Mission Statement

The mission of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee of the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment (ESE) is to foster and sustain the pursuit of the department’s stated vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This goal necessarily includes working to remove deeply entrenched, historical, and institutional structures of racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination, disenfranchisement, exclusion, and injustice in the society in which the ESE department exists.

The committee acknowledges that genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion in society cannot be achieved without justice that is restorative, distributive, and based on reconciliation.

The DEI committee will make every effort to achieve its mission within this social context. It will achieve its goal by the following objectives:

  1. Develop a shared vision for DEI in ESE.
  2. Use a participatory approach for achieving the DEI vision.
  3. Establish a mechanism to sustain progress toward the DEI vision in ESE.

These objectives will be achieved through the following actions:


For Objective 1: Shared vision for DEI.

A1.1. Establish a DEI committee to serve and manage DEI affairs in ESE.

The DEI committee will consist of volunteers from the ESE department, including; undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty. The committee will consist of 20 official members, including 2 undergraduate students representing the 3rd and 4th year classes, respectively. Ex-officio members are also invited to serve on the subcommittees. However, they will not be able to participate in DEI committee meetings or share in confidential documents intended exclusively for DEI committee members.

The DEI committee will have four subcommittees responsible for conducting its business:

  1. DEI Bulletin and Updates Subcommittee (BUS)
  2. Communications Subcommittee (CMS)
  3. Community Programming and Outreach Subcommittee (CPS)
  4. Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee (RRS)

A1.2. Draft and approve a community-defined vision statement for DEI in ESE.

This vision will state clearly what the ESE community defines as diversity, equity, and inclusion and what our aspirations are for genuine DEI in ESE.

Clearly define who constitutes the ESE community for the purposes of DEI. This may include current students, staff, and faculty. It may also include family of current students, staff, and faculty, as well as alumni. It may also include the ESE’s relationships with other departments within the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the University of Virginia (UVA), and Charlottesville community.


For Objective 2: Use a participatory approach to achieve the DEI vision for ESE.

A2.1. Continuously solicit, collect, review, store, and respond to DEI input from the ESE community.

This may be done through Email and other social media, anonymous feedback options, one-on-one forums with DEI committee members, open forums for the ESE community facilitated by the DEI committee.

A2.2. Be transparent in all operations of the DEI committee.

This includes publicly displaying the DEI committee meeting minutes, decisions, plans of action, and progress to the ESE community. A departmental DEI website and/or bulletin, as well as the forums listed in A2.1 may be ways to accomplish this.

A2.3. Use an iterative process for developing and implementing and action plan and actions to achieve the DEI vision.

This entails the DEI committee obtaining feedback from the ESE community on suggestions for action, modifying suggestions based on that feedback, and taking action once the suggested action has been agreed upon by majority vote of the DEI committee.


For Objective 3: Establish a mechanism for sustained progress toward the DEI goal.

A3.1. Periodically update the DEI vision statement to reflect changing conditions. After the initial vision statement is approved by the ESE community, the DEI committee will host an annual review of the statement through all the mechanisms used for DEI dialogue in ESE.

A3.2. Establish metrics to chart progress toward the DEI vision.

This may be done by committee and community brainstorming related to the objectives defined in the vision statement.


DEI Subcommittee Mission Statements:

Bulletin and Updates Subcommittee (BUS):

  • To facilitate transparency in progress toward ESE’s Diversity, Equity, and Improvement vision by providing timely updates on discussions, news, events, and data on DEI issues in the ESE community.

Communications Subcommittee (COS):

  • To identify and meet education and training needs by eliciting department-wide dialogue and involvement.
  • To provide a supportive and inclusive mechanism for discussion and dialogue.
  • To provide outward-facing visibility and transparency for the committee, the department, the university, and the community.

Community Participation and Outreach Subcommittee (CPS):

  • To support meaningful and sustained outreach and engagement with the Charlottesville and Albemarle communities by identifying opportunities with the local community that equitably utilize the ESE department's resources.

Recruitment and Retention Subcommittee (RRS):

  • To foster a culture of continuously improving how we develop, retain, and recruit a diverse, inclusive ESE community that celebrates each of our individual differences merging to form a more empathetic collective wisdom