Penn State was among the first universities in the nation to approach diversity goals via a strategic planning process. A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State was first launched in 1998 and currently is completing its third five-year cycle. Diversity strategic planning has been merged into the University’s overall strategic planning to include the current set of strategic planning guidelines and 2014–15 through 2018­­–19 unit strategic plans submitted in July 2014.

The most unique feature of A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State and one of its greatest strengths is the comprehensive review process, begun in 2001 and which includes the significant public accountability feature of having final materials posted on the web. Five Framework Review Teams were charged by Provost Nick Jones to evaluate the diversity updates and planning contained in the unit 2014–15 through 2018–19 strategic plans. The Review Teams met in fall 2014 and focused on macro-level progress in achieving goals for each of the seven Framework Challenges, with an emphasis on evidence-based decision making and impact.

The Review Teams produced concise feedback reports for each of the University’s strategic planning units. Review Team feedback reports have been provided to Provost Nick Jones and then Interim Vice Provost for Educational Equity Marcus Whitehurst, who will then meet with each unit head to discuss their feedback. The units have an opportunity to make a written response to the feedback reports following the meeting. The Review Teams also evaluated best practices proposed by the units as per the strategic planning guidelines. This analysis represents the Review Teams’ observations and recommendations regarding the University’s overall progress toward its diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence goals as articulated in the Framework.

The Review Teams are representative of broad constituencies across the University. They include faculty, staff, students, and administrators, with representatives from the President’s commissions for equity, Faculty Senate, campuses, diversity student organizations, and other stakeholder groups. Each team was staffed by a diversity planning analyst from Educational Equity. Chairs were:

  • Kelly Austin, Chancellor, Penn State Schuylkill
  • Barbara Dewey, Dean, University Libraries and Scholarly Communications
  • Keith Hillkirk, Chancellor, Penn State Berks
  • Iyunolu Osagie, Associate Professor of English, College of the Liberal Arts
  • Carla Pratt, Associate Dean and Professor, Dickinson Law

This document proceeds in four parts based on the Review Team process: findings, recommendations, characteristics of effective unit diversity strategic plans, and best practices identified by the Review Teams. An executive summary is included for quick reference.