The Citadel School of Engineering recognizes that our nation and community are filled with brilliant individuals from different backgrounds and all walks of life. We believe that building a climate of inclusivity, where our culture embraces diversity, respect for all, and welcoming of different views, allows us to attract top talent to add to the ranks of our students, faculty, and staff. Our differences and shared values provides an opportunity for our students to learn in a unique setting to become better engineers, project managers, and leaders, that value perspectives as they build, design, and shape the world around us.
The Citadel and The School of Engineering are deeply committed to ensuring equitable access to educational and employment opportunities for all students, faculty, and staff. Upheld in our daily environment, our established policies meet or exceed local, state, and federal laws governing the protection of all individuals, reinforcing our commitment.
The year 2014-2015 was declared by ASEE as the Year of Action in Diversity. This effort is the result of deans of engineering across the United States committing, through specific actions, to provide increased opportunity to pursue meaningful engineering careers to women and other underrepresented demographic groups. Specifically they commit to ensuring that our institutions provide educational experiences that are inclusive and prevent marginalization of any groups of people because of visible or invisible differences. We affirm the importance of such aims as a reflection of our core values, as a source of inspiration for drawing a generation to the call of improving the human condition. Recognizing the urgency to act, the signatories commit to establishing at each of our institutions a variety of programs, detailed further in this letter.
The letter was initiated following the EDI of April 14, 2015 in South Carolina and was created by the EDC Diversity Committee, chaired by Dean Yannis Yortsos, Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. It was presented on August 4, 2015 at the first-ever White House “Demo Day,” which showcased the wide-ranging talents of technology innovators from across the country.
Recognizing the urgency to act, the undersigned colleges/universities committed to establishing at each institution programs that include the following:
- Commit to the development and implementation of proactive strategies to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in our faculty.
- Commit to at least one K-12 or community college pathway/pipeline activity with explicit targeted goals and measures of accountability aimed at increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of the engineering student body in our institution.
- Commit to developing strong partnerships between research-intensive engineering schools and non-PhD granting engineering schools serving populations underrepresented in engineering.
- Develop a Diversity Plan for our engineering programs with the help and input of national organizations such as NSBE, SHPE, NACME, GEM, SWE, AISES, WEPAN and the ASEE 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.