President announces results of 2017 Values and Culture Survey

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Five years ago, we launched our first Penn State Values and Culture Survey, sent to all students, faculty and staff. This past October, we conducted a second survey administered by a third-party vendor to examine progress we have made. 

Through your participation, the data collected indicates that:

  • Your connection with Penn State remains strong;
  • Awareness of the Penn State Values has grown; 
  • Recognition of resources and support for reporting wrongdoing has increased; and 
  • There is a greater willingness among community members to report misconduct.

This ongoing survey is an important effort to gauge the climate at Penn State and focus on the well-being and safety of our community -- and the results are worthy of our collective attention. I encourage you to review the survey results, which are available on Penn State News. Also available to you are:

Penn State’s Values and Culture Survey has been a pioneering effort in higher education, as we are the first institution of our size to conduct a comprehensive survey on these topics. Our latest results show significant progress, but there is still work to do.

A few areas we intend to address in the future include:

  • Undergraduates report witnessing misconduct committed by peers off campus. As you know, the safety of the campus community remains a top priority, and the University has and will continue to take aggressive measures to promote safety.
  • Reluctance to report misconduct because of possible retaliation. We have developed and will share more broadly an anti-retaliation plan to help people become more comfortable reporting misconduct. The program has already been piloted in areas of the University.
  • A finding that graduate students are reluctant to report misconduct. There are many avenues for reporting within the Graduate School and around the University. We must better educate our students on those resources, empower them to report observed misconduct and provide them the support and encouragement they need.

Penn State is committed to creating further, positive change and in the coming days you will see more information on initiatives we plan to put in place across the University. As we build upon our progress and continue to improve, I want to remind our students, faculty and staff that everyone has the power to foster a positive, safe and encouraging environment where we all can work, live and learn.

Your feedback is always welcome at president@psu.edu.

Eric Barron

President

Last Updated May 31, 2018