Infrastructure and Support
Penn State will think creatively and act boldly to ensure that its academic infrastructure aligns with and supports the University’s mission and vision.
Infrastructure is often thought of as a university’s land, buildings, and equipment, all of which are important, yet it includes much more. Penn State’s infrastructure—hard and soft, academic and administrative—plays a critical role in the functioning of the University and in the creation of knowledge. People, money, space, information technology (IT), physical plant, enterprise systems, business processes and services, curricular workflow, pedagogy, and human resource services all constitute our core academic infrastructure. When it functions well, it may be overlooked. Yet enlightened academic infrastructure is critical to advancing our mission, and seamless harmonization across this complex landscape is critical to our effectiveness and efficiency. Penn State will act boldly to make necessary strategic investments in infrastructure to enhance quality and achieve further excellence in support of the University’s strategic priorities.
Prioritize investment in our people.
Our faculty and staff are indispensable to our effectiveness as an institution, and Penn State’s human resources are considerable. With thousands of faculty and tens of thousands of staff distributed across 24 campuses, nothing is accomplished at Penn State without their commitment and hard work. Our ability to recruit and retain the best and most diverse talent demands that we pursue enlightened, state-of-the-art practices in human resource management and remain committed to supporting and enhancing this most vital resource.
Invest in resources creatively and systematically.
We will identify areas in which investment may be required to provide new physical infrastructure or to complement and enhance existing investments, as facilities’ inevitable obsolescence hinders Penn State’s ability to educate students and conduct research. We also will undertake a structured and coordinated approach to research and academic infrastructure, with the commitment of proportionally more resources to mechanisms (such as institutes) that cross traditional academic units in high-priority areas.
Drive innovation and discovery.
We will encourage and facilitate robust collaboration to drive innovative thinking across all domains. Investment in programs and infrastructure where Penn State can have meaningful impact will support discovery, research, curricular and pedagogical innovation, and engagement.
Build and manage state-of-the-art information technology.
Given the nature of information technology in ensuring Penn State’s operational and strategic future, enlightened investment in and support of technological infrastructure is essential. The IT roadmap, the most recent IT assessment, as well as various other reviews and committee assessments, provide excellent frameworks that will guide investments necessary to have Penn State re-emerge as a leader among peers.
Align fundraising to address specific needs.
Penn State will adopt models that encourage development for strategic, cross-unit, collaborative big ideas, fully integrating with and leveraging the next University fundraising campaign. Key stakeholders will help to identify what needs should get priority attention, and decision makers will be empowered to proceed accordingly.