A Commitment to Diversity

Every university is judged by the quality of its vision, and by its commitment to make that vision a reality. Over one hundred years ago, Philadelphia University was founded by Theodore Search with the vision of an institution dedicated to pre-professional education for young people in order to help America advance economically.

But vision is not unchanging. It is built upon a foundation of knowledge and experience. It encourages people not to accept things as they are, but to change them to become what they ought to be. For Philadelphia University, this means interpreting Theodore Search’s vision for the future of the University, and for today’s students. The University’s vision includes advancement of research and scholarship, of personal learning and growth, and of professional preparation in business, design, fashion and the sciences.

In Theodore Search’s world, education was available to a limited group. Today’s world demands participation of all people in the educational process; it is a world of diversity and cultural integration.

Philadelphia University is fully committed to making diversity an integral part of its mission. Creating a truly pluralistic community requires continuous effort. To make it happen, each member of the community must strive to work and learn together in an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance.

Today’s Philadelphia University community is founded upon multicultural opportunity. It is committed to cultural diversity, and the principles of openness, positive self-identity and fair play. The University community respects the uniqueness and worth of each member, based on mutual sensitivity, responsiveness and civility. Our vision sees enlightened students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni and trustees living together in harmony, in ways that set an example of a just and humane society.

Human diversity is not sameness. Factors such as disability, religion, gender, sexual orientation and ethnic background all make up differences. This diversity enriches the educational experience of every individual.

But differences are often perceived as a basis for discrimination. Racism and sexism are two common expressions of such attitudes. Such views, based solely upon the cultural experiences of one social group, deny the humanity of other social groups.

We, therefore, reject stereotyping, prejudice, harassment and discrimination for any reason. We will not condone words or actions intended to make any human being an object of scorn, ridicule or second-class treatment. We are committed to helping each member of the Philadelphia University community live harmoniously, peacefully, compassionately and justly with persons of different cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles. Further, we are committed to taking steps to support these convictions with the appropriate social structures and systems.

Philadelphia University is ideally positioned to make its vision a reality. Since its founding, it has been an intimate college, where a sense of community has always been an inherent part of campus life for people of many cultures. Philadelphia University must welcome into its community more students, faculty and staff from an increasing variety of racial, ethnic, religious and social groups. All of us will benefit from such an effort. As Benjamin Franklin said, “When we are good to others we are best to ourselves.”

Let us commit ourselves to work unremittingly to make our humanitarian vision a reality.

Stephen Spinelli

Randy Swearer
Provost / Dean of the Faculty

Barbara Klinkhammer
Executive Dean, College of Architecture and the Built Environment

Ron Kander
Executive Dean, College of Design, Engineering and Commerce

Sue Lehrman
Academic Dean, School of Business Administration

Mike Leonard
Academic Dean, School of Design and Engineering

Matt D. Baker
Executive Dean, College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts

Mark Govoni
Dean of Students