Video Messages – Fall 2020 Preparations

As Penn State prepares for a phased return to on-campus work and learning in Fall 2020, University leaders are communicating key messages for faculty and others via video. See details about the messages below each embedded video. This page will be updated as more videos are released. 


On June 26, Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Kathy Bieschke shared a video message for University faculty regarding preparations for on-campus instruction in Fall 2020.


The COVID-19 Health Resources Task Group soon will provide a set of options to Penn State leadership for implementing a rigorous testing and contact tracing program this fall. A video update from co-leads Stephen Tracey, professor and executive director of the Center for Supply Chain Research and Penn State Executive Programs, and Kevin Black, interim dean of the College of Medicine, summarizes the members’ progress as they prepare their recommendations.


As Penn State continues its Fall 2020 preparations, the University is implementing many new protocols and policies to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread. In two new videos (see details below), William Sitzabee, Penn State’s chief facilities officer, describes the multi-pronged approach that the Office of Physical Plant, along with the University’s Environmental Health and Safety office, is implementing with the health and safety of community members in mind.


To learn more about health and safety considerations and related monitoring plans that drive Penn State decision-making, view this informational video featuring Matt Ferrari, associate professor of biology, who is co-leading the University’s Public Health and Science Task Group. Ferrari describes two important areas of focus, including the monitoring of local community health care systems’ capacities and the University’s capacity to house and safely isolate students.


The health and safety of Penn State faculty, staff, and students remain the University’s highest priorities. To learn more about the task group that is researching and testing available masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in classrooms, labs, and other campus spaces, view this informational video featuring Keefe Manning, professor of biomedical engineering and associate dean of the Schreyer Honors College. The group has already begun testing and will soon release initial mask- and PPE-wearing guidelines that will continue to be updated as additional information is gathered.


To remain in line with public health requirements from Gov. Tom Wolf, new requirements for masking and social distancing are in effect for all Penn State students and employees in classrooms, labs, offices, and campus buildings. To help support faculty and instructors during this transition, guidance is now available – which will continue to evolve in the coming weeks –  that covers COVID-19 requirements and tips for responding to potential concerns in the classroom. For more information on how to prepare to manage classrooms this fall, watch this video featuring Danny Shaha, assistant vice president for Student Affairs.


Listen and watch as Dr. Cindy Whitener, infectious diseases physician at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, shares key learnings from the front lines about the efficacy of wearing masks and the personal protective equipment (PPE) recommended for hospital work and everyday use.


Faculty Leading Health and Safety Plans for Return to Campus: Preparations are well underway to help mitigate risks for students, faculty, and staff as Penn State returns to classrooms and labs this fall, including implementation of new guidance for instruction. To learn more about the efforts in this area by the University’s Public Health and Science Task Group, view this informational video featuring Dennis Scanlon, Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Administration and director of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research, and Matt Ferrari, associate professor of biology in Penn State’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics.