Open Enrollment Summer Courses for Penn Employees

Take advantage of your employee tuition benefits and dive into summer classes at Penn. With more than 300 courses available through open enrollment, Penn Summer has something for everyone. Earn academic credit and pursue new skills or interests in daytime, evening and online courses designed to fit your summer schedule. 

Course registration begins on March 18. To learn more, visit:

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Wanted: Staff and Faculty Eco-Reps

The Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps Program is a peer education program that provides the tools to improve the environmental sustainability of Penn offices and labs. Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps work with campus stakeholders and within their departments and offices to develop educational events, activities, and campaigns aimed at supporting the University’s environmental goals and Climate Action Plan. Initiatives include energy conservation, waste minimization, alternative transportation, consumer choices, and more.

To learn more, please visit the Penn Sustainability website.

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Your Big Idea Wellness Challenge

January 30, 2019

Good morning,

As you now know, we will be launching a Your Big Idea challenge on February 4 to crowdsource ideas to enhance wellness at the University of Pennsylvania.  You can learn more about the challenge and preview the submission form here.

As leaders on campus, we need your help to promote this exciting opportunity and encourage faculty, staff, and students to participate. 

Here are some actions we hope you’ll take to support this effort:

  • Forward the launch email scheduled for release on February 4 to your network along with a personalized message about why this initiative is important to the university and your specific school.
  • Make announcements at standing meetings with faculty, students, and staff.
  • Post signage in high-traffic areas.
  • Host a pop-up event with faculty, students and staff to generate ideas. Designate one individual to submit entries on the group’s behalf.
  • Table in high-traffic areas.  Offer faculty, students and staff the opportunity to submit ideas via laptop or iPad.
  • Send reminder emails as the deadline approaches.  Encourage your network to rate and comment on ideas submitted by their peers.

We’ve created a series of promotional materials to support your efforts. 

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.  We look forward to hearing the innovative ideas your community has to enhance wellness at Penn.


Jennifer Pinto-Martin; Chair,

University Faculty Senate

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Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program

Have you filed your Tax Year 2018 reimbursement yet? The filing period lasts from Jan 1 to Feb 28, 2019.

Program open to full-time benefits-eligible faculty and staff who commute greater than 50% per month. Visit for more information.

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2017-2018 Report of the Office of the Ombuds

The 2017-2018 Report of the Ombuds is now available now. Click here to read it now

The purpose of the Office of the Ombuds is to help members of the Penn community who are experiencing problems or conflict related to their work, academic or living experiences at the University. We offer mediation services with the aim of helping individuals resolve differences. Our door is open equally to students, staff and faculty, and we work to resolve the issues that are troubling them. The principles that guide our interactions with visitors are described on our website and can be summarized as follows:

• Confidentiality. We do not discuss visitors’ concerns or issues with others, unless given permission.
• Neutrality. We do not take sides in a dispute.
• Informality. We do not keep records of our conversations with visitors, and we do not carry out formal investigations.
• Independence. The Ombuds Office is not bound by established reporting procedures and administrative hierarchies. We have the freedom to raise issues throughout the University.

During the past academic year, 163 individuals from across the University consulted our office. This represents an increase of 5.8% in comparison with the academic year 2016-2017. Visitors to the Ombuds Office represented all parts of the University community, with the highest proportions being staff (39.9%), followed by faculty (30.0%), graduate and professional students (17.2%), and undergraduate students (9.2%).

Most come as individuals, although an increasing number of groups of people have visited during the past two years to talk about common problems and their proposed resolutions.

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Financial Wellness Resources

In November, PPSA partnered with Penn HR to present a session on Financial Resources available to employees. We thank all participants for attending this session. The presentation used by the presenters is included here as a resource for you.

We look forward to seeing you at PPSA events in the future.

Power Point Presentation

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Free Faculty and Staff Group Exercise Classes

Go to the HR QOWL Events Registration page to look for a variety of free Pottruck Health & Fitness Center group fitness class offerings, including Gentle Yoga, Zumba, Body Pump, Spinning, and more!

To register for all wellness opportunities, visit

Be sure to search for qualifying Bonus Action events to earn Be in the Know points, using:

  • Bonus Actions 2018 – 2019: Wellness Events
  • Bonus Actions 2018 – 2019: Financial Wellness Events

For more information, please contact or visit

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Dear Faculty and Staff – Thank You!

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Chats with Jack: 2018-2019

Jack Heuer, Ed.D., Vice President of Human Resources, along with PPSA, is continuing a program for monthly-paid employees. Chats with Jack, a small group discussions platform, began late March 2016.

Three to four staff members are invited to meet with the Vice President and a PPSA Tri-Chair to further lines of communication and foster open dialogue. The program was piloted in late fall 2015 and early 2016. Staff feedback was very positive and several items raised had immediate attention.

If you would like to register for the chance to participate in this exciting program,
contact PPSA at
Participants are chosen randomly each month. For further information,
contact PPSA at

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Penn Employee Solution Center

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