"My goal is for every single student, faculty and staff member to succeed here at the Jacobs School. That's what equity means to me."
— Albert P. Pisano,
Dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
In January 2021, the Jacobs School received bronze-level recognition through the ASEE Diversity Recognition Program, which is a nation-wide effort to increase diversity in engineering and computer science in higher education by ensuring that schools have best-practices and data-driven accountability in place.
The Jacobs School is building on UC San Diego campus-wide initiatives aimed at advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion.
UC San Diego maintains dashboards on statistics for students, faculty and staff, including breakdowns based on gender and ethnicity. These dashboards can be sorted to return statistics for the Jacobs School. They are available on the UC San Diego Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) accountability website.
The Jacobs School has made significant progress towards increasing faculty diversity in the past five years, thanks in part to the Jacobs School's Excellence hiring program. The Jacobs School is in a three-year 35+ faculty hiring cycle. By 2024, the Jacobs School will have more than 300 professors, more than half of whom will have joined in just the last 10 years. More than a third of our newly hired professors are women and/or individuals from other groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering and computer science. The Jacobs School and UC San Diego continues to build and strengthen programs to recruit and retain diverse faculty including taking on a key leadership role in the NextProf Pathfinder Program.
Student and Faculty Racial Equity Task Force
The Jacobs School Student and Faculty Racial Equity Task Force is part of the School's efforts to ensure that everyone at the Jacobs School has what they need to thrive inside and outside the classroom and laboratory. This project involves listening, and taking a careful pulse of the culture of the School in order to understand what is working and what is not. From there, the School develops action plans.
Racial Equity Fellows
Students with a demonstrated commitment to racial equity are invited each year to join the Jacobs School of Engineering Racial Equity Fellows program. These students, representing undergraduate and graduate perspectives from across the Jacobs School, are specifically invited to serve on the Jacobs School's Student and Faculty Racial Equity Task Force. The 2023 cohort is currently in action. (Meet previous Jacobs School Racial Equity Fellows: 2020 and 2021.)
IDEA Engineering Student Center
The Jacobs School's IDEA Engineering Student Center has supported thousands of students through to graduation for more than twelve years. Programs include summer prep and mentorship programs, peer-led engineering learning communities, and support for student diversity organizations. The IDEA Engineering Student Center supports all students on the challenging path of an engineering and computer science education at UC San Diego, with specific programs that build community, and provide academic and peer support for students traditionally underrepresented in engineering and computer science including Black, Latinx and Native American students, women, first generation college students, LGBTQ+ students, and low-income students.
Student organizations are a critical aspect of social and educational life for many undergraduates at the Jacobs School. All Jacobs School student organizations that receive matching funds from the School are required to demonstrate for how their organization encourages diversity and ensures a welcoming environment for all students.
The Jacobs School community is engaged in a wide range of recruiting efforts aimed at diversifying the applicant pool for both graduate and undergraduate students. Summer programs for incoming students serve to build community aim to increase retention of students. Programs such as COSMOS introduce high-school students to the opportunities of STEM education in general, and the Jacobs School in particular.
The Jacobs School is building a cross-section of culture-building programs and activities aimed at achieving equity for all students, faculty and staff at the Jacobs School of Engineering. The Anthropology, Performance, and Technology Program (APT) is just one example.
A Community Approach to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The Jacobs School is dedicated to improving the climate for all students, faculty and staff. Efforts are underway across the School, at all levels. With critical input and guidance from Black students and other students of color, for example, Christine Alvarado and Karen L. Christman led the creation of the Student and Faculty Racial Equity Task Force. The task force also includes two student affairs staff members, one who works with graduate students and the other undergraduates; a representative from the Jacobs School's IDEA Engineering Student Center; a faculty representative from each department; and the Jacobs School Faculty Equity Advisor.
"I am committed to seeing this through and doing what’s right. One first step to addressing equity issues is to really listen," said Pisano. "It's unacceptable to be blind to the issues and claim to be faultless. Every engineer knows you can't solve a problem without first acknowledging it."