COE Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Plan

The Vergnano Institute for Inclusion (VII) is leading the College of Engineering (COE) community to develop a comprehensive and action-oriented Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Plan.

What is a DEI Plan? A DEI plan is a strategic roadmap developed by organizations to address and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within their workforce, policies, and practices. These plans are designed to create an environment where all individuals, regardless of their background, identity, or characteristics, feel valued, respected, and included. 

Why create a DEI Plan? We aspire to be a community where all members thrive (rather than survive). A community where everyone feels a sense of belonging and being valued, heard and respected, and comfortable to persist towards their personal and professional goals. In higher education, diversity, equity, and inclusion are inextricably linked to excellence, and without a plan, there is a missed opportunity towards collective growth embedded with actions and metrics that keep us honest, transparent, and accountable to our goals. As we elevate to a College of Engineering, now is the perfect time to define who we are, what makes us great, and how we want to improve.  Several institutions have School/College of Engineering-specific DEI plans. Examples include our peers at Rutgers University, similarly ranked institutions such as Dartmouth, or other outstanding institutions such as UC Davis or  Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We are excited and ready to do this necessary and important work for Connecticut’s Flagship Institution. 

What Will The UConn College Of Engineering DEI Plan Look Like?

We choose to organize our plan using a combination of three change models and theories that are research and/or community supported. We are inspired by the National Science Foundation (NSF) INCLUDE Alliance’s alignment with the models listed below.

  1. Inspired by the Strive Together Theory of Action
  2. Grounds us with shared community vision, evidence-based decision making, collaborative action, and investment and sustainability  
  1. Inspired by the Water of Systems Change  
  2. Guides us using 6 frames: policies, practices, resource flows, relationships and connections, power dynamics, and mental models 
  1. Inspired by the Changing Workforce Systems 
  2.  Aligns our work by systems and stakeholders, activities, and goals, and measuring outputs and outcomes 

Plan Timeline:

Important Dates

Timeline Events

Spring 2024

Community Input

May 13-17 & 25

Faculty & Staff Intensive

Summer 2024

Transparency & Writing

Fall 2024

Feedback, Improvement, & Finalization

November - December 2024

Transition To Implementation

2024 - 2029

Annual Progress & Accountability Checks

Vergnano Institute for Inclusion Town Hall for
College of Engineering

Friday February 9, 2024, 4:00 – 6:00 PM, Science 1 G01 
Tuesday February 13, 2024, 7:15 – 8:45 PM, Webex  (rescheduled)
Thursday February 22, 2024, 3:00 – 4:30 PM, Webex 
Wednesday March 6, 2024, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, GN 020
Tuesday March 19, 2024, 7:15 – 8:45 PM, Webex 
Friday March 29, 2024 1:00 – 2:30 PM, Webex 
Wednesday April 10, 2024 9:00 – 10:30 AM, Webex

Purpose: The Vergnano Institute for Inclusion (VII) is leading the College of Engineering (COE) community to develop a comprehensive and action-oriented Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Plan.  

This is designed to be an interactive session that any past or current member of the COE (i.e. undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, staff, faculty, alumni etc.) can participate in.  

The first part will be a guided and scaffolded feedback session where participants can provide input towards various prompts or themes. There will be time for individual thought or idea generation, small group sharing or feedback, larger group sharing or processing, then refining towards tangible items or actions for change. 

The second part will be an open discussion where COE members can pose questions or suggestions that may not have been addressed in the scaffolded feedback session.  

The third part will be a follow up after the VII Town Hall. VII staff will collaborate with COE Leadership to answer or address every point and query brought up in the town hall. VII Staff will consolidate responses into a report for full transparency. 

The VII Town Hall will not be a lecture style or presentation of updates from VII Staff or COE Leaders. It is designed to be a collaborative and productive space to hear positive and constructive feedback that will improve the human experience in COE. 

In Person Agenda  


Virtual Agenda 

10 minutes 

Welcome in, introductions 

10 minutes 

90 minutes 

Scaffolded Feedback Section 

65 minutes 

15 minutes 

Open Discussion 

10 minutes 

5 minutes 

Wrap Up and VII’s Next Steps 

5 minutes