The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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What Are We Doing?

As a department we are continually striving to improve the culture of our department. We understand the importance of DEI in the profession, our personal lives, and communities. Diverse groups include the variety of individual perspectives and can therefore arrive at innovative solutions that benefit society at large. Open communication and awareness of individual and group perspectives are needed to raise our own understanding for engaging in making our environs better than we found them. To that end, the CEE DEI Committee is engaged in the following activities. These are the top actions we are addressing, but many other activities are ongoing at the departmental, college, and University levels. This list will be updated each semester with goals and progress. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion in CEE’s culture and infrastructure

Website:

  1. Add “Diversity” tab to the CEE website
  2. Populate it with DEI mission statement, action plan and accomplishments, and resources (ongoing)

Faculty issues:

  1. Develop a statement on the impact of COVID-19 that faculty members can refer to in completing their AFR (developed and adopted by the CEE faculty and DH in Fall 2020)
  2. Develop a list of DEI activities that should specifically be given credit as highly regarded activities in AFR. This will be presented to faculty for adoption (by Spring 2021)

Undergraduate and graduate student issues:

  1. Support faculty in undergraduate student advising by compiling a guidebook with specific questions to ask, and a list of resources to help point students to, e.g., student groups, research opportunities, scholarships (ongoing, by Spring 2021)
  2. Compile and advertise opportunities for undergraduate research (by Spring 2021)
  3. Support college-level REU proposal (by Spring 2021)

Diversity, equity and inclusion in our curricula

Adding DEI content to CEE courses: 

  1. Participation in the CoE curriculum challenge (6 submissions from 4 faculty members in Fall 2020, ongoing in Spring 2021)
  2. Faculty-led CEE series of brainstorming sessions on how to add DEI content to classes (2 in Fall 2020, ongoing in Spring 2021)
  3. Enrollment in Engin 597E (3 CEE faculty members enrolled in Fall 2020, ongoing in Spring 2021)

Educating ourselves about diversity, equity and inclusion

Surveys:

  1. A set of surveys and focus groups related to climate and DEI issues have been administered at the campus and college of engineering levels and are included in the following list. When appropriate we have included the links to the findings of these surveys/focus groups. The CEE DEI committee members have reviewed findings from these efforts and are taking steps to address them through activities listed on this webpage (ongoing)
  • Forthcoming Climate Surveys:
    1. Fall 2020 COE Graduate Student Survey
    2. Fall 2021 Campus Climate Survey (similar questions as the one in 2016 with additional targeted questions on issues identified by the 2016 survey, e.g., bullying

Statistics:

  1. Collect or obtain from appropriate university offices statistics on faculty hiring, retention and support, graduate and undergraduate student application, acceptance, matriculation and retention (established connection with University Analytics and Institutional Research in Fall 2020; data collection and tabulation ongoing)

Training and self-education opportunities:

  1. Set a goal of 100% faculty trained in DEI issues

Seminars:

  1. Seminars focusing on implicit bias and microaggressions as part of area-specific seminars (2 in Fall 2020; more planned for Spring 2021)