“Penn State is proud of its long commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said President Rodney Erickson. “We are honored to be recognized as a national leader in diversity strategic planning, and we thank the students, faculty, staff and administration who have worked to meet our diversity goals. We remain committed to an inclusive future at Penn State.”
To be considered for the award, institutions had to complete a 40-question application outlining their diversity initiatives. The publication took a broad approach to diversity when considering applicant schools. It looked at race and ethnicity, disabilities, women’s issues, veterans issues and LGBT issues across campus programs, including students recruitment, retention and completion; recruitment and retention of faculty members; administrative diversity; suppliers; student services; hiring and employee policies; curriculums; programs and affinity groups; and community partnerships.
Penn State recognizes diversity as a core value of its academic mission in its strategic plan, A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State, which outlines seven diversity challenges within the dimensions of Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations, Representation (Access and Success), Education and Scholarship, and Institutional Viability and Vitality. Penn State has three University-wide President’s Equity Commissions, and each college, campus and administrative unit has a diversity committee, many of which also have committees at the department level. The University also has a strong commitment to TRIO programs and a host of programs that reach out to first-generation, low-income, pre-college students; support academic success; and offer need-based scholarships.