UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For a second year, Penn State faculty, staff and administrators from across the University and regional colleges and universities are invited to form teams for the Summer Institute for Equity in the Academic Experience in June.
Hosted by Georgetown University with the collaboration of the American Talent Initiative (ATI), the institute from June 5-7 will give Penn State teams a chance to work on projects related to equity at their campus or in their college or unit. There is no cost for teams to attend. Penn State Harrisburg will again this year serve as a regional hub for both Penn State and other regional institutions of higher education.
This year’s Summer Institute will be hybrid with virtual and in-person engagement. It will feature a virtual, national series of synchronous gatherings consisting of presentations, workshops and opportunities for coaching and consultation. Local gatherings of individual campuses and regional clusters of institutions will provide teams with structured time to work on projects in the company of colleagues and “critical friends.”
The flexibility of this year’s format will allow teams to join others at the Harrisburg hub or meet on their own campus and connect to the national network virtually. The availability of remote participation this year will make it easier for those not able to travel to Harrisburg or another regional hub.
“Creating equity in the academic experience is at the heart of helping every student attain academic success, professional accomplishment and personal fulfillment throughout their lives, which is the foundation of Penn State’s academic mission,” said Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi. “I am proud of Penn State Harrisburg for serving as the host institution for last year’s institute and I am grateful for the leadership of Undergraduate Education, the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, Penn State Harrisburg and the Office of Educational Equity for their continued leadership in support of this important initiative.
“I personally encourage faculty, staff and administrators from across the University to participate in this important opportunity to come together, learn from our colleagues across higher education, and continue advancing Penn State’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” added Bendapudi.
Register for the Summer 2023 Institute for the Summer Institute for Equity. The deadline to register is May 5.
An information session is scheduled for 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, on Zoom. Please register at Eventbrite.
Roderick Lee, associate professor of information systems at Penn State Harrisburg and a member of the ATI Summer Institute Leadership Advisory Board, said teams are strongly encouraged to be cross-functional.
“Higher education institutions tend to be vertically organized and have a propensity for working in silos,” Lee said. “The silo mentality invites territoriality and competition for scarce resources.”
Lee added that teams would be best served with representation from faculty, student affairs, advising, DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), teaching and learning, and administrators. Such teams can help de-silo equity work and help to align it with strategic priorities that can lead to bold institutional transformation, Lee said.
"Penn State Harrisburg is honored to be selected again to serve as a regional host site for the Summer Institute for Equity in the Academic Experience and to join a national coalition of colleges and universities in planning and programming,” said Penn State Harrisburg Chancellor John Mason. “Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are woven into all that we do at the college. We look forward to welcoming our regional colleagues so that together we can undertake the critical work of ensuring an equitable learning experience for all students.”
Inclusion, equity and diversity efforts are one of the foundations of Penn State’s Strategic Plan, and touch on many aspects of the Undergraduate Education Strategic Plan.
Penn State’s participation in the Summer Institute is coordinated by Penn State Harrisburg, Undergraduate Education, the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and the Office of Educational Equity.