Real quick: Faculty leading a search for the founding director of Penn State's Center for Racial Justice were told last month that the university had not allocated funding for the racial justice initiative, Spotlight PA State College's Wyatt Massey reports.
A bit more: Penn State faculty are pressing President Neeli Bendapudi for clarity on the future of the Center for Racial Justice after learning the university had not allocated funding for the initiative that was pitched as a key university commitment following protests for greater racial equity in 2020.
In a meeting last month with the search committee for the center’s director and other university leaders, Bendapudi raised doubts about whether Penn State would financially support the effort, according to an internal letter obtained by Spotlight PA and three university employees who were present at the meeting.
The nearly dozen faculty on the search committee told the president in the Oct. 6 letter they were “extremely disappointed” by the news. The center was intended to illustrate Penn State’s commitment to racial justice, the group wrote.
“Juxtaposing the assurance that restorative and racial justice are a core concern for the University with the inability to fund a research center as the major first step in addressing important issues is therefore all the more surprising and distressing,” the group wrote.
Without funding, the committee’s efforts to create the center and search for a director, which began in March, are effectively suspended.
The full story: Read more here.