Print This Issue

University Council Coverage

February 8, 2011, Volume 57, No. 21

At the February 2 University Council Meeting, Dr. Ajay Nair, senior associate vice provost for student affairs, led a discussion about “Parents as Partners at Penn.” He told some true stories about ‘helicopter parents’ and showed a short video to emphasize how extremely over-involved some parents are with their children who are in college.

He said that here at Penn the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life is student-centered, students are at the core of the University and Penn strives for a balanced approach that is solution-oriented. Communication is directed toward the students except in emergency situations when parents or other family members would be notified. Parental notification is generally preceded by alerting the student that their parents will be contacted. The student is then given the opportunity to contact them first.

VPUL Dr. Val Cade said that Penn also provides support for Penn students while studying abroad as well as support for their families during a crisis.

President Amy Gutmann added that parents are part of the extended Penn family and many enjoy being involved in various ways including mentoring other students and attending Penn events here and abroad.

Provost Vincent Price noted that since Penn is a community, it is only natural that the University reach out when a crisis occurs.

A student commented that he has found that parental involvement is often helpful and that students get more out of their college experience when their parents take an interest in what their son or daughter is doing.


Almanac - February 8, 2011, Volume 57, No. 21