September 3: CEE Action Plan on DEI

CEE Action Plan on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Approved 3 September 2020

Goal

Build and live values of diversity, equity, and inclusion within
Civil and Environmental Engineering @ Iowa

Action: Update the CEE’s mission statement to reflect our commitment to supporting students of color and other underrepresented groups in engineering

Current Mission Statement: To provide excellent engineering education that produces: talented and creative engineers; research that advances the state of knowledge in the civil engineering profession; and expertise that serves the public.

Critical Tasks

  • Review and prepare a revised mission statement with participation by faculty, staff, and students
  • Present revised mission statement to our constituents for comment, including faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and the CEE Advisory Board
  • Vote by faculty to adopt the new mission statement

Indicators of Success

  • Formulation of a revised mission statement
  • Participation of constituents in the review process
  • A revised mission statement posted on CEE website

 

Action: Conduct a review to align CEE’s policy documents, practices, and procedures with its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, then review performance annually, remediate deficiencies, and celebrate success

Critical Tasks

  • Design and complete the department-wide review with guidance and oversight from the College of Engineering’s DEI Council and external experts
  • Integrate students into an inaugural DEI goal setting process and subsequent annual reviews
  • Create an action team to address critical deficiencies

Indicators of Success

  • CEE’s commitment to DEI is built into all policies and plans
  • An inclusive and sustainable process for the annual DEI review is developed and documented
  • DEI performance outcomes are shared with CEE students, alumni, colleagues, staff, and faculty annually

 

Action: Use ASCE Canon 8 (Treat All Persons Fairly) to integrate topics on social and environmental justice into our engineering curriculum

Critical Tasks

  • Define social justice and environmental justice in broad terms, then drill down to how these definitions apply to the general practice of civil and environmental engineering, with links to articles and examples of successful industry specific projects.
  • Focus further on how social and environmental justice topics are applicable to each of our four technical areas (Environmental Engineering and Science; Hydraulics and Water Resources; Structures, Mechanics, and Materials; Transportation Infrastructure), and provide technical guidance and examples (good and bad) of how our designs can address social and environmental justice
  • Address communication needs so as engineers we can effectively engage with stakeholders and communities and achieve social and environmental justice outcomes
  • Faculty integrate these concepts into their classes and utilize examples.
  • Assess student learning on social and environmental justice within targeted courses

Indicators of Success

  • Resources and examples are posted on the CEE website for use by the broad CEE community
  • CEE course syllabi include Canon 8 with a statement on how it applies to the course and classroom environment
  • Department-wide results on learning outcomes within targeted courses
  • Seniors can cite examples pertaining to ethics or social and environmental justice on ABET Senior Exit Interviews

 

Action: Promote training for faculty, staff, and students on diversity, equity, and inclusion

Critical Tasks

  • Faculty, faculty affiliates, and staff participate in university, college, or external training annually, through certificate programs like Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity (BUILD), Building a Global Community, and SafeZone
  • Strongly encourage graduate students and undergraduate leaders to participate in university DEI training
  • Recognize certifications by faculty, staff, and students (website, social media channels)
  • Create opportunities within CEE for learning on diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as CEE seminars on a DEI topic each year, faculty dialog with peer-led conversations on inclusive research/teaching practices, and recommended readings, articles, books, and video for faculty, staff, and students
  • Create a list of recommended elective courses for undergraduates that address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion

Indicators of Success

  • Metrics on DEI training participation by faculty and staff
  • Faculty, staff, and student certified through the BUILD, Building a Global Community, and SafeZone program
  • Student participation in training programs, like the NCBI Workshop Leadership for Equity and Inclusion (Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and the Creating Inclusive, Equitable, & Just Organizations (Division of Student Life)
  • Participation in CEE-organized events

 

Action: Institute policies and processes consistent with our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in faculty and staff hiring, promotion, and performance review

Critical Tasks

  • Develop procedures for CEE faculty searches that implement the Provost’s Path to Distinction plan and assess faculty commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a component of hiring
  • Create evaluation metrics on diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty and staff for annual reviews
  • Strongly encourage the College of Engineering’s Promotion & Tenure Policy Committee to develop policies and procedures for evaluating diversity, equity, and inclusion in decisions on promotion and tenure and in five-year faculty reviews

Indicators of Success

  • Faculty members have a diversity statement that specifically details how they integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion in research and teaching
  • Accountability measures are implemented that ensure faculty and staff searches minimize bias and recruit a diverse pool
  • Adoption of new college-wide policies for faculty promotion and tenure and reviews

 

Action: Enhance faculty-student interactions through activities inside and outside the classroom that are consistent with our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion

Critical Tasks

  • Work with the College of Engineering to develop training for faculty on practices and behavior that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion both inside and outside the classroom
  • Develop departmental guidelines for best practices in the classroom
  • Provide training for faculty on how best to support students going through times of extreme upheaval or trauma, working with university resources like the University Counseling Services’ Outreach and Consultation Service
  • Promote, support, and participate in events on campus and nationally that enhance diversity, equity, or inclusion
  • Work with the Center for Diversity and Enrichment and University Counseling Services to develop avenues to support building a strong community, and strengthening feelings of belonging for students of color and other underrepresented groups in engineering
  • Create programming to build a stronger sense of community and belonging

Indicators of Success

  • CEE faculty implement effective mentoring programs and practices to support graduate and professional students, with advice from CoE DEI Council and other university resources 
  • CEE issues guidelines for faculty, developed in partnership with students, on reaching out to students in times of personal and social upheaval
  • Faculty implement best practices in and outside the classroom (e.g., evidence-based practices promoting inclusion)
  • Faculty and student participation in national diversity network events (e.g., the National GEM Consortium, WISE), diversity seminars by students in the department, and the annual Celebrating Diversity in Engineering Graduate Conference