Published Fall 2019

Overview: A Steadfast Commitment

For the engineering profession to fully reach its potential, our academic and industry communities must engage, include and encourage people from all segments of society.  We must work together — utilizing the broad array of perspectives, backgrounds and life experiences that come with a truly diverse community — if we wish to develop the creative solutions needed to address the challenges of the future.  

In the Cockrell School of Engineering, we are deeply committed to diversity in its many forms. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Plan is a defined framework and set of initiatives — developed in the 2018-19 academic year by Texas Engineering faculty, staff and leadership along with critical assistance from students — that will guide our future decisions and investments across all departments and communities, including those defined by race, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, gender and gender expression, socioeconomic background and first-generation status. The plan is informed by the work of the school’s Diversity Action Plan Task Force; the Underrepresented Minorities Task Force; the Diversity and Inclusion Standing Committee; the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Climate Surveys; and the Diversity and Inclusion Charrettes organized by Engineering Student Services in February 2018.

Goals and Outcomes

Through a sustained effort to strengthen diversity within the Texas Engineering community and through the long-term implementation of the DEI Plan, the Cockrell School aims to achieve the following long-term outcomes:

  1. Improved school climate, which supports and encourages community members and provides a strong sense of value and belonging among all students, faculty and staff
  2. Increased compositional diversity among faculty, students, staff, researchers and administration
  3. Increased retention and graduation rates for Cockrell School students and increased retention and promotion of faculty, researchers and staff who are underrepresented minorities or members of groups underrepresented within engineering
  4. Increased transparency, communication and evaluation of the school’s efforts, initiatives and successes surrounding the DEI Plan
  5. Continued strengthening of the resources provided to students, faculty and staff that lead to the development of the full potential of each member of the community

Strategic Cornerstones

In order to achieve the goals set forth in this plan, three themes, or “cornerstones,” have been identified as strategic areas where we will focus our efforts to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the Cockrell School.

Cornerstone 1: Strengthening the Community

Through well-planned and deliberate efforts, the Cockrell School will work to build a more diverse and inclusive community throughout the organization. This includes a commitment to not only hiring and retaining individuals who identify within groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering, but also individuals who do not identify within these groups but embrace, value and champion diversity, inclusiveness and equity as core elements of our culture.

Proposed future action items include but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening and expanding recruitment efforts for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Supporting diverse undergraduate students and exposing them to graduate school
  • Building a stronger recruiting pipeline through outreach to K-12 schools and other undergraduate institutions
  • Providing more financial aid to support diversity recruitment
  • Expanding success programs and support services for at-risk and undocumented students
  • Providing resources and training to faculty and staff to expand their knowledge and cultural competency
  • Engaging students from historically underrepresented groups in faculty hiring
  • Advertising faculty and staff openings to encourage more diverse candidate pools
  • Establishing an advocates/allies mentoring program — encompassing students, staff and faculty — across the school 

Cornerstone 2: Shaping the Environment

The Cockrell School is committed to ensuring that all members of the engineering community have the resources they need to excel and reach their potential. To that end, we will continue to create diverse, equitable and inclusive environments — both inside and outside of the classroom and workplace — that provide our students, staff and faculty with the types of experiences and interactions that will serve them better in their lives and careers.

Proposed future action items include but are not limited to:

  • Increasing school-wide programming that celebrates the intersectionality and diversity of cultures within engineering
  • Strengthening and building upon the school’s current “You Belong Here” campaign
  • Creating opportunities for community-building across departments and among diverse groups, and implementing a strategy to engage LGBTQIA students, faculty and staff
  • Reviewing and updating content and messaging on digital and print marketing materials to highlight our commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Providing cultural competency trainings for a wide variety of employees and students
  • Ensuring inclusive physical spaces when designing and renovating Texas Engineering facilities

Cornerstone 3: Enriching the Experience

The Cockrell School is committed to an educational experience that ensures all members of the community can reach their potential in an increasingly diverse and multicultural world. We will provide the best, most complete education possible for students from all backgrounds, and we will enhance the workplace environment to provide a more inclusive experience for faculty and staff.

Proposed future action items include but are not limited to:

  • Engaging and training faculty in an effort to cultivate a greater sense of community in the classroom and throughout the school
  • Growing co-curricular programming in areas focused on themes such as leadership, social justice, equity, cultural competence, intersectionality and teamwork
  • Increasing project-based classroom experiences that emphasize teamwork and input from diverse voices
  • Increasing support services (academic, physical and mental health) for students from historically underrepresented groups
  • Creating new faculty, staff and student events that include speakers from diverse backgrounds
  • Increasing integration of diversity and inclusiveness into the Cockrell School curriculum

A Clear Path Forward

In the Cockrell School of Engineering, we are committed to diversity in its many forms, and we aim to promote an inclusive and equitable environment with a strong sense of belonging for all students, faculty and staff. Moving forward, we are committed to providing the best education possible for students from all backgrounds, including those who have been marginalized and who come from traditionally underserved communities. We embrace the differences among us and strive to create a learning and working environment enriched by those differences.

For questions or more information about the DEI Plan, contact Michele Meyer, Assistant Dean for Student Services in the Cockrell School of Engineering, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..