Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Action plan of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Activities

Voted and approved by CBEE faculty on Feb 24, 2022

CBEE’s Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering (CBEE) recognizes we are living in a time of major social transition. We are motivated to be part of a solution that seeks justice for all members of our community. In 2020, our department established a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) committee, which has been working to address JEDI competencies in the CBEE department and propose new or updated policies, structures, and programs to cultivate an inclusive environment where all students, staff, and faculty will thrive. To inform our efforts, the department dedicated our 2020 Faculty Retreat to strategic planning of JEDI initiatives and we conducted student surveys and focus groups in 2021.

Based on the feedback from these efforts, we propose the following plan to enhance JEDI, civility, cooperation, and compassion in the Department. This plan, and our progress on the plan, will be reevaluated on an annual basis with feedback from all department stakeholders.

Faculty- and staff-focused activities

  • All faculty, staff, and teaching assistants/fellows will complete relevant training focused on microaggressions, implicit bias, and favoritism to ensure that all students feel valued in our classrooms, student organizations, research laboratories, and other departmental spaces.
  • We will hire additional staff to support the undergraduate program, with a particular emphasis on improving communication with students to build an inclusive program that helps them succeed.
  • The department will seek training on, and use best practices in, grading of student work to ensure an equitable and unbiased approach in all classes.

Student-focused activities

  • We will institute once-per-semester meetings between individual faculty members and small groups of students to build trust between students and faculty and facilitate student-student connections across cohorts.
  • We will endeavor to expand the Academic Success Teaching Fellows and tutoring programs to ensure that all students have the academic resources and support needed to be successful in our department

Department-focused activities

  • We will improve the department community by hosting more social and professional events, including department picnics, coffee hours, and networking events, to establish stronger connections between students, staff, and faculty
  • When opportunities arise, we will endeavor to recruit new faculty and staff members that reflect the diversity of our student body