Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
PA-6: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
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Has the institution engaged in a structured assessment process during the previous three years to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus?:
Yes

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

In 2018, Executive Vice President and Provost, Nicholas P. Jones, charged a working group to implement a University-wide “community survey” for students and employees. The working group gathered input from stakeholders to identify six priority topic areas for the survey:
- Belonging and inclusion;
- Institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Engaging across difference;
- Cultural competence and knowledge;
- Experiences with stereotyping, microaggressions, and harassment; and
- Off-campus contexts.

Based on these priority areas, the working group chose the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium’s (HEDS) Diversity and Equity Campus Climate Survey. This survey was further adapted and customized to better address the specific context and needs of Penn State. The online survey was administered independently by HEDS and sent to all Penn State students and employees in Spring 2020. Over 20,000 responses were collected. The overall University response rate was 17%; it ranged from a high of 70% for administrators to a low of 13-14% for students and technical staff. https://opair.psu.edu/community-survey/

In addition, in June 2020, the president of Penn State set forth a series of initiatives aimed at addressing bias on campus. Among these were:
- Partner through shared governance with the University Faculty Senate to continue to develop improved policies, procedures and expectations that will increase the hiring and retention of faculty who are members of underrepresented groups at the University. Hiring and retention continues to be a major challenge for Penn State that must be addressed.
- Work with the Board of Trustees to help ensure that educational and employment equity has the full attention of the trustees. The board has expressed considerable interest in continuing to elevate this topic in its deliberations.


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

Does the assessment process address student outcomes related to diversity, equity and success?:
Yes

Does the assessment process address employee outcomes related to diversity and equity?:
Yes

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

A summary of findings, detailed report, and data dashboards for the Penn State Community Survey - which addresses attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors - is available on the following website: https://opair.psu.edu/community-survey/

As part of ongoing efforts to build inclusive, diverse and equitable campus communities, unit leaders and budget executives across Penn State’s units, colleges and campuses review the survey report and unit-level dashboards and create action plans for their areas that address gap areas and build on existing strengths. Action plans should be developed by the end of February 2021. Representatives from the Office of Educational Equity advise, coach, and help units draw connections between their Community Survey results and their unit’s strategic objectives.

Individual students and employees are also encouraged to review the report and dashboards. Individuals are encouraged to be creative and to incorporate their learnings and takeaways into their own daily interactions and activities on campus, as well as to get involved in their unit, college, or campus’ follow-up survey activities as they are developed. Students and employees can make suggestions using an on-line form.

Since 2016, DEI planning has been mainstreamed into the overall strategic planning process; one of six Foundations in the University's strategic plan is Advancing Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity. Each college, campus, and support unit is expected to establish and make progress toward its own diversity-related goals, which provides flexibility and a distributed network. For example, the College of Agricultural Sciences' DEI plan and goals, which include student and employee outcomes, can be seen here: https://agsci.psu.edu/diversity/framework/college-diversity-strategic-plan-2015-2019

Student outcomes - including enrollment, retention, and graduation rates - are tracked by gender and race/ ethnicity. This information is available publicly. Faculty and staff employment is tracked by gender and race/ethnicity, but salary information in these categories is not available publicly at the university level. https://datadigest.psu.edu/

The Equity Pedagogy Network addresses University challenges to achieving inclusive student outputs. This Network supports and enhances the racial equity work of faculty, staff, and administrators across Penn State by sharing resources, collaborative inquiry, and reflective practice. https://sites.psu.edu/epnnews/


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

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

A detailed report, summary of findings, and data dashboards are publicly available on the following website: https://opair.psu.edu/community-survey/
In addition, numerous articles about the survey have appeared in Penn State News, the University's daily e-newsletter - for example, https://news.psu.edu/story/631571/2020/09/13/administration/penn-state-community-survey-findings-dashboards-available


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

The diversity and equity assessment report or summary (upload):
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Website URL where the diversity and equity assessment report or summary is publicly posted:
Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity assessment efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.