MSE enacts new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives

MSE enacts new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives

MSE is partnering with other departments within Michigan Engineering to launch two important new DEI initiatives. 

First, a new center for DEI will work horizontally across all departments and divisions and will focus on:

  • Leading and facilitating collaboration among administrators, faculty, staff, students, and external partners to advance Michigan Engineering’s vision of an inclusive and equitable community gathered in pursuit of its academic mission.
  • Providing resources and best practices for administrative units and individuals.
  • Expanding pipelines and pathways by delivering flagship programming across K-20 designed to increase representation of students from underserved and underrepresented communities.
  • Bringing strategy and practice together by collaborating to leadership goals and long-term plans for DEI and then helping to implement them across each administrative unit and at the behavior of each individual.

Second, over the next year, new education initiatives will be launched around issues of race, ethnicity, unconscious bias, and inclusion, which will be required for everyone in engineering – students, faculty and staff. The plan includes:

  • Undergraduate students: Integrate content on identity and systemic anti-black racism in the context of STEM and engineering design into the existing curriculum where appropriate, and develop a new required course that will examine historical context and societal impact.
  • Graduate students and postdocs: Establish and maintain an additional formal DEI educational experience for all CoE graduate students and postdocs, with an emphasis on race and ethnicity issues.
  • Faculty: Establish and maintain a continuing education program for all College of Engineering faculty on racial equity, inclusive teaching, and broader DEI issues.
  • Staff: Create a professional development system for staff focused on anti-racism; ethnicity issues; social justice; and communication skills needed to develop and maintain an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment.
  • Our community at large: A bystander intervention workshop, Change it Up to Stop Anti-Black Racism, will help participants develop skills to create an environment that rejects anti-black racism.

“It’s an exciting time to be at U-M,” says Kathy Sevener, a DEI instructor in MSE. “Both the center and teaching initiatives are big steps forward in achieving our ultimate goal of creating a culture that values and welcomes the experiences, talents, and contributions of all students, staff and faculty.”