Whiting School of Engineering. Diversity Report, 2006

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1 Whiting School of Engineering Diversity Report, 2006 Leadership through Innovation is the vision statement of the Whiting School of Engineering. Leadership, however, can only be attained by fostering the most inclusive environment to promote the innovation required to make the Whiting School one of the best engineering schools in the country. The school must cultivate an environment in which all its constituencies faculty, staff and students can thrive. The School s strategic plan emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion. These issues will be crucial to making that plan work. The plan will stress that ultimately diversity enhances the successes of the entire School. Programs The Whiting School continues to work actively in the areas of diversity and inclusion. The Whiting School Diversity Council is an excellent example of this activity. The role of the Council is to coordinate activities of groups within the Whiting School, including Women of Whiting, NSBE, and SHPE. These groups have held seminars, social events, and outreach programs for the Baltimore area. The leadership of the Council will be changing in the next year, so this should provide an opportunity for new ideas and growth. The Dean s office continues to encourage inclusion of women and minorities in departmental seminars through direct financial support. Active recruitment of women and minorities in faculty hiring is strongly encouraged. In fact, this past year the faculty recruitment and hiring processes were completely overhauled. To increase our effort to find the best possible candidates for the school in general, all departments were allowed to actively recruit and search for junior faculty. Once the interviewing process had been completed, the Dean examined the candidates to determine who fit best in regards to academic and diversity needs. This process yielded six offers to women, five of which were successful. We vigorously pursued an offer to a black male, but that offer eventually was declined. In the next academic year, one Asian male and three women will be joining the faculty, one of whom will be tenured. This year one woman was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure and one Asian male was promoted to full Professor. Lastly, Professor Kate Stebe was appointed the first woman chair in the Whiting School of Engineering, effective July 1, The Baltimore Scholars program started off very well. The Whiting School enrolled 6 students in this program in , including 2 women and 3 minority students. The 2006 entering class has 4 Baltimore Scholars, 2 women and 4 minority students. The Dean s office plans to set up meetings with these students in the fall either individually or at a lunch to discuss their experiences at Hopkins.

2 The Center for Educational Outreach coordinates the School s educational outreach initiatives. Through these programs the School engages a broad spectrum of students (particularly in disadvantaged areas) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs. In the past year, the CEO has sponsored four major projects: Engineering Innovation; Future Inventors, Researchers, Scientists, and Teachers; GK 12 BIGSTEP; and Baltimore County Science Fair and Safe Car Racer. Engineering Innovation has been created in partnership with Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA). This program is offering the Whiting School What is Engineering? course to over 200 high schools in Maryland, Washington DC, and California. What is Engineering? will engage juniors and seniors in the understanding of all aspects of the engineering process from initial concept through the states of development and implementation. The Center of Educational Outreach made an effort to reach underrepresented students who were unable to afford the tuition through financial support from MESA, private industry, and NSF. Half of the students participating are female. Also included in the enrollment is a large population of Hispanic and African American students. The Future Inventors, Researchers, Scientists and Teachers (FIRST) program is an urban program with Johns Hopkins University and the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), where CEO recruited high school students from the Baltimore and Washington, DC school districts to participate. The program consisted of students with an interest in invention, partnered with science and invention mentors from their local communities, businesses, and universities. Students worked on a theme (Improving Quality of Life for the Future) and approached this theme through such areas as the physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, or mathematics. The program has been integrated into the GK 12 programs with BIGSTEP Graduate Student Fellows working with schools in Baltimore City, Washington DC, and in Native American Communities in northern Minnesota. Nearly 12 teachers and 30 students participated in the program this year supported by mentors from the Whiting School and American Association for the Advancement of Science. GK 12 BIGSTEP (Broader Impact for Graduate Students to Teach Engineering Principles) just completed the first year of a three year NSF grant. Whiting School graduate students have been working with K 12 schools serving disadvantaged children to develop pedagogical skills and understanding of important K 12 issues, enhance the content knowledge of participating teachers, facilitate the creation of new materials based on cutting-edge research that are aligned with standards, improve K 12 student achievement in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and create enduring, mutually-beneficial partnerships between these schools and Johns Hopkins. A group of eminent scientists, future STEM faculty, leading K 12 teachers, and education experts have worked together to develop content and pedagogy to overcome barriers such as students unstable learning environments, the lack of accommodations for students with physical disabilities, and the scarcity of resources. During this past year, eight graduate student fellows began their work by pairing with teachers from Baltimore City, Washington DC, and schools in the northern Minnesota communities of Bemidji, Red and Cass Lakes. The students work on projects that range from renewable energy, mechanics of flight, the craft of invention, Lego projects, and sensors.

3 Baltimore County Science Fair and Safe Car Racer was developed in part as a result of the connections formed between Johns Hopkins and Baltimore County in the RET program. The Safe Racer Science Fair has now been designated a Baltimore County Public Schools schoolwide program. Last year, certain elementary schools and teachers from across the county were encouraged to use this activity to excite the school community about the fun of learning, especially using science, math, and technology to solve problems. This year the program has been integrated into the entire elementary school curriculum and 41 schools participated in the final event. Data Dr. Cathy Lebo provided data from November, 2005 on women and minorities in the Whiting School. There were some errors in the data for faculty, so information in this report on that constituency is based on internal Whiting School statistics. At that juncture, the data for Whiting School faculty were encouraging. The number of tenured women increased slightly. Dr. Lori Graham-Brady of Civil Engineering was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. In addition the Whiting School hired two women assistant professors and one Hispanic male assistant professor who joined the School during the academic year. The School made every effort in its search process last year to identify and attract women and minorities, and made several offers among these groups. As in the past, we continued to be successful in attracting women and minority graduate students. Although the School s numbers for women graduate students were down slightly from the November, 2004 report, overall the Whiting School has increased its percentage of women students to 30%. Undergraduate numbers were encouraging, in that the Whiting School gained Native American and Hispanic students. Through the Baltimore Scholars and Hackerman Scholars programs we are working very hard to increase the number of black students matriculating in the Whiting School. For women in engineering majors, the Whiting School actually compares quite favorably with national statistics. Nationwide statistics for women in engineering show 16% freshmen, while the Whiting School enrolled 32% women in its entering class. Graduate student percentages also favor the Whiting School 22% nationwide and 25% in the Whiting School. One area of real concern was that of staff. The Whiting School appears to be losing women and minorities in practically every category. This issue will be addressed at a later point in the report. In the past we have never included information from our part-time programs. Of the faculty in Engineering Programs for Professionals, 11% are female, 3% Black/African American, 9% Asian/Pacific Islander, 0% Native American, and 1% Hispanic. The graduate student population includes 22% female, 6% black/african American, 10% Asian/Pacific Islander, 0% Native American, and 3% Hispanic. These percentages compare quite favorably with the engineering profession, which consists of less than 20% female and less than 5% black/african American.

4 Assessment The University Climate Survey highlights some areas in which the Whiting School Areas in which the Whiting School receives high marks, such as its treatment of women and minorities by staff and students, its treatment of disabled people by all groups, and the opportunity to pursue professional development. The School, however, is considered to need improvement in its efforts in attracting and retaining women and minorities. In particular, the survey shows that the majority of blacks who responded believe that diversity and inclusion are not an integral part of the Whiting School. Minorities and women feel that they are not treated with respect by faculty. Suggestions for improvement on the survey included diversity training workshops, better recruitment efforts for faculty and staff, and more cultural events. When looking at these findings, however, one must keep in mind the low number of respondents. Of over 300 faculty and staff in the Whiting School, only 132 responded. Of 22 black and 28 Asian faculty and staff, only 8 and 7, respectively, responded. The Whiting School Diversity Council has worked very hard in the past to improve the climate at the school. With the change in leadership of that group, it would be advisable for our new Director of Marketing and Communication to work with them to improve the Council s visibility in the school and advertise their activities more broadly. Planning The Provost has requested that each division identify three areas for improving the workplace climate. The areas in which the Whiting School needs to concentrate are: 1. Civility and Climate As previously mentioned the Diversity Climate Survey seems to indicate that the Whiting School may not be particularly friendly to women and minorities, specifically in the area of faculty and staff interaction, and this affects the School s ability to attract and retain good people. As Dean, I have heard anecdotal stories regarding faculty and staff relations, and understand that the School needs to improve in this area. I propose that the Whiting School put in place several workshops on civility and sensitivity, and intend to work with internal resources to aid us in this process. 2. Staff Recruitment and Retention In last year s report, we proposed establishing a mentoring program for staff. We have, however, had a major reorganization of our Human Resources office and have not been able to follow through on that recommendation. Our new Human Resources Manager will conduct a detailed investigation of the school s recruitment and retention of staff, work to identify problem areas, and address them. The School should also establish a formal exit interview process to determine what factors cause staff to move to other positions. One area already identified is that perhaps the University as a whole does not properly recruit minority staff, in that it needs to examine and target hiring efforts in ways other than

5 advertisements in the local newspapers. The school needs to increase its minority and female applicant pool in order to hire the best people possible. We will examine different methods of recruitment over the next year, and put new procedures in place. Retaining excellent minority and female employees is an issue related to the first issue above that of civility and sensitivity. To that end, the School will work with Dr. Eugene Schnell to establish small focus groups to discuss the climate in the school and come up with suggestions for improvement, whether they are more social events, diversity training, etc. 3. Women and Minority Faculty Hiring The School has done very well in the past few years in attracting highly qualified women. In July, 2004 there were 12 women tenured and tenure-track faculty in the school. After two hiring cycles we have increased that number to 19. Our track record on minorities, however, is not as good. I propose that the School look at these recent hires and interview those involved to determine what affected their decision to accept an employment offer at Hopkins. We will then analyze this information to see how it can be translated for other minority candidates. Or, if there is an inherent problem in the climate at the Whiting School for minorities, address that issue directly.

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