Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan

Updated May 6, 2021
Published December 9, 2020

Many of us are part of PSU’s School of Business because we believe that business needs to do good, not just help people do well financially. Our new strategic plan codifies these values and anchors our future. We have more work to do if we are to realize a learning community that will help change the systems in which businesses operate, not perpetuate the inequities within them.  

Events of 2020 have made it even more clear that as a School we need to make stronger, sustained commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work in order to best serve our community. Accordingly, we, The School of Business dean, associate deans, and chief accounting and budgetary officer, developed an action plan containing the initiatives we are committing to during the next five years. The DEI Action Plan draws heavily on the Inclusive Business Strategic Initiative, one of the core components of the newly adopted strategic plan. The action plan is organized according to a DEI action framework provided by Ame Lambert, PSU’s VP for Global Diversity and Inclusion, with four central themes. The plan is a living document that represents an evolving commitment on our part. Based on initial internal feedback and our careful consideration, we decided to develop the plan around a racial focus with the understanding that the plan will expand over time to incorporate additional DEI-relevant issues.

The plan currently includes action items that the dean’s group commits to as a collective. It is important to note that the dean and associate deans — as well as other faculty and staff throughout the School —  have additional DEI-focused items they are working on that do not appear in this action plan. There are also a number of critical items that are currently being addressed at the University level, including, but not limited to:

  • Undocumented students’ health insurance funding
  • A website audit through a racial equity lens
  • Revision of job descriptions to include DEI-related duties
  • Incorporation of DEI-related expectations into hiring contracts
  • Consideration of DEI-related responsibilities into performance assessments
  • The proposal of an undergraduate requirement for a DEI-related course

 As these additional initiatives develop, we will incorporate them into The School of Business action plan.

It is our hope that this DEI Action Plan will be an inclusive tool to encourage input on these initiatives, as well as a means to foster collaboration with our community to achieve these goals. Our intent is to create an action plan that clearly delineates our goals in a measurable way, allowing for the tracking of our progress, as well as failures, over time. We invite everyone in The School of Business along with our community partners to participate in this effort in our pursuit of an ethos and practice of social justice and racial equity for which we are accountable.

Provided below are the action items presented by theme, as well as an estimated timeline for the items. Please note that some items will require substantial funding as indicated by (*). Due to the coronavirus pandemic and State biennium budget uncertainty, our progress on these noted items depends, in part, on our capacity to accrue the financial resources.


Access, Success and Equity

  • Initiative: Grow support programs for BIPOC students at undergraduate and graduate levels (e.g., Summer Business Institute, ATMOS)*
    • Target Timeline: Hire for new staff position Fall 2022-23
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • On target
  • Initiative: Develop a DEI-based faculty recruitment and hiring plan
    • Target Timeline: Spring 2022
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • On target pending hiring freeze and budget which impacts planning a realistic hiring strategy in the short term (1-2 yrs) 
      • Now requiring PSU’s ‘Toward a More Inclusive Hiring’ workshop for faculty search committees
      • DEI Advisory Council members have agreed to participate in hiring processes
  • Initiative: Develop a DEI-based staff recruitment and hiring plan
    • Target Timeline: Spring 2022
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • On target pending hiring freeze and budget which impacts planning a realistic hiring strategy in the short term (1-2 yrs) 
      • Now requiring PSU’s ‘Toward a More Inclusive Hiring’ workshop for staff search committees
      • DEI Advisory Council members have agreed to participate in hiring processes
  • Initiative: Hire BIPOC full-time faculty
    • Target Timeline: Spring 2022
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • Progress made
      • Increased number of full-time BIPOC faculty by 4% as of Spring 2021
  • Initiative: Design strategy and process plan for retaining BIPOC faculty
    • Target Timeline: Spring 2022
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • On target
      • Support from DEI Advisory Council Culture Task Force
      • Consulting with PSU's Black Faculty/Staff Affinity Group leadership to identify resources and forms of support
      • Consulting with other universities regarding retainment strategies
  • Initiative: Design strategy and process plan for retaining BIPOC staff
    • Target Timeline: Spring 2022
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • On target
      • Support from DEI Advisory Council Culture Task Force
      • Consulting with PSU's Black Faculty/Staff Affinity Group leadership to identify resources and forms of support
      • Consulting with other universities regarding retainment strategies

School Climate and Intergroup Relations

  • Initiative: Offer workplace racial equity training sequence to 100% of full-time faculty and staff*
    • Target Timeline: First training session Fall 2021
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • On target
  • Initiative: Devote half-day of annual School of Business faculty-staff retreat to DEI
    • Target Timeline: Annual; start Fall 2020
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • On target
      • Devoted half-day Fall 2020 and on target for Fall 2021 retreat

Education, Scholarship and Service

  • Initiative: 100% of full-time faculty and staff undergo training specifically focusing on: student and classroom interactions centering the BIPOC student experience and issues around DEI. Goal is to provide one Lunch-and-Learn session per quarter*
    • Target Timeline: Start Spring 2021
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • On target
      • One training took place Spring 2021 with the Office of Academic Innovation and School’s DEI task force regarding DEI in curriculum
  • Initiative: Develop post-graduate career fellowship for ATMOS students upon graduation
    • Target Timeline: Fall 2020
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • Progress made
      • A pilot is underway with funding allocated toward nine post-graduate internships on PSU’s campus. BIPOC students (not only ATMOS students) were placed in the internships based on career aspirations
      • Have applied for grants to fund the full-scale program

Infrastructure

  • Initiative: Formation of The School of Business DEI Advisory Council
    • Target Timeline: Fall 2020
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • ​​​​​​​Achieved
      • Board formed in Fall 2020 and two meetings have occurred. Board is broken out into task forces to provide input on the School DEI plan, charter of the board, diversity in curriculum
  • Initiative: Hire Executive Director of DEI position reporting to Dean*
    • Target Timeline: Summer 2021
    • 5/6/2021 Progress Update:
      • ​​​​​​​On target
      • Budget for position to be finalized May 2021
      • Position to be submitted for authorization by The School of Business Executive Director of DEI Hiring Committee June 2021 
      • Recruitment to begin in Summer 2021

The School of Business Leadership:

  • Cliff Allen, Dean
  • Melissa Appleyard, Associate Dean
  • Pamela Tierney, Associate Dean
  • Erica Wagner, Associate Dean
  • Kathy Black, Chief Accounting and Budgetary Officer

Offer Feedback

We must work together on our journey toward meaningful change. We invite you to offer feedback or suggestions for how we can best serve you and our community. All submissions will be read and considered by The School of Business dean, associate deans, and chief accounting and budgetary officer.