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Penn’s faculty diversity efforts started around five years ago, with more institutional resources being devoted to this effort.

Credit: Joy Lee

About five years ago, Penn began to take steps to devote institutional resources toward increasing and sustaining faculty diversity. Here’s a recap of what progress the school has made since then:

June 2011: President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price released the Action Plan for Faculty Diversity, stating the case for diversity in higher education and at Penn. The plan promised resources for faculty recruitment, improved climate and retention. Together, the Penn’s twelve schools and the central administration pledged $100 million in diversity spending over five years.

May 2012: Each of Penn’s 12 schools releases its own plan for increasing faculty diversity. These diversity action plans outline the procedures designed to ensure broad outreach during hiring searches and detail the schools’ specific plans for faculty development and retention. These plans also include metrics to allow for the assessment of progress in each of these areas.

December 2013: More than two years after the five-year Faculty Diversity Action Plan was launched, a revealing report on faculty diversity statistics is released: the report shows slow but steady increase in faculty diversity.

February 2015: The LGBT Center launches its own LGBTQ Diversity Task Force, composed of faculty, professors and students, to address the lack of attention that the LGBTQ community received in the five-year action plan regarding faculty diversity.

September 2016: Separate from the five-year Faculty Diversity Action Plan, the Faculty Senate announces that examining faculty diversity as a goal for coming academic year.

Early 2017: The final progress report for the five-year action plan will be published.