The Penn Compact 2020 articulates the University’s commitment to access and inclusion, and the School of Arts and Sciences embraces this commitment as one of the core values underlying its strategic plan, Foundations and Frontiers.
In a school that values the breadth and depth of its research and teaching, the diversity of the Arts & Sciences faculty is paramount to its academic success, and the School works to enhance and support faculty diversity through strategies that address both recruitment and initiatives that create an inclusive environment and support retention.
In undergraduate education, the School works with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to increase the diversity of the applicant pool and admitted classes in every dimension. To achieve this end, it is imperative to ensure that a Penn education is accessible to promising students, regardless of their background or ability to pay tuition. Beyond tuition, we must provide the means for students to take full advantage of the richness of the educational environment, including opportunities to take non- or low-paying internships, to do research, and to study abroad.
Graduate education in the School is, likewise, strengthened by our commitment to multi-racial and multi-cultural cohorts of students across programs, and we strive to be leaders in this effort through proactive recruitment strategies as well through efforts to build community for underrepresented minority students, including consistent mentoring and networking access and improved funding. The School also pursues programs to attract a more diverse group of scholars to doctoral education, where they may ultimately broaden the professoriate of tomorrow.
In addition, the changing demographics of higher education have brought a national audience to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Maintaining opportunities for talented students who pursue a different path to their bachelor’s degree, without compromising academic excellence, is an important dimension of the School’s inclusion strategy.