Penn State Intercom......June 6, 2002

Diversity progress reports
now posted on the Web

Final drafts of progress reports on the Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State: 1998-2003 submitted by the University's academic colleges and academic support units now are available for public review on the Web at http://www.equity.psu.edu/framework/updates/.

Since mid-December, teams of faculty, staff and students have reviewed the reports from 34 units and provided feedback. Rodney Erickson, provost and executive vice president, and Terrell Jones, vice provost for educational equity, also completed reviews of the reports and submitted requests for additional information.

Administrators have responded with updates and revisions, said Jones.

"This past year has been very productive with important diversity initiatives such as the Framework progress reports, the creation of the Africana Research Center and ongoing discussions at every level among our leadership about building collaborative and diverse communities," Jones said. "The Framework review teams of students, faculty and staff were deeply committed to their tasks. Overall, during the discussions, we found it was not simply a matter of a unit doing better, but doing things differently. Sometimes, the teams found that an issue involved looking at the entire University and rethinking whole processes, not necessarily focusing on one department. Often, the solution is not to create whole new offices, but to better integrate services from existing units. There will be some budget implications for those units which did well and for those which could have done better."

Jones said that this year, the University accomplished nearly all of the items in the Plan to Enhance Diversity at Penn State and more.

"Our commitment is reflected in the fact that minority enrollment continues to grow at Penn State. There were 8,869 minorities enrolled at Penn State for the 2001-02 school year -- an increase of almost 42 percent since 1994. African-American enrollment alone has grown at Penn State for each year during the past decade. There were 3,574 African-American students enrolled for the 2001-02 school year.

"The University has a major leadership role in educating African-American students and other minorities from throughout Pennsylvania. In addition, Penn State is helping many minority residents through our community outreach programs, economic development efforts and medical services in cities from western Pennsylvania to eastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia," he added.

A set of best practices to foster diversity will be developed this summer and shared with all University units. They also will be posted publicly on the Web.

The Framework Progress Report teams included representatives from underrepresented student groups such as Black Caucus, Undergraduate Student Government, Commission for Women, Commission for Racial/Ethnic Diversity, Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equity, and the Forum on Black Affairs.

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