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Role of the Commissions:

There are three commissions that have a formal liaison relationship with the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity (OVPEE):

These commissions are advisory bodies to the President of Penn State on matters that pertain to their respective constituencies, and they work to improve the climate for their respective groups within the University community. The commissions are empowered to directly collaborate with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and organizations both within and external to the University.

Role of the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity:

The commissions are administratively housed within the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. The role of Educational Equity is to facilitate the work of the commissions accordingly by:

  • functioning as a formal channel of communication between the commissions and the University administration;
  • providing guidance about Penn State policies, procedures, resources, and potential collaborations;
  • administering each commission’s budget according to University and Educational Equity policies.

Policy Overview Statement:

As entities that report to the President, the commissions are University bodies, and, as alluded to above, they are required to adhere to University standards, policies, and procedures related to budget, Web design, publications, as well as use of official visual identities such as the Penn State mark, commission logos, nondiscrimination statements, accessibility, etc. As the University office that houses the commissions, Educational Equity is obligated to ensure that the commissions follow all relevant University policies and procedures. Additionally, the commissions are expected to comply with Educational Equity’s internal guidelines and standards.

Any commission member who initiates action that requires Educational Equity services, publication development, formal communications, access to commission funds, or contact with an external vendor or service provider should follow these procedures in consultation with their liaison. Commission members should communicate with other Educational Equity staff (e.g., staff assistants and the Web/Publications coordinator) only through their liaison.


A Diversity Planning Analyst from Educational Equity is assigned as a liaison to each commission. The liaison’s primary functions are to:

  • provide consultation and advice;
  • maintain and archive appropriate commission records and documents;
  • facilitate communication and information flow between commissions, Educational Equity administrators, commission leadership, commission membership, interested constituents, and service providers;
  • provide continuity as commission membership and leadership rotates;
  • facilitate access to administrative support in the implementation of budget, correspondence, event planning, marketing, publications, scheduling, and web content management.

Remember: The liaison is the primary point of contact for commission members. The liaison is key to effectively accessing resources, information, and services within Educational Equity and elsewhere in the University. To complete certain tasks, the commissions need the assistance of administrative and other staff expertise within Educational Equity (i.e., web design and maintenance, editorial review, etc.). Commissions access these services by going through the liaison. The commissions also have access to the Vice Provost and the assistant vice provosts, but the liaison relationship is primary and communication with the Educational Equity administration should occur in consultation with the liaison.

University Editor Representative:

The University Editor Representative System is a University-wide system of review and approval of University publications. University Editor (U.Ed.) Representatives comprise a network of people who serve as deputies for the Department of University Publications to help manage the quality and consistency of the University’s publications. Every campus, college, and administrative unit has a University Editor Representative.

Educational Equity’s University Editor Representative must review all web and print publications produced by the commissions prior to publication. Commission members are encouraged to consult Guidelines for Publications Produced in the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity prior to preparation of commission publications. Additional information is available in the University’s Visual & Editorial Style Manual.


Educational Equity Staff:

Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity


Barbara Welshofer
Senior Diversity Planning Analyst
Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
311 Grange Building

Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity


Sheila Barlock
Diversity Planning Analyst
Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
310 Grange Building

Commission for Women


Ashley Jackson
Diversity Planning Analyst
Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity
312 Grange Building

Educational Equity Organizational Chart [ PDF ]