To students of the Engineering Plus Program
Engineering Plus echoes the calls for change in our academic community to more fully recognize and support students from communities who are underrepresented in engineering and beyond. We recognize the historic and continued injustices that are being brought to light and want you to know that our program supports positive change. Building on interim Dean Keith Molenaar’s statement to the college and Tanya Ennis’ statement on behalf of the BOLD Center, we are dedicated to growing an equitable and just community, ensuring that our students, staff and faculty have a voice and can join in the work for a more inclusive environment.
Engineering Plus is at its core a student-centered and collaborative learning community, and we want this spirit to continue to thrive as we improve our program to better reflect the needs of our diverse community. That includes elevating the needs of students from marginalized communities, asking and addressing hard and honest questions, shifting policies and practices, and honoring differences in respectful ways.
We commit to listen and learn about the experiences of members of Black communities and other under-represented communities in our program and college. We know we must learn more about the structural biases and barriers built into higher education and address diversity, equity, and inclusion concerns. While talent is universal, opportunity is not. We acknowledge that students come to the university with a wide array of resources, experiences, and backgrounds. Higher education is not an even playing field, and we must work harder to build equity for our students into all of our courses.
To improve the quality of education and experiences for our students, we commit to:
- Create an e+ student advisory council representative of the broad spectrum of students in our program
- Create an open forum each semester to listen to concerns from students, which we will address within our program and can elevate to the college and campus, as needed
- Integrate inclusivity and unconscious bias education into our sequence of design courses (GEEN 1400, 2400, 3400)
- In alignment with new campus requirements, require all faculty and staff to complete training on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as bystander training.
- Listen, learn and work to be better educators and community members by matching our words to actions
Creating a Community Together
It is the joint responsibility of all faculty, staff and students to take anti-racist action and work toward a culture and community that is respectful and values everyone in equitable ways. We are fortunate to have a rich array of resources available to help us begin to learn about anti-racist practices including:
- Self-paced anti-racism reading course on Canvas created by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)
- Teaching inclusively resources by CTL
- Anti-Racism Resources from CU Boulder libraries
- Anti-Racism Resources
- Racial Equity Tools
- How to be an Anti-Racist (associated podcast with the author)
- Classroom Resources for Teaching Tolerance
- Being Anti-Racist
- The 10 Ten Essential Elements of Dignity
We welcome your ideas on these issues and seek to begin a discussion on addressing the deep-seated issues around racism, inequities and the barriers that our students, staff and faculty of color and other marginalized groups face each day. This summer you can email your thoughts and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or share them through this anonymous feedback form. This fall we will have an open forum. We look forward to working with you on these difficult issues and to supporting the creation of a vibrant community that values equity, diversity, and inclusion so that all may succeed.
Angela Bielefeldt, Malinda Zarske, Mike Soltys, Jacob Segil, Dan Godrick, Nick Stites, Christina Oerter, Otha Barrow
e+ Faculty and Staff
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
This email was sent to all students of the Engineering Plus Program on 7/24/2020