Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Tactical Plan

The Bioengineering (BioE) Department at Lehigh University is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and being actively anti-racist in our department, college, university, and beyond. We take pride in the diversity of our student body and strive to be inclusive of all members of our Lehigh community. We recognize that there is still significant progress to be made to become a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution. To achieve these goals, the BioE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee developed a tactical plan to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our department. These objectives and action items are specifically designed to support and align with the Rossin College’s DEI strategic goals for the next five years. Our tactical plan will be reviewed and updated each semester by the BioE DEI Committee.

Objective 1: Recruit diverse faculty, staff, and students.

Action items:

  1. Establish department-level DEI metrics to evaluate progress.
  2. Increase the number of faculty and staff involved in Lehigh programs that support students from underrepresented or underserved backgrounds, such as GEM, Greer Scholars, Rapidly Accelerated Research Experiences (RARE), Lehigh University Student Scholars Institute (LUSSI), and F1RST.
  3. Increase the number of faculty, staff, and students involved in local and national chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans (SACNAS), and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
  4. Increase student awareness of graduate fellowships and mentor interested students as they move through the application process
  5. Provide targeted research opportunities for Greer, RARE, LUSSI, and F1RST students.
  6. Explore and implement direct, organized faculty outreach activities involving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and high schools and institutions of higher learning with significant enrollment of students from underrepresented groups

Objective 2: Provide a welcoming, inclusive, and nurturing environment conducive to attracting and retaining a diverse group of individuals.

Action Items:

  1. Establish a DEI “minute” at the start of each faculty and staff meeting.
  2. Identify staff and student (graduate and undergraduate) representatives to join the BioE DEI committee
  3. Encourage all faculty and staff to add pronouns to email signatures, syllabi, Zoom name, etc.
  4. Survey BioE students, staff, and faculty for feedback on how welcome and included they feel in the department
  5. Invite diverse seminar speakers to present in the BioE Seminar Series
  6. Invite speakers who address health disparities, specific disorders, and adjacent fields that affect or are of interest to diverse groups (i.e., epidemiology, co-sponsored seminars with College of Health (COH)
  7. Appoint additional advisory council members who can contribute to the DEI mission
  8. Increase the number of our current undergraduate and graduate students applying for GEM and other fellowships
  9. Match students from underrepresented backgrounds with alumni and peer mentors
  10. Develop a shared resource folder in our department Google Drive with examples of best practices to improve DEI in the classroom and in our research labs
  11. Encourage faculty and staff to attend DEI training annually or semi-annually
  12. Recognize and reward faculty, students, and staff for their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at the department and college-level