Penn State Moving Towards Regional Leadership

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn State is moving towards a regional leadership model for Commonwealth Campuses, following its voluntary separation program.

The university announced Tuesday that 383 employees, or about 21% of those who were eligible across commonwealth campuses, opted to accept the voluntary separation program, leaving their positions. This is a 10% reduction in personnel, the university said.

This move comes as Commonwealth Campuses had a $49 million deficit and the Board of Trustees wanted to see that removed by June 30, 2025. The program was a way to help reduce that deficit by incentivizing employees to leave Penn State and pursue other opportunities or retire.

About 52% of staff participating in the program will leave the University on June 28, with the rest departing later this summer or fall.  According to the University, “The dollar value of salary and fringe expense associated with these 383 employees is $43 million, however, actual savings will not be known until later in the year when University leaders know which positions will be backfilled.”

With the new shared regional model, Penn State said it will create efficiencies across all campuses while helping reduce expenditures and optimizing service teams and includes a one-time infusion of up to $20 million in additional funding.

Enrollment numbers have decreased in aggregate by about 24% over the last 10 years at all but two Commonwealth campuses. Penn State said its approach to these challenges, including its voluntary separation program, is to avoid more drastic measures.

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