends and Potential Strategies in the Faculty Labor Market for Penn State,” led by Justin Schwartz, Acting Executive Vice President and Provost .

The Outreach, Development and Community Relations Committee:

  • Discussion of communication strategies Funding request submitted by Penn State to the Pennsylvania Legislature. At the full board meeting on September 23, the board approved a plan to seek a $115.2 million increase to its 2023-24 general support appropriation from the Commonwealth. Zack Moore, vice president of government and community relations, said Penn State’s efforts include developing and educating the University’s advocacy base, as a way to help secure crucial public funding that directly contributes to lower in-state tuition for students.
  • Received an update from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, including transitions to new technology platforms and philanthropic giving to Penn State in the post-death period conclusion of the University’s latest fundraising campaign.
  • Discussed strategies to broaden alumni engagement and participation in the board election process; and
  • Received an update on the University’s crisis communication protocols.

The Governance and Long-Term Planning Committee:

  • Discussed and approved its comprehensive board evaluation plan and schedule; and
  • Revised operating guidelines for student counselor selection.

Full committee agendas, as well as recorded meetings, can be viewed on the Board’s website at https://trustees.psu.edu/board-and-committee-meetings-2022-23/.

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