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Racial Equity and Inclusion Action Plan

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

Following the summer of 2020, the Ohio State National Society of Black Engineers and Black faculty and staff called for increased diversity, racial equity and inclusion. The College of Engineering (COE) committed to being held accountable for improving our community and continuing the long and challenging work of addressing bias in the admissions and hiring process and eliminating policies and practices that perpetuate inequitable outcomes. As a result, an action plan to establish greater equity, inclusion and racial justice was outlined for the 2020-2021 - 2021-2022 academic year.

One of our initial challenges has been balancing the need for urgency with the need for thoughtful, integrated strategies for long-term, sustainable improvement. Over the last year, we received guidance and support from student organization leaders, alumni, faculty and staff, Diversity, Outreach & Inclusion staff, executive committee members, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning and the Multicultural Center. Our goal was to go beyond isolated performative gestures and create authentic multi-angled collaborative efforts that were intentionally linked to campus priorities and rooted in our shared values for true cultural transformation. The Action Plan framework served as a map that guided our actions and now will be used to set strategic priorities moving forward.

As we end the academic year and transition to a new COE strategic plan and Inclusive Excellence and Cultural Transformation priorities that incorporate elements of the work started here, I thought it was important to provide a final summary of the progress made. We have initiated actions in all five focus areas. 13 of the original 16 action steps have been implemented. In addition, they have been adapted into the organizational infrastructure while only three actions are still “In Progress”. The impact of the ongoing pandemic, leadership changes at the College and University level and transition to a new business platform delayed and altered some of the immediate action steps in the plan; however, a plan has been put in place to continue the work until completion. A few highlights:

  • In the last year, 100% of executive committee leadership, 60% of faculty and over 350 full-time staff have engaged with diversity, equity and inclusive excellence workshops/trainings/seminars
  • The COE has invested in two full-time positions to support Inclusive Excellence efforts in the College of Engineering and Knowlton School
  • Hired an assistant dean for faculty affairs and recruitment to enhance the ability of TIUs to hire inclusively
  • Funds have been allocated for the creation of a Racial and Social Justice Community of Practice for instructors
  • The majority of our graduate programs have eliminated the GRE requirement
  • The undergraduate direct enrollment process no longer requires an ACT or SAT math score
  • Increase in student enrollment and retention (read full story) Language added in the annual review section of the college Appointments, Promotion and Tenure (APT) document concerning the assessment of equity and inclusion in annual reviews

The links below provide summaries of each focus area, details on actions taken, resources allocated, key progress/performance indicators and future implications.

Please feel free to share any questions, comments or concerns using the Virtual Suggestion and Comment Box


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

COE Action Plan graphic

 Click on each listing below for details and progress update.