Penn State hires admin to oversee alumni, donor diversity

Penn State has hired a "director of diversity, equity, and inclusion” for its Division of Development and Alumni Relations, a position that pays up to $123,528 per year.

According to the school, the new admin will work to recruit a "diverse workforce," train employees to "leverage the benefits of diverse cultural groups," and "engage diverse networks of...alumni and friends."

Pennsylvania State University recently announced the hiring of its first-ever “director of diversity, equity, and inclusion” for the Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

Effective May 1, Professor Charleon Jeffries will begin her tenure as the first to hold the position that Penn State calls “one of the first of its kind among Big Ten universities.”

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According to the university, “Jeffries will collaborate with various leaders internal to the division; University leadership; and external constituencies” in order to “develop strategies for recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce,” “prepare employees to better understand and leverage the benefits of diverse cultural groups,” “extend the division’s efforts to create a welcome and inclusive workplace culture,” and “develop strategies to engage diverse networks of Penn State alumni and friends.”

The closed job listing for the position notes both salary codes 02-K and 03-L, which denotes a salary range between $50,712 and $123,528.

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”Penn State is leading the charge in the advancement field with respect to its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and I look forward to creating dialogue among staff on how to engage with those who are different, thereby recognizing the innovation and creativity that becomes possible when we leverage the benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Jeffries told Penn State News.

“It means a lot to be a part of this charge at a place where I have so much of a connection, both personally and professionally,” she added.

Jeffries’ most recent position was with Penn State’s Affirmative Action Office, where she served as the director of diversity education.

“In this role,” the university notes, “she developed training programs and activities focused on diversity awareness and management skills for creating and retaining a diverse student body and workforce,” as well as “made recommendations to various University offices on strategies for managing issues of diversity.”

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Holding the new diversity position will not, however, keep Jeffries from teaching.

She will continue to serve as an adjunct instructor with Penn State’s College of Education, where she teaches a class that is “designed to further develop diversity, equity, and inclusion skills for future higher education professionals.”

Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment and clarification on Jeffries’ role and received no response.

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