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The events of the past several weeks have highlighted the serious challenges that our country continues to face with racism, injustice and inequity. As we were reminded by the killing of George Floyd, these challenges continue to have devastating impacts on the Black community, and the chasm remains between our societal aspirations and our reality. It should stir us to listen. To reflect. To act.

President Crow addressed the university community last week and provided important context for this moment in our history. As he wrote, the inequitable distribution of citizens’ rights to equal justice remains, and the virus that is racism has been especially virulent in its resistance to remedies over the centuries. President Crow’s note challenged all of us — faculty, staff and students — to identify and develop new ideas, new concepts and new solutions that will move ASU closer to its aspirational goals.

To the many questions posed in his statement, I would add one other: what solutions can the Fulton Schools bring to this particular set of problems — the problems of racism, inequity and injustice? As engineers, computer scientists and technologists, we need to address diversity, equity, inclusion and systemic racism with the same fervor, scholarship and responsibility as we do any other grand challenge or complex societal problem that we tackle every day.

We should realize it will take specific, ongoing commitments from each of us as individuals and collectively as the Fulton Schools because solving these problems is challenging. We understand that words must come with actions and as such the Fulton Schools commits to the following:

  • We commit to supporting our Fulton Schools students, faculty and staff within the Black community.
  • We commit to continually educating the Fulton Schools community on these issues, dedicating time and resources to combat anti-Black racism and advance social justice.
  • We commit to enhancing the culture to be consistent with our values; this work has been initiated with the creation of DII@FSE, which as one of its goals is working to characterize the current state of our culture.
  • We commit to focusing on these issues in my office and at all leadership levels, including providing specific trainings to combat racism and advance equity, inclusion and justice.
  • We commit to being accountable and to move toward change.

Additionally, we have the responsibility to expand what it means to be an engineer. We must place social issues at the forefront. We must proactively use our engineering mindset to seek new ideas and gain different perspectives from places that are not traditional venues for the engineering community. We will be intentional by gaining perspectives through groups that are focused on equality and justice as well as through professional societies like NSBENOBCChENSBC and others.

We, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, must be accountable for our shortcomings and intentional in our actions moving forward. I welcome your inputs, ideas and ask for your engagement and involvement. Together we will take action, gain knowledge and be part of the necessary change.

Please use this form to provide your feedback on how we can build a better future together.

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