Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

diversity-four.jpg
diversity-five.png
diversity-six.jpg

The College of Geosciences is committed to building a climate that supports a culture of equity and inclusion at Texas A&M University. For the college to be a national leader, we must actively dismantle histories of systemic racism that have resulted in the exclusion of racially minoritized and marginalized individuals in the geosciences. To advance this work, it is vital that the College center the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion across all that we do. Cultivating this learning environment positions us to build a community where all students can thrive and where varied perspectives come together to advance scholarship that reflects our diverse nation and world's needs.

This objective requires a sustained, comprehensive, and lasting commitment to anti-racism. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan frames the vision, goals, and strategies that will serve as the College of Geosciences efforts' roadmap over the next five years. Building our longstanding commitment to this work, this plan serves as a springboard for our next phase of these initiatives. This work is situated to speak to and expand upon the strategic initiative- Foster a Community of Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect in which Everyone Achieves Their Potential.

Key terms and Acronyms

BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, People of Color

Racially Minoritized: This term is used to capture Black, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Native American students, faculty, and staff. The term is utilized to identify the process of racial minoritization, the social construction of different power and representation compared to other groups within society.

DEI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Timeline

This plan provides a multi-year agenda for the College of Geosciences. As such, the items have been categorized based on short (1 year), medium (2-3 years), and long term (3+ years) timelines.

Responsibility

Advancing a climate of equity and inclusion is the responsibility of every member of the college. It requires coordinated efforts from across the college and the university to maximize impact. Leadership for this implementation resides with the College Diversity Committee, the Assistant Dean for Diversity, and the Dean.

Goal #1

Build a culture of inclusion- Create a more welcoming, respectful, and inclusive climate for all.

Strategy 1: Develop a suite of training and programming opportunities to support ongoing education and professional development around anti-racism topics (e.g., racism, implicate bias, cross-cultural knowledge, and microaggressions).

Tactic 1.1: Utilize existing structures to provide collegewide ongoing training to faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 1.2: Advance inclusive teaching through the curation of a library of teaching resources (e.g., Step-in Interventions, syllabus review for inclusion of diverse and historically oppressed voices, etc.) and the cultivation of department-level experts.

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 1.3: Enhance the Diversity Series to engage university experts to provide training around DEI.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 1.4: Establish informal faculty and staff learning communities to support ongoing professional development

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 1.5: Launch a one-book program to introduce all students to topics of environmental justice and equity in the geosciences.

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 2.1: Embed questions related to DEI efforts into faculty and staff annual evaluations.

Timeline

  • Long-term

Tactic 2.2: Build an inventory of efforts that faculty and staff can undertake to address DEI in their respective units

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 2.3: Provide training and support for managers to effectively evaluate and guide employees in these efforts

Timeline

  • Long-term

Tactic 2.4: Launch mechanisms to recognize and reward exemplary effort related to DEI.

Timeline

  • Long-term

Strategy 3: Implement ongoing strategies to gather and analyze data related to equity, inclusion, and cultural understanding.

Tactic 3.1: Embed common equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging questions in course evaluations.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 3.2: Develop a common set of equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging questions for the end of program evaluations.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 3.3: 3.3 Review and report university-wide graduate survey data to further illuminate questions of equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging

Timeline

  • Medium

Strategy 4: Provide clear and transparent reporting mechanisms regarding incidents of racism, racial bias, and other equity centered incidents

Tactic 4.1: Identify collegewide ombuds serve as a primary point of contact

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 4.2: Build a multi-tier programming (modeled after the Cup of Coffee program at the College of Medicine) to increase awareness about incident reporting and provide timely follow up as incidents arise.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 4.3: Develop mechanisms to report metrics on racial bias incidents annually

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 4.4: Provide faculty, staff, and students with training regarding how to report racial bias incidents and an understanding of the process once a report is filed.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Goal #2

Increase the representation and retention of diverse students, faculty, and staff across the college. Promote the development and implementation of recruitment strategies that work to address bias and advance promising practices to increase the representation of underrepresented individuals.

Strategy 1: Actively utilize recruitment opportunities and incorporate the process to address conscious and unconscious bias to recruit diverse undergraduate and graduate students with a focus on individuals from under-represented backgrounds.

Tactic 1.1: Remove the GRE from admission requirements and merit scholarship

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 1.2: Cultivate partnerships with TAMU system schools and in-state schools that serve a large proportion of racially minoritized students

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 1.3: Support AGU bridge participation

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 1.4: Outreach to high schools and community programs that target BIPOC students

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 2.1: Utilize the Geosciences Future Faculty Post-doctoral program to recruit exemplary BIPOC applicants

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 2.2: Engage in the university-wide ACES program to recruit two BIPOC faculty

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 2.3: Increase transparency and availability of DEI tools for all faculty hiring

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 2.4: Enhance structures to diversity outreach and cultivate more diverse pools for faculty searches

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 2.5: Update evaluation rubrics to include and value diverse pathways to and through higher education.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Strategy 3: Support increased retention among BIPOC students, faculty and staff through increased access and engagement in mentoring opportunities

Tactic 3.1: Support the development of a student chapter of the National Association of Black Geoscientist and other student organizations that support BIPOC students

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 3.2: Identify formal mentoring opportunities for undergraduate BIPOC students to augment the existing first-year experience and student organization programming.

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 3.3: Develop training and tools to enhance graduate student mentoring collegewide, focusing on supporting BIPOC students and cultivating a climate of inclusion for all students

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 3.4: Develop collegewide mentoring programming targeted at BIPOC postdocs and early career faculty

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 3.5: Identify strategies to engage with other colleges to increase networks for community and collaboration

Timeline

  • Medium

Goal #3

Enhance undergraduate experience to support exposure to questions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism for all students.

Strategy 1: Develop a scaffolded approach to imbed discussion of DEI and anti-racism throughout the undergraduate curriculum.

Tactic 1.1: Develop and implement additional modules for first-year experience courses

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 1.2: Identify opportunities across each degree plan to introduce these topics (e.g., common introductory course, corner-stone course, etc.)

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 1.3: Identify opportunities for all students to take courses, such as environmental justice or race in the geosciences, to create a shared foundation and engagement in DEI topics

Timeline

  • Long-term

Tactic 1.4: Develop frameworks for considering inclusion and diverse identities in course development

Timeline

  • Long-term

Tactic 1.5: Maintain existing strategies and cultivate new tools to maintain an attentiveness to field work opportunities with a focus on addressing diversity and equity.

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 2.1: Develop partnerships with student organizations to promote DEI efforts

Timeline

  • Long-term

Tactic 2.2: Launch and deploy student-focused diversity training that engages university experts and programming.

Timeline

  • Long-term

Goal #4

Celebrate and highlight the efforts of BIPOC scholars both within the college and nationally.

Strategy 1: Improve seminar series and other invited talks to support increased representation among BIPOC scholars as well as scholars across the career pathway (e.g., postdocs as well as senior scholars)

Tactic 1.1: Develop and launch an interdisciplinary diversity seminar series focused on engaging BIPOC scholar, scholars with a focus on environmental justices or DEI work within the geoscience

Timeline:

  • Medium

Tactic 1.2: Establish a fund to provide honoraria and other support to diversify department, lab, and unit level seminars.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 2.1: Build communication materials centering anti-racism and social justice in the geosciences

Timeline

  • Medium

Tactic 2.2: Identify opportunities to celebrate the diversity of cultures and lived experiences across the college.

Timeline

  • Short-term

Goal #5

Transparent and timely collegewide communications related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Strategy 1: Build college-level communications strategies to highlight DEI efforts

Tactic 1.1: College diversity website to serve a primary site to communicate DEI efforts

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 1.2: Increase engagement in DEI initiatives through bi-annual college town hall meetings

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 2.1: Develop department DEI goals

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 2.2: Increase engagement and accountability in department DEI goals through annual department updates

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 2.3: Support the annual collection and dissemination of department-level DEI data to maintain attentiveness to department-level challenges

Timeline

  • Short-term

Tactic 2.4: Continue funding programs targeting department-level strategies to address DEI agenda

Timeline

  • Short-term