National honor for diversity and inclusion 

July 22, 2019

ASEE Diversity Recognition Program lists MSU Engineering among nation’s leaders in inclusive excellence

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) has listed the MSU College of Engineering among the nation’s leaders in inclusive excellence. The designation earns MSU a Bronze Award – the highest level of recognition presented by the ASEE Diversity Recognition Program.

The MSU College of Engineering is among the nation’s leaders in inclusive excellence.
MSU Engineering is a leader in inclusive excellence.

Gregory N. Washington, chair of the ASEE Engineering Deans Council, congratulated MSU for its demonstrated support for underrepresented groups in engineering and its action plan focused on continuous improvement. He noted that two of MSU’s strengths are in its assessment of policies, cultures, and climate and its ability to reduce barriers by strengthening the K-12 or community college pipeline.

Engineering Dean Leo Kempel said the recognition is a national acknowledgement of those who have been dedicated to this important effort.

“The college will continue to advocate for excellence through our outreach, partnerships, and proactive strategies to increase representation among faculty, staff and students,” Kempel added.

Yue Qi is associate dean for inclusion and diversity.
Yue Qi is associate dean for inclusion and diversity.

Yue Qi, associate dean for inclusion and diversity, said a lot of people have been working on diversity and inclusion goals, especially since Dean Kempel’s pledge in the college’s 2016-21 Strategic Plan.

“There is a commitment throughout the college - across programs, departments and individuals,” Qi said. “People understand that our differences are a strength. We’ll continue to build broader awareness and support as we help our colleagues and students realize their full potential.”

A variety of outreach programs and strategies support inclusiveness, including Women in Engineering, Diversity Program Office, Sloan program for graduate students, ongoing strategies for faculty search, recruitment, and hiring processes, along with training opportunities to better understand and eliminate implicit bias. There is also a pipeline development strategy for graduate and postdoc fellows.

Qi said the current statistics on the college are encouraging, but need further improvement. Undergraduate women number around 22 percent and the domestic underrepresented minorities enrollment is nearing 20 percent. Among tenure-stream faculty, around 17 percent are women and 8 percent are in historically underrepresented groups.

“There is more work to do after this recognition,” Qi added. “Significant, measurable, and sustainable progress is needed for us to go to next levels (silver and gold) in the future.”