The Perelman School of Medicine administration has decided to eliminate the Office for Diversity and Community Outreach. Dr. Karen Hamilton and Mrs. Hilda Luiggi’s positions have been terminated as a consequence of this. They will be leaving Perelman on June 29th. The administration yet to issue an official statement regarding their decision.
The Office for Diversity and Community Outreach at Penn was the first office of its kind in the country, founded in 1968. The functions of the office are many, including: recruitment and retention of minority medical students, implementation and management of mentoring programs for college and medical students, and overseeing the Educational Pipeline Program and the Summer Mentorship Program, the latter which allows 10th and 11th graders from Philadelphia Public and Charter High Schools to spend time at Penn. Hilda and Karen are also responsible for advising a number of student groups including LMSA and SNMA, with Hilda also being an Administrative Advisor to ALL student groups.
A plan for diversity has been proposed and presented to SOM faculty. One of its main points states that a search has recently been instituted to appoint a Vice Dean of Diversity, but this position will not likely be filled in the near future. Transitional support has not been outlined for the interim period. It’s important to note that even though the Student Diversity Committee was involved and encouraged the SOM to assign a Vice Dean of Diversity, the decision to eliminate the current Office of Diversity and Community Outreach was made without student involvement. Therefore, we do not know what the future plans are for resuming the efforts of the Office of Diversity.
We, the students are very concerned about the future of diversity and community outreach efforts at the Perelman School of Medicine. We are demanding answers and pushing for a concrete plan for the future. Considering the broad definition of diversity, the issues handled by that office affect the entire student body and many different student groups.
Please sign in support and spread the word
change. org / petitions/ perelman-school-of-medicine-the-university-of-pennsylvania-save-the-office-of-diversity-and-community-outreach
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