Civil & Environmental Engineering Department
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Statement of Principles
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the University of South Florida (USF) endorses, and attempts to adhere to, the following beliefs and principles.
- The values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are central and vital to all aspects of our educational mission and our daily activities.
- People of all backgrounds, who bring a range of perspectives and life experiences, should be welcomed, valued, heard, and supported within our department. Differences and diversity among our students, faculty, and staff are sources of strength to CEE and to USF. This includes diversity with respect to race, ethnicity, veteran status, marital status, socio-economic level, national origin, religious belief, physical ability, sexual orientation, age, class, political ideology, and gender identity and expression, as outlined by USF’s Diversity and Inclusion Office (https://www.usf.edu/diversity/about-dieo/mission-statement.aspx).
- The discipline of Civil and Environmental Engineering is dedicated to meeting the infrastructure needs of society, and this must include all members of society. The history of our discipline includes much of which we can be proud, but it also includes failures in which certain populations have not been afforded equitable access to critical civil and/or environmental infrastructure. Correcting these failures requires us to be consciously aware of our obligation, as engineers and educators, to all members of society. Exclusion of any stakeholders, even when unintentional, is a failure that must be corrected.
- Systemic racism exists in our society and our institutions, including academic institutions. CEE is committed to anti-racism: we aim to acknowledge, understand, and directly confront the historical inequities in our field and the structures and barriers that have led to those inequities.
- Harassment, discrimination, and/or violence on the basis of race, ethnicity, veteran status, marital status, socio-economic level, national origin, religious belief, physical ability, sexual orientation, age, class, political ideology, and/or gender identity and expression are not to be tolerated.
By consciously and intentionally striving to overcome the shortcomings of the past, we can create a department that includes a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff, all of whom are treated with dignity, and who work together to equitably fulfill our obligations to all of our stakeholders.
Plan for Action
We understand that creating a culture of diversity and inclusion is a large undertaking, but as a department we are committed to change. In accordance with the principles and vision stated above, in 2022 we aim to take actionable steps towards our goals. Our first step will be to work with USF’s Office of Diversity of Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and with the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Engineering to collect quantitative data from our faculty, staff, and students. Working with these entities, we will quantitatively assess the climate of our department to determine where we are meeting our vision and where we are falling short. Following that assessment, we will formulate plans to address areas that need improvement.
We wish to create a community where all members feel comfortable expressing their opinions and candidly describing their personal experiences. Therefore, we ask that all members of our community participate in the forthcoming departmental climate survey, so that we can work collectively to create a better tomorrow.