Electrical and Computer Engineering

Response to GSBES Open Letter on Diversity in EECS

The CSE and ECE divisions have prepared transparency reports detailing undergraduate, graduate and faculty recruiting statistics, context, challenges, activities, commitments, and areas for improvement.

During the inaugural EECS Juneteenth Celebration, held on June 19th, the Graduate Society of Black Student Engineers and Scientists (GSBES) presented a list of  formal requests to the EECS chairs. The requests included calls for transparency on demographic data as well as a commitment going forward to staff, track, discuss and improve on diversity, equity and inclusion issues over time. 

Mingyan Liu, the Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of ECE, and Peter Chen, Interim Chair of CSE, committed to a public response by Friday, July 10th. The chairs coordinated with the EECS DEI department leads, Professors Wes Weimer and Herbert Winful, as well as the chair of the ECE Committee for an Inclusive Department, Prof. Fred Terry, and met with GSBES on July 3rd. We are pleased to honor the next step of that promise now.

First, the CSE and ECE divisions have prepared transparency reports detailing undergraduate, graduate and faculty recruiting statistics, context, challenges, activities, commitments, and areas for improvement. These reports also include explanations and context to help clarify the issues, legal concerns, and national trends.

Second, CSE and ECE reaffirm their commitment to the annual release of such transparency reports and discussions with students and community members. Significant systemic change may not happen overnight, but one of the first steps, especially as Engineers, is to measure and agree on the data. Only then can we meaningfully identify and collaboratively address areas for improvement. 

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are core values for the College of Engineering in general and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in particular. The celebration and associated discussions drew into sharp focus issues of equal opportunity in our department locally, as well as the field and nation as a whole. 

This tumultuous season has brought an outpouring of pain, frustration, fear, uncertainty, and exhaustion, but it has also brought a groundswell of support for change. We have felt outrage, but we have also felt hope. Issues of climate, diversity, equity and inclusion affect us all, and it is by coming together through transparency, cooperation and sustained action that we hope to make a difference for everyone in our community. 

 

Peter Chen
Interim Chair, Computer Science and Engineering

Mingyan Liu
Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Westley Weimer
Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Chair of CSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Herbert Winful
Joseph E. and Anne P. Rowe Professor of Electrical Engineering
ECE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead

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