Engineering Deans Diversity Initiative

The UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is proud to be part of the American Society of Engineering Education’s Engineering Deans Diversity Initiative, a commitment to providing education experiences that are inclusive and prevent marginalization of any groups of people because of visible or invisible differences.

ASEE Diversity Initiative Logo.

SEAS Dean Liesl Folks was one of more than 100 engineering deans around the country to sign the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Engineering Deans' Council Diversity Initiative letter as part of White House Demo Day on August 4, 2015.

The letter was presented amid activities and initiatives focused on inclusive entrepreneurship.

The deans signed the letter to reiterate their commitment to building a pipeline for the next generation of American engineers and entrepreneurs. ASEE declared 2014-2015 as the Year of Action in Diversity, and the letter states the deans’ commitments to provide increased opportunity for women and underrepresented groups to pursue engineering careers.

The deans and their universities committed to the following four actions:

  • Develop a diversity plan for their engineering programs with the help and input of national engineering organizations.
  • Commit to at least one K-12 or community college pipeline activity with explicit targeted goals and measures of accountability aimed at increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of the engineering student body.
  • Commit to developing strong partnerships between research-intensive engineering schools and non-PhD-granting engineering schools serving populations who are underrepresented in engineering.
  • Commit to the development and implementation of proactive strategies to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the faculty.

“And more than 100 deans at America’s engineering schools are committing to recruit and retain more diverse student bodies, building the pipeline for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs because this is something we are seeing again and again and again. We are not producing all the technical talent, all the engineers that we need. And part of the reason is because too many girls and too many young people of color are getting intimidated and winnowed out of the process, not being mentored, not being encouraged, and we deprive ourselves of the talent that we need in order for us to continue to be a dynamic, innovative economy — because that’s the part of the population that’s growing.”   

-President Barack Obama on Demo Day