This page seeks to describe what our department is looking for when evaluating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statements. Although DEI statements are increasingly standard components of applications for faculty positions in the USA and elsewhere, we recognize that the preparedness of applicants to write these statements will depend on their background and the mentoring they have received. We hope that these guidelines will clarify our expectations regarding the DEI statement.
The DEI statement provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges facing historically excluded groups in academic and scientific institutions and discuss approaches for increasing access and retention of groups excluded due to, for example, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and socioeconomic status. All candidates should use this opportunity to describe their overarching philosophy toward promoting DEI as well as a plan to advance DEI at UConn. We recognize that many early-career applicants will have had limited opportunities to engage with DEI activities in the past, and in those circumstances we recommend the statement concentrates on future plans. However, if you do have experience addressing DEI, then we’d love to hear about your past activities and future plans for improving access and retention of historically excluded groups in science and academia.
Below are some more detailed guidelines for what you may want to consider including in your statement:
- Briefly describe your overall philosophy about promoting DEI. Avoid vague generalities and cliches and instead specifically address your own awareness and values.
- Demonstrate your awareness of the challenges faced by historically excluded groups in academic and scientific institutions. You may want to describe your past experience or background that has made you aware of such challenges. You can also refer to resources that have helped inform you about disparities in access and retention in academia and the key causes of those disparities.
- Your planned activities to advance DEI at UConn. Provide details on who you hope to engage with, your specific plans and timelines, and how you will measure success. Be specific about your role and personal effort and how they will address the needs of historically excluded groups. These activities may include:
- Approaches to teaching and mentoring
- Academic service
- Professional service
- Outreach (public education, community involvement, etc.
- Describe any activities you have engaged in that demonstrate a commitment to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion in academia and science.
Resources made available by other institutions have influenced our thinking on these issues, and may provide additional insights to applicants. Two that we consider especially useful are: