Staff Resource Guide
Message from the Vice Provost
The Office of Global Programs is charged with furthering the global engagement goals of the university. We do this with nearly 100 full-time employees located at Penn State campuses across Pennsylvania. This office is a vibrant and exciting place to work for those interested in pursuing careers in international education. Our portfolio is vast; we lead the university’s strategic international partnership efforts, provide immigration advising services to Penn State’s international students and scholars, administer all of Penn State’s Education Abroad programs, and provide innovative leadership programs and services to international undergraduate students.
Beyond our day-to-day efforts, Global Programs is committed to fostering intercultural understanding in everything that we do. We are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming work environment, and to nurturing the professional development and advancement of our staff. Part of this commitment includes providing opportunities for our staff to be more involved with both the Penn State and State College communities at-large. Whether through serving on a Global Programs committee like the Staff Advisory Committee, volunteering to be a Conversation Partner to an international scholar, serving on a university-wide steering committee, or attending international events around town, our staff are making a difference at Penn State and beyond.
We have a sincere commitment to empowering you to help us carry out our mission to make Penn State a truly global university. These pages are resources for you to understand your role and what is available to you in order to maximize your potential in Global Programs and at Penn State. Welcome Aboard!
Global Programs Across the Commonwealth
Penn State enrolls nearly 10,000 international students and 1,200 scholars university-wide. In order to provide a consistent and high quality educational and co-curricular experience for all international students regardless of campus location, Global Programs employs full-time staff members at the Regional Hub campuses who provide immigration advising, co-curricular programming for international students, and Education Abroad services for students.
*Please contact Global Programs at email@example.com to receive the organizational chart in another format.
New Employee Orientation
In addition to the mandatory Penn State new employee orientation, all new full-time employees are required to attend the first available Global Programs New Employee Orientation scheduled following date of hire. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring new employees are registered for and attend the orientation. The Global Programs New Employee Orientation covers important information and materials specific to Global Programs.
Hours of Operation
Global Programs standard hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Many programs and events take place outside of these hours, including evenings and weekends.
Time off requests are managed through Workday. All employees should speak with their supervisor to understand their unit’s policy and supervisor expectations about how much advance notice is required to be given when requesting time off.
Alternate Work Arrangements
Global Programs administration adheres to HR policy HRG02 when evaluating staff requests for alternate work arrangements. Global Programs supports alternate work arrangements for faculty and staff whose responsibilities can be accomplished outside of a University office and/or traditional work schedule for part or all the workweek. Such arrangements are encouraged when, in the opinion of the supervisor and unit director, the University's work needs can be efficiently and effectively met. The purpose of flexible work schedules is to provide a greater capability for each employee to establish her/his own program of working hours within the workweek without changing the number of hours to be worked. Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which employees, for a portion of their scheduled work hours, perform their regular job responsibilities away from their primary business location utilizing telecommunication and information technology as appropriate. These arrangements can be either temporary or ongoing.
The business needs of each office within Global Programs are of paramount priority throughout any alternative work arrangement. The arrangement must be transparent to customers in terms of service and quality. Alternative work arrangements are flexible and subject to change as business needs change.
Exempt employees are required to work 40 hours per week. The term "flexible scheduling" encompasses many variations from the standard work schedule. The more complicated the arrangements, the more recordkeeping and supervision of the program is required. In its simplest form, a flexible schedule involves allowing an employee to vary the span of the workday.
For full-time employees, flexible scheduling can be as simple as changing the work hours from an 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. workday to a 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. workday, changing the lunch break from one hour to one-half hour, or working an extra hour on Monday in order to leave an hour earlier on Tuesday. Flexible scheduling can be more complicated, allowing an employee to establish her/his own start/end times and/or lunch break, within predetermined guidelines.
Even if a supervisor has not instituted a formal flexible scheduling program, employee requests for temporary changes in the workday such as to take a class, or to go to a doctor's appointment without charging sick leave, may be granted by the supervisor, provided such requests are in accordance with the provisions outlined in HR Guideline HRG02. (See also applicable policies regarding sick leave and HR36, Educational Privileges for Regular Employees and Other Members of the University Staff.)
Special Considerations for Non-Exempt Staff Employees
When considering a request for a change in working hours for a non-exempt staff employee, a supervisor must abide by Federal and State Wage and Hour laws, as well as the documents referenced above. These provide for monetary payment at the rate of time and one-half for any hours in excess of 40 worked by a nonexempt employee during the employee's workweek. (Attendance at some instructional classes may be considered as work under the Federal and State Wage and Hour laws.)
Although it is permissible, with the supervisor's approval, for a non-exempt staff employee to alter when the 40 hours are worked during the workweek, an employee cannot "bank" overtime hours worked in one workweek for use as time off in a future workweek. Further, the employee must understand that altered schedules cannot cause overtime to occur. While it is possible for an employee to agree to waive University overtime policies on work schedules to accommodate personal schedule preferences, Federal and State Wage and Hour laws cannot be waived.
Required Approval for Flexible Schedules
When an employee desires a change in working hours, the employee should first discuss the feasibility with their supervisor who will consult with the unit director who will make the final decision. Although every effort should be made to accommodate such requests, permission to change working hours is a special arrangement and privilege and should not be considered as a right. It is granted only when the supervisor and director determine that the requested change will not interfere with the efficient operation of the employee's regular University duties or the needs of the unit.
Any unit, which has established a flexible work schedule, may discontinue or alter the flexible schedule if work needs so dictate. Two calendar weeks’ notice of this change will be given to employees, unless the change is caused by an emergency.
Flexible Summer Work Schedules
Global Programs offers several flexible work schedules during the summer for full-time employees. Information about schedule options is sent to all employees in April. Employees must notify their supervisor of their preferred schedule for the summer before the start date. Typical options include a condensed 10 hour/4-day work week.
For Global Programs employees located at the Commonwealth campuses, co-supervisors will support the summer flexible work schedules to the extent possible while meeting the specific business needs of each campus.
The University's establishment of a telecommuting program assists in meeting the needs of a workforce that has diverse work and personal demands. Telecommuting can provide flexible work schedules to accommodate temporary situations such as a leave due to a contagious illness or a temporary disability, an unexpected school closing, etc. In addition, telecommuting can provide flexibility on a long-term basis.
Important Note: Since many Global Programs employees are required to work directly with clientele (students, scholars, and/or faculty as well as departmental staff), telecommuting should be carefully considered given the nature and frequency of the interaction. If you are interested in pursuing a telecommuting arrangement, the first step is to discuss the feasibility with your supervisor.
Before entering into a telecommuting arrangement, there are many factors to consider, and guidance for all decisions regarding telecommuting for Global Programs employees is provided by HRG02. The supervisor and director will review all telecommuting requests. If a telecommuting arrangement is mutually agreeable, then the supervisor and employee must complete and submit the Office of the President Telecommuting Agreement form to the Human Resources Consultant for approval. Please contact the Human Resources Consultant for this form.
Professional Development and Training Opportunities
Global Programs is committed to supporting the ongoing professional development and training of our employees. Many opportunities exist to participate in on-campus and off-campus trainings and conferences.
Throughout the year, staff members may also be invited to represent the university by presenting papers/posters at conferences and/or serving on national committees. All such invitations to the represent the university at these external events should be discussed with the employee’s supervisor before making a commitment.
Global Programs offers employees the opportunity to practice, rehearse and obtain feedback on presentations from a small group of colleagues prior to the actual event.
Plans for professional development activities and training are made during the employee’s annual goal setting discussions with supervisor.
Global Programs Staff Exchange Program
Designed to strengthen Penn State’s commitment to global leadership in scholarship and international engagement, Global Programs offers a signature international professional development opportunity open to full-time employees. The annual summer staff exchange program with Penn State’s designated strategic partners provides Global Programs employees the opportunity to shadow administrators and staff in another country in order to deepen their understanding of Penn State’s international partnerships, the similarities and differences that exists between U.S. and international higher education institutions and to help them expand their professional networks internationally.
The Office of Global Operations and Learning administers the staff exchange program. The annual call for applications is typically made in the late fall/early winter.
Staff Exchange Eligibility
- Open only to full-time Global Programs employees who have worked for Global Programs for at least one year prior to the application deadline.
- Preference is given to positions that do not typically travel internationally in order to support the mission of a Global Penn State.
- Participants are required to submit a report to Global Programs leadership within 30 days of return.
Penn State Workplace Learning
Penn State offers a plethora of professional development opportunities, online trainings, certificate programs, seminars and workshops. A complete listing of workplace learning programs may be found on the Penn State Human Resources Learning website.
Penn State Learning Resource Network
All Global Programs employees can access and register for training that includes core business skills, project management, business acumen, technology, professional growth, compliance and more. View and register for classes online at the Learning Resource Network.
Penn State Employee Mentoring Program
The Penn State Employee Mentoring Program brings together employees from across the University who wish to share their knowledge and experience with their colleagues. The program was created to help full time staff and faculty succeed, prepare them for professional career development, and become active leaders across the University. Employees who are interested in applying to the mentoring program should discuss this professional development activity with their supervisor during the annual goal setting meetings.
International Travel and Travel Safety Network
The Travel Safety Network, or TSN, is a combination of offices, departments and individuals who collectively work to prepare and assist Penn State students, faculty, and staff for international travel. The Global Safety Office in Global Programs oversees TSN. All students, faculty, and staff traveling either in a group or individually for University purposes or with University funding must record international travel in the TSN database prior to departure as outlined in the University's International Travel Requirements Policy. This includes international site visits or conferences. The information collected in TSN is used to help support travelers in an emergency and proactively offer timely health and safety information. Complete a new travel record for each of your university-affiliated international trips at least 30 days before you depart. For each travel record, the TSN system will identify which forms you need to complete. Once you have completed all the web-based forms in the TSN system for your travel record, your record will be reviewed for completeness by university experts and you will receive a TSN confirmation email once reviewed. If you have questions about TSN or international travel, please contact the Global Safety Office at 814-863-8788 or TSN@psu.edu.
As one of the world’s top universities, Penn State is committed to the advancement of education, including that of its workforce, as outlined in policy HR36. Global Programs supports employees in pursuing lifelong educational opportunities. Prior to enrolling in courses that occur during normal business hours, employees are required to discuss their interest in enrolling in course(s) with their supervisor and submit a formal request to their supervisor and director seeking permission.
Permission for an employee to schedule courses is a special arrangement and privilege. It should not be considered as a right. It is granted only when the supervisor believes that the scheduling of courses will not interfere with the efficient operation of the employee's regular duties. As outlined in HR36, there are credit limits for employees and these should be reviewed prior to submitting a request to enroll in courses. Before registering for any course that takes place during the employee’s normal working hours, or enrolling in a degree program, all employees are required to request and obtain permission, in writing, from their supervisor and director at least one month in advance of enrolling in the course or degree program.
Teaching and Performing Professional Services outside of Global Programs
Several Global Programs employees are qualified to teach courses and perform other academic duties at Penn State. Guidance for decisions regarding employees seeking to conduct supplemental services and teaching is provided in policy HR90. Global Programs staff-exempt employees are permitted to teach no more than two 3 credit, non-concurrent courses per fiscal year, subject to prior approval by supervisor and unit director. Prior to entering into these arrangements, all employees must complete and submit the necessary form requesting official permission to perform these supplemental duties. Please contact Sherry Miller or Jennifer Theiss to obtain the form.
The determination of those unusual circumstances in which non-teaching extra assignments and compensation are appropriate will be the responsibility of the budget executive in consultation with the Employment and Compensation Division.
Global Programs Councils and Committees
Staff Advisory Council
The Global Programs Staff Advisory Committee (SAC) is a forum for exchanging ideas about the welfare and development of staff employees. The Committee explores office policies and procedures that affect staff members and makes recommendations to the Vice Provost and Executive Leadership Team. The Staff Advisory Committee aspires to be an influential voice for staff advocacy and thereby enhance the Global Programs mission by equitably promoting the increase of knowledge, skills, and abilities for all staff employees. Employees interested in joining SAC should speak with their supervisor to request permission to serve on the council.
The Global Programs Diversity Committee serves as a resource and advocate for all staff members and students within Global Programs. The Committee serves in an advisory capacity to the Vice Provost of Global Programs on matters related to diversity. Efforts focus on enhancing the inclusivity of Global Programs through trainings, cultural events and resource materials for search committees to recruit a diverse workforce.
Awards and Recognition
The Global Programs Awards Committee oversees all awards administered by Global Programs, including those for faculty, students and staff; as well as endowed awards and the Advancing a Global Penn State Awards program. The Staff Advisory Council presents awards to outstanding staff members. The awards are presented annually at a spring awards ceremony.
There are also numerous awards programs that seek to recognize the accomplishments of faculty and staff across the university, including:
The awards committee also oversees the preparation and submission of nominations for seeking external awards for Penn State’s programs, faculty and staff.
Handling Media Requests
All inquiries from the media - whether from campus, local, or national outlets - are to be directed to Elizabeth Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org), Public Relations Consultant. She is the only staff member in Global Programs authorized to handle and respond to media inquiries. No other employees are authorized to provide quotes or information without coordinating responses with Ms. Brady.