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383 employees took Penn State buyouts

Plus: Introducing "Headline Brews" — Spotlight PA's special light roast coffee!

This is Talk of the Town, a free weekly newsletter delivering top news from State College and the surrounding region.

June 13, 2024
Inside this edition: Penn State provides update on Commonwealth Campuses, Jay-Z enters one of Pa.’s messiest political fights, and our new brew ☕
About 21% of eligible employees at Penn State Commonwealth Campuses accepted buyout offers as part of the university’s Voluntary Separation Incentive Program.

The 383 people account for a 10% reduction in employees, according to a news release from Penn State.

The program “was launched as a tool to help reduce that deficit by incentivizing employees to depart Penn State to pursue other opportunities or retire,” the release said.

Penn State previously said it intended to cut $49 million from the Commonwealth Campuses, as part of overall university spending reductions totaling almost $100 million. The university cited declining enrollment at the campuses, which it said have decreased, in aggregate, by almost a quarter in the past decade.

According to the news release, the value of “salary and fringe expense” associated with those employees is $43 million. But the actual savings is not yet clear, because some positions might be backfilled.

“We don’t know what the numbers look like at the campus level, so it’s not clear what the impact on student services, advising, and other critical areas will be. I know the chancellors have been working with the VP for Commonwealth Campuses to plan for how to address needs for this academic year and beyond. I hope we hear more details about that soon,” Michele Stine, chair of the Penn State Faculty Senate, told the Centre Daily Times.

Additionally, the university intends to move to a “regional leadership model” for the campuses.

“Over time we will refine the campus leadership structure as needs evolve to support a streamlined and responsive educational experience for students across our campuses,” Margo DelliCarpini, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor, said in the news release.

“It’s important to note that our campuses will maintain their individual identities,” she said. “Each one has strengths, and our goal is to build on those and scale them across the commonwealth.”

The university also announced that President Neeli Bendapudi has committed up to $20 million from the president’s fiscal year 2026 strategic funds to the Commonwealth Campuses.
Spotlight PA's special light-roast coffee, Headline Brews. Order yours today.
Spotlight PA’s special light roast coffee, “Headline Brews,” is available for pre-order for the first time.

Start your day with Spotlight PA and help brew a brighter, more informed Pennsylvania. Pairs perfectly with the exclusive Spotlight PA mug + all proceeds benefit our journalism.

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Daniel Fishel / For Spotlight PA
Spotlight PA launched a new weekly newsletter focused on caregiving and caregivers across Pennsylvania. Every Tuesday, “How We Care” features original reporting and perspectives on how we care for one another at all stages of life, the huge economic and policy questions ahead, and how it’s affecting the lives of millions of people across the state. You can sign up for How We Care here.
Fishing in Sinnemahoning Creek at dusk, via Karyl S.

Have a north-central Pennsylvania photo to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
Fishing in Sinnemahoning Creek at dusk
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» June 14: The Elk County Historical Society hosts its annual Strawberry Festival in Ridgway.

» June 14-15: Celebrate Father’s Day weekend at the Historic Bellefonte Cruise in Centre County.

» June 14-15: Downtown State College, in Centre County, celebrates Juneteenth with an art exhibition opening and block party.

» June 14-16: Live music, arts and crafts, games, and food vendors highlight DuBois Days in Clearfield County.

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» June 16-29: “Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of music” at Penn’s Woods Music Festival held at multiple locations on Penn State’s University Park campus in Centre County.
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