Five for the Future

Penn State’s president lays out a road map for the next five years.

Neeli Bendapudi head shot by Penn State

President Neeli Bendapudi shared her vision for the university’s future in February, outlining five key goals to work toward over the next five academic years. “Focusing on our purpose, increasing our agility, and leveraging our opportunity will be the core drivers of the future of our great university,” Bendapudi said. “We must build on our legacy as Pennsylvania’s only land-grant university and our foundational purpose of serving our commonwealth, our nation, and our world.” Bendapudi defined focus areas for each goal, including:


1. Enhance student success.

Develop more avenues for students to tap into Penn State’s vast alumni network for mentorships, internships, training, advising, and job searches.

Make paid internship opportunities possible for all students.

Build on existing efforts to develop a curricular and co-curricular map for each student to help them discover and engage in a range of opportunities for the development of the whole person at Penn State.


2. Grow interdisciplinary research excellence.

Build a robust pipeline of historically marginalized and underrepresented researchers and scholars.

Pursue large Program Project (P01) grants, and incentivize interdisciplinary and multi-university partnerships that increase research funding and scale of impact.

Increase biomedical and health-related research, translational research, and commercialization opportunities.


3. Increase land-grant impact.

Develop a plan for leveraging the commonwealth campuses and current extension and outreach structure to further fuel economic development in the state.

Continue to build strong networks with the public- and private-sector communities throughout Pennsylvania.

Attain per-student funding equal to the allocation for other state-owned or state-related universities as part of the commitment to keeping a Penn State education accessible and affordable for Pennsylvania families.


4. Foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Establish baseline metrics and goals for campuses and units to close DEIB gaps.

Increase recruitment and support of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff.

Diversify Penn State’s faculty across all ranks and tracks.


5. Transform Penn State’s internal operations.

Achieve a balanced budget by July 1, 2025.

Implement the Compensation Modernization Initiative to become an employer of choice.

Implement technological systems to make work easier, evaluate outdated systems, and act on recommendations.


Bendapudi named leaders from her President’s Council to guide the work and engage the community. Progress will be periodically shared with the university community and Board of Trustees.