Your Voice | President Gutmann's response to "Guess who's (not) coming to dinner"

Amy Gutmann's open letter

· January 31, 2013, 12:43 am

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Increasing diversity at every level of our university has always been and remains one of my highest priorities. I have charged every dean and senior administrator at Penn to make diversity their priority as well. As a result, we have made significant progress in many areas of campus life, as well as our volunteer leadership. And as I have said repeatedly, we still have much work to do.

Over the past decade, we have achieved substantial increases in the diversity of our students, which has been integral to making Penn an extraordinarily strong and vibrant academic institution. We initiated the Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence that for the first time spans all 12 schools and includes a $100 million University commitment over five years. The plan includes Presidential Term Professorships and pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships that are already being filled with fabulous appointees. We have made important hires of women and people of color as Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professors. With my strong support, Penn established a Department of Africana Studies, thus enhancing the impact of this field on the academic mission of our university. We have increased the diversity of our Board of Trustees and Boards of Overseers as well.

There are areas, such as academic administration, where progress has been slow and where we need to work even harder. We are unequivocally committed to doing just that.

A diverse environment stimulates creativity and generates greater opportunities for learning. It enhances every facet of what we do as a university and strengthens our connections to the larger community. And it will always be a cornerstone of our strategic efforts to make Penn an ever more eminent university.

Amy Gutmann
Penn President

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