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Affirmative Action Director: Sam Starks
May 11, 2010, Volume 56, No. 33



Vice President of Institutional Affairs Joann Mitchell announced the appointment of Sam Starks as Executive Director of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, effective May 24, 2010.  Mr. Starks has been the Compliance Manager in the Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services at Vanderbilt University for the past two years. Previously, he held a series of progressively responsible positions at Western Kentucky University, the last of which was assistant to the associate vice president for enrollment management.

Mr. Starks will work in partnership with colleagues across the University to advance Penn’s diversity objectives through the Office’s education, outreach, advisory, and compliance roles. The Office supports the University’s goals of “equalizing opportunity, enriching the educational experience of all students, and educating leaders for all sectors of society,” which are embodied in the Penn Compact.

“I am delighted that we were able to recruit Sam to Penn and I am confident that he will be a strong contributor to Penn,” said Ms. Mitchell. “Sam is widely respected for his broad understanding of equal opportunity and diversity and strategies for adapting and developing best practices in an academic environment. He is highly regarded for his collaborative management and leadership styles and his ability to achieve results in highly decentralized organizations. His colleagues at Vanderbilt had high praise for Sam’s commitment to excellence and diversity and his innovative leadership approach to supporting inclusive learning and working environments,” Ms. Mitchell added. 

Mr. Starks earned a bachelor’s degree in speech from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and a master’s degree in communication from Western Kentucky University.


Almanac - May 11, 2010, Volume 56, No. 33