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A New Paradigm For Diversity In Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Retention of Minority Students

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.85.1 - 8.85.7



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Paper Authors

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Denise Driscoll

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Klod Kokini

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Linda Katehi

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Jeff Wright

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Carolyn Percifield

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2370

A New Paradigm for Diversity In Engineering

D. M. Driscoll1, K. Kokini1, L. P.B. Katehi1, J. R. Wright2 and C. P. Percifield1 1 Purdue University/2University of California, Merced


Many universities are making efforts to become increasingly diverse, and with this increasing diversity there comes the need to manage such diversity effectively to maximize the potential of faculty, staff, and students, alike.1 Challenges that women and minorities face in academia often relate to their sense of isolation, the lack of collegiality, and covert sexism and racism on university campuses.2 One approach to diversity management is to create programs, such as Purdue’s highly recognized Minority Engineering Program and Women in Engineering Program, that are designed to support, as well as to improve the recruitment, retention, and graduation, of underrepresented populations.

Although Purdue has been a leader among engineering schools nationwide for these programs, few of the faculty (who are predominantly white and male) have been involved. However, leadership from the faculty is critical: 1) To be a significant force in enlarging the pre-college pool of interested and qualified minority and female students entering engineering; 2) To substantially increase the numbers of both graduate and undergraduate students enrolling and graduating from Purdue engineering; 3) To substantially increase the number of women and minority engineering faculty; and, 4) To significantly improve the climate in order to provide the best education and environment to students, faculty and staff.

Moreover, there is a need to provide faculty and staff with experiences that will help them become more aware of diversity issues and the experiences of minorities and women on predominantly white campuses. Therefore, Purdue University Schools of Engineering, with encouragement and support from DuPont, began offering Diversity Forums for engineering faculty and staff in January 1998. The overarching objective of the forums is to positively change the climate at Purdue by creating a retreat-like environment that encourages participants to examine their stereotypes and prejudices, educate themselves about different groups, and learn about the experiences of underrepresented students, staff, and faculty at Purdue (i.e., to build their diversity competency). There are two forums offered in the series: one focused on multicultural issues, one focused on gender issues. Each session accommodates a maximum of 40 individuals and is run by a team of three external consultants who specialize in facilitating diversity programming. The meetings are held off-campus, with each group of participants selected so that there is an adequate representation of gender and ethnicity and with an emphasis on adequate participation of

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Driscoll , D., & Kokini, K., & Katehi, L., & Wright, J., & Percifield, C. (2003, June), A New Paradigm For Diversity In Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11585

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