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About Us


What is Penn State's Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity?

The Commission was appointed in 1989 by Penn State President Bryce Jordan as a University-wide advisory body to the president of Penn State in matters relating to racial and ethnic diversity. The Commission is dedicated to enhancing the University's climate for diversity at all its locations in the Commonwealth. CORED's activities focus on advancing A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State: 1998-2003, Penn State's diversity strategic plan. In May 2001, CORED received an enhanced mandate under this plan.The Commission acts on issues raised by the Office of the President, the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity, commission members, and members of the Penn State community.

What is the commission's operating philosophy?

The Commission's primary function is to advise the President of Penn State, but it is also a resource for all University departments and individuals seeking to improve Penn State's climate for diversity. The Commission encourages "teamwork, collaboration, and communication" as it serves the University's mission of cultivating an "appreciation of human capabilities and human diversity," and "appreciation of a multicultural human society and a greater involvement with our increasingly interdependent world." In this endeavor, the Commission believes the University can realize its potential to become a total quality institution, within Pennsylvania and in the world, when all its customers or clients, both internal and external, feel encouraged to achieve their own personal and professional potential within a safe and supportive community that values diversity.

What does the commission do?

  • Meets regularly with the President of Penn State to discuss issues related to racial/ethnic diversity, offering recommendations and discussing suitable actions;
  • Evaluates the efficacy of present University programs, policies, and procedures as they affect members of underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, and initiates appropriate measures when necessary;
  • Recommends and undertakes initiatives that ensure the participation of racial/ethnic individuals in University affairs and encourages them to utilize their talents and professional skills for their own and others' enrichment;
  • Fosters activities that enhance the climate for racial/ethnic diversity at all Penn State campuses;
  • Identifies areas in which new or revised policies, programs, and/or procedures are needed to assure that people have full freedom and opportunity within the University and help remove barriers that impede learning, development, creativity, or employment.

Who can be a member of the Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity?

The President of Penn State appoints Commission members from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups encompassed by national affirmative action guidelines (African/Black Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Asian & Pacific Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans, and White Americans). Members also represent every employment category in the University, i.e., administrators, faculty, staff exempt, staff nonexempt, and technical service. Six students (including both undergraduates and graduates) are also appointed to the Commission.

How does one become a member of the Commission?

Each spring, a call for applications is circulated in the faculty/staff and student Newswires. The Commission's Executive Leadership Team forwards names of selected nominees to the President of the University, who approves and appoints the new members. If you are interested in membership, please visit the Get Involved page to complete an application.

When does the Commission meet?

The commission meets once a month from September through June. Meeting dates are regularly published in Newswire, Penn State's Diversity Calendar, and on CORED's site. Typically, CORED meetings are open to non-commission members unless otherwise indicated. Contact the CORED Chair in advance if you would like to place an item on the agenda.

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