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Penn State wavers on funding for Center for Racial Justice

Plus: 'Death at Penn State' Hulu series in development, and a win for public access to court records.


October 13, 2022
Inside this edition: Penn State wavers on funding for racial justice center, 'Death at Penn State' Hulu series in development, where governor candidates are getting big cash, and more.
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'Surprising and distressing'

Real quick: Faculty leading a search for the founding director of Penn State's Center for Racial Justice were told last month that the university had not allocated funding for the racial justice initiative, Spotlight PA State College's Wyatt Massey reports.

A bit more: Penn State faculty are pressing President Neeli Bendapudi for clarity on the future of the Center for Racial Justice after learning the university had not allocated funding for the initiative that was pitched as a key university commitment following protests for greater racial equity in 2020.

In a meeting last month with the search committee for the center’s director and other university leaders, Bendapudi raised doubts about whether Penn State would financially support the effort, according to an internal letter obtained by Spotlight PA and three university employees who were present at the meeting.

The nearly dozen faculty on the search committee told the president in the Oct. 6 letter they were “extremely disappointed” by the news. The center was intended to illustrate Penn State’s commitment to racial justice, the group wrote.

“Juxtaposing the assurance that restorative and racial justice are a core concern for the University with the inability to fund a research center as the major first step in addressing important issues is therefore all the more surprising and distressing,” the group wrote.

Without funding, the committee’s efforts to create the center and search for a director, which began in March, are effectively suspended.

The full story: Read more here.

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Spotlight on the Issues: Where Mastriano and Shapiro stand on...

Higher Education

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» Your complete guide to the candidates for governor

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» Una guía básica para investigar a los candidatos al Senado, a gobernador y a otros cargos

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📝 More From Spotlight PA
» How we tracked workplace lawsuits involving Pa.'s medical marijuana law 

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» 4 maps show where Pa. governor candidates Mastriano, Shapiro are getting big cash

» York County agrees to improve public access to criminal court records in response to suit by Spotlight PA, others

» WATCH: Pennsylvania's top election official answers voting questions

» GOVERNOR’S GUIDE LIVE: On Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. via Zoom, Spotlight PA is hosting a free panel on who the candidates are and how their administrations would impact you. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org
📷 Local Gem
A foggy morning in Boalsburg — via @rbuderman. Want to be featured here? Send your best local pics to talkofthetown@spotlightpa.org.
📰 In Other News
» Mount Nittany Medical Center moves forward with $350M expansion to begin next year (Centre Daily Times)

» Death at Penn State limited series in development for Hulu

» Blair told to boost pension pay-in (Altoona Mirror)

» Sealing the deal: LHU partners with 20 school districts in effort to boost enrollment (Williamsport Sun-Gazette)

» 'That ship has sailed.' College Township stops short of voicing opposition to proposed casino. (Centre Daily Times)
📅 Events
Want us to list your event? Send it to us.

» Oct. 14: String Machine and Orson Wilds perform at Pine Grove Hall.

» Oct. 14-16: The Pennsylvania State Flaming Foliage Festival is an autumn tradition in Renovo.

» Oct. 15: Activities for the whole family highlight Downtown State College's annual Fall Festival.

» Oct. 15: WPSU hosts its annual Eventapalooza, with exhibits from community and Penn State organizations.

» Oct. 18: The Centre Daily Times hosts Meet the Candidates night, "a live conversation with those running to represent Centre County."
🧩 The Puzzler
An anagram is a word, phrase, or name formed by rearranging the letters of another. For example, "spotlight" also forms "stoplight."

Decode the anagram and send your answer to talkofthetown@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA State College swag.

Good luck!

Last week's answer: Maple

Congrats to Linda A., who will receive Spotlight PA State College swag. Others who answered correctly: Warren D., Tish M., Donna D., Thomas S., and Jay G.
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