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From the President

Affirmative Action Council

As I stated in my Inaugural address, in a democracy and at great universities, excellence and diversity go together. As Penn seeks to rise to the challenges of a diverse democracy, we must redouble our efforts to seek out and promote talent among people from different backgrounds and perspectives. The University's Affirmative Action Council, composed of faculty, students and staff, is charged with helping Penn realize the aspirations set forth in its policy on Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination. The Council's charge and membership for the current academic year are listed below.

                                                —Amy Gutmann, President

Charge: The Affirmative Action Council is an advisory committee appointed by the President to support the mission of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs.

Members of the Council are appointed by the President for one-year terms, and include faculty, staff, and students. The Executive Director of Affirmative Action and administrators from the Provost's Office, Human Resources, and other officers serve as ex officio members of the Council.  The Chairperson of the Council is a tenured faculty member appointed by the President for a two-year term.

The Council is charged by the President with advising the Administration on matters related to: monitoring the University's affirmative action program and diversity goals; recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, students and staff; and implementation of the University's sexual harassment and non-discrimination policies.

Affirmative Action Council Membership for 2004-2005

Herman Beavers, School of Arts & Sciences, Chair

Valerie Dorsey Allen, African-American Resource Center, ex officio

Jeanne Arnold, Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity Programs, ex officio

Janice Bellace, Office of the Provost, ex officio

Ana Maria Cobo, La Casa Latina, ex officio

June Chu, Pan-Asian American Community House, ex officio

Helen Davies, School of Medicine

Valerie DeCruz, Greenfield Intercultural Center, ex officio

Elena DiLapi, Penn Women's Center, ex officio

Kelley Evans, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, alternate

Brenda Fraser, Office of General Counsel, ex officio

Beverly Frazier, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly

Sharon Harris, Division of  Human Resources, ex officio

William Laufer, Wharton

Bernard Lentz, Institutional Research and Analysis

Anita Mastroieni, Graduate Student Center

Patrice Miller, Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity Programs, ex officio

Alice Nagle, Student Disabilities Services

Devanshu Patel, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly

David Pope, Office of the Ombudsman, ex officio

Carlos Rivera-Anaya, United Minorities Council

Maureen Rush, Public Safety

Robert Schoenberg, LGBT Center, ex officio

Judy Shea, School of Medicine

Rogers Smith, School of Arts & Sciences

Howard Stevenson, Graduate School of Education

Cynthia Wong, Undergraduate Assembly

Irene Wong, School of Social Work


This policy initially became effective October 1, 1973 and was subsequently revised, to be more inclusive, most recently in 2003.

The Policy of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination

The University of Pennsylvania's special character is reflected in the diversity of the Penn community. Men and women of different races, religions, nationalities and backgrounds are necessary to achieve the University's ultimate purpose: the improvement of the human condition through the pursuit of learning and the generation of knowledge. Diversity is prized at Penn because it helps to create the educational environment that best prepares students to contribute to an increasingly diverse and rapidly shrinking world. We must continue, therefore, to seek talented faculty, students and staff who will help constitute a community at Penn that is diverse in race, gender, ethnicity, interests and perspectives.

The foundation for achieving, valuing, and managing diversity at Penn is equal opportunity. We have a clear commitment to equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and affirmative action. This policy reaffirms our commitment in this regard. This policy of equal opportunity, affirmative action, and nondiscrimination is fundamental to the effective functioning of the University as an institution of teaching, scholarship, and public service.

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination against individuals because of: race; color; sex (except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification); sexual orientation; gender identity; religion; creed; national or ethnic origin; citizenship status; age; disability (or association with an individual with a disability); and status as a special disabled, Vietnam era or other eligible veteran.

Our task is to eliminate any patterns of prohibited unequal treatment from a community that values diversity. We must monitor our policies, procedures, and practices for equal opportunity and access to the services, programs, and opportunities our community has to offer individuals.

Penn is committed to ensuring that academic programs (except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification), including social and recreational programs and services are administered without regard to an individual's protected-class status.

Penn is also committed to ensuring that its personnel and other employment decisions are made without regard to an individual's protected-class status. Personnel and other employment decisions include, but may not be limited to: outreach and recruitment, application, selection, promotion and other transfers, compensation, benefits administration, layoffs and other personnel transitions, University-sponsored training and educational programs, and tuition assistance.

Penn is dedicated to an organizational strategy that supports the full realization of equal employment opportunity for all through affirmative action predicated on the following tenets:

• serious and imaginative outreach, recruitment, and advertising methods;

• periodic reviews of the personnel and other employment decisions made by hiring officers;

• thorough analysis of Penn's faculty and staff workforce composition to determine areas of underutilization for which concentrated or special effort is due;

• provision of professional and management development opportunities for faculty and staff that builds skills and knowledge around equal opportunity, as well as valuing and effectively managing Penn's diverse work environments;

• provision of skill development and enhancement opportunities for staff;

• provision of technical assistance on the implementation of this policy, as needed, to schools, departments, and centers.

As a federal contractor, Penn has a written Affirmative Action Plan to address the utilization of women and minorities and to address the inclusion of persons with disabilities, special disabled and Vietnam-Era veterans in Penn's workforce.

This policy also recognizes an individual's right to raise and pursue concerns of alleged discrimination to a University resource office or to an appropriate individual within a school, department, or center without adverse action or retaliation for doing so. The Affirmative Action Plan describes the University resources available to faculty, staff, students, and applicants for employment or admission to Penn who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their protected-class status.

Penn's nondiscrimination and affirmative action policies and programs are developed, administered, and monitored centrally through the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs in collaboration with the Division of Human Resources and the Office of the Associate Provost. The Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs is located organizationally within the Office of the President. Questions or concerns regarding these policies and programs, and requests for educational programs on affirmative action, equal opportunity, and nondiscrimination, should be directed to the Executive Director, Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, Suite 228, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106, (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).

This policy covers faculty and staff, matriculated students, applicants for faculty and staff employment, and applicants to Penn's academic programs and other activities.

This policy is available in alternate format upon request.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 10, November 2, 2004


November 2, 2004
Volume 51 Number 10


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