PPSA Connection – Connecting Penn Staff at Work

"this is Penn" text on background of interconnecting dots representing staff one-to-one engagement

The PPSA is thrilled to announce that we will be transitioning to a new platform and rebranding of the PPSA Connection program. With kudos to those who had an amazing and innovative idea in 2015, this program has led to thousands of one:one (you got it – the image… that’s you meeting each other!) networking connections across the University system.

The last run date of the current networking matches will be March 1, 2023.  The program will go on a brief hiatus while the new platform and rebranding is built out.

It is important that we reconfigure this experience to support the unique variety of positions PPSA members hold throughout the University system, and we will need your input to make that happen! We thank you in advance for participating in a survey that will be distributed in April 2023.

The Penn Professional Staff Assembly helps Penn staff connect and stay connected through a diverse series of events throughout the year.

Register with PPSA Connection and make monthly random matches with your colleagues across campus.  On the first of each month, you will receive an email containing the contact information for another Penn staff member in the PPSA Connection program. Sometime during that month, you and the other individual should contact each other to plan an in person or virtual meeting that suits your schedules. Feel free to meet in-person for a cup of coffee in the morning, perhaps a sandwich for lunch, or a brief meet-up after work!

Learn how PPSA Connection can help expand your professional network!

Register for PPSA Connection here, or contact us for more information.

Support Resources for the Penn Community

When work and life present personal challenges, there are many supportive University services available to you and your family. If you’re concerned about your emotional well-being or that of someone you know, we encourage you to reach out to these resources.

For Emergencies
If you need immediate assistance, call the Public Safety Emergency Communications Center at 215-573-3333 or 511 from campus phones.

Support and Care for Faculty and Staff
Penn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides eligible faculty and staff and their families access to free, confidential counseling and referral services for personal and professional life issues from any location.

You can reach Penn EAP 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-799-2329, email EAPinfo@healthadvocate.com, or visit www.healthadvocate.com/upenn.

EAP services are also available by webchat, video, and through face-to-face sessions. Penn’s Health Advocate EAP counselors will connect you with the right experts at the right time: masters level clinicians, work-life specialists, medical bill negotiators, and financial and legal professionals. In addition, Health Advocate offers multi-language capabilities.

Please visit the behavioral health coverage webpage for more information about behavioral health benefits available through Penn’s medical plans for eligible faculty and staff and enrolled dependents.

Support and Care for Students
If you’re concerned about the emotional well-being of a student you know, Penn’s 898-HELP line (215-898-4357) is the go-to resource for support.

Calls will be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by Division of Public Safety professionals trained by staff from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). For details, visit www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/safety-initiatives/help-line-215-898-help/.

You can call CAPS: 215-898-7021 (weekdays) or 898-HELP (215-898-4357) (nights and weekends – ask for the CAPS counselor on call).

Other resources available to the Penn community include:

Office of the Chaplain215-898-8456
Student Intervention Services: 215-898-6081
Student Health Service: 215-746-3535
Weingarten Learning Resources Center215-573-9235
Special Services in the Division of Public Safety: 215-898-6600
Guidelines for Responding in the Classroom
Graduate Student Center: 215-746-6868
College Houses and Academic Services: 215-898-5551

School Advising and Student Affairs Offices
Annenberg School for Communication: 215-573-6349
School of Arts and Sciences: 215-898-6341 (College) or 215-898-7577 (Graduate School)
School of Dental Medicine: 215-898-4550
School of Design: 215-898-6210
School of Engineering and Applied Science: 215-898-7246
Graduate School of Education: 215-898-7019
Law School: 215-898-7491
Perelman School of Medicine: 215-898-7190
School of Nursing: 215-898-6687
School of Social Policy and Practice: 215-746-5895
School of Veterinary Medicine: 215-898-3525
Wharton School: 215-898-7613 (Undergraduate) or 215-573-5756 (Graduate School)

Craig R. Carnaroli, Executive Vice President
Jack Heuer, Vice President, Division of Human Resources

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.

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.