Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity

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Diversity is the cornerstone of excellence. The College of the Liberal Arts strives to increase diversity and fully include members of underrepresented groups among students, staff, and faculty. Diversity in students, staff, and faculty enhances overall creativity, intellectual pursuit and accomplishments, and contributes meaningfully to the training of citizens in a democratic society. The qualities that people from diverse backgrounds bring to institutions of higher education help us think more complexly, consider varied perspectives, create new approaches, and achieve excellence as community members and leaders in an ever-changing world. Within this evolving societal context, the College of the Liberal Arts strives to maintain a leadership role in fostering an equitable, inclusive, and welcoming environment.

Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Transformation (CODIT)

Highlighting the ongoing work of the committee.

Helpful Links

Highlighting college initiatives and university offices addressing and promoting diversity-related issues.

The Graduate Alliance for Diversity and Inclusion

GADI is a graduate-student-led effort to promote diversity and inclusion for graduate students in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Faculty Recruitment Initiatives

The College of the Liberal Arts continues to pursue important diversity initiatives with recent successes that have been nationally recognized. In 2018-19, the college executed a successful cluster hire in African American life and culture that led to the hire of nine new faculty. This hire has been noticed around the country by interested scholars, and it laid the groundwork for the hire of noted faculty scholar P. Gabrielle Foreman from the University of Delaware in the spring of 2019. She brought the Colored Conventions Project, a project noted as one of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ 50 essential projects, to Penn State. In conjunction with this hire, the college has a new Center for Black Digital Research, a collaboration with University Libraries, to advance scholarship in this area as well as in the digital liberal arts.

Student Recruitment Initiatives

The College of the Liberal Arts is committed to the recruitment, development, graduation, and placement of outstanding students from diverse backgrounds. Over 25% percent of Liberal Arts graduate students are international, including many from Asia and Africa; and over 17 percent of domestic students are minorities. In addition to substantial financial aid, minority students at Penn State and in the Liberal Arts can count on funding, support services, cultural events, research, and professional development opportunities that they need to reach their goals. The college has its own Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity dedicated to supporting Liberal Arts students.

Earl F. Merritt

Director, Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity

122 Sparks Building
(814) 863-3870


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