See below for excerpt from EDC-Diversity Initiative Letter by ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education dated 8/3/15:
Engineering is empowering society in unprecedented ways. It is at the core of all innovation, resulting in tremendous societal and economic benefits; it is the most important discipline to address current and emerging challenges in the US and on a global scale; and it provides new, imaginative ways to enrich life. A fundamental requirement for growth of this enabling power, however, is for the engineering community to attract and engage people from all segments of our society. The evolving demographic landscape of the US, the need for constant economic competitiveness and the upholding of our core values to ensure equal opportunity and access to all who seek it, all point to the importance of actively embracing diversity and inclusiveness in all our endeavors. Diversity and inclusiveness are essential for the development of creative solutions to the world’s challenges and to enrich life.
While gains have been made in the participation of women, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans in engineering in recent decades, significant progress is still needed to reach a level where the engineering community fully embraces all segments of our increasingly diverse and vibrant society. In particular, we must further promote the pursuit of engineering education to all those who have been historically under-represented within our discipline; provide an educational experience that is demonstrably equitable and inclusive; and actively work to improve the broader engineering culture to fully engage the diverse generations to come.
The year 2014-2015 was declared by ASEE as the Year of Action in Diversity. The undersigned deans of engineering schools across the United States commit through specific action to provide increased opportunity to pursue meaningful engineering careers to women and other underrepresented demographic groups. We further commit to ensuring that our institutions provide educational experiences that are inclusive and prevent marginalization of any groups of people because of visible or invisible differences. We affirm the importance of such aims as a reflection of our core values, as a source of inspiration for drawing a generation to the call of improving the human condition. Recognizing the urgency to act, the undersigned colleges/universities commit to establishing at each of our institutions programs that include the following:
1. Develop a Diversity Plan for our engineering programs with the help and input of
national organizations such as NSBE, SHPE, NACME, GEM, SWE, AISES, WEPAN and the
ASEE that would: articulate the definition and the vision of diversity and inclusiveness for
the institution; assess its need or justification; provide a statement of priorities and goals;
commit to equity, implicit bias and inclusion training across the school; define
accountability; and the means of assessing the plan through various means including
2. Commit to at least one K-12 or community college pipeline activity with explicit targeted goals and measures of accountability aimed at increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of the engineering student body in our institution.
3. Commit to developing strong partnerships between research-intensive engineering schools and non-PhD granting engineering schools serving populations underrepresented in engineering.
4. Commit to the development and implementation of proactive strategies to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in our faculty.
A measure of success will be the notable increase in diversity in enrollments, retention and graduation rates of engineering students, and increased diversity in our faculty and in the engineering workforce, over the next decade. Combined with changes in engineering education, for example as envisioned in the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, we envision the evolution of our engineering schools as the places which will prepare the graduates with the diversity, inclusiveness and engineering educational preparation to help make the world a better place.
Letter was signed by 100 Engineering Deans from around the USA (including Dr. Richard A. Behr, Dean, U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering)
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