Dear FAMU-FSU Engineering family,
I am reaching out to you to connect during these difficult times with a heart that is troubled and frustrated by recent events. I am deeply disturbed by the insidiousness of injustice and inequity in our society, and I want to express my worry and concern for each of you. Please know that you are important; to your family, of course, but also to me, to our staff and faculty, your community, our nation, and the world.
In light of the current turmoil, I am grateful for what we are working to accomplish at our college—a unique and progressive partnership between two proud institutions whose history began in segregation. We have made progress toward equity and fairness in engineering education, but we still have a long way to go to achieve our dream.
The goal of improving diversity and inclusion within the college expands this year with a process we are calling #LetsStartHere. The first step, in the Fall semester, begins as each of us completes a detailed anonymous survey of our climate. Then begins an extensive and inclusive process to honestly identify any barriers—whether based on race, gender or other individual differences—that exist in the college, and to work on eliminating them. The process will be challenging, uncomfortable and possibly painful at times as we work through difficult and divisive issues. Watching the news has brought home, however, how high the stakes can be if we fail to take seriously the challenge of improving the world for all.
During the summer I will be assembling a LetsStartHere leadership committee composed of students, faculty, staff and alumni, to guide us through this difficult but cathartic process. I urge us all to fully engage in the process, but please let me know if you would like to play a larger role in shaping #LetsStartHere.
As engineers, we want to design and build a better world. Let us work together to make our college a model for the nation.
J. Murray Gibson
Dean, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
P.S. You can read my Diversity & Inclusion Plan (April 2019) which will serve as a template for the structural growth I intend for FAMU-FSU Engineering.