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PSU diversity efforts shift away from racism

Before Penn State pledged more money for ‘promising’ diversity efforts, some of their budgets had been cut

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Georgianna Sutherland / For Spotlight PA

When Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi canceled the Center for Racial Justice in 2022, she pledged to invest the millions of dollars earmarked for the center in promising diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts already underway at the university, Spotlight PA’s Wyatt Massey reports.

But just months before Bendapudi made that pledge, university leaders from various Penn State departments cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from those same programs as the institution’s fiscal year 2023 budget went into effect, according to a Spotlight PA review.

Nearly a year and a half after the president’s controversial decision, many of the programs the president and her special adviser highlighted are operating with less support than they previously received. Leaders for some of the affected programs said the cuts forced faculty and students to do unpaid work to maintain the projects.

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