Penn State University Police and Public Safety (UPPS) has appointed Iris Richardson as the department’s first director of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Richardson will develop overall diversity, equity and inclusion programming for UPPS while also serving the Penn State community. 

“We are excited to have Iris join the University Police and Public Safety leadership team,” said Charlie Noffsinger, assistant vice president of UPPS. “Creating this position was a proactive decision because we remain committed to fostering a positive relationship with the community while also further developing internal programming and training.”

Richardson’s responsibilities will include:

  • Providing overall direction and guidance, planning, policy input, strategic communication, and technical and internal support for University Police and Public Safety around diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.  
  • Representing UPPS on external committees in the community such as Community & Campus in Unity.  
  • Acting as the liaison between UPPS and concerned public or committees.
  • Identifying training needs around diversity, equity and inclusion for police officers, staff members and UPPS leadership across the commonwealth.
  • Developing and implementing communications, programming and training strategies to support the University’s overarching commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Engaging with employees to positively impact the campuses and communities they serve across the commonwealth. 

“I am looking forward to building great relationships within UPPS and external partners. I am also excited about the opportunities to contribute to our mission and develop new initiatives within the department that help to foster a welcoming environment on our campuses and beyond,” Richardson said. 

Richardson previously served as associate director for Student Affairs at the Penn State Mont Alto campus, where she directed, supervised and administered the student personnel and residence life functions for the residence hall community. She also implemented a comprehensive residence life program, including strategic planning.