Man siting in front of a microphone and several monitors

Welcome, New Staff!

As you begin this next phase of your career at the Annenberg School, it can feel like there is a lot to know. Click through the resources below to learn how to navigate your first few weeks on the job and beyond.

Getting Oriented & Set Up

Here are the steps you should take in your first days and weeks at Annenberg to establish yourself in Penn's systems and learn more about being an employee at Annenberg and at Penn.

The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania combines the intimacy of small, highly-selective graduate and undergraduate programs with the dynamism, resources, and personnel of a major research institute. Embedded within one of the world’s top research universities and world-class cities, Annenberg students can follow their research interests at virtually any academic intersection they choose. More information about ASC can be found here.

All new staff members will meet with the ASC Human Resources representative to review the information on this and other linked pages, and to take a tour of the Annenberg School building. In addition, within a few days of arriving, new staff will have their photograph taken by the school photographer and will be added to the staff list on the school website. An announcement and photo will also be included in the monthly staff newsletter.

New employees at Penn will receive a notification from the Office of Human Resources via Workday to complete the online presentation for New Staff Orientation. This presentation provides essential information about the university’s history, schools, leadership, and offerings.

In addition, in the first few months of employment, new employees will receive an invitation to attend the university’s Penn: Core Values, Culture, Connection program, which focuses on making meaningful connections between individual roles and purpose within the university. The activities are designed to reinforce a sense of belonging by learning more about Penn and how much there is in common across all schools, centers, divisions, and institutes. Personal values and observed Penn values will be discussed, as well as how to reconcile any differences between them. Contact Steven Milteer ( if you don’t receive a notification about registering for either orientation.

When a PennCard has been issued and the PennKey and password have been registered, new staff should visit the university's New Faculty and Staff Member Portal. The site includes links to some of the same information you'll find on the school's site, plus additional information about Penn and the resources available to its employees.

Getting Established at Annenberg/Penn

PennKey is the University of Pennsylvania’s system for securing critical online services. The PennKey system is required to authenticate an individual's identity to many of Penn's networked systems and services. New Staff are prompted to set Pennkey by Workday when their record has been established by the school. If you have not been prompted to set your Pennkey, please let us know.

Lizz Cooper, IT Help Desk Manager, will reach out to request your Pennkey name, not password, so we can establish your ASC email.

New staff will receive payroll on-boarding information via emails generated by Workday, Penn's human resources and financial processes platform. These emails will provide instructions on how to make an appointment at Onboard@Penn, which will facilitate the process of payroll form completion.

When visiting the Onboard@Penn Center, new staff should bring all personal identification documents (passport, driver's license, social security card, etc.). Non-Resident Aliens should refer to the Onboard@Penn site for a list of required documents. Please note that new regulations require that all new employees must present a social security card for photocopying and submission to the Penn records office. Please consult with the Onboard@Penn Center if a social security card/number is not available.

New staff who are internal Penn transfers and already on Penn’s payroll system should email the ASC Payroll Administrator to ensure that their payroll record has been updated to reflect the new position information.

Monthly paid staff (exempt) are paid on the last weekday of each month. Weekly paid staff (non-exempt) are paid each Friday.

The PennCard is the official University of Pennsylvania identification card for members of the Penn community. New staff are eligible for a PennCard when their payroll record has been processed and approved by the University, which will typically occur within a few days of the start date, or earlier. Once eligible, new staff should visit the PennCard Center (located inside the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, 36th and Walnut St., second floor) with a valid form of photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.), where their photograph will be taken and a PennCard issued. There is no charge for the initial card. Visit the PennCard website for more information.

University policy requires that weekly paid staff complete and sign a weekly timesheet via Workday, reflecting the actual time worked. The staff member’s supervisor must approve the timesheet and is responsible for verifying the actual time worked. ASC policy does not permit overtime pay except in the most exceptional cases. Therefore weekly paid staff should not work more than 35 hours per week unless it is absolutely necessary and approved by the supervisor in advance.

In most cases the work week for full-time staff is 35 hours, and the work day is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Exempt, monthly paid staff, are expected to work at least 35 hours, but may work more when the job demands. It is expected that work will be done in the ASC campus office unless another location is required and approved by the staff member’s supervisor. Working from home other than the approved hybrid schedule requires approval from the supervisor.

All new regular staff members are subject to the Introductory Period, which consists of the first four months of employment at the University (the introductory period for internal-Penn transfers is 90 days). This period is used to determine if the performance meets the expectations of the position, and if continued employment is warranted.

The Introductory Period Performance Plan creates an opportunity for discussion between the supervisor and the staff member, and helps the supervisor structure conversations about performance, improvement, and/or additional training needs. During the introductory period the supervisor and staff member will have ongoing discussions with the new staff member about their performance, and monitor whether the staff member is meeting the established goals and expectations for the position.

For more information on Penn's Introductory Period click here.


The University of Pennsylvania offers a variety of health and welfare benefits to its employees, including medical, dental, and vision plans. Information about these benefits, including links to the Penn Benefits sites, can be found here. The university also offers a variety of additional benefits to its employees, including Flexible Spending Accounts, life insurance, retirement plans, and tuition benefits. Information about these benefits can also be found at the Penn Benefits website. The effective date of benefits coverage is based on the start date. Coverage will begin on the first day of employment if the start date is on the first day of the month. Coverage begins the first day of the month following the start date if the start date is the second of the month or any day after.

One of Penn’s most valuable benefits is Penn's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides eligible faculty and staff and their immediate family members access to free, confidential, around-the-clock counseling and referral services for personal and professional life issues. EAP services are available by phone, online, and through face-to-face sessions.

Call the EAP Health Advocate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-799-2329. 

For more work-life benefits visit Resources to Support Work & Life.

Staff members accrue Paid Time Off (PTO) based on their years of service in regular University positions and the date when they began continuous employment with the University. Time served in temporary or occasional positions is not counted in calculating the PTO accrual rate.

Paid Time Off is accrued monthly and is available for use the month following the month of accrual. Consult Penn's chart of accrual rates based on years of service. Accrued PTO does not expire. However, a staff member's accrued balance may not exceed 24 days. If the balance is 24 days, no additional days will accrue until the balance drops below 24 days.

Effective July 1, 2023, the university enhanced its PTO policy to provide newly hired staff with five days of PTO upon hire. The new policy also offers improved accrual rates for current staff who have completed up to three years of service.

If a staff member who has completed their Introductory Period is voluntarily or involuntarily terminated, the staff member will receive payment for their accrued and unused PTO based on the date of separation. If terminated on or after the 16th of the month, a full month's accrual will be credited. A staff member whose employment is terminated during their Introductory Period will not receive payment for any accrued and unused PTO.

More information about Paid Time Off accrual and usage can be found here.

Penn’s Sick Leave policy is designed to provide position and salary continuation in the event of illness, and to promote sick leave conservation for extended protection.

A full-time staff member accrues one day of sick leave for each completed month of service, up to 12 days in each fiscal year (July l-June 30). The maximum sick leave accumulation is 24 work days.

A staff member (or their designee) should notify their supervisor and affected colleagues as soon as they know that they will be unable to work, but no later than the starting time of the work day. Staff must notify their supervisor and affected colleagues on each day of absence unless other arrangements have been made. Some supervisors may require an earlier notification time and staff should consult with their supervisor to establish a preferred call-out time and method (phone, email, text).

Sick leave of up to 5 days per fiscal year may be used for illness of the staff member, for illness of a member of the household, and for doctor/dentist appointments when it is not possible to schedule them during non-working hours.

More information about Sick Leave accrual and usage can be found here.

Penn offers full-time faculty and staff in benefits-eligible positions access to exceptional tuition benefits for you, your dependent children, and your spouse. Dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions. Visit the Tuition Benefits page for more information.

All Penn employees are invited to join the University of Pennsylvania Federal Credit Union, located at 3900 Chestnut Street, a member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution that provides financial products and services to current and former University of Pennsylvania employees and their families. Services include checking and savings accounts (deposits can be made from automatic payroll transfers), car loans, holiday and vacation clubs, member-only car sales, and online banking.

West Philadelphia is home to Penn's campus. The neighborhoods are characterized by tree-lined residential streets with pre-war apartment buildings, brick row homes, ornate Victorian twins, and charming single-family homes. Penn Home Ownership Services (PHOS) helps foster the University's commitment to neighborhood development by offering incentives and support to faculty and staff to purchase and renovate homes. PHOS offers eligible employees the opportunity to apply for closing cost assistance for home purchases and funds towards home improvement. They also offer resources for home buyers and educational workshops. If you're interested in living in the greater West Philadelphia neighborhood, check out the resources and information available on the PHOS website.

Penn’s Department of Recreation operates several gymnasiums, parks, and pools that are available for use by staff, and discounted membership fees are available for university staff. Information about facilities, costs, class schedules, and the PennFit program can be found on the PennRec website.

Building & Workspace Information

The Annenberg School building is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Holiday and summer hours will vary and are communicated via email from the Building Administrator.

There are three entrances to the building: the main entrance on the first floor, off of Walnut Street, and two second floor entrances off of Locust Walk. The second floor entrances are closed at night and on the weekends, and at those times only the Walnut Street entrance may be used.

Only animals that are registered Service Animals are permitted inside Annenberg School buildings. Service Animals should be registered on campus. Faculty and staff who require the use of a Service Animal should contact Penn’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs. Graduate and undergraduate students should contact the Office of Student Disability Services.

In accordance with university requirements, Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not permitted in classrooms or any other non-residential housing spaces.

The Annenberg School takes the safety and security of its faculty, staff, and students very seriously. The School employs six security guards on varying shifts from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Holiday hours will vary.

For assistance, or to report a situation, please call (215)898-1881, or contact the ASC Building Administrator at (215)898-2996.

The emergency number for the entire Penn campus is 511. By dialing 511 from a University telephone, University of Pennsylvania Police will be dispatched immediately to the emergency location, and Philadelphia Fire Rescue will be notified. Please note that dialing 911 instead of 511 will disrupt the emergency response chain and could significantly delay the arrival of emergency help. If a University telephone is not available, please call (215) 573-3333. ASC Security should be informed of all emergency incidents as soon as possible so that they may direct emergency responders to the appropriate building location, complete incident reports, etc.

The Main Office includes a kitchen area with coffee set-up for use by the Annenberg community. Coffee and tea are provided free of charge, and filtered water is available via a dispenser located next to the refrigerator. A full-size refrigerator and microwave are also provided. It is expected that all employees will be respectful of the kitchen area by cleaning up spills, disposing of trash properly, and not allowing old or expired items to linger in the refrigerator.


If not already provided, new staff members will be given their ASC email address and instructions for accessing ASC’s email service. New staff should take time to become familiar with the email system, set preferences, signatures, etc. The supervisor or the ASC IT Help Desk can answer questions or provide help with the functionality of the email system.


Most staff have their own computer with a suite of software applications to facilitate productivity: a school email account, network drive space, network printing, and other facilities. Some new staff will require access to particular Penn computing systems in order to perform certain functions of their position. Staff should work with their supervisor and the IT Help Desk staff in order to complete the appropriate University access forms and have the systems installed on their desktop.

ASC IT oversees all of the technology related tasks at the school. To submit an IT support ticket, please visit or email to submit a ticket automatically. You can also call the help desk at (215) 573-8361.

Offices, personal work spaces, and school provided furniture and equipment should be treated with care and respect. Public areas should be kept neat and free of clutter. Each individual is responsible for ensuring the security of their office or work space, and everyone is strongly encouraged to keep office doors closed and locked when not occupied, with personal items locked safely in drawers at all times.

A photocopier that includes print, scan, and fax capabilities is located in the Main Office and is available for use by ASC staff for business purposes. A large capacity shredder is also located in the Main Office. The supervisor or the receptionist will orient new staff to the location and proper use of equipment.

Upon arrival, new staff should find their office or work area outfitted with the office supplies & stationery they will need to get started. If there are additional items required, staff should consult with the Receptionist about what’s available in the supply closets in the Main Office. If something that is not routinely stocked by the School is requested, the receptionist will order the item(s) from Office Depot, the University preferred provider for office supplies, provided that the request is approved by the staff member’s supervisor.

The supervisor will inform new staff of their ASC phone number. New staff should take time to familiarize themselves with the phone system, learn how to transfer calls, place a call on hold, activate and set voicemail preferences, etc. A telephone User Guide detailing the various features of the telephone is available here.

Miscellaneous Policies & Guidance

Due to the nature of their position, some staff will have access to confidential or proprietary information such as research, finance, payroll, technical data, etc. Such confidential and/or proprietary information should be kept confidential and not disclosed, used, or copied except as necessary to perform the duties of the position. Confidential information may be disclosed to other employees on a need-to-know basis and/or during the collaboration of assignments. The obligation to maintain confidentiality applies both during and after employment. If unsure as to whether certain information is confidential or proprietary, staff should consult with their supervisor or the ASC Human Resources Office.

The Annenberg School has no formal dress code, though it is typically a business casual to casual environment, depending on the position and nature of the responsibilities. Staff should use their best judgment when determining the mode of dress most appropriate for their position, and should feel free to consult with their supervisor or HR if guidance is needed.

To create and sustain a campus climate in which members of the University community are able to thrive and achieve their full potential, the University has established a wide range of policies, educational programs, resources, support, and reporting systems to respond to complaints of sexual misconduct made against members of the Penn community. Please review Penn's policies and procedures here.

Getting Around

With input from the Annenberg community, the ASC Communications Office has compiled a Google map with restaurant, museum, and activity suggestions. It's perfect for newcomers who are new to the area or Penn, or for anyone who wants recommendations on where to eat and play in the city. 

For help getting around campus, visit Penn's Facilities & Real Estate Services page where you can download maps or get driving or walking directions.

Penn encourages the use of public transportation and assists public transit commuters by offering discounted options and/or pre-tax benefits through programs such as the Commuter Pass Program (COMPASS), TransitChek®, and PATCO Freedom Pass. Penn also provides a variety of campus transit services, such as the Penn Bus, Walking Escort, Van Pool, and others. Parking Services operates a number of parking facilities on Penn's campus. For more information about transportation and parking, please visit the Penn Transit website.

Donna Burdumy

Questions? Contact Human Resources

Donna Burdumy
Senior Director of Human Resources
(215) 898-7053