Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison David Cullmer
Submission Date Oct. 20, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Pennsylvania State University
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of campus climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the campus climate assessment(s) :

[See Notes section for a description of the most recent assessment of diversity and equity, including campus climate, and how the results are used.]

The Assessment examined Penn State's progress in two areas of campus climate, "Developing a shared and inclusive understanding of diversity" and "creating a welcoming campus climate". Findings indicated that, in both areas, Penn State showed evidence of "sustained action and practice".

Faculty/Staff Survey
Penn State conducts a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey on approximately a four year cycle. The most recent survey was conducted in 2008. (The survey was not administered in 2012 because a survey of Values & Culture was administered instead.) The Faculty/Staff Survey contained a bank of questions regarding diversity that provide a University-wide assessment of attitudes about diversity. Additionally, the responses to all of the questions are disaggregated according to a number of demographic factors, including those reflecting diversity.

In 2012 an assessment was conducted of Penn State Values & Climate by an independent firm, the Ethics Resource Center. The goal of this survey was to create inclusive statement of shared values that will help guide to actions when issues of ethics arise; gain a better understanding of the community’s awareness of University standards of conduct; and create a clearer picture of the climate for the reporting of wrongdoing at Penn State.

Additionally, units gather information and data about climate in a variety of ways. These methods include informal town-hall-style discussions, discussions over meals, focus groups, and formal surveys.


Has the institution assessed student diversity and educational equity?:
Yes

A brief description of the student diversity and educational equity assessment(s):

A diversity/ inclusion benchmarking assessment was conducted by an independent research and analytics firm in 2013. See Notes for a description of the assessment, and how the results are used.

The Assessment looked at Penn State's progress in "recruiting and retaining a diverse student body". Results indicate that Penn State ranks in the top 4 in comparison to peer institutions for diverse undergraduate student enrollment and diverse student graduation rates.
Programs funded by the Equal Opportunity Planning Committee (which can be in relation to any of the 7 Challenges of A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State), the University's diversity strategic plan, are evaluated based on program outcomes assessment.
A recent report prepared by the Penn State Commission for Women looked at the status of women - both students and employees - at Penn State over the ten year period from 2001 to 2011. http://equity.psu.edu/cfw/docs/cfw-status-report-2001-2011

Penn State annually monitors student enrollment by race/ ethnicity using the following stratifications: overall enrollment, first-time freshmen, historical, historical as a percent of total, graduation rates, and retention rates. Results can be found in the Penn State Fact Book: http://budget.psu.edu/Factbook/


Has the institution assessed employee diversity and employment equity?:
Yes

A brief description of the employee diversity and employment equity assessment(s):

A diversity/ inclusion benchmarking assessment was conducted by an independent research and analytics firm in 2013. See Notes for a description of the assessment, and how the results are used.

Results show that Penn State was ranked in the top 1 or 2 among peer institutions for the number of new minority hires.

Penn State's 2008 Faculty/Staff Survey, sponsored by the Office of the President and coordinated by the Penn State Office of Human Resources, received responses from over 8,400 full-time faculty and staff for a 51.4% return rate. The survey featured several new questions in addition to items used in previous surveys in order to measure overall satisfaction and engagement among faculty and staff. The major sections in the survey were Attitudes and Practices, Diversity, Administrative Practices and Activities, and Overall Impressions.

Overall results are shared with the University community on the Office of Human Resources Web site and through a series of articles published on the Penn State newswires (which reach all University employees and students), one of which focused around diversity. Comprehensive results for each unit, disaggregated by demographic factors, are shared with the unit executive.

The Faculty/ Staff survey was first administered in 1988, and repeated at 4 year intervals, most recently in 2008. It was scheduled to be repeated in 2012, but was preempted by a survey of Values & Culture. Overall results and articles about the 2008 Faculty/Staff survey are available at http://facultystaffsurvey.psu.edu/

A recent report prepared by the Penn State Commission for Women looked at the status of women - both students and employees - at Penn State over the ten year period from 2001 to 2011. http://equity.psu.edu/cfw/docs/cfw-status-report-2001-2011

Penn State annually monitors the number of full-time employees by race/ ethnicity; results are presented in the Penn State Fact Book: http://budget.psu.edu/factbook/


Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of governance and public engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the governance and public engagement assessment(s):

A diversity/ inclusion benchmarking assessment was conducted by an independent research and analytics firm in 2013. See Notes for a description of the assessment, and how the results are used.

In the Assessment's evaluation of Penn State's progress toward its goal of "Diversifying University Leadership & Management", this appeared to be one of the areas where progress has been made, but further improvement is needed. However the assessment lauded Penn State's efforts in diversity strategic planning and goal setting, and its organizational capacity, effectiveness, and impact.

The assessment did not specifically address diversity and equity in public engagement.

Although it has not recently conducted an assessment, the Penn State Forum on Black Affairs is a community/University group focused on improving conditions for black members of the University and surrounding community http://www.foba.psu.edu/


The website URL where information about the assessment(s) is available:

In 2013 an independent research/ analytics firm was contracted to conduct a comprehensive assessment of diversity and inclusion at Penn State, at the midpoint of the third iteration of the University's strategic plan, "A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State: 2010-15". The analysis was based on a review of over 3,000 pages of documentation across all of Penn State's strategic planning units, and a two-day site visit. The firm found that Penn State ranks in the top four in comparison to peer institutions for diverse undergraduate student enrollment, diverse student graduation rates and new minority faculty hire numbers. Penn State is “definitely at the high end of its peers” in terms of the University’s diversity master plan and its organizational capacity, effectiveness and impact. See http://equity.psu.edu/workshop/fall13-quality-advocates-session
A news article about the results can be found here: http://news.psu.edu/story/297576/2013/12/09/administration/diversity-inclusion-analysis-shows-university-wide-progress
Penn State's Framework to Foster Diversity has undergone comprehensive review at the start, midpoint and end of each planning cycle. The Framework was first launched in 1998 and is now closing its 3rd iteration of 5 year planning cycles and is currently merging into the University's overall planning process. The assessment results are used to identify strengths and weaknesses to update the Framework.
A detailed description of the process and all materials associated with it (unit plans and updates; review team feedback; unit responses, university recommendations and analysis, and best practices) can be found online at the link below. The public accessibility of diversity strategic planning materials and outcomes is unique to Penn State and one of the strengths and accountability factors of the process. http://equity.psu.edu/framework/updates
Programs funded by Penn State's Equal Opportunity Planning Committee (which can be in relation to any of the 7 Challenges of A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State, the University's diversity strategic plan), are evaluated based on program outcomes assessment.
In October 2013, Penn State was selected as a recipient of the 2013 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award by INSIGHT into Diversity magazine. The University was one of 56 higher education institutions in the nation to be recognized for exceptional having strategies and programs in place to help achieve diversity and inclusion across campus.

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.