Core Penn values include cultivating an inclusive climate and celebrating the diversity of the faculty community.
Penn knows it must work towards achieving these goals through a collaborative process between faculty and the administration.
Last year, with input from the faculty, provost and president, Penn formulated plans for new initiatives to improve faculty diversity and enrich opportunities for faculty development under the auspices of Penn’s Diversity Action Plan.
This year, several Faculty Senate committees are charged with recommending areas for cross-school collaborations to create synergy for greater impact and also to identify ways that College Hall could provide centralized coordination for common themes in the school-based initiatives.
Also this year, the data from the campus-wide 2011 Faculty Climate Survey are being analyzed by an ad hoc faculty committee, populated with input from Vice Provost for Faculty Lynn Lees and with statistical support from the President’s Office. In upcoming months, the findings, priorities and paths forward will be discussed in joint meetings with Faculty Senate Leadership, the Provost’s Office and the president. We are aware that concerns of faculty of color, women faculty and those of various sexual orientations have some overlap but are fundamentally different, indicating that the most effective paths forward must be designed to meet those specific needs.
The faculty look forward to active collaboration with the president and provost to achieve the shared goal of making Penn greater by engaging its diverse faculty to the fullest extent, at all levels.
Wednesday’s statement by our senior faculty of color underscores the importance and urgency of translating those plans to actions.
George H. Stephenson Professor — Department of Bioengineering
Chair, Faculty Senate