Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.88
Liaison Krista Bailey
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
PA-4: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.67 / 2.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights on campus?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

Penn State has several offices that support and enhance diversity and equity on campus:

Created in July 1990, the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity (OVPEE) is charged with fostering diversity and inclusion at Penn State and creating a climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University’s faculty, staff, leadership, and student body. This mission encompasses leadership for the University-wide strategic planning for diversity and inclusion, student academic success services and Federal TRIO Programs for underrepresented students, and support of educational access for targeted groups of low-income, potential first-generation college students both here at Penn State and at sites throughout the state. This mission also includes serving as a catalyst and advocate for Penn State’s diversity and inclusion initiatives by providing University-wide leadership to increase our capacity for diversity. More information on the OVPEE can be found here: http://equity.psu.edu/

The Affirmative Action Office is a service organization that supports and enhances the University's commitment to diversity, providing expert advice and leadership to colleges, departments, faculty and staff in their efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and ensure an environment free from discrimination and harassment. http://www.psu.edu/dept/aaoffice/

The Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs leads the Graduate School's efforts to foster diversity and to provide a welcoming climate for both prospective and current graduate students of underrepresented groups. http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/index.cfm/diversity/

The largest of the above coordinating offices - the Office of Educational Equity - includes a number of units and programs that are described in detail here: http://equity.psu.edu/units-and-programs It also supports the following key commissions/ committees:

- The Commission for Women identifies areas of concern for the women faculty, exempt and non-exempt staff, technical service and administrative, as well as graduate and undergraduate students of Penn State. http://www.equity.psu.edu/cfw/
- The Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity (CORED) was formed in 1989 as a University-wide advisory body to the President of Penn State in matters relating to racial and ethnic diversity. CORED also serves as a resource for all University departments and individuals seeking to improve Penn State's climate for diversity. http://www.equity.psu.edu/cored/
- The Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity was created in 1991 as an advisory group to the President. The purpose of the Commission is to improve the climate for diversity within Penn State and specifically to address issues affecting the welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) members of the University community. http://www.equity.psu.edu/clgbte/
- The Equal Opportunity Planning Committee (EOPC) was formed in 1983 to promote greater equity for historically underrepresented groups within the University and/or those groups that have been historical targets of discrimination. The primary task of EOPC is overseeing the allocation of institutional funding to Penn State units for developing and implementing programs and activities intended to advance the diversity mission of the University. http://www.equity.psu.edu/eopc/
- The Administrative Council on Multicultural Affairs is a long-standing group convened by the Vice Provost for Educational Equity (senior executive for diversity, equity, and inclusion) and consisting of the multicultural officer from each college as well as representatives from Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Educational Equity, the Honors College, recruitment centers, the Career Center, Student Aid, Multicultural Resource Center, and Penn State Campuses other than University Park.

The Campus Environment Team, formed in 1987, is comprised of high-ranking staff representing various offices including Educational Equity, University Strategic Communications, Affirmative Action, Student Affairs, University Police, Undergraduate Education and Human Resources that works to address diversity issues, acts of intolerance, and related issues.

The Council of College Multicultural Leadership (CCML) is comprised of the Multicultural Directors/Deans of the eleven academic colleges and the Senior Director of the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs, at University Park. These individuals are primarily responsible for leading the efforts to recruit and retain a diverse student body within the colleges and the Graduate School. They assist in advising and developing their respective Strategic Diversity plans, “The Framework to Foster Diversity”.

In addition to the groups listed above, the University Faculty Senate Standing Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment, in conjunction with other Senate Committees and other bodies outside of the University Faculty Senate, recommends policy and advises the University on activities to improve the campus environment and educational equity across the entire University at all of its campuses.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of staff (including administrators) that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

Estimated proportion of faculty that has participated in cultural competence trainings and activities (All, Most, Some, or None):

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence trainings and activities for each of the groups identified above:

At University Park, all students attend a session on diversity and inclusion during New Student Orientation. In that session, we discuss appreciating difference, highlight campus resources, and ask students to share how they will contribute to the diversity of the campus.

The Affirmative Action Office's Diversity Education Services develops and delivers a wide range of educational programming for faculty and staff, designed to promote understanding and support for diversity throughout the University. In conjunction with the Human Resources Development Center, this office offers over 20 standing diversity trainings available to Penn State departments, teams, and groups upon request at no cost. Examples include:
• Developing Intercultural Awareness & Competency
• Sexual Harassment: Awareness and Prevention
• Workplace Civility: Fostering a Climate of Respect and Inclusion
The full list can be found here: http://www.psu.edu/dept/aaoffice/dsec.htm
The Center for Workplace Learning & Performance (CWLP) offers online diversity training through Skillport: http://ohr.psu.edu/learning/upcoming-programs
The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity holds periodic workshops titled, "Best Practices in Diversity Strategic Planning." The workshops enhance the knowledge and skills of administrators, faculty, and staff who are centrally involved in their unit's diversity strategic planning efforts. See the following for more information: Best Practices in Diversity Strategic Planning Workshops: http://equity.psu.edu/workshop
LGBTQA Student Resource Center provides trainings to staff and faculty that teach methods of creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ and ally individuals on campus. http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/lgbtqa/training.shtml
At New Faculty Orientation, held annually in the fall, information about diversity, diversity strategic planning, and resources for diversity are shared and discussed.
Information on diversity resources is provided during New Staff Orientation, but actual training in this area is not part of the orientation program. Some staff take diversity training through programs offered through the Affirmative Action Office and CWLP.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

In 2016, Penn State - for the fourth year in a row - received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The University was one of 83 higher education institutions in the nation to be recognized with this distinction. The award recognizes Penn State's ongoing initiatives and recent efforts, including its Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.