PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



‘Penn State Lives Here’ and Culture Survey Expenses Top $1 Million

Penn State has spent $811,719 to date on the “Penn State Lives Here” marketing campaign, UPUA President Katelyn Mullen confirmed today. The Values and Culture survey, sent to all Penn State students and faculty, is anticipated to cost $418,000 Mullen also confirmed. The two controversial initiatives come in at a total of $1,229,719 — or roughly the equivalent of tuition for 141 Pennsylvania students for a semester.

It’s not yet known how much the “Penn State Lives Here” campaign is anticipated to cost in total or what the current liabilities are. The $811,719 figure reflects only the expenses to date — including research from PulsePoint and promotional materials — and I imagine it could see a substantial increase, depending on various payment plans.

The $418,000 Values and Culture survey figure is the anticipated final cost. The survey was developed and distributed through a contract with the Ethics Resource Center, with the end goal of developing a new statement of values for Penn State (I’ll let you determine how “valuable” a statement of values actually is, but you can read my previous thoughts here).

These figures were previously kept hidden by the university. Requests for expenditures related to these projects were all denied. David Gray, the Senior VP for Finance and Business, told me earlier this week that he had given the current expenses to Mullen and that I should contact her for the specifics. Mullen relayed these figures during her weekly UPUA report tonight.

“We have a non-disclosure clause with ERC, which means it’s a competitive type situation where it would put a company at a disadvantage to have the fee disclosed,” Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said when I asked about the cost of the Values and Culture survey in October. “By contract, we can’t disclose.”

It’s not known whether Penn State is now violating that contract, if there ever was a stipulation in a contract, or if the contract was changed to allow disclosure.*

I am very appreciative of Penn State and David Gray for agreeing to release these figures. I asked Gray about the expenses at a November 6 UPUA meeting, and he told me he would follow-up after getting proper approval from the President’s Council. Regardless of the merit of these two projects, it’s a credit to him for the act of transparency. I will be intensely interested too how much the “Penn State Lives Here” campaign will cost in its entirety, and I hope Gray is willing to share that information periodically as it is available.

Update: Lisa Powers followed up with the following:

“Because of the desire of a number of people in our community to know the cost of the Values & Culture Survey, we did go back to the ERC and ask them to waive the confidentiality portion of the contract. We explained the importance of being able to disclose the costs and the ERC agreed.”

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


More by Kevin

Hometown Brewery Releases Beer Honoring Evan Pugh

Penn State’s first president Evan Pugh was born in 1828 at Jordan Bank Farm, three miles south of the city center of Oxford, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia in Chester County. One-hundred eighty-nine years later, an Oxford brewery is honoring one of the preeminent champions of “liberal and practical” higher education in the form of a delicious Porter.

Penn State Basketball Downs Colgate 72-59 In Front of Thanksgiving Eve Crowd

Why Honoring Paterno Still Matters


Big Ten Releases Men’s And Women’s Basketball Schedules

Penn State men’s basketball will kick off the Big Ten’s first-ever 20-game conference stretch with a pair of games in early December, while the Lady Lions have a slate featuring games against five NCAA Tournament teams at home.

Penn State Hockey Releases 2018-19 Roster

Penn State Women’s Soccer Sophomores Start Season Strong

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Student Life

Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

Freshman 101: Helpful Links

Nominations Now Open For Gender-Neutral Homecoming Court

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Mayor Don Hahn Plans To Veto Overnight Parking Restrictions In Highlands Neighborhood

Those in favor of the ordinance plan to consider overturning the veto at a special meeting next Monday.

Video Recovery, Alcohol Education The Focus As New Preliminary Hearing Begins For Former Beta Theta Pi Brothers

Seven former Beta Theta Pi brothers were back in court on Tuesday for another preliminary hearing  in the Penn State fraternity hazing case stemming from the 2017 death of pledge Timothy Piazza.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

Send this to a friend