Ensuring diversity, equity and social impact in engineering
When it comes to the most important aspects of a successful engineering school, the culture may not be the first to come to mind. Yet, Michigan Engineering has made it a major focus.
From early in the strategic planning process, College leaders knew it would benefit the organization if there was a shared sense of purpose and action, backed by behaviors that reflected its values. Leaning into creativity, innovation and daring alongside diversity, equity and social impact has led to grassroots and top-down initiatives. Our community has undergone an intentional, collaborative culture shift.
Incorporating that with collegiality, collaboration, trustworthiness and transparency ensures our community feels valued, connected and informed. And keeping leadership and excellence as the guiding star for our efforts, we continue to move the field of engineering forward.
Our Office of Culture, Community and Equity helps drive a culture of inclusion and equity to further equity-centered engineering, maximizing impact and capacity-building within and beyond the Michigan Engineering community. This includes supporting funding mechanisms for faculty success in research, facilitating community building through engagement, fostering cultural competency through professional and personal development, leading assessment and evaluation efforts and leveraging our subject matter expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion implementation and strategy.
Leading a culture shift
Rituals, events & communication
College-wide events celebrating values help increase communication and collaboration, and place emphasis on the priority of culture for the greater community. Reinforcing values and strategic priorities through communication is a critical component of culture-building, and raises awareness in items ranging from lobby displays and social media to in-person town halls and discussions.
Incentives & training
Awards and bonuses for faculty and staff who embody College values emphasize the importance of values in our daily work. Providing professional development and training anchored by core values raises the bar; generating consistency in leadership and a shared understanding among all faculty and staff.
Talent is at the core of success, and considering College values such as creativity, diversity and collaboration when hiring enriches that pool of talent, strengthening the effects of a positive culture. For current faculty, articulating the principles and criteria for the faculty promotion and tenure process ensures consistency in priorities.
DEI strategic plan
Our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Our DEI Strategic Plan, launched in 2016, reflects our multifaceted approach. Sustained, permeated education around issues of race, ethnicity, unconscious bias and inclusion for everyone in the College is being developed. The Office of Culture, Community & Equity works horizontally across all departments and units to ensure DEI efforts are not siloed.