Fostering and Embracing a Diverse World - Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Penn State Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence should be interwoven throughout each of the eight thematic priority areas of Our Commitment to Impact: The Pennsylvania State University's Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020.

Building on the integration of A Framework to Foster Diversity, each thematic priority will address the following four goals under the Foundations: Fostering and Embracing a Diverse World - Strategic Plan 2016-2020:

Diversity Planning Goals

  • Goal #1:      Create a Welcoming and Inclusive Campus Climate
  • Goal #2:      Advance and Build a Diverse Student Body
  • Goal #3:      Advance and Build a Diverse Workforce and Management
  • Goal #4:      Develop a Curriculum That Fosters United States and International Cultural Competencies

Students, faculty, and staff alike rightfully demand that the University be inclusive and make meaningful efforts to be successful and accountable. Penn State is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across all of its campuses. Diversity-related foci included in unit strategic plans and our Framework to Foster Diversity describe in detail the challenges we must confront and overcome and opportunities we can leverage.

University demographics and projections highlight the importance of recruitment, retention, and success of diverse faculty, staff, and administrative leadership within the context of an inclusive educational environment. Penn State has emerged as a national leader for our diversity, equity, and inclusion work, and this is an area where we have further opportunity for broader and deeper results. Diversity has immense practical value with respect to scholarship, research, and workforce development.

Inclusion and equity are central to Penn State’s obligation and commitment as a public institution of higher education to teach effectively all of the people in our communities—in our Commonwealth, the United States, and increasingly from around the world. Diversity is critical to the education of all students. It broadens their exposure to people representing different countries and nationalities; age groups; racial, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds; mental and physical abilities; and sexual orientations and gender identities, among others. Education within a diverse environment, with people having opinions and perspectives different than one’s own, helps to create a rich learning context and prepares students for life in a complex, changing society. Furthermore, diversity enables enlightened research and discovery in a manner that is central to our mission.

We will continue to foster and sustain an environment of respect and inclusion for faculty, staff, students, and members of the communities we serve; creatively provide programs and environments that embrace diversity and promote broad acceptance of differences; be steadfast in our efforts to ensure equitable access to our facilities, programs, resources, and services; and advance our workforce by attracting and developing talented faculty, staff, and students from diverse backgrounds. We will assertively incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our research, teaching, learning, outreach, assessment, operations, and decision making at both the unit and University levels, and equip Penn State leaders, faculty, and staff with the tools to foster diversity, measure results, be accountable, and further institutionalize a culture of inclusion.