July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Equity and Culture & Social Justice in Education
The events and movements of 2020 have put into stark relief the fact that most academic institutions are not doing enough to address issues of social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion among undergraduates. More specifically, these topics are often considered tangential to core engineering topics, and are therefore relegated to breadth requirements for coverage, if at all. Over the course of the last several months, our department, college, and university have begun to create institutional structures to support these efforts. There is a new Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the college level, and at the department level a new Director of DEI position was created and filled (by one of the authors). This person has also created a DEI Task Force within the department (on which the other author is serving). While the full mandate of the DEI Task Force is still taking shape, the main goal is to tackle pressing issues related to DEI in the department, and to develop a longer-term action plan to address these issues. This will begin as a descriptive research project to take an honest look at where we are as a department to generate baseline data against which future interventions can be compared. Over the past year there have been several curricular (e.g. teamwork and bias training, inclusive teaching) and extra-curricular (e.g. a #ShutdownSTEM discussion, undergraduate DEI town hall) efforts made along these lines, and this Task Force will continue and coordinate these efforts. External funding is currently being sought after to support these longitudinal efforts. So, while this is submitted as a work in progress paper, we are looking forward to sharing our efforts in more detail on how re-thinking institutional structures that support DEI efforts can look and on the results of our early efforts.
Roberts, D., & Carpick, R. W. (2021, July), A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force within a Mechanical Engineering Department Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36577
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