Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.31
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.67 / 2.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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 has a Senior Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, Joann Mitchell, who advises the President, Provost, Executive Vice Presidents, Deans, Officers and other campus leaders on policies and initiatives aimed at realizing Penn’s aims of excellence through inclusion which is a central tenant of the University’s strategic vision, Penn Compact 2022. Other campus leaders are key partners in helping realize the University’s vision, including the Vice Provost for Faculty, Vice Provost for University Life, Vice President for Social Equity and Community, Vice President for Human Resources and the Executive Director of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs. Ms. Mitchell serves as administrative liaison to the University Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity which provides oversight and advice on best practices for realizing the University’s ambitions regarding inclusive excellence.

Penn President Amy Gutmann outlined the University’s strategic vision—inclusion, innovation and impact—in the Penn Compact 2022 (https://president.upenn.edu/penn-compact). The Penn Compact 2022 builds on its first articulation in Dr. Gutmann’s inaugural address in 2004. The first pillar of the Penn Compact 2022 is inclusion which outlines the University’s commitment to providing a learning, living, and working environment that is diverse and strives to leverage different perspectives to advance knowledge, innovation, and impact. Each of the University’s Schools have designated a senior faculty of staff member to coordinate its diversity and inclusion efforts. Penn’s Schools and Centers have developed numerous initiatives and programs to foster equity and diversity with supplement and complement the work of the central administration, including the Presidential Professorships, Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity, Penn First Plus, annual Reverend Dr. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, Provost’s Lecture on Diversity Series, and Penn Projects for Progress to name a few examples.

Penn recruits talented students from across the country and around the world. The increasingly diverse student body has added to the vibrancy of the campus and the richness of the educational experience. The Penn First Plus program for first-generation and/or low-income students, Penn Global, and the University’s cultural resource centers, Student Disability Services, and Penn Wellness are among the many resource offices that provide mentoring, support, and guidance for students. The University is committed to preparing its students to be leaders in an increasing global society and providing opportunities for them to learn about and from other student’s perspectives and experiences. As of the fall 2020, the traditional undergraduate student body was almost 54% female; almost 48% identified as minority, with just over 20% identified as underrepresented minorities; and more than 13% identified as international students who hailed from 116 countries. Of the class admitted in the fall of 2020, 14% identified as first-generation college students.

Penn is committed to ensuring that its expansive educational resources, both in and out of the classroom, are accessible and affordable for every admitted student. In 2008, it announces its “All-Grant No-Loan” financial aid program that ensured that undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need do not need to take out loans to finance their education. Approximately 46% of Penn undergraduates receive some form of financial aid with their average award being $54,301 such that for aided students the cost of attending Penn in academic year 201920 was less than it was in academic year 2014-15 ($15,000 as compared to $19,000 in constant 2005 dollars) (https://srfs.upenn.edu/financial-aid).

Penn's Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence was launched in 2011 under the leadership of President Amy Gutmann and then Provost Vincent Price in collaboration with the Deans of all 12 Schools. Penn committed $100 million to support the Action Plan's initiatives which included the creation of Presidential Professorships, pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, and efforts to make the University more family-friendly. According to the 2019 Action Plan Update, since 2011, during a period when its standing faculty increased by 8.8%, the percentage of underrepresented minority faculty increased by 46% and women increased by 22%. Between 2011 and 2018 the percentage of underrepresented minorities on Penn’s standing faculty grew from 6% to over 8%. From 2011 to 2018, the percentage of minorities on Penn’s standing faculty grew from 20% to 25%. More information and further details are reported in the Faculty Inclusion Report (the name by which Action Plan updates are now known) : https://provost.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/users/user130/2019%20Faculty%20Inclusion%20Update.pdf

Penn has numerous programs that foster inclusion and support staff inclusion that range from leadership development programs such as Leadership at Penn that recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion as an essential component of effective leadership. Educational programs are available for staff regarding the University’s commitment to equity that range from unconscious or implicit bias to equitable hiring practices and respectful workplace training. In addition, the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (http://www.upenn.edu/affirm-action/), Penn Global's Intercultural Leadership Program ILP | ISSS (upenn.edu)), and other campus resource offices including the African-American Resource Center, the LGBT Center, and Penn Women’s Center offer programs that engage the campus community by offering spaces to learn with and from other members of the community. The Penn Professional Staff Assembly and the Weekly-Paid Staff Assembly also provide opportunities to understand the needs of Penn’s diverse staff. The Division of Human Resources facilitates recruitment and professional development to ensure the diversity and excellence of Penn’s staff. The Economic Inclusion Committee also has a subcommittee that includes internal and external stakeholders who review Penn’s progress in diversifying its staff. Information regarding staff diversity is available on the University’s Diversity website (https://diversity.upenn.edu/resources/) and in publicly available information posted by the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis (https://www.upenn.edu/ir/facts.html).

Penn’s Committee on Diversity and Equity, which is part of the University Council, is one of the deliberative bodies that makes recommendations to the University administration to assist the University in fostering and taking full advantage of its diversity as well as in strengthening ties across all boundaries to enrich and enliven the campus community (https://secure.www.upenn.edu/secretary/council/de.html). The Economic Inclusion Committee is another important voice in ensuring that the University realizes its ambitions for inclusive excellence (http://www.evp.upenn.edu/strategic-initiatives/community-and-economic-development/economic-inclusion-initiatives.html). Additionally, the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity and Equity (SCFDDE) (https://provost.upenn.edu/senate/scfdde) and its Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (https://provost.upenn.edu/senate/scesf) make recommendations regarding ways to ensure equitable treatment of faculty.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of non-academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

In 2016, Penn initiated a mandatory online program called "Thrive at Penn" (TAP) that assists students, both undergraduate and graduate, in their Penn experience, with a dedicated web portal for every class, including incoming first-year and transfer students. TAP prepares students to make healthy choices during their university experience and provides information about resources available to support student success. Topics covered include thriving at a research university; wellness and health; the risks associated with alcohol and other drugs; healthy relationships and sexual violence prevention; civic engagement; and resources specific to student needs during freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years. See: https://www.nso.upenn.edu/tap.

Additionally, during "New Student Orientation" for first-year and transfer students, training in cultural competency is presented through two mandatory sessions: Safe Living at Penn, a student-oriented guide to working and relaxing safely at Penn; and "Speak About It," a performance about consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships. Additional trainings focused on cultural competencies, diversity, and equity are offered throughout the year by Penn’s Schools, cultural resource centers, student, faculty and staff organizations and associations, and through extracurricular activities.

In addition to the African-American Resource Center, the University has seven cultural resource centers that provide education, services and support for underrepresented groups and interested students, faculty, and staff:
- The Greenfield Intercultural Center fosters intercultural understanding at Penn through cross-cultural activism, reflection, and dialogue. This cultural resource also provides resources for first-generation and low-income (FGLI) Students.
- La Casa Latina, Penn's Center for Hispanic Excellence, promotes awareness of Latinx issues, culture, and identity.
-The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center supports the University's LGBT communities through mentoring, workshops, advocacy, and special events.
- Makuu: the Black Cultural Resource Center is a nexus of advising, leadership development, and programming for Penn students interested in Black culture and the African Diaspora.
- The Pan Asian American Community House is a hub of academic, personal, and professional growth for Penn students interested in Asian American culture and the Asian Diaspora.
- The Penn Women's Center addresses the evolving needs of women through programming, advocacy, and community.

In addition to the cultural resource centers, some academic programs, such as the bachelor’s degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences, have a cross cultural diversity requirement. Cultural studies programs (Africana Studies; Asian American Studies; Latin and Latin American Studies; Native American and Indigenous Studies; and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies to name a few) supplement curricular offerings in Schools and Departments with a plethora of lectures and workshops to foster understanding of the experiences of others as well as deepen one's understanding of their own cultural heritage.

In addition, the Office of the University Chaplain, which is staffed by clergy from a number of faith traditions, works with Penn Hillel, the Newman Center, the Christian Association, local Imams and others to provide support for students, faculty and staff of faith and those who are agnostic or atheist to promote understanding of traditions and rituals. There are also numerous religious organizations that are affiliated with the Chaplain’s Office that support students, faculty and staff.

The Penn Museum is an extraordinary resource for the campus, community and the world about peoples and cultures across the globe. The Museum has a number of curated exhibits that are changed periodically, and sponsors educational programs that are open to the campus and surrounding community. A number of arts organizations, including the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Arthur Ross Gallery offer programs that celebrate and illuminate artists and art forms that seem to illuminate and challenge visitors to think more deeply about the impact of the arts and its ability to help individuals cross cultural boundaries. A listing of these resources, with links to relevant web pages, is available on the University's diversity website (http://diversity.upenn.edu/resources/).

Staff and Faculty: All staff are required to attend a training on the Principles of Responsible Conduct, which include Respectful Workplace, at least once every three years. The Principles are available on-line here: http://www.upenn.edu/audit/oacp_principles.htm, and includes policies for faculty, staff, and students. The Division of Human Resources is responsible for conducting these trainings in each division and office, including for Penn's 700+ person trades and unionized employees. In addition, the Division offers training of issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion that are open to all members of the community, including unconscious bias and the prevention of sexual harassment.

The Penn Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (OAA/EOP) provides educational programs to assist members of the University community in understanding discrimination, harassment and retaliation. In addition, OAA/EOP offers information on how to address behaviors that are inconsistent with the University’s stated commitment to diversity and inclusion and violate its policies on equal opportunity and affirmative action. The initiatives and programs offered by OAA/EOP also assist participants in understanding how to be proactive in creating a respectful and productive work environment. See: http://www.upenn.edu/affirm-action/policies-handbooks.html

The Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) Racial Justice Task Force is working to eradicate systemic racism within DRIA. In June 2020, the Racial Justice Task Force was asked to address the Division’s Plan of Action: First Steps to Combat Racism. Since then, the Task Force has designated short-term and long-term recommendations to help transform DRIA into an anti-racist organization. These recommendations fall into four categories: community, education & training, marketing & communications, and programming. Among the recommendations to date are: selecting an Athletic Diversity & Inclusion Designee, expanding facility access to provide increased usage for West Philadelphia schools and communities, implementing diversity training on a regular basis, increasing sponsorships with Black-owned businesses, and implementing physical community service initiatives in West Philadelphia.

Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2019 "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY20 year and compares them to the FY09 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton Center has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

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.