Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect (DEIR) Goals and Priorities

We passionately pursue excellence in research, teaching, outreach in veterinary medicine, and biomedical sciences. Our goals are to advance animal, human, and public health through mentoring and inspiring students, conducting innovative basic and applied research, and offering the public the latest knowledge and technology through extension and engagement activities. We serve our communities in the true spirit of a land-grant university. 

The department is dedicated to training Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) through the Virgin-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM), graduate students (MS and Ph.D.) through the Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBSC) graduate program, and post-doctoral scientists across campus. Our goal is to provide our students with an exceptional education and rigorous hands-on training in critical thinking and analytical skills about the mechanisms of diseases. Our trainees will have the opportunity to acquire superb experience with learning how to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases. We prepare them for careers and leadership in veterinary practice, education, research, and industry. The department is also committed to providing continuing education to practicing veterinarians through the Center of Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM).

In line with the strategic mission of the Department and College, our major research programs currently focus on infectious diseases caused by zoonotic bacteria, funguses, parasites, and viruses, understanding immune responses to these infectious agents, and providing veterinary extension. Veterinary medicine is a foundation in the “One Health” concept that aims to improve the health of animals, humans and our environment through translational research. We look forward to enthusiastically playing a leading role in this endeavor. We actively seek ways to translate our research with the development of practical applications, such as vaccines and novel therapeutics. Our faculty publish their research results in prestigious scientific journals and books, have received numerous patents, and their excellence in research has been recognized nationally and internationally. 

Goal #1: Create an inclusive & equitable work environment

  1. Action items: Obtain departmental leadership commitment to support the importance of DEIR as critical to the unit’s mission by motivating leaders to implement and promote the DEIR priorities and goals among their personnel.
    1. Measurement: Program participation - numbers, demographics of attendees
    2. Person Accountable: Department Supervisors
  1. Action items: Integrate DEIR goals into the unit’s mission, vision, and core values. Programs to advance students, staff, faculty & administrators with DEIR-related competencies (i.e., knowledge, value, skills)
    1. Measurement: Update department goals and post on website.
    2. Person Accountable: Department Faculty and Staff, webmaster.
  1. Action items: Enhance physical environments to promote inclusive and accessible facilities, especially for persons with disabilities. In partnership with AGNR HR and the Campus Accessibility Office who will perform a barrier analysis to identify any accessibility issues and updates.
    1. Measurement: Updates made to the facility every three years, or as needed.
    2. Person Accountable: Facility Manager, AGNR, Campus Accessibility O
  1. Action items: Maintain a unit-level committee to lead diversity, equity & inclusion efforts. This committee will report to the department’s DEIR liaison who updates to the college DEIR committee.
    1. Measurement: Implementation of new and evolving ideas.
    2. Person Accountable: DEIR Committee members
  1. Action items: Partner with organizations representing diverse constituencies (e.g., Diversity Councils, professional associations)
    1. Measurement: Participant evaluation of program quality.
    2. Reassess partnership every three years to ensure effectiveness and positive productivity.
    3. Person Accountable: DEIR Committee members
  1. Action items: Engage stakeholders with identifying strengths and gaps in programs and services
    1. Measurement: Program implementation milestones met.
    2. Person Accountable: DEIR Committee members, Stakeholders
  1. Action items: Evaluate outcomes related to unit policies and practices to identify areas of disparities; engage in processes to understand and mitigate the disparities; assess and evaluate efforts
    1. Measurement: Equity analysis showing disparities in graduate students enrollment and workforce statistics.
    2. Person Accountable: Business Manager
  1. Action items: Evaluate internal and external communications to ensure that visible images and materials are welcoming and inclusive
    1. Measurement: Visual documents (e.g., posters, tip sheets), periodic inclusion and equity message from departmental chair.
    2. Person Accountable: Facility Manager, Executive Coordinator
  2. Action items: Implement unit-wide educational programs related to DEIR
    1. Measurement: Number of DEIR-related professional development programs attended
    2. Person Accountable: Business Manager
  1. Action items: Celebrate DEIR-related achievements through internal recognition, nomination for DEIR-related awards, etc.
    1. Measurement: Assessment and growth of employee DEIR competencies
    2. Person Accountable: Vet Med Awards committee.

Goal #2: Recruit, retain and develop a diverse department (faculty, staff and students)

  1. Action items: Institutionalize DEIR recruitment best practices in all searches (e.g., active and ongoing recruitment, diverse hiring committees, search committee training, clear hiring criteria, proactive communication of work/life commitment).
    1. Measurement: The demographic composition of recruitment efforts
    2. Person Accountable: Business Manager and Department Chair
  1. Action items: Integrate DEIR efforts into employee recruitment programs
    1. Measurement: Quantity and demographics of candidates identified via active outreach or a barrier analysis to determine where the process has been unsuccessful.
    2. Person Accountable: Business Manager, AGNR HR
  1. Action items: Pipeline programs (e.g. K-12; undergrad-graduate/professional; postdoc to professoriate) – encourage Principal Investigators (PIs) and labs to host under-represented students from local high schools
    1. Measurement: Student recruitment programs – rotating locations and methodology to avoid disparities.
    2. Person Accountable: Graduate Program Director and Coordinator
  1. Action items: Engagement in the local community (open house)
    1. Measurement: Representation of constituency-focused groups (e.g., multicultural centers; Diversity Councils; community focus groups)
    2. Person Accountable: Executive Coordinator
  1. Action items: Integrate DEIR-related professional development and expectations in leadership positions and programs
    1. Measurement: Performance Review and Development (PRD) – encourage professional development and growth
    2. Measurement: Annual review and development of newly hired Assistant Professors
    3. Measurement: Five-year/Annual review and development of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty
    4. Person Accountable: Supervisors
  1. Action items: Use data to inform the unit’s DEIR committee (e.g., workforce demographics, climate survey, HR Retention Reports)
    1. Measurement: Strategies to actively engage underrepresented demographic candidates
    2. Person Accountable: Hiring Official, AGNR HR
  1. Action items: Implement search committee training on unconscious bias and equitable practices (check into available training programs and encourage staff to attend)
    1. Measurement: Inclusivity in recruiting graduate students –develop guidelines for PIs to follow to attract more underrepresented demographics
    2. Person Accountable: HR, Department Chair, Faculty, Staff
  1. Action items: Integrate DEIR-related content into position descriptions, ads, and interview processes
    1. Measurement: Quantity and demographics of candidates identified via active outreach
    2. Person Accountable: Business Manager
  2. Action items: Build relationships with talented scholars via conferences, professional networks, online resources, etc.
    1. Measurement: Demographics of visiting scholars/experts invited to campus
    2. Person Accountable: Host
  3. Action items: Feature a diverse slate of visiting scholars to present their research during each semester’s seminar series.
    1. Measurement: Demographics of visiting scholars/experts invited to campus
    2. Person Accountable: Host
  1. Action items: Implement strategies to engage particularly underrepresented demographics. Invite and welcome international faculty, staff, and students. 
    1. Measurement: Composition of underrepresented demographic candidates
    2. Person Accountable: Business Manager

Goal #3: Support curricula, teaching, scholarship and Extension/outreach services that advance diversity, equity inclusion, and respect

  1. Action items: Academic programs - include a DEIR topic in the department seminars each semester
    1. Measurement: Program enrollment and attendance
    2. Person Accountable: Graduate School Director
  1. Action items: DEIR - related academic courses or programs
    1. Measurement: Program evaluations
    2. Person Accountable: Program and Course leaders
  1. Action items: Provide equal opportunity for scholarships based on need and performance
    1. Measurement: Dedicated budget
    2. Person Accountable: Faculty and Department Chair
  1. Action items: Inclusive extension and outreach services.
    1. Measurement: Participation reports
    2. Person Accountable: Extension and Outreach Leaders
  1. Action items: Professional DEIR - related certification training offered on/off-campus
    1. Measurement: Assessment of learning objectives
    2. Person Accountable: Business Manager
  1. Action items: DEIR - related conferences and forums; engage with visiting scholars/presenters while on campus.
    1. Measurement: Certifications
    2. Person Accountable: Attendees

Goal #4: Enhance accountability, effectiveness, and collaboration through strategic use of DEIR-related data in planning and assessment

  1. Action items: Completion of unit-level DEIR data entry to share the unit’s DEIR-related activities, including established programs and early action steps.
    1. Measurement: Strategic plan goals, policies, and actions
    2. Person Accountable: DEIR Committee
  1. Action items: Review of DEIR-related data for disparately underrepresented and historically marginalized populations.
    1. Measurement: Equity analysis – baseline and change
    2. Person Accountable: DEIR Committee, Business Manager, AGNR HR
  1. Action items: Engagement of historically marginalized populations to interpret data and provide insights into strategies
    1. Measurement: Established focus groups
    2. Measurement: Partnerships with underrepresented demographic groups
    3. Person Accountable: Faculty, Business Manager