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Strategic plan 2022-2027 Goal 1: People Goal 2: Capacity Goal 3: Culture

Our impact: 2022-2023

Established in 2021, the Office of Inclusive Excellence (OIE) team leads the strategic vision and implementation to build a community at the College of Engineering that is welcoming and inclusive for staff, faculty and students from all backgrounds.

Scroll through the pillars above to learn more about what has been accomplished since the team’s launch.

Our work is built on three pillars: people, capacity and culture. The data and accomplishments on this impact report are divided into one of the three pillars for easier readability. However, the work described often intersects across people, culture and capacity.

Recent awards

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National leader in inclusive excellence

In 2023, American Society for Engineering Education awarded the College of Engineering with a bronze award.

Dr. Karen Thomas-Brown headshot
“We believe that building diverse teams of engineers promotes engineering excellence and innovation for the common good. Our goal is to prepare engineers to work in a diverse society and be able to innovate for people who may have different perspectives.” 
— Dr. Karen Thomas-Brown, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Our pillars

Strategic plan goals for 2022-2027

In 2020, the College of Engineering gathered its leadership to build a strategic plan for 2022-2027. The strategic plan established three primary goals to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. The goals are built around three pillars: people, capacity and culture.

Read the full strategic plan



Attract, recruit develop and retain diverse students, staff and faculty



Develop structures, practices and people skills that embed and leverage the value of DEI in all college activities



Build a robust College community culture where all members thrive, are valued and feel a sense of belonging



Attract, recruit develop and retain diverse students, staff and faculty


hiring committees participated in pilot program for tenured faculty recruitment


student leaders participated in an annual training and leadership retreat


students received financial support to attend conferences and competitions


enrolled Pathways for Inclusive
Excellence (PIE) students


retention of Pathways for Inclusive Excellence (PIE) students

Implemented transparency and training for hiring tenured faculty

We launched a data-driven process for hiring tenured faculty. A hiring toolkit provides search committees training on hiring biases, creating rubrics and facilitating interviews. A data dashboard provides hiring committees national demographic data for their field to compare to their pool of candidates. If the candidate pool doesn’t align with national averages, they are encouraged to increase outreach. This process was piloted with 36 faculty searches. 18 finalist candidates were from historically underrepresented identities at the College.

Built relationships and support with student clubs

OIE supported engineering student groups that center the experience of underrepresented engineers. We advise consult and provide financial support. In 2022-2023, OIE hosted an annual training and leadership retreat for 30 student leaders; supported student groups with hosting a career fair and financially supported 31 students to attend conferences and a competition.

Addressed barriers to student access to engineering

Some students have highly sought-after skills and life experience yet have limited access to STEM education. Pathways for Inclusive Excellence (PIE) supports talented students who need additional STEM and college preparation. PIE is the collaborative work of three students support programs (STARS, Dean’s Scholars and Allen School Scholars Program). During 2022-2023, 145 students were enrolled in PIE, and PIE students had a 98% retention rate for returning to the College.

“I had the opportunity to surround myself with some amazing people that helped push me to my best self academically and emotionally.”
— 2022 PIE student


Develop structures, practices and people skills that embed and leverage the value of DEI in all college activities


facilitated forums and
community conversations


engineering staff and faculty
received the OIE newsletter


members are part of
The Council of Diversity Advocates (CODA) 

Tested a new model for an integrated DEI structure

The College’s first DEI officer was hired to work within both the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) and the Office of Inclusive Excellence. This role has deepened connections within the ME community by facilitating community conversations and implementing strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion. The team of DEI officers will expand to additional engineering departments in 2023-2024.

Increased DEI learning and engagement across the College

OIE developed online and in-person training and resources to address identified learning gap. Our work has included developing a land acknowledgement training, microaggression course, certification for engineering advocates, community conversations, forums and a trauma stewardship workshop. Since the Fall of 2022, OIE hosted 26 facilitated sessions and community conversations with an attendance of 25-70 participants and with a 4.5-5 rating.

Built communication capacity to promote DEI resources and initiatives

OIE hired a communications manager to build a communication strategy and advance the College’s DEI initiatives. Over 1,600 staff and faculty receive a quarterly newsletter with OIE updates and resources.

Leads DEI representatives from across the College

10 faculty and 20 staff members are on the Council of Diversity Advocates (CODA). CODA represents all departments and units across the College. The group pilots OIE trainings, assists with promoting information and receives templates for departments to build their own DEI strategic plan. In 2022, the council participated in OIE’s bystander and advocacy training.

“It was great to see a big University focused on such a nuance[d] conversation”
— participant of a community conversation


Build a robust College community culture where all members thrive, are valued and feel a sense of belonging


WE Rise mentorships


WE Rise corporate partners


WE Rise participants 


WE Rise conference speakers


students attended the WE Rise conference

Implemented an incident reporting process to build a climate of inclusion

OIE developed college-level for the staff, faculty, students and affiliates of the College to report incidents of concern such as bias, harassment or discrimination. A team of trained advocates are equipped to support those who submit a report to understand, navigate and access resources. This system builds trust and takes ownership of addressing inequitable and discriminatory practices in the College.

Launched ELEVATE to holistically support graduate students

Launched in 2022, Elevate provides holistic support for engineering graduate students through career preparation, social connection and emotional wellbeing support. The initiative includes community cohorts, workshops, financial support for conferences, career coaching and networking. In 2022-2023, Elevate collaborated with Meta to host a networking event and partnered with Amazon to sponsor program participants.

Rebranded WE Rise to promote inclusion in engineering of all genders

In 2022, WiSE was re-branded to WE Rise. Open to all engineering students WE Rise centers the experiences of women and gender nonconforming engineers through mentorships and events. Since the launch of WE Rise, 542 students and 9 faculty members have participated in the program; 108 mentees have been paired with a mentor; 246 students joined the WE Rise graduation event and 226 students participated in the annual conference. The annual conference had 35 speakers representing 15 companies, including Microsoft and Boeing.

“As someone who has been in this work for years, I learned new things from this presentation.”
— staff participant of the online microaggressions training

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