Posted on December 27, 2022

Faculty Outraged After Penn State Backtracks on Diversity Proposals, Cancels Massive Racial Justice Center

Nikolas Lanum, Fox News, December 24, 2022

Penn State University’s new administration, led by President Neeli Bendapudi, has backtracked on several racial justice policies installed under previous leadership, according to a new report.

Following the death of George Floyd, then-President Eric Barron convened the Select Penn State Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias and Community Safety and tasked them with studying how university resources could be used to address diversity, equity and inclusion.

The research led Penn State to announce three subcommittees: The DEI infrastructure inventory subcommittee, the Truth and Reconciliation Process subcommittee and the Anti-Racism Institute subcommittee.

However, in conversations with Spotlight PA which released the report on the university, the current Senior Director of University Public Relations distanced themselves from the subcommittees and claimed that they were “not a formal University effort.”


The vast array of diversity, equity and inclusion initiates spawned at Penn State in 2020 was met by skepticism by some members of the school’s Board of Trustees, according to a document unearthed by Spotlight PA.

The document questioned whether “teaching America’s exceptionalism remains a core objective at Penn State,” and raised concerns that mandating anti-racism classes at Penn State would only further “politicize college education.”


The University has also recently canceled the planned construction of the Center for Racial Justice, an endeavor formulated under Barron that would have cost around $3.5 million, and instead pledged funds to existing racial justice efforts. This center was also criticized by the document, which wondered if it would detract from the school’s ability to help prepare students for full-time jobs.


A letter penned to the university and signed by over 400 school faculty members across various Penn State campuses expressed their disappointment in the decision and claimed that it was the latest incident in a long list of broken promises on issues of racial justice by the school.