Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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Diversity is Essential to McCormick

The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science has two equal missions—education and research—and the goal to produce the best people and research that will create the maximum positive change in the world. In order to maximize the impact of our work, we need innovative, creative, and pathbreaking ideas.

The best way to get a good idea is to have many diverse ideas, and the best way to foster a diversity of ideas is through a culture in which there is synergy and inclusion among a diverse group of stakeholders that is part of the McCormick community.

McCormick is committed to ensuring that students, faculty, and staff of all ages, backgrounds, religions, races, ethnicities, gender identities/expressions, national origins, sexual orientations, physical abilities, and all other visible and non-visible differences feel welcome and respected, are treated equitably, and are able to fully engage with the learning and research communities in McCormick.

A culture thrives by the interaction of all its parts; this is at the very root of what guides and drives action in McCormick. Diverse perspectives in dialogue with each other enrich the development of ideas and allow us to build a better future for our students, colleagues, and communities in our globally connected, interdependent, and rapidly changing world. Toward this aspiration, we support the statement of the University president.

McCormick prides itself on being a constantly evolving community that is engaged in continual improvement through dialogue with all our constituents and stakeholders. A commitment to problem solving is a shared responsibility for all members of our community. McCormick has for many years worked to diversify the faculty and to recruit and support a diverse student body, especially in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background.

We recognize that the roots of systemic racism and inequality are deep and widespread. We recognize that these attitudes and behaviors have restricted opportunities for education, research, and career advancement by underrepresented groups. This has limited the richness of ideas that is possible when all members are active participants in a vibrant dialogue, resulting in a loss to all members of our community and reducing our collective impact.

View our diversity data

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The creation of a more inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist engineering environment is an ongoing challenge. As such, McCormick remains committed to:

  • Improving dialogue to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.
  • Providing additional programming for faculty and staff about teaching, mentoring, advising, and recruitment that keep diversity, equity, and inclusion under discussion.
  • Continuing to partner with other university units that are involved with the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making the McCormick community aware of these resources.
  • Partnering with our students to ensure that all voices are engaged in our work.
  • More visibly and tangibly communicating our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to McCormick students, faculty, and staff.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a core value for McCormick, a compass that guides action for faculty, staff, and students.

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One McCormick Event Series

In fall 2020, the One McCormick Series, which seeks to build community and connectivity within McCormick, focused on diversity by featuring presentations from student groups including:

The events were hosted by Dean Julio M. Ottino and Assistant Dean Ellen Worsdall.

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Hodge EXCEL Scholars Program

The Melville and Jane Hodge EXCEL Scholars program is an endowed academic summer program for incoming freshmen to the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University. It was established in 1978 as a five-week summer “bridge” program to increase enrollment and improve retention of minority students that were accepted to McCormick. Historically, the Hodge EXCEL Scholars program was open to all incoming McCormick freshmen who self-identified as members of under-represented minority groups. However, in 2004 the admission criteria was changed. We now include Hodge EXCEL scholars of all cultural backgrounds. Hodge EXCEL scholars are selected to participate in our program after a further review of their accomplishments during high school. We identify Hodge EXCEL scholars who have demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to diversity.

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Engineering Student Groups

At McCormick, student groups are a critical component of our network, providing opportunities to connect with other students, work on meaningful and impactful projects, and pursue outside areas of interest. They are central component of McCormick’s culture.

Student groups cover a wide range of areas, including many affinity groups that allow students to build community. Undergraduate student groups work with Ellen Worsdall, assistant dean of student life. New student groups can petition for McCormick recognition and funding through the undergraduate engineering office.

In addition, you can find information on numerous other student groups at Northwestern here: https://northwestern.campuslabs.com/engage/organizations

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Northwestern University Recruitment to Transform Under-Representation and Achieve Equity (NURTURE)

Through a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund’s Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Program, Northwestern University Recruitment to Transform Under-Representation and achieve Equity (NURTURE) is an initiative to build an exceptional community of Northwestern biomedical faculty committed to inclusive excellence.

NURTURE aims to hire early career faculty in three clusters in the following “Cells to Communities” research areas: Cancer, Cardiovascular and Brain, Mind and Behavior. Northwestern is committed to supporting the success of this community of scientists by nurturing an institutional culture of inclusive excellence.

View the NURTURE Program website

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International Programs

Traveling, studying, and working abroad provide powerful opportunities for students to stretch themselves and gain new insights into other cultures. In order to be effective in a culturally diverse environment, McCormick urges its students to prepare to engage with the world as a whole, and to take advantage of the programs Northwestern offers in these areas.

See McCormick’s Global Initiatives website for opportunities

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Trainings and Resources

McCormick has and will continue to offer faculty and staff trainings on diversity and inclusion. More sections are currently being scheduled.

Resources and trainings are offered on an ongoing basis through MyHR Learn.

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DEI Leadership

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a shared responsibility for the McCormick community. Several members of McCormick’s senior administrative team are responsible for coordinating our actions among different areas of the school.

Overall Leadership:
Christopher Schuh, dean

Graduate Studies:
Linda Broadbelt, associate dean

Undergraduate Engineering:
Wes Burghardt, associate dean
Ellen Worsdall, assistant dean

Julie White, associate dean

Eric Perreault, associate dean

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Submit Your Concerns

We welcome your feedback, comments, or concerns.

Reporting Incidents of Sexual Misconduct and/or Gender Discrimination

Please note that for issues of sexual misconduct and/or gender discrimination, faculty members and administrators are mandated reporters and may need to share incidents with the Office of Equity and Title IX Administration. Find guidance for receiving confidential support for issues of sexual misconduct and/or gender discrimination on the Office of Equity website.

Reporting Bias or Hate Incidents

Find information on reporting issues of bias or hate incidents that you observe on campus via Respect NU and the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) and learn how to submit and incident report online, by phone, or in-person on the Office of Student Affairs website.

Reporting Discrimination or Harassment

Find information on reporting issues of discrimination and harassment on Northwestern’s Office of Equity website or access their reporting system.