Action Plan for Racial Equity and Inclusion

Actions to establish greater equity, inclusion and racial justice in the College of Engineering

The responsibility for addressing racism and racial inequities within the College of Engineering (COE) belongs to, and is a top priority for, the College’s senior leadership. Our COE community has brought forth thoughtful, constructive, and actionable recommendations. We shall hold each other accountable for improving our community and are committed to begin the long and difficult work of eliminating policies, practices, and culture that perpetuate systemic inequality.

This COE Action plan reflects The Ohio State University’s strategic directions and values as a land-grant institution. It is implemented within the greater context of the university's actions and organizations dedicated to the elimination of racial injustice and inequity, and for the promotion of opportunity and success for all. 

COE Action Plan Graphic


The framework of this plan is focused on five key areas:

  1. Professional Development and Training
  2. Talent Acquisition, Promotion and Retention
  3. Research, Curriculum and Course Development
  4. Undergraduate and Graduate Recruitment/Enrollment/Retention
  5. Fundamentals - Administration, Finance and Communication




Professional Development and Training

We shall create and implement professional development and training opportunities that bring increases in diversity, equity and inclusion awareness, and facilitate a more welcoming learning environment for all students, staff and faculty.

Action step 1.1
All faculty and staff shall engage in annual training areas of diversity, micro-aggressions and understanding and interrupting implicit bias.

Action step 1.2
Specific understanding and interrupting implicit bias and inclusive classroom training shall be implemented for UTAs and GTAs.

Action step 1.3
We shall Increase targeted training and resources for mentoring, teaching and advising to increase students’ sense of belonging, to mitigate against the negative effects of stereotyping, diminish threats to student performance, and improve related student well-being issues.

Action step 1.4
We shall implement a series of "post-training" discussions and dialogues among faculty, staff, and students to share experiences, impacts and thoughts.

Estimated Completion Date/Timeline: Training for COE executive committee will take place from November to December and full faculty and staff rollout will take place from January 2021 to May 2021

Talent Acquisition, Promotion and Retention

We shall increase the diversity of faculty, staff and leadership at all levels by developing a system of accountability in hiring, promotion and access to research and professional development opportunities.

Action step 2.1 
We shall ensure that all aspects of the COE commitment to diversity as it relates to specific job functions and responsibilities are described with clarity for all COE position postings.

Action step 2.2 
We shall require implicit bias training for all persons involved in the hiring process.

Action step 2.3 
We shall require hiring committees to have an outside observer from another department/unit/center to ensure women and underrepresented minority candidates are being properly considered.

Action step 2.4 
We shall modify systems of incentive and assessment to include and reward diversity and inclusion action and competence, including annual reviews and promotion and tenure guidelines.

Estimated Completion Date/Timeline: work is in progress on all steps with anticipated completion by May 2021

Research, Curricula and Course Development

We shall develop and implement strategies that promote diversity competence across the curriculum to prepare students to engineer solutions in a dynamic and global economy. 

Action step 3.1
We shall organize a COE task force charged with responsibility to enhance existing and create new course(s) that are inclusive of social justice and diversity-enriched topics, examples or modules at the unit level.

Action step 3.2
We shall standardize and audit undergraduate research opportunities to increase access and participation across underrepresented groups.

Estimated Completion Date/Timeline: work is in progress on all steps with anticipated completion by May 2021

Focus Area 4:
Undergraduate and Graduate Recruitment/Enrollment/Retention

We shall increase efforts to recruit, develop and graduate a talented and diverse body of undergraduate and graduate students.

Action step 4.1
We shall develop an equitable admission-to-major process through implementation of cross-cutting discussions with DOI staff, department chairs, undergraduate advisors and key players in COE engineering education. We shall provide explicit details about how an equitable process will be implemented for undergraduate students.

Action step 4.2
We shall expand successful bridge program models that provide student support, empower student academic achievement, and enhance the student climate for all students, with an emphasis on underrepresented minority students.

Estimated Completion Date/Timeline: May 2021

Focus Area 5: 
Fundamentals: Administration, Finance and Communication

We shall provide clear guidance and resources for reporting complaints about discrimination and bias for students, staff and faculty. We shall create welcoming learning spaces, by repurposing and transforming existing space within college shared spaces and departments. We shall provide regularly-scheduled reports and progress updates as part of transparency and accountability within this action plan.

Action step 5.1
We shall develop a three-year draft budget for the Chief Diversity Officer, including investments from all units, to ensure that the strategies for equality, diversity and inclusion can be fully implemented.

Action step 5.2
We shall develop a proactive communication strategy to create ongoing and continued awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion resources, programs, initiatives and events to engage students, faculty and staff.

Action step 5.3
We shall place the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion personal statements of all senior leadership prominently on the COE website.

Action step 5.4
We shall place anti-racist statements prominently in all COE syllabi along with detailed information on the process of reporting acts of discrimination and harassment.

Estimated Completion Date/Timeline: work is in progress on all steps with anticipated completion by January 2021