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As we commit to equity, a strategy identified by the College of Natural Sciences Action Team and where we are focusing is on:

Improving the climate in ways that all community members feel safe, supported, included and seen at multiple levels—from departments to individual programs to Dean’s Office leadership—through:
  • first acknowledging the inequitable history in our disciplines and on our campus, including through modules in our curriculum and clear statements of our diversity, equity, and inclusion values, including through prominent displays on campus that provide more context about historic injustices at UT and beyond.
  • new efforts to highlight the perspectives, stories and voices of community members from historically marginalized groups, including in college communication, events and regular meetings with college leaders.
  • expanding engagement with institutions and groups outside of UT that serve communities of color, so that we are intentional partners with groups the college has rarely or never reached.
  • development of college-wide teaching and mentoring resources, including new courses and curriculum modules (from discipline-specific history lessons to parts of the college’s ); relevant seminar series and evidence-based trainings; and new mentoring and career development programs.

Examples of Progress

Priorities for the future:

  • Put a college-wide focus on improving mentoring, ensuring systems are in place to provide graduate students and postdocs, as well as staff and undergraduates, consistent and positive mentoring from faculty, where applicable
  • Develop undergraduate course modules (from standalone class to case studies and resources for use in existing courses, across disciplines) that help instructors discuss histories of inequities within science
  • Continue to work with university leadership on the contextualization project in Painter Hall and provide contextualization also in the Physics, Math and Astronomy building.
  • Expanded and improve training, professional development and toolkits for employees, from partnering with STEM Education and third-party experts, to continuing reading groups and our event series with authors to holding more Sprint events to engage students in problem-solving pertaining to equity challenges at UT and in society