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Penn State Creates Inbox For Faculty’s Fall Semester Questions & Concerns

Penn State has created a virtual inbox for faculty to submit questions and concerns relating to the upcoming fall semester, the university announced this week.

Through a Google Form, faculty members can anonymously submit questions concerning Penn State’s plans to return to in-person instruction this fall. The Provost’s Office, which launched the forum, hopes it’ll help the university respond to faculty’s increased concerns surrounding the return to campus.

“To better respond to your concerns, we are creating a place where you can log your questions and we invite you to submit them so that we can gain a keener awareness of what our faculty are thinking and considering,” Provost Nick Jones said. “We are here to support you and we are listening.”

Penn State administrators will answer submitted questions on a “regular basis” and send out email updates to faculty members with available information.

“Given the monumental tasks we face for a phased return in the fall, rest assured that I and others in leadership at Penn State are intent on continuing to provide as much information and guidance to you as we can,” Jones said.

Earlier this month, more than a thousand Penn State faculty and staff members signed an open letter criticizing the university for not hearing their concerns while planning for the fall semester. Once plans were announced, faculty members issued a separate press release echoing the same sentiment.

The open letter also asked the university to implement several policies, including outlining clearer health procedures and giving professors the power to bar non-compliant students from attending lectures.

Last Friday, a Penn State professor published an opinion piece in Esquire magazine lamenting the university’s fall semester plans. He specifically criticized the inability of professors to decide whether to teach in-person, online, or through a hybrid model. Instead, those decisions are left to individual campuses and “academic units” with no specifics provided.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected] or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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