The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in MIE

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Departmental Mission

Education is transformative, and open intellectual inquiry is the foundation of a university education and a democratic society. In the spirit of shared humanity and concern for our community and world, the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering celebrates diversity as central to our mission and affirm our solidarity with those individuals and groups most at-risk.

The MIE community values diversity in all its forms and strives to cooperatively engage with people representative of a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds, thereby facilitating a greater level of understanding, familiarity, and comfort with the values, needs and available resources of an increasingly diverse society. A diversity-focused culture is an important element of our academic excellence, resulting in engineering graduates who are prepared to effectively address the needs of a global society.

The Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst is thus strongly committed to fostering a welcoming, encouraging environment that enables all individuals to best succeed through best policies and practices, which include:

Departmental Actions

  • Our Department has appointed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to establish, improve, and promote the Department’s culture.
  • DEI committee members will ensure the Department develops and maintains best practices and creates action items, managing accountability, and liaising with other DEI-relevant groups across campus.
  • Students, faculty, and staff will all actively inform Departmental DEI policies. The committee will have a minimum of three faculty members plus the Department Head, one graduate student, one undergraduate student, and one staff member. Faculty committee members must include delegates from both the Undergraduate Program Committee and the Graduate Program Committee.

Graduate Program Actions

  • The Graduate Program Committee (GPC) continues to rehaul the graduate admissions and review processes to best establish the most inclusive practices.
  • The GPC will utilize application, admittance, matriculation, and graduation statistics to identify inequities and how to further support students along the process to ensure the most success.

Undergraduate Program Actions

  • The UPC will continue to engage in activities that promote students’ experience and feelings of inclusion within MIE.
  • The MIE department will host weekly coffee and donuts sessions, where students can informally interact with one faculty member. These sessions will promote collegiality and allow students to engage with faculty in a non-threatening environment while also promoting understanding and humanizing of individual differences.
  • The DEI committee will examine advising practices to ensure students are matched with appropriate mentors and faculty with similar interests.

Faculty and Staff Actions

  • The DEI committee will review our hiring processes, including how we form and use search committees for hiring. They will create a strategic plan for all future hiring, including focused objectives, to be assessed by the Department Head.
  • The DEI committee will examine methods to promote retention among our more diverse faculty and staff by connecting them to available and relevant resources within the college and in the broader UMass campus.