SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT
Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
This Forensic investigation will address the following questions:
What is the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity doing to foster diversity at Penn State?
Does the Faculty Senate have suggestions on how this office can further advance diversity?
Penn State was among the first universities to establish a senior executive for diversity, the Vice Provost for Educational Equity (1989); an extensive Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity (1990) to advance diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence throughout the Penn State student body, faculty, staff, and leadership; and a strategic planning approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (1998). We are also one of the few universities to keep a continuity throughout the diversity strategic planning process.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity is charged with fostering diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence throughout the Penn State student body, faculty, staff, and leadership. This mission comprises educational access programs for targeted groups of low-income, potential first-generation college students; academic success services and Federal TRIO Programs for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented/underserved students; and serving as a catalyst, advocate, and resource for Penn State’s diversity and inclusion initiatives by coordinating University-wide strategic planning for diversity and providing University-wide leadership to increase Penn State’s capacity for diversity and inclusion.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity supports and evaluates the many diversity initiatives and serves as an advocate for a range of populations. These include historically underrepresented/underserved racial/ethnic groups; persons with disabilities; persons from low-income families who would be the first generation to attend college; veterans; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons; and women. Development efforts have significantly exceeded the campaign goal, which results in the awarding of over 1.2 million dollars in need-based scholarships annually to the student constituents of the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. The three President’s commissions for equity are administratively housed and supported through this office: Commission for Women, Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity, and Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity. The belief of the office is that diversity and inclusion are central to the University’s overall mission of excellence.
More information about particular offices and programs can be found at the following links:
Educational Opportunity Center (Philadelphia): http://equity.psu.edu/eocphila
Multicultural Resource Center: http://equity.psu.edu/mrc
Student Disability Resources: http://equity.psu.edu/student-disability-resources
Office of Veterans Programs: http://equity.psu.edu/veterans
Upward Bound: http://equity.psu.edu/ub
Upward Bound Math and Science Program: http://equity.psu.edu/ubms
Upward Bound Migrant: http://equity.psu.edu/ubm
Senior Faculty Mentor: http://equity.psu.edu/sfm
Equal Opportunity Planning Committee: http://equity.psu.edu/eopc
Talent Search: http://equity.psu.edu/ts
Talent Search York: http://equity.psu.edu/tsyork
The Talent Search Program recently expanded from two to three projects plus an additional Educational Opportunity Center program. Due to this expansion of their projects, the Talent Search website is currently under construction with a target completion date of January 2017.
Documents related to diversity strategic planning and assessment; the Penn State Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence; and the President’s commissions for equity are located at the following links:
Diversity Strategic Planning and Assessment (Fostering and Embracing a Diverse World): http://strategicplan.psu.edu/foundations/
Penn State Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence: http://equity.psu.edu/diversity-statement
Background information on the President’s commissions for equity are available at the following links:
Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity (founded in 1991): http://equity.psu.edu/clgbtqe
Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity (founded in 1989): http://equity.psu.edu/cored
Commission for Women (founded in 1981): http://equity.psu.edu/cfw
External assessment indicates that Penn State is “at the high end of its peers” in terms of the University’s diversity strategic plan, organizational capacity, effectiveness, and impact, and is a leader in strategic assessment. Our institution-wide efforts have also been noted by Insight Into Diversity, which named us one of its Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award recipients (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Diversity Champion) for our strategic planning approach, robust, institution-wide infrastructure for diversity, and numerous college access and student success programs. Other leading institutions have benchmarked against us and drawn heavily from Penn State.
External Assessment, Halualani & Associates: http://equity.psu.edu/workshop/fall13
Remarks from Daryl Smith (leading researcher on diversity in higher education): http://equity.psu.edu/workshop/spring-2009
Peer Institution Diversity & Inclusion Comparative Study Report conducted by Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance:
Campus Pride Index (Five-Star LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index Rating since the inception of the ratings system in 2008): https://www.campusprideindex.org/
Strategic Diversity Plans Among Selected Peer Institutions, a report prepared by the National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan (the report is available for review in the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity)
Insight Into. Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Diversity Champion:
Finally, the Office of Educational Equity’s mission is central to President Barron’s imperatives of Diversity and Demographics and Accessibility, and to Provost Jones’s vision of Fostering and Embracing a Diverse World as a foundational principle of the University’s strategic direction. The mission of the Office intersects with additional strategic priorities and imperatives and is central to the land-grant mission.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT
- Kimberly Blockett
- Julia Bryan, Vice Chair
- Dwight Davis
- Erinn Finke
- Timothy Lawlor
- Robert Loeb, Chair
- John Malchow
- Adam Malek
- Dara Purvis
- Samia Suliman
- Eileen Trauth
- Marcus Whitehurst