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A Successful Process For Increasing The Diversity Of The Faculty In Engineering

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Factors Affecting Minority Engineering Students

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.134.1 - 12.134.5



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Paper Authors

author page

Klod Kokini Purdue University

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

A Successful Process for Increasing the Diversity of

the Faculty in Engineering


In its pursuit of preeminence and maximum impact, the College of Engineering (CoE) at Purdue University developed a strategic plan in 2002, which, in parallel to that of the university, called for increasing significantly its faculty over the next several years. According to this plan, the engineering faculty have grown from 289 in the fall of 2001, to 339 in the fall of 2006.

The strategic plan of the college called for hiring faculty of exceptional quality, who are multidisciplinary and bring diversity, while building on the strengths of the disciplines. In addition, since 1998, the CoE has been working on improving the climate as it relates to diversity goals by making available to the faculty and staff, diversity forums which provide a better understanding of the different ethnic and gender backgrounds. These forums were found to have a significant positive effect on the attendees’ attitudes, involvement and understanding1 in relation to diversity.

Signature Areas

Another important goal of the CoE has been to attract faculty who are interdisciplinary. Almost four years ago, the faculty in the CoE created Signature Areas in an effort to connect existing strengths to future directions that address state, national and global needs. These signature areas were designed to serve as the connection points between existing disciplines and as the basis for recruiting faculty who would bridge the schools and help define unique multidisciplinary research and educational directions. The nine interdisciplinary signature areas selected were: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing; Energy; Global Sustainable Industrial Systems; Healthcare Engineering; Information, Communications, and Perception Technologies; Intelligent Infrastructure Systems; Nanotechnologies and Nanophotonics; System of Systems; and Tissue and Cellular Engineering. Search Process and the Strategic Oversight Committee

Accordingly, nine interdisciplinary cluster search committees were formed. These included faculty in engineering as well as from outside engineering. An electronic “hiring tool” was developed to accommodate the large number of applications, as well as the interaction of the committee members. At the same time, the tool was designed to insure confidentiality. Once a committee made a determination that a particular candidate was to be invited for an interview, they would work with the Head of the potential home department to organize the interview. A typical interview consisted of meetings not just with the faculty from the home department, but with other faculty

Kokini, K. (2007, June), A Successful Process For Increasing The Diversity Of The Faculty In Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2409

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