Campus Reform | Pennsylvania higher ed governing body makes massive ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ move

Pennsylvania higher ed governing body makes massive ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ move

Pennsylvania’s higher education commission will incorporate “diversity, equity, and inclusion” in its revamping of the state college system.

The group will work to ensure that “the race and ethnicity of students, employees, and appointed trustees and Board members reflect the diverse composition of this Commonwealth.”

Pennsylvania’s higher education commission will incorporate “diversity, equity, and inclusion” into the redesigning of the state college system, according to a recent announcement.

Citing an “array of challenges that confront public higher education nationally,” the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors is redesigning its network of public colleges and universities — namely, by merging several of its fourteen campuses. 

Currently, PASSHE educates more than 93,000 students as the largest provider of higher education in the state of Pennsylvania.

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To ensure the redesign also incorporates the goal of social justice, the board’s “commission on diversity, equity, and inclusion” wrote a report “outlining a range of recommendations for supporting DEI at every campus, in the Office of the Chancellor, and at the Board-level.” 

It unanimously approved a new diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda on April 15.

“This is arguably the most important thing we will do because it so deeply affects the success of our students, our faculty, our staff, indeed our entire system,” said Board of Governors Chair Cindy Shapira in a press release, "Our institutions have been working hard for decades to make their campuses more inclusive and diverse places to learn, live, and work, but until recently, we have not been in a position to truly leverage the power of being a system in order to advance DEI efforts farther and faster.”

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The board’s statement incorporates several goals related to staff and student diversity.

In particular, the state higher education system wants “the race and ethnicity of students, employees, and appointed trustees and Board members reflect the diverse composition of this Commonwealth.” The schools will also close “gaps between various groups of students as measured in terms of their enrollment, affordability, and educational progress.”

Campus Reform reached out to PASSHE for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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