Penn State decides not to follow through with plans for 'Center for Racial Justice'

A group of faculty at Penn State have joined together to put pressure on the administration to fund a Center for Racial Justice that was committed to in 2021.

The project was subsequently scrapped by current President Neeli Bendapudi.

A group of faculty members at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) have joined together to put pressure on the administration to fund a Center for Racial Justice that was committed to in 2021 under a previous university president. 

The project was subsequently scrapped by current President Neeli Bendapudi.  

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In an Oct. 6 letter written to Bendapudi and the administration by faculty, obtained by Spotlight PA, the group said they were “disappointed” and that “Penn state does not have a solid reputation for adequately addressing social injustices, inclusion, and racism.” 

After several weeks of hesitancy on the project, Bendapudi made a statement on Oct. 26 saying that she had “determined that enhancing support for current efforts by people who know Penn State best will be more impactful than investing in a new venture, and so we will not pursue efforts to launch a Center for Racial Justice.”

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Penn State has started to search for a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) adviser for Bendapudi and will soon have one appointed.

Other DEIB-related efforts at the university include a “Diversity Resources” page and a Multicultural Resource Center

Penn State and Bendapudi were contacted by Campus Reform for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.