IDEA Coalition Action List

The MSE IDEA Coalition has developed an Action Items List aimed at achieving our vision to help us to become a department in which all identities are welcomed and protected, in which all individuals have equal access to resources and feel empowered to speak up when they do not, and in which we work together as a community towards our mutual success, growth and well-being.


Learn more about the MSE IDEA Coalition



10 Action Items proposed by the IDEA Coalition

This list will be revisited on a continued basis to identify new or modified action when needed or where opportunities arise.


Short Term Actions (less than one year)

1) Make Graduate School More Accessible

Background: The GRE is well-documented to be a poor indicator of success in graduate school and biased regarding race and income [1-4].

Actions:        We have removed the GRE as a requirement for our department’s graduate admissions statement.  In addition, MSE/NE GRAC (Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Committee) will continue to include bias education and awareness as a key part of its admissions process, and periodically revisit and revise their methods to ensure equitable admission practices.

Champion:      Kevin Jones


2) Clarify Incident Reporting Pathways

Background: The proper pathway to report incidents of harassment and discrimination are unclear or unknown to faculty, staff, and students. 

Actions:        We will identify incident reporting structures at UF and understand their limitations, then educate incoming department members about these pathways. If necessary, we will work with the Ombud’s, or other, office(s) to develop an improved reporting option.

Champion:      Megan Butala


Long Term Actions

1) Collate and Manage Diversity Resources for the Department

Background:  University resources for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and department members with disabilities are scattered among various offices and websites that can be hard to navigate.

Actions:         We will make these resources more accessible by finding, collating, and updating a collection of them for our department on the IDEA coalition’s webpage.

Champion:      Tony Webb


2) Document our Department’s DEI Climate

Background: A current and comprehensive understanding of our department’s climate is needed to help us understand the gaps in our system and serve as a benchmark for tracking the impacts of department and university initiatives.

Actions:        The COE is currently gathering resources to conduct a climate survey with department-level granularity. We will support these efforts, learn from their results, and if necessary, gather addition data.

Champion:      Aroba Saleem


3) Honor and Commemorate Marginalized Communities

Background: Our experience of the world is a product of our experiences, and the unknowns of other cultures and communities can sometimes make us uncomfortable or create barriers to connection.

Actions:        We will create opportunities for cross-cultural connection by commemorating important dates of different communities throughout the year via email highlights.

Champion:      Ryan Need


4) Facilitate Conversations about Social justice

Background: Conversations about race and privilege are uncomfortable and can discourage participation. This is a direct impediment to improving our department’s and the university’s climate for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and those with disabilities.

Actions:            We will bring in speakers and hold workshops to facilitate these difficult conversations and build the social skills needed to continue them ourselves.

Champion:      Nekia Jones, Megan Butala


5) Include/Improve IDEA Inclusion in Coursework/Curriculum

Background: A majority of students in the department and HWCOE believe that racial injustice and structural inequity are not currently problems at UF. 

Actions:        We will build conversations on racial social injustice into our curriculum and share examples online for others to include in their courses.

Champion:      Andreas Enqvist


6) Expand our Department Mentoring Program

Background: Mentoring has been shown to improve employee satisfaction and success. We currently have formalized mentoring for faculty, but not staff or students.

Actions:        We will expand our mentoring program to include staff and students in the department.  

Champion:      Kevin Jones


7) Incorporate Best Practices coordinated with the university community

Background: DEI efforts across the campus are growing, and for our efforts to make the most impact, they need to be coordinated with the COE and other offices at UF.

Actions:        We will work closely with DEI efforts from across the university and lead by example when it comes to integrating DEI efforts in the engineering college.

Champion:      Andreas Enqvist


8) Work Towards Inclusion Effort Reporting at UF

Background: There are limited reporting and reward opportunities for ongoing efforts and initiatives in the IDEA space.

Actions:        Create and demonstrate pathways to report IDEA efforts for UF employees on reports and evaluation, to reward exemplary behavior.

Champion:      Ryan Need





Learn more about the MSE IDEA Coalition