Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 40.97
Liaison Sherri Mason
Submission Date June 30, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.63 / 1.00 Andy Herrera
Educational Equity and Diversity
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:

A brief description of the assessment process and the framework, scorecard(s) and/or tool(s) used:

A Campus Climate survey was provided to the campus' full and part time faculty in the spring of 2011. It was administered by the College’s Institutional Equity and Diversity Committee (IEDC). The IEDC is a group charged by the college's Chancellor's office comprised of several faculty and staff members. The survey design was based on various Penn State and non-Penn State models. The final format included both closed and open-ended questions. This allowed for participants to write freely about topics that concerned them, while also providing quantifiable data. Other aspects of the survey were guided by the administering committee's own experiences, conversations, and perceptions specific to the campus.

The committee identified a set of concerns to discuss in the survey. These included:
1) Overall Climate Perceptions
2) Work Equity
3) Harassment/Negative Behaviors
4) Campus Safety
5) Classroom Issues
6) Existing Campus Resources
7) Suggestions for Change.

Respondents could, but did not have to, identify aspects such as academic rank, academic school, race, and gender. The survey was over 100 questions long and was open for comment for approximately one week. It was accessible via ANGEL, one of the College's former online educational management site.

The results of the survey were analyzed and organized by the campus' Center for Teaching Initiatives.

Does the assessment process address campus climate by engaging stakeholders to assess the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of faculty, staff, administrators and students, including the experiences of underrepresented groups?:

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success (e.g. graduation/success and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (e.g. pay and retention rates for underrepresented groups)?:

A brief description of the most recent assessment findings and how the results are used in shaping policy, programs and initiatives:

There were 141 total respondents (130 full-time respondents and 11 part-time respondents).

Partial demographic information of respondents:
• 54.1% identified as male.
• 34.7% identified as female.
• 11.2% chose not to identify with a gender.
• 78% identified as white.
• 17% respondents chose not to identify with a race.
• 5% respondents identified as African-American, Asian, or Hispanic/Latino

Respondents noted many positive aspects of climate at Penn State Behrend. The administering committee recommendations, however, focused upon ways to strengthen areas that, according to respondents, needed improvement.

The following seven areas of improvement were identified by the administering committee. These were submitted to the College's Chancellor's Office as recommendations for implementation.

Goal #1: Create Additional Strategies to Recognize Faculty Contributions to the Campus
• This action steps focused upon ways to create strong sense of personal connection to the campus for new incoming faculty, as well as ways to highlight faculty achievements and strengthen the message that all faculty members are valued. They included suggestions for a formalized Welcome Wagon process, the possibility of a competitive research release grant for FTM faculty, and outreach strategies for part-time faculty members.

Goal #2: Support Efforts to Foster Classroom Environments that Value Diversity & Civility
• The action steps were drawn from widespread dissatisfaction with students’ preparedness to encounter diverse groups, both inter-culturally and internationally. They emphasized the message of classroom civility and appropriate conduct through, among other things, suggestions for an Academic Orientation presentation on etiquette and classroom citizenship, and increasing the number of both IL-focused courses and international visiting faculty.

Goal #3: Strive to Ensure that the Campus is Physically Welcoming to All
• These action steps focused on areas of particular interest to respondents, including the development of lactation and family-friendly spaces, and eased access within traffic-heavy areas of campus. They included suggestions for physical renovation (pedestrian bridges, expanded sidewalks and more), the development of a security escort service, and initiatives to expand family-friendly activities and spaces on campus.

Goal #4: Raise Awareness of Campus Resources on Climate & Diversity, and Provide Requested Continuing Education
• These action steps focused on the respondents’ desires for education and services addressing students in distress. They include suggestions to provide continued training on both active-shooter defense and best practices for students in mental/behavioral crisis, and a formal resource listing of crisis services on campus.

Goal #5: Address Issues Involving Workload and Academic Rank
• These action steps responded to areas of concern raised by respondents regarding elections, teaching loads, service requirements and more. The suggestions included emphasizing different methods of service, addressing service burnout and/or lack of recognition, and establishing consistent nominating committees to field candidates.

Goal #6:Create a Campus Free of Harassment
• These steps focused upon combating harassment and bullying. They include suggestions to configure the college website for anonymous e-reporting, strengthen the visibility of the Ombudsman, and provide additional support services to non-native English speakers within the faculty.

Goal #7: Maintain Work Towards a Diverse & Inclusive Climate
• This segment discussed methods to maintain positive momentum on climate issues. Suggestions included the development of workshops to address areas that respondents marked as in need of visibility, the revamping of the Administrative Fellows program, and the establishment of a time to revisit and publish progress on these goals.

Are the results of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment shared with the campus community?:

A brief description of how the assessment results are shared with the campus community:

An email was sent to faculty informing them of the results, which they could access via the ANGEL site.

Are the results (or a summary of the results) of the most recent structured diversity and equity assessment publicly posted?:

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary:
The website URL where the report or summary is publicly posted:
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.