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Two more faculty diversity officers were appointed to the Annenberg School of Communications and the School of Design.

Penn Design Associate Dean for Administration Janet Kroll and Communications professor Barbie Zelizer will work to implement the Faculty Diversity Action Plan within their schools.

Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price announced the plan to increase faculty diversity this summer. Each school must appoint a diversity officers and work to finalize their plan by the end of the academic year.

With 18 standing faculty, Annenberg is the smallest school at Penn, whereas Penn Design represents one of the medium-sized schools at the University with 34 faculty members.

Annenberg plans to increase their diversity by altering the hiring process.

This year, before the plan is established, the diversity officer “will provide advice on equal opportunities in diversity when the school writes a job description, advertises a position, reviews the application and decides on whom to bring to an interview if the school hires a new person,” said Annenberg School Dean Michael Delli Carpini, who spoke on behalf of Zelizer, since the newly-elected officer was not available for an interview.

The male to female ratio at Annenberg stands at 11:7, whereas the white to non-white ratio is 16:2 and the ratio of US and foreign-born faculty is 13:5.

“It’s a good time for us,” said Delli Carpini. “Because over the next two or three years, we will probably be hiring four to five new faculty members.”

He added while Zelizer has been appointed to the role of diversity officer for one year, the school aims to complete its diversity plan by May 2012 to determine the officer’s exact role and term.

While Annenberg’s approach focuses on tenured faculty members, Penn Design will also try to increase diversity among students and aim to tackle the broader issues surrounding race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and age.

Kroll, who was appointed on Sept. 1st, said “Penn Design is diverse in terms of national origin and genders,” but “since design professions are not particularly diverse, Penn Design still has some challenges in terms of recruitment that it has to work on, such as ethnicity of faculties.”

Penn Design’s male to female ratio, by contrast, is 20:14 and its white to non-white ratio stands at 29:5, according to Kroll.

Kroll hopes be an active part of developing Penn Design’s diversity action plan which will focus on recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and students.

She hopes Penn Design will create a positive feedback loop by having more diverse students attract a more diverse faculty and vice versa.

Penn Design will also consider economic diversity when selecting students.

“In terms of our broad thinking about diversity, we are very aware that we really need to think about faculty and students together,” Kroll said. “Because having a more diverse faculty enables us to recruit [a] more diverse student body.”

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