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Survey Out On What Penn State Community Wants In Next University President

Penn State Old Main building
Min Xian


report published Tuesday provided new insight into Penn State’s search for its next president.


The report offered a summary of more than 14,000 responses to a survey asking students, employees, alumni, and community members for input on Penn State’s next president. It was compiled by the Next Gen Penn State Advisory Group, which was responsible for collecting feedback throughout this spring’s “listening process.”


The findings broadly suggested Penn State’s next president should possess characteristics like strong leadership skills, an academic background, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Respondents also said the university’s next leader should focus on big-picture initiatives like increasing affordability and supporting research.


David Kleppinger, chair of the Next Gen Penn State Advisory Group, said collected feedback will be “instrumental” in selecting Penn State’s 19th president.


“We are so pleased that we gained responses from a wide array of Penn Staters through this process,” Kleppinger said in a statement.


A full summary of the report’s findings is available online. Results were reported to the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee on June 1 and the Board of Trustees on June 7.


The Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee will use feedback to develop official job qualifications for candidates. 


Penn State said it has already received 1,821 candidate nominations since it began collecting feedback from the community.