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List of Indicators

Challenge 1: Developing a Shared and Inclusive Understanding of Diversity

Evidence of the presence of a variety of communication strategies, including traditional and newer technologies, to disseminate accurate information and resources for diversity

  • Penn State shares information about diversity and diversity resources via outlets such as printed brochures and newsletters, listservs, videos, newswires, and the Web. The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity is linked under “About Penn State” from the Penn State home page. The Penn State Fact Book includes sections on student and employee demographics by gender and by Race/Ethnicity.

Evidence of the presence of specific programs and initiatives that target populations beyond Race/Ethnicity and Gender

  • There are a number of University level programs and resources devoted to supporting a broad range of diverse populations beyond gender and race/ethnicity. These include, but are not limited to, the Affirmative Action Office; Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity (Office for Disability Services; Student Support Services Program; Office of Veterans Programs); University Office of Global Programs; Student Affairs (Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs; Adult Learner Programs and Services; LGBTA Student Resource Center); Office of Human Resources (new employee orientation programming; Hire Power; domestic partner benefits); and numerous additional initiatives, programs, and resources at campuses, colleges, and administrative units that have significant and broad-reaching impact.

Challenge 2: Creating a Welcoming Campus Climate

University Faculty/Staff Survey

  • "The workplace climate in my department/unit is welcoming for employees from underrepresented groups."
  • "Acceptance of diversity in the workplace has improved on my campus in the past three years."
    See Faculty/Staff Survey Results - [ XLS ]

Penn State Pulse Student Surveys: Satisfaction; First Year Experience; and Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

  • #4 - “How satisfied are you with the overall quality of your sense of belonging at Penn State?”
  • #5 - “How satisfied are you with the overall quality of the safety and security at your campus?”
  • “To what degree is the Penn State community welcoming?”
  • “To what degree have you made progress toward getting to know others different from yourself
    (i.e., race/ethnicity, sexual orientation)?”
  • #2 - “I feel as though I belong in the Penn State Community.”
  • #6 - “The University Park climate is supportive of students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.”
    See Student Survey Results - [ XLS ]

National Survey of Student Engagement, Penn State Results

  • #1E – “In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have you . . . included diverse perspectives (different races, religions, genders, political beliefs, etc.) in class discussions or writing assignments?”
  • #1U – “In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have you . . . had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own?”
  • #10C – “To what extent does your institution emphasize . . .encouraging contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds?”
  • #11L – “To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in . . . understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds?”
    See NSSE Survey Results - [ XLS ]

Campus Pride Five-Star LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index Rating

  • Penn State has received Campus Pride's Five-Star LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index Rating since the inception of the ratings system in 2008. Campus Pride is the only national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. The Five-Star rating is Campus Pride's top level, and in the most recent iteration of the rating in 2011, only 33 of 300 participating schools attained this level. See Penn State Live article for more details

Challenge 3: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Student Body

Student Aid Data


Penn State diversity rankings per selected publications

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

#85 African-American baccalaureate, with 437 graduates (4%), up 15% from 2013
#43 Asian American baccalaureate, with 596 graduates (6%), up 1% from 2013
#68 Hispanic baccalaureate, with 502 graduates (5%), up 21% from 2013
#53 Multicultural baccalaureate, with 1726 graduates (16%), up 12% from 2013
#34 Hispanic baccalaureate in engineering, with 56 graduates (4%), up 19% from 2011-12

Chronicle of Higher Education

#4 African American male doctorates in STEM programs from 2002-2012

Colleges and campuses are encouraged to report disaggregated data on student majors, shifts between majors, and grade-point average.

Challenge 4: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

Note: Conversion to the competencies system does not allow for comparisons of staff by level


Challenge 5: Developing a Curriculum that Fosters U.S. and International Cultural Competencies

Courses certified by the University Faculty Senate as Meeting the United States Cultures (US) and International Cultures (IL) or “US;IL” requirement



Challenge 6: Diversifying University Leadership and Management

Faculty/Staff Survey:


Challenge 7: Coordinating Organizational Change to Support Diversity Goals

Note: it is particularly important for units to develop their own specific indicators for this Challenge.

Strong relationship between diversity planning and general strategic planning

  • Close collaboration between the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment and the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity to ensure synergies between the University strategic plans and A Framework to Foster Diversity, particularly between the 2010-15 Framework and the Priorities for Excellence plan 2009–10 through 2014–15.
  • A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State: 2010–15 encourages more strategic planning approaches and focus on macro-level progress rather than on operational reporting.

Institutionalized enhancements to the diversity strategic planning process and resources

  • Implementation of a thorough review of Unit diversity plans on a regular basis, including follow-up discussions between the Provost, Vice Provost for Educational Equity, and unit executives.
  • Analysis of review results to determine University progress, best practices, and opportunities for improvement.
  • Implementation of Best Practices in Diversity Strategic Planning workshops for unit executives and planners.
  • Development of University Framework Strategic Indicators.
  • Comprehensive Web site of documentation.

Presence of structures to ensure that issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity are represented at the highest levels of administrative decision making

  • Chief Diversity Officer position (in existence since 1989), Vice Provost for Educational Equity.
  • Vice Provost for Educational Equity participates in President’s Council, Academic Leadership Council, and University Faculty Senate.
  • Three advisory commissions to the President of Penn State regarding issues of diversity: Commission for Women (1981); Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity (1989); Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity (1991).
  • Each college has a multicultural officer position.
  • Educational Equity and many colleges have diversity advisory boards.