Friday, December 12, 2008

Penn State Values and the Value of Penn State Staff

What is the core of Penn State values?
It isn't people.
In the most recent strategic plan the word "staff" is found three times, and only then referring to diversity and resource sharing.
The words "employee" or "employees" never appear.
Contrast this with one of the State College area's premier employers Restek. They make employees the center of their values.
From their Culture and Philosophy page:
Restek was founded on the vision of a place where people look forward to coming to work as much as they look forward to going home—a vision of a company whose successes make it a model for others to emulate.
What is more troubling is that Penn State's core mission, according to the Strategic Plan, is:
"Penn State will be the nation’s finest university in the
integration of teaching, research, and service."

Teaching? That requires people.
Research? That requires people.
Service? That requires people.
The lack of respect for staff and the minimal value the administration holds for the people charged with accomplishing these tasks doom these objectives.
In the lofty rush to become "the nation's finest university" and a Big Ten powerhouse, to build snazzy buildings and concert venues, the administration and leadership has lost focused of what made Penn State a great university: People.
Recent actions are just a reflection of this attitude.

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