UC dean joins all Ohio engineering deans in support of ASEE policy statement

headshot of Dr. John Weidner

John Weidner, Ph.D. Dean of UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science

John Weidner, dean of the University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering and Applied Science, was among officials from Ohio's 16  engineering schools who offered public support for the American Society of Engineering Education's  policy statement concerning the death of George Floyd.

The statement of support was released by the Ohio Engineering Deans Council on June 16.

It reads in part, “We are in strong support of ASEE’s statement, acknowledging that ‘circumstances or actions that impede diversity, equity and inclusion are inimical to good engineering practice.’ While historical and systemic inequities in opportunities and preparation to learn exist, we seek to ensure equitable access and success in education. We will work with ASEE and each other to do all we can to support all students, faculty, and staff on our campuses.”

The Ohio Engineering Deans Council includes the leaders of colleges of engineering at the University of Toledo, Cleveland State University, Cedarville University, Miami University, Ohio University, University of Dayton, Ohio Northern University, Case Western Reserve University, Central State University, The Ohio State University, University of Akron, Wright State University, Air Force Institute of Technology, Kent State University, University of Cincinnati, and Youngstown State University.

Read the complete Ohio Engineering Deans Council statement of support and the ASEE policy statement below.

Ohio Engineering Deans Council Statement of Support

June 16, 2020

We are the Deans of engineering colleges from 16 public and private universities across the State of Ohio. In our colleges, our enrollment now exceeds 42,000 students, taught by more than 1,500 faculty. Our research expenditures are approaching $450,000,000 each year. On average, nearly 80% of our 6, 000 graduating seniors have had a co-op and/or internship experience, and the majority stay and work in Ohio. Together, we provide the intellectual capital to meet the high-end workforce requirements for major engineering/IT intensive industries.

For 20 years, we deans have met regularly to coordinate our teaching and research strategies and, where appropriate, align them with the economic development needs of the State of Ohio.

At this time, as leaders in engineering education, we come together to publicly support the recent “Policy Statement by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) on the Implications of the Death of Mr. George Floyd.” This statement is found on the following page.

We are in strong support of ASEE’s statement, acknowledging that “circumstances or actions that impede diversity, equity, and inclusion are inimical to good engineering practice.” While “historical and systemic inequities in opportunities and preparation to learn” exist, we “seek to ensure equitable access and success in education.” We will work with ASEE and each other to do all we can to support all students, faculty, and staff on our campuses.

Sincerely,

T. Michael Toole (Chair)
University of Toledo

John-David Yoder (Secretary)
Ohio Northern University

Adedeji Badiru
Air Force Institute of Technology

Joanne Belovich (Interim)
Cleveland State University

Venkataramanan “Ragu” Balakrishnan
Case Western Reserve University

Robert Chasnov
Cedarville University

Alton Johnson
Central State University

Christina Bloebaum
Kent State University

Marek Dollár
Miami University

David Williams
The Ohio State University

Mei Wei
Ohio University

Craig Menzemer (Interim)
University of Akron

John Weidner
University of Cincinnati

Eddy Rojas
University of Dayton

Brian Rigling
Wright State University

Wim Steelant
Youngstown State University

Policy statement

The American Society for Engineering Education issued the following policy statement concerning the death of George Floyd:

We are the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). We take each of those words and our collective identity very seriously.

We’re American. We recall that this nation was born in rebellion to oppressive tyranny and that no oppressor has ever gladly surrendered his position. We’re American. We know that nativism has never been our strength; rather we have embraced the world and taken our strength from all the peoples of the world, including those who were already here.

We are a Society. We are a community of shared interests and purposes. Prominent among our shared interests is diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have spoken out forcefully in this regard time and time again including our February 1, 2017 statement on the US President’s executive orders on immigration.

We are Engineers. We understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to the quality of what engineers produce. It’s not a “nice to have”— it is essential. Circumstances or actions that impede diversity, equity, and inclusion are inimical to good engineering practice.

We are Educators. Whether we stand in research labs, classrooms, factory floors, or boardrooms, we seek to enlighten others to what we know and what we are learning. We seek to facilitate opportunities for all to learn to the best of their abilities, and to hold ourselves accountable for the quality of our facilitation. We recognize historical and systemic inequities in opportunities and preparation to learn and seek to ensure equitable access and success in education.

The murder of Mr. George Floyd, like that of so many others before him, was a heinous act. But it was not a singular act, or an isolated act. It was part of a pervasive pattern and practice of learned, ingrained, and automatic behaviors that have and will require persistent, consistent, and resistant action to limit and eventually reverse.

We recognize our limitations, but believe that by working together as ASEE members and in collaboration with others, we can contribute to advancing and sustaining the deep and wide change that will be necessary for this nation to begin to achieve the aspirational words that are the preamble to the US Constitution – . . . forming a more perfect Union, establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility, . . . promoting the general Welfare, and securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . . “

Approved by the ASEE Board of Directors on June 2, 2020

ASEE Board of Directors 2019-2020

Stephanie Adams
President
University of Texas, Dallas

Sheryl Sorby
President-Elect
University of Cincinnati

Stephanie Farrell
Immediate Past President
Rowan University

Gary Steffen
Vice President, Member Affairs
Purdue University Fort Wayne

Doug Tougaw
Vice President, Finance
Valparaiso University

Agnieszka Miguel
Vice President, External Relations
Seattle University

Pamela Norris
Vice President, Institutional Councils, Chair, Engineering Research Council
University of Virginia

PK Imbrie
1st Vice President, Vice President, Pic’s, Chair, Professional Interest Council Iii
University of Cincinnati

Gilda A. Barabino
Chair, Engineering Deans Council
The City College of New York

Dan Sayre
Chair, Corporate Member Council
New World Associates

Scott Dunning
Chair, Engineering Technology Council
University of Maine

Christi Paton Luks
Chair, Professional Interest Council I
Missouri University

Peter Schmidt
Professional Interest Council Ii
University of Evansville

Beth M. Holloway
Chair, Professional Interest Council IV
Purdue University

Maureen A Barcic
Chair, Professional Interest Council V
University of Pittsburgh

Pali Singh
Chair, Council Of Sections, Zone I
Villanova University

Andrew Kline
Chair, Council Of Sections, Zone II
Western Michigan University

Ken Van Treuren
Chair, Council Of Sections, Zone III
Baylor University

Lilly G. Gossage
Chair, Council Of Sections, Zone IV
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Norman L. Fortenberry
Executive Director
ASEE

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