The American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) has recognized the University of Florida’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering as an exemplar of diversity, equity and inclusion.
The ASEE Diversity Recognition Program (ADRP) was created in 2019 “to publicly recognize those engineering and engineering technology colleges that make significant, measurable progress in increasing the diversity, inclusion, and degree attainment outcomes of their programs.” The recognition program is the result of the ASEE Deans Diversity Pledge, which has now been signed by over 220 of ASEE’s 330-member engineering colleges. The pledge commits signatories to engaging in four activities:
- Development of a diversity plan for the college 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 surveys;”
- Commitment to at least one activity with K-12 schools or community colleges aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion of incoming engineering students;
- Commitment to developing strong relationships between research schools and non-Ph.D.-granting schools that serve diverse populations ; and
- Commitment to increasing diversity ad inclusion among the college faculty
At UF, the Engineering College has developed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan that covers these activities and more. With the primary goal of providing an exceptional academic environment that reflects the breadth of thought essential for the preeminent position held by one of the nation’s largest public land-grant universities, the College has committed to a set of strategic objectives that are can be achieved by a community of students, faculty, and staff who have diverse experiences and backgrounds.
“We have set ambitious goals for the College,” said Cammy R. Abernathy, Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. “Achievement of our objectives can only be accomplished when people of all backgrounds, creeds, beliefs and experiences come together and view this place as their home for learning, and for contributing toward solving the toughest problems facing the world. The New Engineer knows no boundaries.”
Of the 74 colleges that were recognized in the ADRP’s inaugural year, UF was highlighted as a model for other engineering colleges to follow in their own efforts to achieve higher levels of diversity and inclusion. ASEE reviewers noted that the UF DEI plan had significant initiatives and outcomes that led to the exemplar status. As an exemplar, UF will be able to attain a silver classification as early as next year.