Smeal Update: January 15, 2021

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Celebration

While we celebrate the Dr. King holiday on Monday, his birthday is today, Friday, Jan. 15. The Forum on Black Affairs is holding a virtual celebration from 5-6:30 p.m. today. The event can be accessed through this link. More information on related events can be found at

Smeal Diversity Statement

The Penn State Smeal Diversity Taskforce, with input from the Smeal Student Council, recently completed a statement that clarifies our commitment to diversity and inclusion and aims to support a sense of belonging for all students, faculty and staff. As we prepare to commemorate Dr. King tonight, we are proud to share this statement. Please take the time to reflect on the essence of these words and your individual contribution to our culture.

We will make a meaningful impact on a society in which too many derive benefit from systemic racism and other forms of prejudice and bias, both implicitly and explicitly.

Using our influence as a national leader in business education, we will strive to make life better for millions of people who experience oppression by virtue of age, religion, disability, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, political affiliation, language, family structure, marital status, socio-economic status, geographical background, education, or professional experience.

We acknowledge the global business community as a powerful force for social justice, and we commit to provoking thought, conducting research, sparking dialogue, engaging with others, and preparing future leaders to advance this essential purpose.

Together, we will take action to nurture and promote a culture in which everyone feels safe, valued, respected, and empowered to bring themselves fully and authentically to our campuses and classrooms. We will:

  • Condemn acts of racism, prejudice, and bias
  • Actively listen to the concerns of those who experience oppression
  • Continuously evaluate our policies and practices regarding, hiring, training, recruitment, and pedagogy
  • Collectively study the history of racism, injustice, and bias, and pursue contemporary solutions through research and education
  • Engage with community leaders to increase diversity and instill a universal sense of belonging on and off our campuses

Do you know someone who rocks? Nominate them!

Each month the Smeal Staff Advisory Committee names a You Rock! Award recipient. You can nominate a co-worker for the You Rock! Award online.

The Smeal Community Weekly Poll

The Staff Advisory Committee, in an effort to engage the Smeal community, is conducting a weekly poll. This week's survey shops for an answer to your pandemic delivery habits. Click this link to participate. Results will be shared during next week's Smeal Community Zoom.


After the remote period concludes, how will my class proceed if there is a change in normal operations due to weather?

In the event of a change in normal campus operations due to weather, instructors teaching in any mode of instruction may opt to deliver instruction asynchronously. When a change in normal campus operations due to weather or other local emergency circumstances occurs, students, faculty, and instructors may not have the same access to University facilities and resources and may have other commitments such as childcare.

COVID In-Person (CP) courses may not be moved to a synchronous online meeting per Faculty Senate policy. In the event of a change in normal campus operations, the instructor can choose to offer content asynchronously or may cancel class altogether.

Because there are differences in how Hybrid/COVID Mixed-Mode (CM) courses are structured, instructors need to specify in their syllabi how class content will be delivered.

COVID Remote (CR) courses may continue to meet remote synchronously at the usual time, or the instructor may choose to offer content asynchronously or cancel class altogether.

Web and COVID Remote Asynchronous (CW) courses will continue with no changes.

More information is available in this document.